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Indonesian (, ) is the official language of
Indonesia Indonesia ( ), officially the Republic of Indonesia ( id, Republik Indonesia, links=yes ), is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is t ...

Indonesia
. It is a
standardized Standardization or standardisation is the process of implementing and developing technical standard A technical standard is an established norm or requirement for a repeatable technical task. It is usually a formal document that establishes un ...
variety Variety may refer to: Science and technology Mathematics * Algebraic variety, the set of solutions of a system of polynomial equations * Variety (universal algebra), classes of algebraic structures defined by equations in universal algebra Hort ...
of
Malay Malay may refer to: Languages * Malay language or Bahasa Melayu, a major Austronesian language spoken in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore ** History of the Malay language#Old Malay, the Malay language from the 4th to the 14th century ** ...
, an
Austronesian language The Austronesian languages (, , , ) are a , widely spoken throughout , , the islands of the and (by ). There are also a number of speakers in . They are spoken by about 386 million people (4.9% of the ). This makes it the fifth-largest languag ...
that has been used as a
lingua franca A lingua franca (; ; for plurals see ), also known as a bridge language, common language, trade language, auxiliary language, vehicular language, or link language, is a language or dialect The term dialect (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a ...
in the multilingual Indonesian archipelago for centuries. Indonesia is the fourth most populous nation in the world, with over 270 million inhabitants—of which the majority speak Indonesian, which makes it one of the more widely spoken languages in the world.
James Neil Sneddon James Neil Sneddon is an Australian linguist who specializes in Indonesian and languages of Sulawesi On the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, 114 native languages are spoken, all of which belong to the Malayo-Polynesian languages, Malayo-Polynesian su ...
. ''The Indonesian Language: Its History and Role in Modern Society''. UNSW Press, 2004. Page 14."
Most Indonesians, aside from speaking the national language, are fluent in at least one of the more than 700 indigenous local languages; examples include Javanese and Sundanese, which are commonly used at home and within the local community. However, most formal
education Education is the process of facilitating , or the acquisition of , s, , morals, s, s, and personal development. Educational methods include , , , and directed . Education frequently takes place under the guidance of educators; however, lea ...

education
and nearly all national
mass media Mass media refers to a diverse array of media Media may refer to: Physical means Communication * Media (communication), tools used to deliver information or data ** Advertising media, various media, content, buying and placement fo ...
,
governance Governance is all the processes of interactions be they through the laws Law is a system of rules created and law enforcement, enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior,Robertson, ''Crimes against humanity ...

governance
,
administration Administration may refer to: Management of organizations * Management Management (or managing) is the administration of an organization An organization, or organisation (English in the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth English; ...
, and
judiciary The judiciary (also known as the judicial system, judicature, judicial branch, judiciative branch, and court or judiciary system) is the system of court A court is any person or institution, often as a government institution, with the authori ...
and other forms of communication are conducted in Indonesian.
/ref> The term "Indonesian" is primarily associated with the national
standard dialect A standard language (also standard variety, standard dialect, and standard) is a language variety In sociolinguistics Sociolinguistics is the descriptive study of the effect of any and all aspects of society, including cultural Norm (sociology ...
(). However, in a more loose sense, it also encompasses the various local varieties spoken throughout the Indonesian archipelago. Standard Indonesian is confined mostly to formal situations, existing in a diglossic relationship with vernacular Malay varieties, which are commonly used for daily communication, coexisting with the aforementioned regional languages. The Indonesian name for the language () is also occasionally found in
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
and other languages.


History


Early kingdoms era

Standard Indonesian is a
standard variety A standard language (also standard variety, standard dialect, and standard) is a language variety that has undergone substantial codification of grammar and usage and is employed by a population for public communication. The term ''standard langua ...
of "Riau Malay", which despite its common name is not based on the vernacular Malay dialects of the
Riau Islands The Riau Islands ( id, Kepulauan Riau) is a province of Indonesia Provinces of Indonesia are the 34 administrative division, administrative division of Indonesia and the highest tier of the local government (formerly called first-level re ...
, but rather represents a form of
Classical Malay Malay was first used in the first millennia known as Old Malay, a part of the Austronesian language The Austronesian languages (, , , ) are a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including sp ...
as used in the 19th and early 20th centuries in the
Riau-Lingga Sultanate Riau-Lingga Sultanate (Malay language, Malay/Indonesian language, Indonesian: ''Kesultanan Riau-Lingga'', Jawi script, Jawi: ), also known as the Lingga-Riau Sultanate, Riau Sultanate or Lingga Sultanate was a Malay people, Malay sultanate tha ...
. Classical Malay had emerged as a literary language in the royal courts along both shores of the
Strait of Malacca id, Selat Malaka th, ta, hi, zh, , native_name_lang = , other_name = , image = Strait of malacca.jpg , alt = , caption = The Strait of Malacca connects the Pacific Ocean to ...
, including the Johor–Riau and Malaccan Sultanates.Sneddon 2003, ''The Indonesian Language: Its History and Role in Modern Society'', p. 70 Originally spoken in Northeast
Sumatra Sumatra is one of the Sunda Islands The Sunda Islands are a group of islands in the Malay Archipelago. They consist of the Greater Sunda Islands The Greater Sunda Islands are four tropical islands situated within Southeast Asia S ...

Sumatra
, Malay has been used as a
lingua franca A lingua franca (; ; for plurals see ), also known as a bridge language, common language, trade language, auxiliary language, vehicular language, or link language, is a language or dialect The term dialect (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a ...
in the Indonesian
archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as ...

archipelago
for half a millennium. It might be attributed to its
ancestor An ancestor, also known as a forefather, fore-elder or a forebear, is a parent A parent is a caregiver of the offspring in their own species. In humans, a parent is the caretaker of a child (where "child" refers to offspring, not necessaril ...

ancestor
, the
Old Malay Malay Malay may refer to: Languages * Malay language or Bahasa Melayu, a major Austronesian language spoken in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore ** History of the Malay language#Old Malay, the Malay language from the 4th to the 14th c ...
language (which can be traced back to the 7th century). The
Kedukan Bukit Inscription The Kedukan Bukit inscription is an inscription discovered by the Dutchman C.J. Batenburg on 29 November 1920 at Kedukan Bukit, South Sumatra, Indonesia Indonesia ( ), officially the Republic of Indonesia ( id, Republik Indonesia, links=y ...
is the oldest surviving specimen of Old Malay, the language used by
Srivijayan Srivijaya (; ; ; ) was a Buddhism, Buddhist thalassocracy, thalassocratic empire based on the island of Sumatra (in modern-day Indonesia), which influenced much of Southeast Asia. Srivijaya was an important centre for the expansion of Buddhism ...
empire. Since the 7th century, the Old Malay language has been used in
Nusantara ''Nusantara'' is the Indonesian language, Indonesian name of Maritime Southeast Asia (or parts of it). It is an Kawi language, Old Javanese term which literally means "outer islands". In Indonesia, it is generally taken to mean the list of isl ...
(Indonesian archipelago), evidenced by Srivijaya inscriptions and by other inscriptions from
coast The coast, also known as the coastline or seashore, is defined as the area where land meets the ocean The ocean (also the or the world ocean) is the body of that covers approximately 70.8% of the surface of and contains 97% of . Anot ...

coast
al areas of the archipelago, such as those discovered in Java.


Old Malay as ''lingua franca''

Trade Trade involves the transfer of goods from one person or entity to another, often in exchange for money. Economists refer to a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of r ...

Trade
contacts carried on by various
ethnic An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason Reason is the capacity of consciously a ...
peoples at the time were the main
vehicle A vehicle (from la, vehiculum) is a machine A machine is any physical system with ordered structural and functional properties. It may represent human-made or naturally occurring device molecular machine A molecular machine, nanite, or ...

vehicle
for spreading the Old Malay language, which was the main
communications Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Rep ...
medium among the traders. Ultimately, the Old Malay language became a
lingua franca A lingua franca (; ; for plurals see ), also known as a bridge language, common language, trade language, auxiliary language, vehicular language, or link language, is a language or dialect The term dialect (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a ...
and was spoken widely by most people in the archipelago. Indonesian (in its standard form) has essentially the same material basis as the Malaysian standard of Malay and is therefore considered to be a variety of the pluricentric Malay language. However, it does
differ The Dutch Research Council (NWO Dutch: Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek) is the national research council of the Netherlands. NWO funds thousands of top researchers at universities and institutes and steers the course of ...
from Malaysian Malay in several respects, with differences in pronunciation and vocabulary. These differences are due mainly to the Dutch and Javanese influences on Indonesian. Indonesian was also influenced by the (literally "market Malay"), which was the lingua franca of the archipelago in colonial times, and thus indirectly by other spoken languages of the islands. Malaysian Malay claims to be closer to the classical Malay of earlier centuries, even though modern Malaysian has been heavily influenced, in lexicon as well as in syntax, by English. The question of whether High Malay (Court Malay) or Low Malay (Bazaar Malay) was the true parent of the Indonesian language is still in debate. High Malay was the official language used in the court of the
Johor Sultanate The Johor Sultanate ( ms, Kesultanan Johor or ; also called the Sultanate of Johor, Johor-Riau, Johor-Riau-Lingga-Pahang, or the Johor Empire) was founded by Sultanate of Malacca, Malaccan Sultan Mahmud Shah's son, Sultan Alauddin Riayat Sh ...
and continued by the Dutch-administered territory of Riau-Lingga, while Low Malay was commonly used in marketplaces and ports of the archipelago. Some linguists have argued that it was the more common Low Malay that formed the base of the Indonesian language.


Dutch colonial era

When the
Dutch East India Company The Dutch East India Company, officially the United East India Company ( nl, Vereenigde Oost Indische Compagnie; VOC), was a multinational corporation A multinational company (MNC) is a corporate A corporation is an organization—u ...

Dutch East India Company
(VOC) first arrived in the archipelago at the start of the 1600s, the Malay language was a significant trading and political language due to the influence of
Malaccan Sultanate The Malacca Sultanate ( ms, Kesultanan Melayu Melaka; Jawi scriptJawi may refer to: People and languages *Australia: **Jawi dialect, a nearly extinct Australian aboriginal language **Jawi people, an Australian Aboriginal people of the Kimberle ...
and later the
Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portuguese language ** Portug ...

