Indonesian Language & Culture

Everyday Indonesian: A Basic Introduction

Paperback: 224 pages

Indonesian language and culture have their origins in the Malay civilisation of Asia. Indonesian language belongs to the Malay group of languages. Malay languages evolved about 2000 years ago in what is today Malaysia. As a result of the relative isolation of the various Malay island cultures many distinct language and dialect forms came into being. Despite their differences some similarities emerged such as a strong emphasis on vowel sounds, duplication of words for plural forms (eg. "cewek" = girl, "cewek-cewek" = girls), and a reliance on inflectional prefix and suffix derivations. (eg. "kerja" = to work, "pekerja" = worker, "pekerjaan" = job), to give some Indonesian examples.

Writing systems also came to vary among the Malay languages. Indonesian uses the Latin alphabet, introduced by the Dutch during Indonesia's colonial period. By about the 19 30s the Indonesian language in its written form had come to be standardised.

Indonesian Language & Culture

While Indonesian has obviously become the lingua franca of the Indonesian nation it is still not yet the mother tongue for the vast majority of Indonesian people. The bulk of the Indonesian people continue to speak their first words in local "dialects" such as Javanese, Sundanese, and Balinese.

Everyday Indonesian: A Basic Introduction to the Indonesian Language & Culture by Thomas G. Osy seeks to give the beginner in Indonesian language a good start on the road to learning Indonesian. It also manages to provide some useful information on the culture, customs, and manners of the Indonesian people.


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