Talk:Indonesian language

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Archive 1 - May 2006 to March 2012

Riau–Johor Malay is Malaccan Malay, not Riau or Johor Malay[edit]

The Classical language is that of the Malaccan court, including after the court moved to Johor/Riau. Indonesian is not based on the Malay of Riau, which is something altogether different; rather, Classical/Malaccan Malay is called "Riau" in Indonesian. Same for "Johor" in Malaysia:

Use of the names Riau-Johor and Riau for this literature led to another fallacy among the Dutch in the 19th century, which is still widespread today, even among scholars of Indonesian language. This is the belief that the name refers to the local dialect of Riau (and Johor). It is thus commonly heard that the people of Riau speak the purest form of Malay (or Indonesian). The fact is that the scribes of the royal courts of Riau and Johor were continuing the literary tradition brought from Malacca and, while the style undoubtedly evolved further in the Riau-Johor area, it owes little, if anything, to the local vernaculars of the region. (Sneddon 2003, "The Indonesian Language: Its History and Role in Modern Society", p. 70)

kwami (talk) 05:54, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

Oppose, Indonesian established education system and official document only recognize the Riau Malay language as the source and base of Bahasa Indonesia. Regardles its probable previous origin as the language of Mallacca court and its history that Mallacca royalties seek refuge in Riau. The different new oppinion of a linguist (Sneddon) as you advocate here to pull back its origin to Mallacca is not enough to negate nor change the common perception already established and shared here in Indonesia. It is important to note to that this language has Indonesian unifiying agenda and nationalist sentiments, so the common agreement here in Indonesia only recognize its origin back as far as Riau (part of Indonesia today) as the base of the language, not to neighboring Malaysian Mallacca.Gunkarta (talk) 08:09, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
You still don't understand. It's irrelevant if Indonesians calls it "Riau Malay", because you're claiming that it's the Malay dialect of Riau, which is something different.
Also, political sentiments are irrelevant: we use WP:reliable sources, which means sources which are qualified to speak on the subject. Politicians are not qualified to speak about language. — kwami (talk) 08:22, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
I think you are the one that do not understand what Bahasa Indonesia means for Indonesians like me. As national unifying language of Indonesia, political sentiment IS relevant. That is why we call it "Bahasa Indonesia", clearly linked to the nation of Indonesia and demonstrate nationalism sentiment. The acknowledgement of Riau (as part of Indonesia) and not Malacca as its origin is significant. The historical fact Riau Malay is the base or parent of Bahasa Indonesia. (Note I use "parent" since Malay and Malay spoken in Riau is still exist and used just like other regional languages in Indonesia) and the choosing of "Bahasa Indonesia" as the name despite its Malay origin and its greater accomodation to other Indonesian languages (Javanese, Sundanese, Betawi dialects) mark the different of Indonesian quite significantly compared with Malay especially those spoken in Malaysia.Gunkarta (talk) 08:54, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, but we don't care about political fiction. Statements about the origin of a language should be about the origin of the language, as best we can determine from reliable linguistic sources. If Indonesians want to believe that their country is made out of green cheese, we can note that in the article, but we shouldn't say "Indonesia is made of green cheese" as if it were a factual statement. The same if the govt started teaching that Indonesian derives from Sanskrit or Arabic and is unrelated to Malaysian: we would not follow their example. — kwami (talk) 10:36, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
No need for blatant sarcasm and you can keep your fermented cheese, we ate tempe here. As I can learn as a foreigner you don not understand what Bahasa Indonesia means for us Indonesians. It not just a language, it have political and nationalistic sentiments and unifying symbol for Indonesia. Indonesian language is a different albeit related to Malay language, and FYI we re not that keen to trace the origin nor keep the ties to Malaccan Malay. It is also still in debate wether it was High Malay (court Malay of Riau that can trace its link to Malaccan court) or Lower Malay (Melayu Pasar) the commoner's language linga franca of the marketplace and ports of the archipelago, that was the true parents of Bahasa Indonesia. Be careful, stay away of a subject (political and nationalist aspect of Bahasa Indonesia) that you do not understand or could not politely or graciously adress.Gunkarta (talk) 11:45, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
You say "we are not that keen to trace the origin nor keep the ties to Malaccan Malay". In other words, you're telling a lie, you admit that you're telling a lie, and you feel that Wikipedia should be a vehicle to help you spread your lies. You're wrong. Such ideas have no place here, no matter who wants them to be true. — kwami (talk) 12:04, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
Once again you have dificulty on understanding other's statement. It has nothing to do with lie, stop telling lies by telling others lying. Read between this line - The official established recognition here in Indonesia is Bahasa Indonesia was based on Riau Malay - You can argue about Malaccan origin whatsoeva and link to Riau Malay, it does not change the fact that it was Riau Malay that mentioned and recognized as Indonesian base. The common middle ground here is you can jump into Sneddon's bandwagon and keep the referenced statement that it can trace to Malaccan court Malay, but do not erase the official recognition that it was based on Riau Malay. While we at it if you soo keen to trace the origin of the language, why don't we also mentioned Old Malay and study on Kedukan Bukit Inscription altogether.Gunkarta (talk) 12:12, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
Again, official recognition is irrelevant. The Indonesian govt could recognize that it was invented by Martians, and it wouldn't matter to us. Also, it's not the "Sneddon bandwagon"; it's common enough knowledge and I've seen other sources which note that it's a "mistake" to call it Riau Malay because it's not the Malay of Riau. This is not an article about politics, though if you like you can add a section on the politics of language. — kwami (talk) 12:17, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
Agreed, let's open the political aspect of Bahasa Indonesia subsection, so this article do not neglect the holistic aspects of the language and can help some uninformed readers to learn about the political aspect of this language. We can not neglect the fact that from the time of its conception and recognition in 1928, Bahasa Indonesia is filled with nationalist political agenda on unifying Indonesia (former Dutch East Indies).Gunkarta (talk) 12:26, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
Yes, that is perfectly acceptable. We have such sections in many cases where a language has become politicized (Croatian, Irish, Catalan, Hindi, Filipino, etc.) — kwami (talk) 12:35, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