Portuguese
. However, the language had never been dominant among the population of the Indonesian archipelago as it was limited to mercantile activity. The VOC adopted the Malay language as the administrative language of their trading outpost in the east. Following the
bankruptcy Bankruptcy is a legal process through which people or other entities who cannot repay debts to creditor A creditor or lender is a party 300px, '' Hip, Hip, Hurrah!'' (1888) by Peder Severin Krøyer, a painting portraying an artists' par ...

bankruptcy
of the VOC, the
Batavian Republic The Batavian Republic ( nl, Bataafse Republiek; french: République Batave) was the successor state Successor is someone who, or something which succeeds or comes after (see success and succession) Film and TV * ''The Successor'' (film), a 1 ...
took control of the colony in 1799, and it was only then that education in and promotion of Dutch began in the
colony In political science Political science is the scientific study of politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations between individuals, ...

colony
. Even then, Dutch administrators were remarkably reluctant to promote the use of Dutch compared to other colonial regimes. Dutch thus remained the language of a small elite: in 1940, only 2% of the total population could speak Dutch. Nevertheless, it did have a significant influence on the development of Malay in the colony: during the colonial era, the language that would be standardized as Indonesian absorbed a large amount of Dutch vocabulary in the form of
loanwords A loanword (also loan word or loan-word) is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical meaning ...
.


Birth of the Indonesian language

The nationalist movement that ultimately brought Indonesian to its national language status rejected
Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * Dutch Castle Places * ...
from the outset. However, the rapid disappearance of Dutch was a very unusual case compared with other colonized countries, where the colonial language generally has continued to function as the language of politics,
bureaucracy The term bureaucracy () may refer both to a body of non-elected governing officials (bureaucrats A bureaucrat is a member of a bureaucracy and can compose the administration of any organization of any size, although the term usually connotes ...

bureaucracy
, education,
technology Technology ("science of craft", from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. I ...

technology
, and other fields of importance for a significant time after independence. Soenjono Dardjowidjojo even goes so far as to say that "Indonesian is perhaps the only language that has achieved the status of a national language in its true sense" since it truly dominates in all spheres of Indonesian society. The ease with which Indonesia eliminated the language of its former colonial power can perhaps be explained as much by Dutch
policy Policy is a deliberate system of guideline A guideline is a statement by which to determine a course of action. A guideline aims to streamline particular processes according to a set routine or sound practice. Guidelines may be issued by a ...

policy
as by Indonesian nationalism. In marked contrast to the ,
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the name of several ...

Spanish
and Portuguese, who pursued an assimilation colonial policy, or even the
British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people, nationals or natives of the United Kingdom, British Overseas Territories, and Crown Dependencies. ** Britishness, the British identity and common culture * British English, ...

British
, the Dutch did not attempt to spread their language among the indigenous population. In fact, they consciously prevented the language from being spread by refusing to provide education, especially in Dutch, to the native Indonesians so they would not come to see themselves as equals. Moreover, the Dutch wished to prevent the Indonesians from elevating their perceived social status by taking on elements of Dutch culture. Thus, until the 1930s, they maintained a minimalist regime and allowed Malay to spread quickly throughout the archipelago. Dutch dominance at that time covered nearly all aspects, with official forums requiring the use of Dutch, although since the Second Youth Congress (1928) the use of Indonesian as the national language was agreed on as one of the tools in the independence struggle. As of it, Mohammad Hoesni Thamrin inveighed actions underestimating Indonesian. After some criticism and protests, the use of Indonesian was allowed since the ''Volksraad'' sessions held in July 1938. By the time they tried to counter the spread of Malay by teaching Dutch to the natives, it was too late, and in 1942, the Japanese conquered Indonesia and outlawed the use of the Dutch language. Three years later, the Indonesians themselves formally abolished the language and established ''Bahasa Indonesia'' as the national language of the new nation. The term ''Bahasa Indonesia'' itself had been proposed by in 1926, and Tabrani had further proposed the term over calling the language
Malay language Malay (; ms, bahasa Melayu, links=no, JawiJawi may refer to: People and languages *Australia: **Jawi dialect, a nearly extinct Australian aboriginal language **Jawi people, an Australian Aboriginal people of the Kimberley coast of Weste ...
during the First Youth Congress in 1926. Several years prior to the congress, Swiss linguist, Renward Brandstetter wrote '' An Introduction to Indonesian Linguistics'' in 4 essays from 1910 to 1915. The essays was translated into English in 1916. By Indonesia, he meant , and Indonesian languages are the languages in the region, because by that time there were still no notion of Indonesian language.


Adoption as national language

The adoption of Indonesian as the country's national language was in contrast to most other post-colonial states. Neither the language with the most native speakers (Javanese) nor the language of the former European colonial power (Dutch) was to be adopted. Instead, a local language with far fewer native speakers than the most widely spoken local language was chosen (nevertheless, Malay was the second most widely spoken language in the colony after Javanese, and had many L2 speakers using it for trade, administration, and education). In 1945, when Indonesia declared its independence, Indonesian was formally declared the national language, despite being the native language of only about 5% of the population. In contrast, Javanese and Sundanese were the mother tongues of 42–48% and 15% respectively. The combination of
nationalistic Nationalism is an idea and movement that promotes the interests of a particular nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basis of a common language, history, ethnicity, or a common culture, and, in many cases, a shared territo ...
,
political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between individuals, such as the distribution of res ...

political
, and
practical Pragmatism is a philosophical tradition that considers words and thought as tools and instruments for prediction, problem solving, and action, and rejects the idea that the function of thought is to describe, represent, or mirror reality. Pra ...
concerns ultimately led to the successful adoption of Indonesian as a national language. In 1945, Javanese was easily the most prominent language in Indonesia. It was the native language of nearly half the population, the primary language of politics and
economics Economics () is a social science that studies the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distribution, and Consumption (economics), consumption of goods and services. Economics focuses on the behaviour and interact ...

economics
, and the language of
court A court is any person or institution, often as a government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''Sta ...

court
ly,
religious Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and whether the exchange is voluntary/involuntary. Etymology ...

religious
, and literary tradition. What it lacked, however, was the ability to unite the diverse Indonesian population as a whole. With thousands of islands and hundreds of different languages, the newly independent country of Indonesia had to find a national language that could realistically be spoken by the majority of the population and that would not divide the nation by favouring one ethnic group, namely the Javanese, over the others. In 1945, Indonesian was already in widespread use; in fact, it had been for roughly a thousand years. Over that long period, Malay, which would later become standardized as Indonesian, was the primary language of
commerce Commerce is the exchange of goods and services, especially on a large scale. Etymology The English-language word ''commerce'' has been derived from the Latin word ''commercium'', from ''com'' ("together") and ''merx'' ("merchandise"). History ...

commerce
and
travel Travel is the movement of people between distant geographical Location (geography), locations. Travel can be done by Pedestrian, foot, bicycle, automobile, train, boat, bus, airplane, ship or other means, with or without luggage, and can be ...

travel
. It was also the language used for the propagation of
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or ex ...
in the 13th to 17th centuries, as well as the language of instruction used by Portuguese and Dutch missionaries attempting to convert the indigenous people to
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic-originated religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of ...

Christianity
. The combination of these factors meant that the language was already known to some degree by most of the population, and it could be more easily adopted as the national language than perhaps any other. Moreover, it was the language of the sultanate of
Brunei Brunei ( ; ), officially the Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace ( ms, Negara Brunei Darussalam, Jawi alphabet, Jawi: ), is a sovereign state, country located on the north coast of the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia. Apart from its coa ...

Brunei
and of future
Malaysia Malaysia ( ; ) is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the geographical southeastern subregion of Asia, consisting of the regions ...

Malaysia
, on which some Indonesian nationalists had claims. Over the first 53 years of
Indonesian independence The Proclamation of Indonesian Independence ( id, Proklamasi Kemerdekaan Indonesia, or simply ''Proklamasi'') was read at 10:00 in the morning of Friday, 17 August 1945. The declaration marked the start of the diplomatic and armed resistance of t ...

Indonesian independence
, the country's first two presidents,
Sukarno Sukarno (; born Koesno Sosrodihardjo, ; 6 June 1901 – 21 June 1970) was an Indonesian people, Indonesian wikt:statesman, statesman, politician, nationalist, and assimilationist who was the first president of Indonesia, serving from 1945 ...

Sukarno
and
Suharto Suharto (; ; 8 June 1921 – 27 January 2008) was an Indonesian Army officer Indonesian is anything of, from, or related to Indonesia, an archipelagic country in Southeast Asia. It may refer to: * Indonesians, citizens of Indonesia ** Native In ...
constantly nurtured the sense of national unity embodied by Indonesian, and the language remains an essential component of Indonesian identity. Through a language planning program that made Indonesian the language of
politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between individuals, such as the distribution of res ...

politics
,
education Education is the process of facilitating , or the acquisition of , s, , morals, s, s, and personal development. Educational methods include , , , and directed . Education frequently takes place under the guidance of educators; however, lea ...

education
, and nation-building in general, Indonesian became one of the few success stories of an
indigenous language An indigenous language or autochthonous language, is a language that is native to a region and spoken by indigenous people. This language is from a linguistically distinct community that originated in the area. Indigenous languages are not necessa ...
effectively overtaking that of a country's colonisers to become the ''
de jure In law and government, ''de jure'' ( ; , "by law") describes practices that are legally recognized, regardless of whether the practice exists in reality. In contrast, ("in fact") describes situations that exist in reality, even if not legally ...
'' and ''
de facto ''De facto'' ( ; , "in fact") describes practices that exist in reality, even though they are not officially recognized by laws. It is commonly used to refer to what happens in practice, in contrast with ''de jure'' ("by law"), which refers to th ...
'' official language. Today, Indonesian continues to function as the language of
national identity National identity is a person's identity or sense of belonging to one or more states or to one or more nations A nation is a community A community is a social unitThe term "level of analysis" is used in the social sciences to point to the lo ...
as the Congress of Indonesian Youth envisioned, and also serves as the language of education,
literacy Literacy is popularly understood as an ability to read and write Writing is a medium of human communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of developing Semantics, meaning among Subject (p ...
,
modernization Modernization theory is used to explain the process of modernization within societies. Modernization theory originated from the ideas of German sociologist Max Weber Maximilian Karl Emil Weber (; ; 21 April 186414 June 1920) was a German socio ...
, and
social mobility Social mobility is the movement of individuals, families, households, or other categories of people within or between Social stratification, social strata in a society. It is a change in social status relative to one's current social location ...
. Despite still being a second language to most Indonesians, it is unquestionably the language of the Indonesian nation as a whole, as it has had unrivalled success as a factor in nation-building and the strengthening of Indonesian identity.


