Betawi language

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For other uses, see Betawi (disambiguation).
Betawi
Bahasa Betawi
Native to Indonesia
Region Jakarta
Native speakers
approx. 5 million  (2000 census)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 bew
Glottolog beta1252[2]

Betawi Malay, also known as Jakartan Malay or Batavian Malay, is the spoken language of the Betawi people in Jakarta, Indonesia. It is the native language of perhaps 5 million people; a precise number is difficult due to the vague use of the name.

Betawi is a Malay-based creole, and closely related to the Malay language. The Betawi language has large amounts of Hokkien Chinese, Arabic, Portuguese, and Dutch loanwords. It replaced the earlier Portuguese-based creole of Batavia, Mardijker. The first-person pronoun gue (I or me) and second-person pronoun lu (you) and numerals such as cepek (a hundred), gopek (five hundred), and seceng (a thousand) are from Hokkien, whereas the words ente (you) and ane (me) are derived from Arabic. Cocos Islands Malay is derived from an earlier form of Betawi Malay.

Today Betawi Malay is a popular informal language in Indonesia and used as the base of Indonesian slang and commonly spoken in Jakarta TV soap operas. The name Betawi stems from Batavia, the official name of Jakarta during the era of the Dutch East Indies.

Origins[edit]

Betawi developed as a Malay-based creole whose speakers were descendants of Chinese men and Balinese women in Batavia. These descendants had converted to Islam and spoken a pidgin that was later creolized, and then decreolized as it later incorported many linguistic elements from Javanese and Sundanese (Uri Tadmor 2013).[3]

Dialects[edit]

Betawian Malay is divided into two main dialects

  • Betawi Kota dialect: Originally spoken within Jakarta with the typical strong e like (ada becomes ade).
  • Betawi Udik dialect: Originally spoken in suburban Jakarta, Tangerang, Banten, and Bogor and Bekasi in West Java. It has a strong a like (ada, pronounced adah).

Another Betawi Udik variant is called Betawi Ora, which was highly influenced by Javanese.

Betawi is still spoken by the older generation in some locations on the outskirts of Jakarta, such as Kampung Melayu, Pasar Rebo, Pondok Gede, Ulujami, and Jagakarsa.[4]

There is a significant Chinese community which lives around Tangerang, called Cina Benteng, who have lost their mother tongue. They now speak Betawian Malay.

Examples :

  • aye (kota), sayah (udik), gue (informal) : I
  • lu (informal or intimate) : you
  • iye (strong e, not schwa like Malaysian), iyah : yes
  • kagak, ora (udik variant and it is Javanese influence) : no
  • Encing mo pegi kemane? : Where will you go, mam?
  • Dagangan aye udeh bures, dah : My stuff has been sold out.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Betawi at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Betawi". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ Tadmor, Uri (2013). "On the Origin of the Betawi and their Language". ISMIL 17 conference talk.
  4. ^ http://www.eva.mpg.de/linguistics/research/jakarta-field-station/documentation-of-betawi.html

External links[edit]