I understand that the quote comes from Ethnologue, but "Indonesian is 80% cognate with Malaysian" seems a major understatement, I think it would be more something like 98%, those are just my 2 cents..Tsfardea (talk) 02:48, 2 November 2013 (UTC)

Speakers and geographic distribution section subtly biased?[edit]

The content of the Speakers and geographic distribution section appears to veer towards expressing impartiality in terms of language importance (as measured by number of speakers) over Malay. The section could end at the current phrase "as one of the largest spoken language in the world" and better meet Wikipedia's [WP:MOS] without the following presumptive statements about why the language is used by VOA and the BBC where neither source, in actual fact, provides an explanation. Certain contributors to both Malaysia and Indonesia articles have a history of expressing bias in both directions given the countries' common histories and rivalry, and this is sometimes done in subtle ways. Would appreciate some input on the matter; is the second section truly relevant when it is only supposition? The points made in this paragraph are not especially clearly written, either. Thank you for your feedback. Jeljen (talk) 03:27, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

Yeah, that was pretty bad. I removed most of it, though I left s.t. about the BBC. Indo was probly chosen cuz it's spoken by more people, but for all I know it was because more Malaysians speak English. — kwami (talk) 05:57, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for your review, Kwami; I am in agreement with your modifications, as in the distant past! Conjecture may have its place where it forms part of a documented argument of interest, but it doesn't belong here - and frankly, both nations are remarkable for different reasons, if only the stirrers would recognise that. Glad to see you are still helping to maintain Wikipedia to a high standard. Best wishes Jeljen (talk) 02:05, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

Long lists of loan lists...[edit]

The article mentions loan words and attempts to explain the history, sources, context, use, etc. That's fine although it's a little shallow and unreferenced in coverage. My concern is the long lists of words used as example. The Chinese and Portuguese have 10 or 20 examples each. This is excessive. An article of prose doesn't need a long list to make a point. Just say there are borrowed words, and possibly give 2 or at most 3 examples. We already have Lists of Loanwords and these are clearly linked. --Merbabu (talk) 23:33, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

If they're all in the main list, I also see little reason to have them here. CMD (talk) 04:50, 21 July 2012 (UTC)

Indonesian Wikipedia[edit]

The CHIP computer magazine DVD extra release of Indonesian Wikipedia. Wikipedia in Indonesian has approximately 193,000 articles (2012), making Indonesian a major language among Wikipedia's global languages.

The image of Indonesian Wikipedia DVD release was meant to demonstrate and inform the reader about the distribution, popularity and impact of wikipedia articles in Indonesian. It is also to demonstrate the wide use of Indonesian on the net as language of science and internet free encyclopedia. However an editor constantly involved almost in an edit war on deleting this image and its caption. It is not a self-important BS. For the time being the statues-quo is preserved (keeping the image) as it has been done for months before. Let's discuss and provide yourself with good argument instead of indulging oneself in deleting guerrilla and led us to edit war.Gunkarta (talk) 06:42, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