Modern and colloquial Indonesian

Bahasa Indonesia is spoken as a
mother tongue A first language, native tongue, native language, or mother/father/parent tongue (also known as arterial language or L1) is a language or dialect that a person has been exposed to from birth or within the critical period hypothesis, critical pe ...
and National Language. Over 200 million people regularly make use of the national language, with varying degrees of proficiency. In a nation that boasts more than 700 native languages and a vast array of ethnic groups, it plays an important unifying and cross-archipelagic role for the country. Use of the national language is abundant in the media,
government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Departmen ...

government
bodies,
school A school is an educational institution An educational institution is a place where people of different ages gain an education, including preschools, childcare, primary-elementary schools, secondary-high schools, and universities. They p ...

school
s,
universities A university () is an of (or ) and which awards s in several . Universities typically offer both and programs in different schools or faculties of learning. The word ''university'' is derived from the ''universitas magistrorum et scholari ...

universities
,
workplace A workplace is a location where someone works for their employer or themselves, a place of employment. Such a place can range from a Small office/home office, home office to a large office building or factory. For Industrial society, industriali ...

workplace
s, among members of the upper-class or nobility and also in formal situations, despite the 2010 census showing only 19.94% of over-five-year-olds speak mainly Indonesian at home. Standard Indonesian is used in books and newspapers and on television/radio news broadcasts. The standard dialect, however, is rarely used in daily conversations, being confined mostly to formal settings. While this is a phenomenon common to most languages in the world (for example, spoken English does not always correspond to its written standards), the proximity of spoken Indonesian (in terms of grammar and vocabulary) to its normative form is noticeably low. This is mostly due to Indonesians combining aspects of their own local languages (e.g., Javanese, Sundanese, and
Balinese Balinese may refer to: *Bali, an Indonesian island *Balinese art *Balinese dance *Balinese people *Balinese language **Balinese script **Balinese (Unicode block) *Balinese mythology *Balinese cat, a cat breed *Balinese Gamelan, local music *Balinese ...
) with Indonesian. This results in various vernacular varieties of Indonesian, the very types that a foreigner is most likely to hear upon arriving in any Indonesian city or town. This phenomenon is amplified by the use of Indonesian slang, particularly in the cities. Unlike the relatively uniform standard variety, Vernacular Indonesian exhibits a high degree of geographical variation, though Colloquial Jakartan Indonesian functions as the ''de facto'' norm of informal language and is a popular source of influence throughout the archipelago. The most common and widely used colloquial Indonesian is heavily influenced by the
Betawi language Betawi, also known as Betawi Malay, Jakartan Malay, or Batavian Malay is the spoken language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Ita ...
, a
Malay-based creole In addition to its classical Classical may refer to: European antiquity *Classical antiquity, a period of history from roughly the 7th or 8th century B.C.E. to the 5th century C.E. centered on the Mediterranean Sea *Classical architecture, arc ...
of
Jakarta Jakarta (; ), officially the Special Capital Region of Jakarta ( id, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta), is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the lette ...

Jakarta
, amplified by its popularity in Indonesian popular culture in mass media and Jakarta's status as the national capital. In informal spoken Indonesian, various words are replaced with those of a less formal nature. For example, (no) is often replaced with the Betawi form or the even simpler , while (like, similar to) is often replaced with . or (very), the term to express intensity, is often being replaced with the Javanese-influenced . As for pronunciation, the diphthongs ''ai'' and ''au'' on the end of base words are typically pronounced as and . In informal writing, the spelling of words is modified to reflect the actual pronunciation in a way that can be produced with less effort. For example, becomes or , becomes , becomes . In verbs, the prefix ''me-'' is often dropped, although an initial nasal consonant is often retained, as when becomes (the basic word is ). The suffixes ''-kan'' and ''-i'' are often replaced by ''-in''. For example, becomes , becomes . The latter grammatical aspect is one often closely related to the Indonesian spoken in Jakarta and its surrounding areas.


Classification and related languages

Indonesian is one of the many varieties of
Malay Malay may refer to: Languages * Malay language or Bahasa Melayu, a major Austronesian language spoken in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore ** History of the Malay language#Old Malay, the Malay language from the 4th to the 14th century ** ...
. Malay historical linguists agree on the likelihood of the Malay homeland being in western
Borneo Borneo (; id, Kalimantan) is the third-List of islands by area, largest island in the world and the largest in Asia. At the geographic centre of Maritime Southeast Asia, in relation to major Indonesian islands, it is located north of Java Is ...

Borneo
stretching to the
Brunei Brunei ( ; ), officially the Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace ( ms, Negara Brunei Darussalam, Jawi alphabet, Jawi: ), is a sovereign state, country located on the north coast of the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia. Apart from its coa ...

Brunei
an coast. A form known as Proto-Malay language was spoken in Borneo at least by 1000 BCE and was, it has been argued, the ancestral language of all subsequent
Malayan languages The Malayic languages are a branch of the Malayo-Polynesian subgroup of the Austronesian language family The Austronesian languages (, , , ) are a language family, widely spoken throughout Maritime Southeast Asia, Madagascar, the islands of th ...
. Its ancestor,
Proto-Malayo-Polynesian Proto-Malayo-Polynesian (PMP) is the linguistic reconstruction, reconstructed ancestor of the Malayo-Polynesian languages, which is by far the largest branch (by current speakers) of the Austronesian languages, Austronesian language family. Proto- ...
, a descendant of the
Proto-Austronesian language Proto-Austronesian (commonly abbreviated as PAN or PAn) is a proto-language In the tree model of historical linguistics, a proto-language is a postulated once-spoken ancestral language from which a number of attested languages are believed to ...
, began to break up by at least 2000 BCE, possibly as a result of the southward expansion of
Austronesian peoples The Austronesian peoples, also sometimes referred to as the Austronesian-speaking peoples, are a large group of various peoples in Taiwan Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eas ...
into
Maritime Southeast Asia Maritime Southeast Asia comprises the countries of Brunei Brunei ( ; ), officially the Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace ( ms, Negara Brunei Darussalam, Jawi alphabet, Jawi: ), is a sovereign state, country located on the north co ...
from the island of
Taiwan Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and N ...

Taiwan
. Indonesian, which originated from Malay, is a member of the
Austronesian Austronesian may refer to: *The Austronesian languages *The historical Austronesian peoples who carried Austronesian languages on their migrations {{disambiguation ...
family of languages, which includes languages from
Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the geographical United Nations geoscheme for Asia#South-eastern Asia, southeastern subregion of Asia, consisting of the regions ...

Southeast Asia
, the
Pacific Ocean The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. ...

Pacific Ocean
and
Madagascar Madagascar (; mg, Madagasikara), officially the Republic of Madagascar ( mg, Repoblikan'i Madagasikara, links=no, ; french: République de Madagascar), and previously known as the Malagasy Republic The Malagasy Republic ( mg, Repoblika Mal ...

Madagascar
, with a smaller number in continental
Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and Northern Hemisphere, Northern Hemisphere of the Earth, Hemispheres. It shares the continental landmass of Eurasia with the cont ...

Asia
. It has a degree of
mutual intelligibility In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic b ...
with the Malaysian standard of Malay, which is officially known there as
Bahasa Malaysia The Malaysian language ( ms, bahasa Malaysia, Jawi alphabet, Jawi: ) or Malaysian Malay ( ms, bahasa Melayu Malaysia, link=no), is the name regularly applied to the standardized form of Malay language used in Malaysia (as opposed to the variet ...
, despite the numerous lexical differences. However, vernacular varieties spoken in Indonesia and Malaysia share limited intelligibility, which is evidenced by the fact that Malaysians have difficulties understanding Indonesian sinetron (soap opera) aired on Malaysia TV stations, and vice versa.
Malagasy Malagasy may refer to: *Someone or something from Madagascar *Malagasy people *Malagasy language *Malagasy Republic *Related to the culture of Madagascar See also

*Madagascar (disambiguation) {{disambiguation Language and nationality disambi ...
, a geographic outlier spoken in
Madagascar Madagascar (; mg, Madagasikara), officially the Republic of Madagascar ( mg, Repoblikan'i Madagasikara, links=no, ; french: République de Madagascar), and previously known as the Malagasy Republic The Malagasy Republic ( mg, Repoblika Mal ...

Madagascar
in the
Indian Ocean The Indian Ocean is the third-largest of the world's five ocean The ocean (also the or the world ocean) is the body of that covers approximately 70.8% of the surface of and contains 97% of . Another definition is "any of the large ...

Indian Ocean
; the Philippines national language,
Filipino Filipino may refer to: * Something from or related to the Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas or ''Filipinas'' ), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, ...
; Formosan in Taiwan's aboriginal population; and the native
Māori language Māori (), also known as ('the language'), is an Eastern Polynesian language spoken by the Māori people The Māori (, ) are the of mainland (). Māori originated with settlers from East , who arrived in New Zealand in several waves ...
of New Zealand are also members of this language family. Although each language of the family is mutually unintelligible, their similarities are rather striking. Many roots have come virtually unchanged from their common ancestor,
Proto-Austronesian language Proto-Austronesian (commonly abbreviated as PAN or PAn) is a proto-language In the tree model of historical linguistics, a proto-language is a postulated once-spoken ancestral language from which a number of attested languages are believed to ...
. There are many
cognate In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Itali ...
s found in the languages' words for kinship, health, body parts and common animals. Numbers, especially, show remarkable similarities. However, Indonesian, as it is known today, was borrowing loanwords from various sources. Beside from local languages, such as Javanese, Sundanese, etc.,
Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * Dutch Castle Places * ...
made the highest contribution to the Indonesian vocabulary, due to the Dutch's
colonization Colonization, or colonisation refers to large-scale population movements where the migrants maintain strong links with their—or their ancestors'—former country, gaining significant privileges over other inhabitants of the territory by such l ...
for over three centuries, from the 16th century until the mid-20th century.
Asian languages A wide variety of languages are spoken throughout Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and Northern Hemisphere, Northern Hemisphere of the Earth, Hemispheres. It ...
also influenced the language, with
Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous country, with a populat ...
influencing Indonesian during the 15th and 16th centuries due to the
spice trade The spice trade involved historical civilizations in Asia Asia () is a landmass variously described as part of Eurasia Eurasia () is the largest continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified b ...
;
Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia after its predecessor langua ...
,
Tamil Tamil may refer to: * Tamils, an ethnic group native to India, Sri Lanka and some other parts of Asia **Sri Lankan Tamils, Tamil people native to Sri Lanka **Tamil Malaysians, Tamil people native to Malaysia * Tamil language, a Dravidian languages, ...

