Indonesian language is the official language spoken among Indonesians. Being home of 748 different languages which are spoken in a completely different way in each region, Indonesian language helps Indonesians to communicate with each other. Of its large population, the number of people who speak Indonesian fluently is quickly approaching 100%, making Indonesian, and thus Malay, one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. The Indonesian name for the language is Bahasa Indonesia (literally “the language of Indonesia”). This term is occasionally found in English. Indonesian is sometimes called “Bahasa” by English speakers, though this literally just means “language”.
Even though comprehended and spoken by Indonesians, Bahasa is not a mother tongue for the most native speakers in Indonesia. Most Indonesians use one of the 748 languages to speak among speakers from the same region as their mother tongue. Each language represents one ethnic group that uses the language to communicate among their tribe. The native speakers frequently use colloquial language or mix the language with other dialects. For example, most Indonesians, aside from speaking the national language, are often fluent in another regional language (examples include Javanese, Sundanese and Madurese) which are commonly used at home and within the local community.
Bahasa Indonesia is written with the Latin script. Relatively easy and simple to learn. It was originally based on the Dutch spelling and still bears some similarities to it. Consonants are represented in a way similar to Italian, although /c/ is always /tʃ/ (like English /ch/), /g/ is always /ɡ/ (“hard”) and /j/ represents /dʒ/ as it does in English. Unlike German or English, the way Indonesians say or pronounce the letters is simply the same as what is written. Check this one out: Wayne Rooney and other Manchester United players studying about Indonesian!
The way Indonesians communicate nowadays, especially the young generation, is quite different in terms of colloquial expressions and slang. The term ‘slang’ is frequently applied to Colloquial Jakartan Indonesian (Jakarta is the capital city of Indonesia) words which do not occur in formal bahasa Indonesia. However, a lot of these terms are so frequent in the everyday speech of educated Jakartans that they can justly be regarded as the colloquial standard words. Interestingly, there are many slang words which were created by adopting the language from other region among 748 languages.
Do you know any slang in bahasa Indonesia? Let’s share with us!