It is not notable. We have a link to WP-id at the bottom of the page, which is all that is warranted, and all the attention that any other WP gets in a language article. It is certainly not official, which is the section you're putting it in. The article on Indonesian WP already has the image. Putting it here is simply self-important preening. — kwami (talk) 07:35, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
What is you mean by not "official"? placement? To solve this I've moved the disputed image to non-"official status" section. I found it is strange, discounting notability of wikipedia (in all of its languages) yet investing your time on editing wikipedia. It is not about linking to WP-id, it is about the use of Indonesian in contemporary communications which involved internet and wikipedia. The DVD realease is a fact and it was meant to demonstrate Indonesian language in today net-connected society and its use on distribution of knowledge in Indonesian. Agree to disagree. Both of our stances are clear here, we are on opposite sides. Need other editor's impartial oppinions. Meanwhile it is best to maintain status quo (which has been there for months), keep the last version prior to your deletion. Please do not "undo" further before reaching consensus, that action could led to edit war.Gunkarta (talk) 08:48, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
I'm sorry that you don't understand, but we're not supposed to be so incestuous. A wikipedia dvd is trivia. There are a thousand things more notable about the Indonesian language. The only reason it's here is because we're Wikipedia: that's what makes it self-congratulatory preening. — kwami (talk) 09:05, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
Well, I think there is no harm on acknowledging the wikipedia development with all of its global languages after all these years. It is important to note that it was the Indonesian edition of CHIP magazine that released it as an extra bonus DVD in their magazine, not self-produced by wikipedia Indonesia. Why? because it is free of copyright, the use and distributions of wikipedia materials is not considered as copyright infringement. It was in the spirit of free access of knowledge for all.Gunkarta (talk) 09:23, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

It shouldn't be there. I agree that it's trivial. It's also WP referencing WP. There are no actual secondary sources verifying the notability of this info. THus, it's a little ORish and smacks of synthesis in my opinion. The fact that it has apparently been in the article for some time is irrelevant. Lots of stuff that should not be in wikipedia is here for years, and a lot of stuff that should be in wikipedia is not yet here. Also, "it does not harm" is not a valid argument. If it doesn't have a benefit then it shouldn't be there. It's irrelevant whether there is (apparently) no disadvantage. Gunkarta, perhaps you could initiate an RFC if you would like to get opinion from a broader range of editors. regards -Merbabu (talk) 09:34, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

That's Okay, meanwhile I think we do not need RFC yet. I just want to hear more oppinions and arguments from other editors, especially those whom involved in this article. It is better for us to hear and discuss first and tried to reach consensus, instead of instantly deleting stuffs.Gunkarta (talk) 09:56, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
Be bold is central to wikipedia, and it's considered more important than having to discuss everything first. Sure, discuss as soon as it's established that one's bold edit has met opposition. But to ensure consensus before every edit would be ridiculous and the end of wikipedia progressing further. (but, I know this is not really what you are suggesting!) --Merbabu (talk) 10:03, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
Further, I've just seen that the disc and Indonesian wikipedia is only mentioned in an image caption. There should be no image that doesn't relate and support something in the text - why isn't it in the text? --Merbabu (talk) 10:22, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
Oh, and you guys a sailing are little to close the three-revert-rule wind. But you've probably noticed that already. :-) --Merbabu (talk) 10:24, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
  • If you guys are looking for an example of Indonesian / Malay in use, how about advertisements like this (1905) or this (1929)? — Crisco 1492 (talk) 11:04, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
    • That would also illustrate the old spelling. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 11:05, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

I've removed these kinds of adverts from a couple other language articles, though in one I left a trivia section, where Wikipedia was mentioned among other media such as Facebook. Actually, such sections should probably be deleted as well (how is it notable if a language is used for Facebook?), but at least they're more balanced.

For comparison, take a look at Greek language. Greek also has a WP (actually, it has two), but they are only mentioned in the 'External links' section. That's the norm. Making a big deal about Indonesian makes is sound as though speakers feel inferior and have something to prove: Look at our language! It has a dictionary! People write it on paper! — kwami (talk) 20:10, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

  • Considering the culture... — Crisco 1492 (talk) 23:18, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

I agree about the lack of notability. It's terribly self-indulgent, and is almost like saying "See - we have Wikipedia in Indonesian, just like a real language!" - which might even make it POV. In any case it doesn't belong... Davidelit (Talk) 00:34, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

I also agree. "making Indonesian a major language among Wikipedia's global languages" is a fairly good example of a vague peacocky statement. CMD (talk) 04:09, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

Okay guys, we have heard the majority's oppinion oppose the image and its caption, and I think you all right. I've removed the image. Case resolved.Gunkarta (talk) 09:56, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

This article has an obvious problem with the number of speakers. It says that there are "a total of 23,187,680 speakers worldwide" but then that "around 140,000,000 speakers use it as a second language". I assume that those who speak it as a second language are still considered speakers and if so there should not be 6 times more second speakers!!! If there are then the first statement should read "a total of 23,187,680 people with Indonesian as their native tongue worldwide".