Tamil
,
Prakrit The Prakrits (; Early Brahmi 𑀧𑁆𑀭𑀸𑀓𑀾𑀢, ''prākṛta''; Devanagari Devanagari ( ; , , Sanskrit pronunciation: ), also called Nagari (),Kathleen Kuiper (2010), The Culture of India, New York: The Rosen Publishing Group, ...
and
Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, North India. Hindi has been described as a Standard la ...

Hindi
contributing during the flourishing of Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms from the 2nd to the 14th century; followed by
Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental region ...

Arabic
after the
spread of Islam The spread of Islam spans about 1,400 years. Muslim conquests following Muhammad Muhammad ibn AbdullahHe is referred to by many appellations, including Messenger of Allah, The Prophet Muhammad, Allah's Apostle, Last Prophet of Islam, and ...
in the archipelago in the 13th century. Loanwords from
Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portuguese language ** Portug ...

Portuguese
were mainly connected with articles that the early European traders and explorers brought to Southeast Asia. Indonesian also receives many
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
words as a result of
globalization Globalization, or globalisation (Commonwealth English The use of the English language English is a of the , originally spoken by the inhabitants of . It is named after the , one of the ancient that migrated from , a peninsu ...

globalization
and
modernization Modernization theory is used to explain the process of modernization within societies. Modernization theory originated from the ideas of German sociologist Max Weber Maximilian Karl Emil Weber (; ; 21 April 186414 June 1920) was a German socio ...
, especially since the 1990s, as far as the Internet's emergence and development until the present day. Some Indonesian words correspond to Malay loanwords in English, among them the common words ''orangutan'', ''gong'', ''bamboo'', ''rattan'', ''sarong'', and the less common words such as ''paddy'', ''sago'' and ''kapok'', all of which were inherited in Indonesian from Malay but borrowed from Malay in English. The phrase "to run amok" comes from the Malay verb (to run out of control, to rage). Indonesian is neither a
pidgin A pidgin , or pidgin language, is a grammatically simplified means of communication that develops between two or more groups that do not have a language in common: typically, its vocabulary and grammar are limited and often drawn from several lan ...
nor a creole since its characteristics do not meet any of the criteria for either. It is believed that the Indonesian language was one of the means to achieve independence, but it is opened to receive vocabulary from other foreign languages aside from Malay that it has made contact with since the colonialism era, such as
Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * Dutch Castle Places * ...
,
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
and
Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental region ...
among others, as the
loan words A loanword (also loan word or loan-word) is a word In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gesture ...
keep increasing each year.


Geographical distribution

In 2010, Indonesian had 42.8 million
native speaker A first language, native tongue, native language, or mother/father/parent tongue (also known as arterial language or L1), is a language that a person has been exposed to from birth or within the critical period hypothesis, critical period. In so ...
s and 154.9 million second-language speakers, who speak it alongside their local mother tongue, giving a total number of speakers in Indonesia of 197.7 million. It is common as a first language in urban areas, and as a second language by those residing in more rural parts of Indonesia. The
VOA Voice of America (VOA) is an American International broadcasting, international broadcaster. It is the largest and oldest U.S.-funded international broadcaster. VOA produces digital, TV, and radio content in 47 languages which it distributes t ...
and BBC use Indonesian as their standard for broadcasting in Malay. In Australia, Indonesian is one of three Asian target languages, together with Japanese language, Japanese and Standard Chinese, Mandarin, taught in some schools as part of the Languages Other Than English programme. Indonesian has been taught in Australian schools and universities since the 1950s. In East Timor, which was occupied by Indonesia between 1975 and 1999, Indonesian is recognized by the constitution as one of the two working languages (the other being
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
), alongside the official languages of Tetum language, Tetum and
Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portuguese language ** Portug ...

Portuguese
. It is understood by the Malay people of Australia's Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Cocos Keeling Islands in the
Indian Ocean The Indian Ocean is the third-largest of the world's five ocean The ocean (also the or the world ocean) is the body of that covers approximately 70.8% of the surface of and contains 97% of . Another definition is "any of the large ...

Indian Ocean
, also in some parts of the Sulu, Sulu area of the southern Philippines and traces of it are to be found among people of Malay descent in Sri Lanka, South Africa, Suriname, and other places.


Official status

Indonesian is the official language of
Indonesia Indonesia ( ), officially the Republic of Indonesia ( id, Republik Indonesia, links=yes ), is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is t ...

Indonesia
, and its usage is encouraged throughout the Indonesian archipelago. It is regulated in Chapter XV, Constitution of Indonesia, 1945 Constitution of Indonesia about the flag, official language, coat of arms, and national anthem of Indonesia. Also, in Chapter III, Section 25 to 45, Government regulation No. 24/ 2009 mentions explicitly the status of the Indonesian language. Indonesian functions as a symbol of national identity and pride, and is a ''lingua franca'' among the diverse ethnic groups in Indonesia. The language serves as the national and official language, the language of education, communication, transaction and trade documentation, the development of national culture, science, technology, and mass media. It also serves as a vehicle of communication among the provinces and different regional cultures in the country. According to Indonesian law, the Indonesian language was proclaimed as the unifying language during the Youth Pledge on 28 October 1928 and developed further to accommodate the dynamics of Indonesian civilization. As mentioned previously, the language was based on Riau Malay, though linguists note that this is not the local dialect of Riau, but the Malaccan dialect that was used in the Riau-Lingga Sultanate, Riau court.Sneddon 2003, ''The Indonesian Language: Its History and Role in Modern Society'', p. 70 Since its conception in 1928 and its official recognition in the 1945 Constitution, the Indonesian language has been loaded with a nationalist political agenda to unify Indonesia (former Dutch East Indies). This status has made it relatively open to accommodate influences from other Indonesian ethnic languages, most notably Javanese as the majority ethnic group, and
Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * Dutch Castle Places * ...
as the previous coloniser. Compared to the indigenous dialects of
Malay Malay may refer to: Languages * Malay language or Bahasa Melayu, a major Austronesian language spoken in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore ** History of the Malay language#Old Malay, the Malay language from the 4th to the 14th century ** ...
spoken in Sumatra and Malay peninsula or the normative Malaysian standard, the Indonesian language differs profoundly by a large amount of Javanese loanwords incorporated into its already-rich vocabulary. As a result, Indonesian has more extensive sources of list of loan words in Indonesian, loanwords, compared to Malaysian Malay. It is sometimes said that the Indonesian language is an artificial language, meaning that it was designed by academics rather than evolving naturally as most common languages have, in order to accommodate the political purpose of establishing an official and unifying language of Indonesia. By borrowing heavily from numerous other languages, it expresses a natural linguistic evolution; in fact, it is as natural as the next language, as demonstrated in its exceptional capacity for absorbing foreign vocabulary. The disparate evolution of Indonesian and Malaysian has led to a rift between the two standardized varieties. This has been based more upon political nuance and the history of their standardization than cultural reasons, and as a result, there are asymmetrical views regarding each other's variety among Malaysians and Indonesians. Malaysians tend to assert that Malaysian and Indonesian are merely different normative varieties of the same language, while Indonesians tend to treat them as separate, albeit closely related, languages. Consequently, Indonesians feel little need to harmonise their language with Malaysia and Brunei, whereas Malaysians are keener to coordinate the evolution of the language with Indonesians, although the 1972 Indonesian Spelling System, Indonesian alphabet reform was seen mainly as a concession of Dutch-based Indonesian to the English-based spelling of Malaysian.


Phonology


Vowels

It is usually said that there are six vowels in Indonesian. These six vowels are shown in the table below. However, other analyses set up a system with other vowels, particularly the open-mid vowels and . In standard Indonesian orthography, the Latin alphabet is used, and five vowels are distinguished: ''a, i, u, e, o''. In materials for learners, the mid-front vowel /e/ is sometimes represented with a diacritic as ''é'' to distinguish it from the mid-central vowel /ə/.


Diphthongs

Indonesian has four diphthong phonemes only in open syllables. They are: * : ''kedai'' ('shop'), ''pandai'' ('clever') * : ''kerbau'' ('buffalo'), ''limau'' ('lemon') * (or in Indonesian): ''amboi'' ('wow')'', toilet'' ('toilet') * : ''survei'' ('survey'), ''geiser'' ('geyser') Some analyses assume that these diphthongs are actually a monophthong followed by an approximant, so represents , represents , and represents . On this basis, there are no phonological diphthongs in Indonesian. Diphthongs are differentiated from two vowels in two syllables, such as: * : e.g. ''lain'' ('other') , ''air'' ('water') * : ''bau'' ('smell') , ''laut'' ('sea')


Consonants

The consonants of Indonesian are shown above. Non-native consonants that only occur in borrowed words, principally from Arabic and English, are shown in parentheses. Some analyses list 19 "primary consonants" for Indonesian as the 18 symbols that are not in parentheses in the table as well as the glottal stop . The secondary consonants /f/, /v/, /z/, /ʃ/ and /x/ only appear in loanwords. Some speakers pronounce /v/ in loanwords as [v], otherwise it is [f]. Likewise /x/ may be replaced with [h] or [k] by some speakers. /ʃ/ is sometimes replaced with /s/, which was traditionally used as a substitute for /ʃ/ in older borrowings from Sanskrit, and /f/ is rarely replaced though /p/ was substituted for /f/ in older borrowings such as kopi "coffee" from
Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * Dutch Castle Places * ...
koffie. /z/ may occasionally be replaced with /s/ or /d͡ʒ/. [z] can also be an allophone of /s/ before voiced consonants. Orthographic note: The sounds are represented orthographically by their symbols as above, except: * is written before a vowel, before and . * is written . * The glottal stop is written as a final , an apostrophe (the use from its being an allophone of /k/ or /ɡ/ in the syllable coda), or it can be unwritten. * is written . * is written . * is written . * is written . * is written .


Stress

Indonesian has light Stress (linguistics), stress that falls on either the final or penultimate syllable, depending on regional variations as well as the presence of the schwa () in a word. It is generally the penultimate syllable that is stressed, unless its vowel is a schwa . If the penult has a schwa, then stress moves to the ante-penultimate syllable if there is one, even if that syllable has a schwa as well; if the word is disyllabic, the stress is final. In disyllabic stress with a closed penultimate syllable, such as ''tinggal'' ('stay') and ''rantai'' ('chain'), stress falls on the penult. However, there is some disagreement among linguists over whether stress is phonemic (unpredictable), with some analyses suggesting that there is no underlying stress in Indonesian.


