Language Melting Pot

23 Apr
Gang = alley

Gang = alley

It was funny to arrive in Indonesia, and then all of a sudden notice that there is quite some left-overs from the Dutch there. There are quite some words from Dutch in Bahasa Indonesia (the official national language) – and vice versa Indonesian words (mainly for food) that have found their way into Dutch (e.g. kroepoek, nasi,…). And if you look really well, you can still find some Portuguese influence in Indonesian as well.

  • Some examples from Dutch & Portuguese influence below

Add to this, the large variety of local languages (Balinese, Javanese, etc) and the language confusion is complete. When I was in Bali, friends of mine would be speaking Indonesian (because they were blow ins from Java), but when he was on the phone with friends he would be speaking Javanese, but the locals would be speaking Balinese. The result being that after 10 days of Indonesia I didn’t get much further than ‘Teri Makasi’ (thank you).

And then when I arrived in Malaysia, I saw that Bahasa Malaysia is as good as the same as Indonesian. I never knew. It’s all a bit ‘Same Same – but Different’.

Dutch influence

Probably things imported or installed by the Dutch in those days.

  • Stempel = stamp, seal
    Polisi = nl politie (pronounce polisi) = police
    Kooperasi = nl cooperatie = cooperation, company
    Transaksi = nl transactie = transaction
    Loket = counter, ticket office
    Kantor = nl kantoor = office
  • Ban = nl band = tyre
    Velg = wheel cover
  • Lekker = yummy, delicious
    Porsi = nl portie = portion
    Vork = fork
  • Kamar pas = nl paskamer = fitting room, dressing room
    Pos = nl post = post
    Gordyn = nl gordijn = curtain
  • Gravir = graveren = engrave
    Parkir = nl parkeren = park (a car, bike etc)
  • Spanduk = nl spandoek = banner, flag

Portuguese Influence

From the times of the Portuguese traders – the things that they brought to Indonesia probably.

  • Gereja = pt igreja = church
  • Tinta = ink
  • Bendera = pt bandeira = flag
  • Buneka = pt boneca = doll, puppet

Interesting huh?


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