The claim that it is spoken by "23,187,680 people" is mathematically illiterate, and certainly wrong. Fixed it up. — kwami (talk) 23:03, 22 October 2012 (UTC)

Long non english item removed[edit]

Please this is English wikipedia. Please do not deposit long sections of material that are not in english. Thank you satusuro 09:56, 23 December 2013 (UTC)

Number of Indigenous/Native Languages[edit]

The article contains 2 apparently contradictory statements:

"Most Indonesians also speak one of more than 700 indigenous languages."

"In a nation which boasts more than 300 native languages and a vast array of ethnic groups, it plays an important unifying and cross-archipelagic role for the country."

Dynzmoar (talk) 15:22, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

Originally written using the van Ophuijsen system[edit]

I found this very confusing: "The Indonesian Language was originally written using the van Ophuijsen system,..." Does this mean there was no Indonesian language prior to 1901? Or prior to 1945? Does it just mean a type of Malay was spoken, but it wasn't called Indonesian? The History section is unclear on this. It seems to me there should be some mention of Jawi. Kendall-K1 (talk) 20:16, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

Yes, it's even hard to believe there were no Latin script precursors (I struck out "originally"). A weakness of the article is the status of the language before it was called 'Indonesian' (in 1928, we're told). In Pramoedya's quartet there are courtroom scenes where Malay is used, so it seems to have had some sort of legal standing under the colonial government. Was this the case before 1901 though? Sparafucil (talk) 04:43, 26 June 2014 (UTC)


I love Indonesian and lucky my school is learning about Indonesian [1] — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:54, 11 February 2015 (UTC)

Careless editing or vandalism has messed up the Infobox[edit]

I've just compared the present page with the most recent 50 older edits, and even then the Infobox was damaged. DFH (talk) 20:55, 26 February 2016 (UTC)

History section is confusing and inconsistent -- needs work[edit]

There is lots of flip flop in this section regarding: 1. whether Malay "became" Indonesian 2. whether Indonesia comes from Malay or from Old Malay 3. whether the term "Malay-Indonesian" means anything to people outside Singapore (most of whose ethnic "Malays" are descended from Indonesians)

Also the leveling value of Bahasa in comparison to the caste-based royal-high-low registers of Javanese and Balinese is completely omitted, which implies that world expert sociolinguist de Swaan neglected to discuss it in his book.

Jeljen made a good point about rivalry in the Talk about Geographical Distribution. I think there's generally an inherent bias toward Malaysia and against Indonesia because England remained a world power long after Holland declined, and many of the researchers Ethnologue etc rely on are English-speaking. To me, an American who has spoken Bahasa for over 20 years, there is rampant conflation of Bahasa Melayu with Old Malay in supposedly well-researched articles. The situation is almost as bad as saying the people in France speak Romanian because their language is a Romance language. Martindo (talk) 00:48, 15 March 2016 (UTC)

I think Dwi Chania was on the right track to present a quasi-Rosetta stone. Contrary to Davidelit's "irrelevant" assertion, I think a cross comparison would be very useful to clarify similarities and differences between Old Malay, Malaysian, and Indonesian. There are a couple problems with Dwi Chania's first attempt, however: 1. The English is sloppy. Not only grammar, but also translating "dua belas" as "two". 2. The comparison is not broad enough.

I'm not sure how layout would work but I propose either a four-column array or else TWO three-column arrays:

A. Old Malay / Malaysian (modern) / Indonesian (modern) / English (good translation) B. Sanskrit (or Pali) / Old Malay / Malaysian and then below it another set: Malaysian / Indonesian / English (assuming that 5 columns would be too much of a squeeze in the layout) Martindo (talk) 05:10, 17 March 2016 (UTC)

Malay sentence[edit]

I recently found this sentence in the article:

Ku-dengar raja itu penyakit sopak. Aku tahu ilmu tabib. Aku-lah mengubati dia.
"It has come to my attention that the Raja has a skin disease. I am skilled in medicine. I will cure him."

The sentence is actually Malay, not Indonesian. According to the English translation, the Indonesian sentence would be:
Kudengar raja itu berpenyakit sopak. Aku tahu ilmu tabib. Akulah yang 'kan mengobatinya.

I don't know much about Malaysian Malay's grammar, but I am pretty sure that Ku-dengar raja itu penyakit sopak. is not right. The word penyakit needs a prefix ber- in order to make it a verb. Andrean182 (talk) 16:03, 19 July 2016 (UTC)

  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference undefined was invoked but never defined (see the help page).