Rhythm

The classification of languages based on rhythm can be problematic. Nevertheless, acoustic measurements suggest that Indonesian has more syllable-based rhythm than British English, even though doubts remain about whether the syllable is the appropriate unit for the study of Malay prosody.


Grammar

Word order in Indonesian is generally subject-verb-object (SVO), similar to that of most modern Languages of Europe, European languages, such as English. However considerable flexibility in word ordering exists, in contrast with languages such as Japanese language, Japanese or Korean language, Korean, for instance, which always end clauses with verbs. Indonesian, while allowing for relatively flexible word orderings, does not mark for grammatical case, nor does it make use of grammatical gender.


Affixes

Indonesian words are composed of a root or a root plus derivational affixes. The root is the primary lexical unit of a word and is usually bisyllabic, of the shape CV(C)CV(C). Affixes are "glued" onto roots (which are either nouns or verbs) to alter or expand the primary meaning associated with a given root, effectively generating new words, for example, ''masak'' (to cook) may become ''memasak'' (cooking), ''memasakkan'' (cooks for), ''dimasak'' (is cooked), ''pemasak'' (a cook), ''masakan'' (a meal, cookery), ''termasak'' (accidentally cooked). There are four types of affixes: prefixes (''awalan''), suffixes (''akhiran''), circumfixes (''apitan'') and infixes (''sisipan''). Affixes are categorized into noun, verb, and adjective affixes. Many initial consonants alternate in the presence of prefixes: ''sapu'' (to sweep) becomes ''menyapu'' (sweeps/sweeping); ''panggil'' (to call) becomes ''memanggil'' (calls/calling), ''tapis'' (to sieve) becomes ''menapis'' (sieves). Other examples of the use of affixes to change the meaning of a word can be seen with the word ''ajar'' (to teach): * ''ajar'' = to teach *''ajari'' = to teach (imperative, locative) *''ajarilah'' = to teach (jussive, locative) *''ajarkan'' = to teach (imperative, causative/applicative) *''ajarkanlah'' = to teach (jussive, causative/applicative) *''ajarlah'' = to teach (jussive, active) * ''ajaran'' = teachings * ''belajar'' = to learn (Intransitive verb, intransitive, active) * ''diajar'' = to be taught (intransitive, active) *''diajari'' = to be taught (transitive, locative) *''diajarkan'' = to be taught (transitive, causative/applicative) *''dipelajari'' = to be studied (locative) * ''dipelajarkan'' = to be studied (causative/applicative) * ''mempelajari'' = to study (locative) *''mempelajarkan'' = to study (causative/applicative) *''mengajar'' = to teach (intransitive verb, intransitive, active) * ''mengajarkan'' = to teach (transitive verb, transitive, casuative/applicative) *''mengajari'' = to teach (Transitive verb, transitive, locative) * ''pelajar'' = student *''pelajari'' = to study (imperative, locative) *''pelajarilah'' = to study (jussive, locative) *''pelajarkan'' = to study (imperative, causative/applicative) *''pelajarkanlah'' = to study (jussive, causative/applicative) * ''pengajar'' = teacher, someone who teaches * ''pelajaran'' = subject, education *''pelajari'' = to study (jussive, locative) *''pelajarkan'' = to study (jussive, causative/applicative) * ''pengajaran'' = lesson * ''pembelajaran'' = learning * ''terajar'' = to be taught (accidentally) *''terajari'' = to be taught (accidentally, locative) *''terajarkan'' = to be taught (accidentally, causative/applicative) * ''terpelajar'' = well-educated, literally "been taught" *''terpelajari'' = been taught (locative) *''terpelajarkan'' = been taught (causative/applicative) * ''berpelajaran'' = is educated, literally "has education"


Noun affixes

Noun affixes are affixes that form nouns upon addition to root words. The following are examples of noun affixes: The prefix ''per-'' drops its ''r'' before ''r, l'' and frequently before ''p, t, k.'' In some words it is ''peng-''; though formally distinct, these are treated as variants of the same prefix in Indonesian grammar books.


Verb affixes

Similarly, verb affixes in Indonesian are attached to root words to form verbs. In Indonesian, there are:


Adjective affixes

Adjective affixes are attached to root words to form adjectives: In addition to these affixes, Indonesian also has a lot of borrowed affixes from other languages such as Sanskrit, Arabic and English. For example, ''maha-'', ''pasca-'', ''eka-'', ''bi-'', ''anti-'', ''pro-'' etc.


Nouns

Common derivational affixes for nouns are peng-/per-/juru- (actor, instrument, or someone characterized by the root), -an (collectivity, similarity, object, place, instrument), ke-...-an (abstractions and qualities, collectivities), per-/peng-...-an (abstraction, place, goal or result).


Gender

Indonesian does not make use of grammatical gender, and there are only selected words that use natural Grammatical gender, gender. For instance, the same word is used for ''he/him'' and ''she/her'' ( or ) or for ''his'' and ''her'' (, or ). No real distinction is made between "girlfriend" and "boyfriend", both (although more colloquial terms as girl/girlfriend and boy/boyfriend can also be found). A majority of Indonesian words that refer to people generally have a form that does not distinguish between the sexes. However, unlike English, distinction is made between older or younger. There are some words that have gender: for instance, means "daughter" while means "son"; means "male flight attendant" while means "female flight attendant". Another example is , which means "sportsman", versus , meaning "sportswoman". Often, words like these (or certain suffixes such as "-a" and "-i" or "-wan" and "wati") are absorbed from other languages (in these cases, from Sanskrit through the Kawi language, Old Javanese language). In some regions of Indonesia such as Sumatra and Jakarta, (a gender-specific term meaning "older brother") is commonly used as a form of address for older siblings/males, while (a non-gender specific term meaning "older sibling") is often used to mean "older sister". Similarly, more direct influences from other languages, such as Javanese and Chinese, have also seen further use of other gendered words in Indonesian. For example: ("older brother"), ("older sister"), ("older brother") and ("older sister").


Number

Indonesian grammar does not regularly mark plurals. In Indonesian, to change a singular into a plural one either repeats the word or adds ''para'' before it (the latter for living things only); for example, "students" can be either or . Plurals are rarely used in Indonesian, especially in informal parlance. Reduplication is often mentioned as the formal way to express the plural form of nouns in Indonesian; however, in informal daily discourse, speakers of Indonesian usually use other methods to indicate the concept of something being "more than one". Reduplication may also indicate the conditions of variety and diversity as well, and not simply plurality. Reduplication is commonly used to emphasise plurality; however, reduplication has many other functions. For example, ''orang-orang'' means "(all the) people", but ''orang-orangan'' means "scarecrow". Similarly, while ''hati'' means "heart" or "liver", ''hati-hati'' is a verb meaning "to be careful". Also, not all reduplicated words are inherently plural, such as ''orang-orangan'' "scarecrow/scarecrows", ''biri-biri'' "a/some sheep" and ''kupu-kupu'' "butterfly/butterflies". Some reduplication is rhyming rather than exact, as in ''sayur-mayur'' "(all sorts of) vegetables". Distributive affixes derive mass nouns that are effectively plural: ''pohon'' "tree", ''pepohonan'' "flora, trees"; ''rumah'' "house", ''perumahan'' "housing, houses"; ''gunung'' "mountain", ''pegunungan'' "mountain range, mountains". Quantity words come before the noun: ''seribu orang'' "a thousand people", ''beberapa pegunungan'' "a series of mountain ranges", ''beberapa kupu-kupu'' "some butterflies". Plural in Indonesian serves just to explicitly mention the number of objects in sentence. For example, ''Ani membeli satu kilo mangga'' (Ani buys one kilogram of mangoes). In this case, "mangoes", which is plural, is not said as ''mangga-mangga'' because the plurality is implicit: the amount a kilogram means more than one mango. So, as it is logically, one does not change the singular into the plural form, because it is not necessary and considered a pleonasm (in Indonesian often called ''pemborosan kata'').


Pronouns

Personal pronouns are not a separate part of speech, but a subset of nouns. They are frequently omitted, and there are numerous ways to say "you". Commonly the person's name, title, title with name, or occupation is used ("does Johnny want to go?", "would Madam like to go?"); kin terms, including fictive kinship, are extremely common. However, there are also dedicated personal pronouns, as well as the demonstrative pronouns ''ini'' "this, the" and ''itu'' "that, the".


Personal pronouns

From the perspective of a European language, Indonesian boasts a wide range of different pronouns, especially to refer to the addressee (the so-called second person pronouns). These are used to differentiate several parameters of the person they are referred to, such as the social rank and the relationship between the addressee and the speaker. Indonesian also exhibits pronoun avoidance, often preferring kinship terms and titles over pronouns, particularly for respectful forms of address. The table below provides an overview of the most commonly and widely used pronouns in the Indonesian language: * First person pronouns Notable among the personal-pronoun system is a distinction between inclusive and exclusive we, two forms of "we": ''kita'' (you and me, you and us) and ''kami'' (us, but not you). The distinction is not always followed in colloquial Indonesian. ''Saya'' and ''aku'' are the two major forms of "I". ''Saya'' is the more formal form, whereas ''aku'' is used with family, friends, and between lovers. ''Sahaya'' is an old or literary form of ''saya''. ''Sa(ha)ya'' may also be used for "we", but in such cases it is usually used with ''sekalian'' or ''semua'' "all"; this form is ambiguous as to whether it corresponds with inclusive ''kami'' or exclusive ''kita''. Less common are ''hamba'' "slave", ''hamba tuan, hamba datuk'' (all extremely humble), ''beta'' (a royal addressing oneselves), ''patik'' (a commoner addressing a royal), ''kami'' (royal or editorial "we"), ''kita'', ''təman'', and ''kawan.'' * Second person pronouns There are three common forms of "you", ''Anda'' (polite), ''kamu'' (familiar), and ''kalian'' "all" (commonly used as a plural form of you, slightly informal). ''Anda'' is used with strangers, recent acquaintances, in advertisements, in business, and when you wish to show distance, while ''kamu'' is used in situations where the speaker would use ''aku'' for "I". ''Anda sekalian'' is polite plural. Particularly in conversation, respectful titles like ''Bapak/Pak'' "father" (used for any older male), ''Ibu/Bu'' "mother" (any older woman), and ''tuan'' "sir" are often used instead of pronouns. ''Engkau'' (''əngkau''), commonly shortened to ''kau''. * Third person pronouns The common word for "s/he" and "they" is ''ia'', which has the object and emphatic/focused form ''dia''. ''Bəliau'' "his/her Honour" is respectful. As with "you", names and kin terms are extremely common. ''Mereka'' "someone", ''mereka itu'', or ''orang itu'' "those people" are used for "they". * Regional varieties There are a large number of other words for "I" and "you", many regional, dialectical, or borrowed from local languages. ''Saudara'' "you" (male) and ''saudari'' (female) (plural ''saudara-saudara'' or ''saudari-saudari'') show utmost respect. ''Daku'' "I" and ''dikau'' "you" are poetic or romantic. Indonesian ''Indonesian slang language, gua'' "I" (from Hokkien ) and ''Indonesian slang language, lu'' "you" () are slang and extremely informal. The pronouns ''aku, kamu, engkau, ia, kami,'' and ''kita'' are indigenous to Indonesian.


Possessive pronouns

''Aku, kamu, engkau'', and ''ia'' have short possessive enclitic forms. All others retain their full forms like other nouns, as does emphatic ''dia'': ''meja saya, meja kita, meja anda, meja dia'' "my table, our table, your table, his/her table". There are also proclitic forms of ''aku'', ''ku-'' and ''kau-''. These are used when there is no emphasis on the pronoun: :''Ku-dengar raja itu menderita penyakit kulit. Aku mengetahui ilmu kedokteran. Aku-lah yang akan mengobati dia.'' :"It has come to my attention that the King has a skin disease. I am skilled in medicine. ''I'' will cure him." Here ''ku-''verb is used for a general report, ''aku'' verb is used for a factual statement, and emphatic ''aku-lah meng-''verb (≈ "I am the one who...") for focus on the pronoun.


Demonstrative pronouns

There are two demonstrative pronouns in Indonesian. ''Ini'' "this, these" is used for a noun which is generally near to the speaker. ''Itu'' "that, those" is used for a noun which is generally far from the speaker. Either may sometimes be equivalent to English "the". There is no difference between singular and plural. However, plural can be indicated through duplication of a noun followed by a ''ini'' or ''itu''. The word ''yang'' "which" is often placed before demonstrative pronouns to give emphasis and a sense of certainty, particularly when making references or enquiries about something/ someone, like English "this one" or "that one".


Verbs

Verbs are not inflected language, inflected for person or number, and they are not marked for tense; tense is instead denoted by time adverbs (such as "yesterday") or by other tense indicators, such as ''sudah'' "already" and ''belum'' "not yet". On the other hand, there is a complex system of verb affixes to render nuances of meaning and to denote voice (grammar), voice or intentional and accidental grammatical mood, moods. Some of these affixes are ignored in colloquial speech. Examples of these are the prefixes ''di-'' (Austronesian alignment, patient focus, traditionally called "passive voice", with OVA word order in the third person, and OAV in the first or second persons), ''meng-'' (Austronesian alignment, agent focus, traditionally called "active voice", with AVO word order), ''memper-'' and ''diper-'' (causative, agent and patient focus), ''ber-'' (stative verb, stative or habitual; intransitive VS order), and ''ter-'' (agentless actions, such as those which are involuntary, sudden, stative or accidental, for VA = VO order); the suffixes ''-kan'' (causative or benefactive) and ''-i'' (locative, repetitive, or exhaustive); and the circumfixes ''ber-...-an'' (pluractionality, plural subject, diffuse action) and ''ke-...-an'' (unintentional or potential action or state). * ''duduk'' to sit down * ''mendudukkan'' to sit someone down, give someone a seat, to appoint * ''menduduki'' to sit on, to occupy * ''didudukkan'' to be given a seat, to be appointed * ''diduduki'' to be sat on, to be occupied * ''terduduk'' to sink down, to come to sit * ''kedudukan'' to be situated Forms in ''ter-'' and ''ke-...-an'' are often equivalent to adjectives in English.


Negation

Four words are used for negation in Indonesian, namely ''tidak'', ''bukan'', ''jangan'', and ''belum''. * ''Tidak'' (not), often shortened to ''tak'', is used for the negation of verbs and "adjectives". * ''Bukan'' (be-not) is used in the negation of a noun. For example:


Prohibition

For negating imperatives or advising against certain actions in Indonesian, the word ''jangan'' (do not) is used before the verb. For example, * ''Jangan'' tinggalkan saya di sini! :Don't leave me here! * ''Jangan'' lakukan itu! :Don't do that! * ''Jangan''! Itu tidak bagus untukmu. :Don't! That's not good for you.


Adjectives

There are grammatical adjectives in Indonesian. Stative verbs are often used for this purpose as well. Adjectives are always placed after the noun that they modify. Hence, "rumah saya" means "my house", while "saya rumah" means "I am a house". To say that something "is" an adjective, the determiners "itu" and "ini" ("that" and "this") are often used. For example, in the sentence "anjing itu galak", the use of "itu" gives a meaning of "the/that dog is ferocious", while "anjing ini galak", gives a meaning of "this dog is ferocious". However, if "itu" or "ini" were not to be used, then "anjing galak" would meaning only "ferocious dog", a plain adjective without any stative implications. The all-purpose determiner, "yang", is also often used before adjectives, hence "anjing yang galak" also means "ferocious dog" or more literally "dog which is ferocious"; "yang" will often be used for clarity. Hence, in a sentence such as "saya didekati oleh anjing galak" which means "I was approached by a ferocious dog", the use of the adjective "galak" is not stative at all. Often the "ber-" intransitive verb prefix, or the "ter-" stative prefix is used to express the meaning of "to be...". For example, "beda" means "different", hence "berbeda" means "to be different"; "awan" means "cloud", hence "berawan" means "cloudy". Using the "ter-" prefix, implies a state of being. For example, "buka" means "open", hence "terbuka" means "is opened"; "tutup" means "closed/shut", hence "tertutup" means "is closed/shut".


Word order

Adjectives, demonstrative determiners, and possessive determiners follow the noun they modify. Indonesian does not have a grammatical subject in the sense that English does. In intransitive clauses, the noun comes before the verb. When there is both an agent (grammar), agent and an object (grammar), object, these are separated by the verb (OVA or AVO), with the difference encoded in the voice of the verb. OVA, commonly but inaccurately called "passive", is the basic and most common word order. Either the agent or object or both may be omitted. This is commonly done to accomplish one of two things: ;1) Adding a sense of politeness and respect to a statement or question For example, a polite shop assistant in a store may avoid the use of pronouns altogether and ask: ;2) Agent or object is unknown, not important, or understood from context For example, a friend may enquire as to when you bought your property, to which you may respond: Ultimately, the choice of voice and therefore word order is a choice between actor and patient and depends quite heavily on the language style and context.


Emphasis

Word order is frequently modified for focus (grammar), focus or emphasis, with the focused word usually placed at the beginning of the clause and followed by a slight pause (a break in intonation (linguistics), intonation): * ''Saya pergi ke pasar kemarin'' "I went to the market yesterday" – neutral, or with focus on the subject. * ''Kemarin saya pergi ke pasar'' "Yesterday I went to the market" – emphasis on yesterday. * ''Ke pasar saya pergi, kemarin'' "To the market I went yesterday" – emphasis on where I went yesterday. * ''Pergi ke pasar, saya, kemarin'' "To the market went I yesterday" – emphasis on the process of going to the market. The last two are more likely to be encountered in speech than in writing.


Measure words

Another distinguishing feature of Indonesian is its use of measure words, also called Classifier (linguistics), classifiers (''kata penggolong''). In this way, it is similar to many other languages of Asia, including
Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous country, with a populat ...
, Japanese language, Japanese, Vietnamese language, Vietnamese, Thai language, Thai, Burmese language, Burmese, and Bengali language, Bengali. Measure words are also found in English such as ''two head of cattle'', ''a loaf of bread'', or ''this sheet of paper'', where ''*two cattle, a bread,'' and ''this paper'' (in the sense of ''this piece of paper'') would be ungrammatical. The word ''satu'' reduces to ''se-'' , as it does in other compounds: ''Example'': Measure words are not necessary just to say "a": ''burung'' "a bird, birds". Using ''se-'' plus a measure word is closer to English "one" or "a certain": :''Ada seekor burung yang bisa berbicara'' :"There was a (certain) bird that could talk"


Writing system

Indonesian is written with the Latin script. It was originally based on the Dutch spelling and still bears some similarities to it. Consonants are represented in a way similar to Italian language#Writing system, Italian, although is always (like English ), is always ("hard") and represents as it does in English. In addition, represents the palatal nasal , is used for the velar nasal (which can occur word-initially), for (English ) and for the voiceless velar fricative . Both and are represented with . Spelling changes in the language that have occurred since Indonesian independence include: Introduced in 1901, the van Ophuijsen Spelling System, ''van Ophuijsen'' system, (named from the advisor of the system, Charles Adriaan van Ophuijsen) was the first standardization of romanized spelling. It was most influenced by the then current Dutch orthography, Dutch spelling system. In 1947, the spelling was changed into ''Republican Spelling System, Republican Spelling'' or ''Soewandi Spelling'' (named by at the time Minister of Education, Soewandi). This spelling changed formerly spelled ''oe'' into ''u'' (however, the spelling influenced other aspects in orthography, for example writing reduplicated words). All of the other changes were a part of the Perfected Spelling System, an officially mandated spelling reform in 1972. Some of the old spellings (which were derived from Dutch orthography) do survive in proper names; for example, the name of a former president of Indonesia is still sometimes written ''Suharto, Soeharto'', and the central Java city of Yogyakarta (city), Yogyakarta is sometimes written ''Jogjakarta''. In time, the spelling system is further updated and the latest update of Indonesian spelling system issued on 26 November 2015 by Minister of Education and Culture decree No 50/2015.


Letter names and pronunciations

The Malay alphabet, Indonesian alphabet is exactly the same as in ISO basic Latin alphabet.
Indonesian follows the letter names of the Dutch alphabet. Indonesian alphabet has a phonemic orthography; words are spelled the way they are pronounced, with few exceptions. The letters Q, V and X are rarely encountered, being chiefly used for writing loanwords. In addition, there are digraph (orthography), digraphs that are not considered separate letters of the alphabet:


Vocabulary

As a modern variety of Malay, Indonesian has been influenced by other languages, including
Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * Dutch Castle Places * ...
,
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
,
Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental region ...

Arabic
,
Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous country, with a populat ...
,
Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portuguese language ** Portug ...

Portuguese
,
Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia after its predecessor langua ...
,
Tamil Tamil may refer to: * Tamils, an ethnic group native to India, Sri Lanka and some other parts of Asia **Sri Lankan Tamils, Tamil people native to Sri Lanka **Tamil Malaysians, Tamil people native to Malaysia * Tamil language, a Dravidian languages, ...

Tamil
,
Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, North India. Hindi has been described as a Standard la ...

Hindi
, and Persian language, Persian. It is estimated that there are some 750 Sanskrit loanwords in modern Indonesian, 1,000 Arabic loans, some of Persian language, Persian and Hebrew language, Hebrew origin, some 125 words of Portuguese, some of Spanish language, Spanish and Italian language, Italian origin, and 10,000 loanwords from Dutch. The vast majority of Indonesian words, however, come from the root lexical stock of Austronesian (including Old Malay). The study of Indonesian etymology and loan words reveals both its historical and social contexts. Examples are the early Sanskrit borrowings from the 7th century during the trading era, the borrowings from Arabic and Persian during the time of the establishment of Islam in particular, and those from Dutch during the colonial period. Linguistic history and cultural history are clearly linked. List of loan words of Indonesian language published by the ''Language Development and Fostering Agency, Badan Pengembangan Bahasa dan Perbukuan'' (The Language Center) under the Ministry of Education (Indonesia), Ministry of Education and Culture: Note: This list only lists foreign languages, and thus omitting numerous local languages of Indonesia that have also been major lexical donors, such as Javanese, Sundanese, Betawi, etc. For a more complete list of these, see List of loanwords in Indonesian.


Loan words of Sanskrit origin

The Sanskrit influence came from contacts with India since ancient times. The words were either borrowed directly from India or with the intermediary of the Old Javanese language. Although Hinduism and Buddhism are no longer the major religions of Indonesia, Sanskrit, which was the language vehicle for these religions, is still held in high esteem and is comparable with the status of Latin in
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
and other Western European languages. Sanskrit is also the main source for neologisms, which are usually formed from Sanskrit roots. The loanwords from Sanskrit cover many aspects of religion, art and everyday life. From
Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia after its predecessor langua ...
came such words as स्वर्ग ''surga'' (heaven), भाषा ''bahasa'' (language), काच ''kaca'' (glass, mirror), राज- ''raja'' (king), मनुष्य ''manusia'' (mankind), चिन्ता ''cinta'' (love), भूमि ''bumi'' (earth), भुवन ''buana'' (world), आगम ''agama'' (religion), स्त्री ''Istri'' (wife/woman), जय ''Jaya'' (victory/victorious), पुर ''Pura'' (city/temple/place) राक्षस ''Raksasa'' (giant/monster), धर्म ''Dharma'' (rule/regulations), मन्त्र ''Mantra'' (words/poet/spiritual prayers), क्षत्रिय ''Satria'' (warrior/brave/soldier), विजय ''Wijaya'' (greatly victorious/great victory), etc. Sanskrit words and sentences are also used in names, titles, and mottos of the Indonesian National Police and Indonesian Armed Forces such as: ''Indonesian National Police, Bhayangkara'', ''Laksamana'', ''Jatayu'', ''Garuda'', ''Dharmakerta Marga Reksyaka'', ''Indonesian Navy, Jalesveva Jayamahe'', ''Indonesian Army, Kartika Eka Paksi'', ''Indonesian Air Force, Swa Bhuwana Paksa'', ''Indonesian National Police, Rastra Sewakottama'', ''Yudha Siaga'', etc. Because Sanskrit has long been known in the Indonesian archipelago, Sanskrit loanwords, unlike those from other languages, have entered the basic vocabulary of Indonesian to such an extent that, for many, they are no longer perceived to be foreign. Therefore, one could write a short story using mostly Sanskrit words. The short story below consists of approximately 80 words in Indonesian that are written using Sanskrit words alone, except for a few pronouns, prepositions, conjunctions and affixes. :''wikt:karena, Karena wikt:semua, semua diwikt:biaya, biayai wikt:dana, dana wikt:negara, negara wikt:juta, jutaan wikt:rupiah, rupiah, sang wikt:mahaguru, mahaguru wikt:sastra, sastra wikt:bahasa, bahasa wikt:Kawi, Kawi dan wikt:mahasiswa, mahasiswa-wikt:mahasiswi, mahasiswinya, wikt:duta, duta-wikt:duta, duta wikt:negeri, negeri wikt:mitra, mitra, wikt:Menteri, Menteri Kewikt:budaya, budayaan dan wikt:Pariwisata, Pariwisata wikt:suami, suami-wikt:istri, istri, bewikt:serta, serta wikt:karyawan, karyawan-wikt:karyawati, karyawati wikt:lembaga, lembaga wikt:nirlaba, nirlaba wikt:segera, segera berwikt:dharmawisata, dharmawisata ke pewikt:desa, desaan di wikt:utara, utara wikt:kota, kota kawikt:bupati, bupaten wikt:Probolinggo, Probolinggo wikt:antara, antara wikt:candi, candi-wikt:candi, candi wikt:purba, purba, berwikt:wahana, wahana wikt:keledai, keledai di wikt:kala, kala wikt:senja, senja dan berwikt:sama, sama wikt:kepala, kepala wikt:desa, desa mewikt:saksi, nyaksikan wikt:para, para wikt:tani, tani yang berwikt:jiwa, jiwa berwikt:sahaja, sahaja wikt:serta, serta berwikt:budi, budi wikt:nirmala, nirmala sewikt:cara, cara berwikt:bahagia, bahagia berwikt:upacara, upacara, wikt:seraya, seraya wikt:merdu, merdu mewikt:suara, nyuarakan wikt:gita, gita-wikt:gita, gita wikt:mantra, mantra, yang mewikt:rupa, rupakan wikt:sarana, sarana wikt:puji, pujian mereka mewikt:puja, muja wikt:nama, nama wikt:suci, suci wikt:Pertiwi, Pertiwi, wikt:Dewi, Dewi wikt:Bumi, Bumi yang berwikt:sedia, sedia mengwikt:anugerah, anugerahi mereka wikt:karunia, karunia dan wikt:restu, restu, mewikt:raksa, raksa dari wikt:bahaya, bahaya, wikt:mala, mala wikt:petaka, petaka dan wikt:bencana, bencana.''


Loan words of Chinese origin

The relationship with China has been going since the 7th century when Chinese merchants traded in some areas of the archipelago such as Riau, West Borneo, East Kalimantan, and North Maluku. At the kingdom of Srivijaya appeared and flourished, China opened diplomatic relations with the kingdom in order to secure trade and seafaring. In 922, Chinese travelers visited Kahuripan in East Java. Since the 11th century, hundreds of thousands of Chinese migrants left Mainland China and settled in many parts of Nusantara (now called Indonesia). The
Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous country, with a populat ...
loanwords are usually concerned with cuisine, trade or often just things exclusively Chinese. Words of Chinese origin (presented here with accompanying Hokkien/ Mandarin pronunciation derivatives as well as Traditional characters, traditional and simplified characters) include ''pisau'' (匕首 bǐshǒu  – knife), ''loteng'', (樓/層 = lóu/céng – [upper] floor/ level), ''mie'' (麵 > 面 Hokkien mī – noodles), ''lumpia'' (潤餅 (Hokkien = lūn-piáⁿ) – springroll), ''cawan'' (茶碗 cháwǎn – teacup), ''teko'' (茶壺 > 茶壶 = cháhú [Mandarin], teh-ko [Hokkien] = teapot), 苦力 kuli = 苦 khu (hard) and 力 li (energy) and even the widely used slang terms ''gua'' and ''lu'' (from the Hokkien 'goa' 我 and 'lu/li' 汝 – meaning 'I/ me' and 'you').


Loan words of Arabic origin

Many Arabic words were brought and spread by merchants from Arab Peninsula like Arabian people, Arabian, Persian people, Persian, and from the western part of India, Gujarat where many Muslims lived. As a result, many Indonesian words come from the Arabic language. Especially since the late 12th century, Old Malay was heavily influenced by the language and produced many great literary works such as Syair, Babad, Hikayat, and Suluk. This century is known as ''The Golden Age of Indonesian Literature''. Many loanwords from
Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental region ...

Arabic
are mainly concerned with religion, in particular with
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or ex ...
, and by extension, with greetings such as the word, "selamat" (from ar, سلامة ' = health, soundness) means "safe" or "lucky". Words of
Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental region ...

Arabic
origin include ''dunia'' (from ar, دنيا ' = the present world), names of days (except ''Minggu''), such as ''Sabtu'' (from ar, سبت ' = Saturday), ''iklan'' ( ' = advertisement), ''kabar'' ( ' = news), ''Kursi'' ( ' = a chair), ''jumat'' ( ' = Friday), ''ijazah'' ( ' = 'permission', certificate of authority, e.g. a school diploma certificate), ''kitab'' ( ' = book), ''tertib'' ( ' = order/arrangement) and ''kamus'' ( ' = dictionary). Allah ( ar, الله), as it is mostly the case for varieties of Arabic, Arabic speakers, is the word for God even in Christianity, Christian Bible translations. Many early Bible translators, when they came across some unusual Hebrew language, Hebrew words or proper names, used the Arabic cognates. In the newer translations this practice is discontinued. They now turn to Greek language, Greek names or use the original Hebrew Word. For example, the name Jesus was initially translated as '''Isa'' ( ar, عيسى), but is now spelt as ''Yesus''. Several ecclesiastical terms derived from Arabic still exist in Indonesian language. Indonesian word for ''bishop'' is ''uskup'' (from ar, أسقف ' = bishop). This in turn makes the Indonesian term for archbishop ''uskup agung'' (literally ''great bishop''), which is combining the Arabic word with an Old Javanese word. The term ''imam'' (from ar, إمام ' = leader, prayer leader) is used to translate a Catholic priest, beside its more common association with an Islamic prayer leader. Some Protestant denominations refer to their congregation ''jemaat'' (from ar, جماعة ' = group, a community). Even the name of the Bible in Indonesian translation is ''Alkitab'' (from ar, الكتاب ' = the book), which literally means "the Book".


Loan words of Portuguese origin

Alongside
Malay Malay may refer to: Languages * Malay language or Bahasa Melayu, a major Austronesian language spoken in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore ** History of the Malay language#Old Malay, the Malay language from the 4th to the 14th century ** ...
,
Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portuguese language ** Portug ...

Portuguese
was the ''
lingua franca A lingua franca (; ; for plurals see ), also known as a bridge language, common language, trade language, auxiliary language, vehicular language, or link language, is a language or dialect The term dialect (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a ...
'' for trade throughout the archipelago from the sixteenth century through to the early nineteenth century. The Portuguese were among the first westerners to sail eastwards to the "Maluku Islands, Spice Islands". Loanwords from
Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portuguese language ** Portug ...

Portuguese
were mainly connected with articles that the early European traders and explorers brought to Southeast Asia. Indonesian words derived from Portuguese include ''meja'' (from mesa = table), ''bangku'' (from banco = bench), ''lemari/almari'' (from armário = closet), ''boneka'' (from boneca = doll), ''jendela'' (from janela = window), ''gereja'' (from igreja = church), ''misa'' (from missa = mass), ''Natal'' (from Natal = Christmas), ''Paskah'' (from Páscoa = Easter), ''pesta'' (from festa = party), ''dansa'' (from dança = dance), ''pesiar'' (from passear = cruise), ''bendera'' (from bandeira = flag), ''sepatu'' (from sapato = shoes), ''garpu'' (from garfo = fork), ''kemeja'' (from camisa = shirt), ''kereta'' (from carreta = chariot), ''pompa'' (from bomba hidráulica = pump), ''pigura'' (from figura = picture), ''roda'' (from roda = wheel), ''nona'' (from dona = young woman), ''sekolah'' (from escola = school), ''lentera'' (from lanterna = lantern), ''paderi'' (from padre = priest), ''Santo, Santa'' (from Santo, Santa = Saint), ''puisi'' (from poesia = poetry), ''keju'' (from queijo = cheese), ''mentega'' (from manteiga = butter), ''serdadu'' (from soldado = soldier), ''meski'' (from mas que = although), ''kamar'' (from câmara = room), ''laguna'' (from laguna = lagoon), ''lelang'' (from leilão = auction), ''persero'' (from parceiro = company), ''markisa'' (from maracujá = passion fruit), ''limau'' (from limão = lemon), ''kartu'' (from cartão = card), ''Inggris'' (from inglês = English), ''Sabtu'' (from sábado = Saturday), ''Minggu'' (from domingo = Sunday), etc.


Loan words of Dutch origin

The former colonial power, the Netherlands, left a sizeable amount of vocabulary that can be seen in words such as ''polisi'' (from politie = police), ''kualitas'' (from kwaliteit = quality), ''aktual'' (from actueel = current), ''rokok'' (from roken = smoking cigarettes), ''korupsi'' (from corruptie = corruption), ''kantor'' (from kantoor = office), ''resleting'' (from ritssluiting = zipper), ''pelopor'' (from voorloper = frontrunner), ''persneling'' (from versnelling = transmission gear), ''setrum'' (from stroom = electricity current), ''maskapai'' (from maatschappij = company), ''apotek'' (from apotheek = pharmacy), ''handuk'' (from handdoek = towel), ''setrika'' (from strijkijzer = clothes iron), ''bioskop'' (from bioscoop = movie theater), ''spanduk'' (from spandoeken = banner), ''korsleting'' (from kortsluiting = short circuit), ''om'' (from oom = uncle), ''tante'' (from tante = aunt), ''traktir'' (from trakteer = treat) and ''gratis'' (from gratis = free). These
Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * Dutch Castle Places * ...
loanwords, and many other non-Italo-Iberian, European language loanwords that came via Dutch, cover all aspects of life. Some Dutch loanwords, having clusters of several consonants, pose difficulties to speakers of Indonesian. This problem is usually solved by insertion of the schwa. For example, Dutch ''schroef'' > ''sekrup'' (screw (n.)). One scholar argues that 20% of Indonesian words are inspired by the Dutch language. Before the standardization of the language, many Indonesian words follow standard Dutch alphabet and pronunciation such as "oe" for vowel "u" or "dj" for consonant "j" [dʒ]. As a result, Malay words are written with that orthography such as: for the word or for the word , older Indonesian generation tend to have their name written in such order as well.


Loan words of English origin

Many English words were incorporated into Indonesian through
globalization Globalization, or globalisation (Commonwealth English The use of the English language English is a of the , originally spoken by the inhabitants of . It is named after the , one of the ancient that migrated from , a peninsu ...

globalization
. Many Indonesians, however, mistake words already adopted from Dutch as words borrowed from English. This is due to the Germanic traces that exist in the two languages. Indonesian adopts English words with standardization. For example: from , from , from , from , from , from , from , and so on. However, there are several words that directly borrowed without standardization that have same meanings in English such as: ''bus'', ''data'', ''domain'', ''detail'', ''internet'', ''film'', ''golf'', ''lift'', ''monitor'', ''radio'', ''radar'', ''unit'', ''safari'', ''sonar'', and ''video'', ''riil as real''.


Other loan words

Modern Indonesian draws many of its words from foreign sources, there are many synonyms. For example, Indonesian has three words for "book", i.e. (from Sanskrit), (from Arabic) and (from Dutch ); however, each has a slightly different meaning. A is often connected with ancient wisdom or sometimes with esoteric knowledge. A derived form, means a library. A is usually a religious scripture or a book containing moral guidance. The Indonesian words for the Bible and Gospel are and , both directly derived from Arabic. The book containing the penal code is also called the . is the most common word for books. There are direct borrowings from various other languages of the world, such as ''karaoke'' (from ) from Japanese language, Japanese, and ''ebi'' (from ) which means dried shrimp. Many words that originally are adopted through the Dutch language today however often are mistaken as English due to the similarity in the Germanic nature of both languages. In some cases the words are replaced by English language through globalization: although the word (Dutch: ) still literally means strawberry in Indonesian, today the usage of the word is more common. Greek language, Greek words such as ''demokrasi'' (from δημοκρατία ''dēmokratía''), ''filosofi'', ''filsafat'' (both from φιλοσοφία ''philosophia''), ''mitos'' (from μῦθος ''mythos'') came through Dutch, Arabic and Portuguese respectively. It is notable that some of the loanwords that exist in both Indonesian and Malaysian languages are different in spelling and pronunciation mainly due to how they derived their origins: Malaysian utilises words that reflect the
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
usage (as used by its former colonial power, the United Kingdom, British), while Indonesian uses a Latinate form reflected in the
Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * Dutch Castle Places * ...
usage (e.g. ''aktiviti'' (Malaysian) vs. ''aktivitas'' (Indonesian), ''universiti'' (Malaysian) vs. ''universitas'' (Indonesian)).


Acronyms and portmanteau

Since the time of the independence of Indonesia, Indonesian has seen a surge of neologisms which are formed as acronyms (less commonly also initialisms) or blend words. Common acronyms are (, from 'Indonesian National Armed Forces'), (, from 'driving licence'), (, from 'ethnic group, religion, race, inter-group [matters]', used when referring to the background of intercommunal conflicts), (, from 'human rights'). Blend words/portmanteau are very common in Indonesian, and have become a productive tool of word formation in both formal and colloquial Indonesian. Examples from official usage include departments and officeholders (e.g. < 'Foreign Minister', < 'Head of Regional Police') or names of provinces and districts ( < 'South Sulawesi', < 'West Java'. Other commonly used portmanteau include < 'community health center', < 'basic commodities' (lit. 'nine basic commodities').


Literature

Indonesia hosts a variety of traditional verbal arts such as poetry, Narrative history, historical narratives, romance film, romances, and drama; which are expressed in local languages, but modern genres are expressed mainly through Indonesian. Some of classic Indonesian stories include Sitti Nurbaya by Marah Rusli, Azab dan Sengsara by Merari Siregar, and Sengsara Membawa Nikmat by Tulis Sutan Sati. Modern literature like novels, short story, short stories, stage plays, and Free verse, free-form poetry has developed since the late years of the 19th century and has produced such internationally recognized figures as novelist Pramoedya Ananta Toer, dramatist Willibrordus S. Rendra, W.S. Rendra, poet Chairil Anwar, and cinematographer Garin Nugroho. Indonesia's classic novels itself, have their own charm, offering insight into Culture of Indonesia, local culture and traditions and the historical background before and immediately after the country gained independence. One notable example is ''Shackles'' which was written by Armijn Pane in 1940. Originally titled ''Belenggu'' and translated into many languages, including
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
and German language, German.


As speakers of other languages

Over the past few years, interest in learning Indonesian has grown among non-Indonesians. Various universities have started to offer courses that emphasise the teaching of the language to non-Indonesians. In addition to national universities, private institutions have also started to offer courses, like the Indonesia Australia Language Foundation and the . As early as 1988, teachers of the language have expressed the importance of a standardized (also called BIPA, literally ''Indonesian Language for Foreign Speaker'') materials (mostly books), and this need became more evident during the 4th International Congress on the Teaching of Indonesian to Speakers of Other Languages held in 2001. Since 2013, the Indonesian embassy in the Philippines has given basic Indonesian language courses to 16 batches of Filipino students, as well as training to members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Due to increasing demand among students, the embassy will open an intermediate Indonesian language course later in the year. In an interview, Department of Education (Philippines), Department of Education Secretary Armin Luistro said that the country's government should promote Indonesian or Malay, which are related to Filipino. Thus, the possibility of offering it as an optional subject in public schools is being studied. The Indonesian embassy in Washington, D.C., United States also began offering free Indonesian language courses at the beginner and intermediate level.


Words


Numbers


Cardinal


Ordinal


Days and months


Days


Months


Common phrases


Example

The following texts are excerpts from the official translations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Indonesian and Malaysian Malay, along with the original declaration in English.


See also

* Austronesian languages * Bahasa, for other languages referred to as * Language families and languages *
Malay language Malay (; ms, bahasa Melayu, links=no, JawiJawi may refer to: People and languages *Australia: **Jawi dialect, a nearly extinct Australian aboriginal language **Jawi people, an Australian Aboriginal people of the Kimberley coast of Weste ...
* Demographics of Indonesia * Indonesian slang language * Indonesian abbreviated words * Comparison of Standard Malay and Indonesian * List of English words of Indonesian origin * List of loanwords in Indonesian


References


External links


How many people speak Indonesian?

Indonesian Swadesh list of basic vocabulary words
(from Wiktionary'
Swadesh-list appendix

''KBBI Daring (Kamus Besar Bahasa Indonesia dalam jaringan)''
("Great Dictionary of the Indonesian Language", by the Language and Book Development Agency, in Indonesian only)
babla.co.id
English-Indonesian dictionary from bab.la, a language learning portal


English-Indonesian dictionaries


Download Kamus 2.0.4


{{DEFAULTSORT:Indonesian Language Indonesian language, Agglutinative languages Malayan languages Languages of Indonesia Languages of East Timor Standard languages Subject–verb–object languages Articles containing video clips Languages of the Netherlands