How is Bahasa Indonesia different from Malay?

How is Bahasa Indonesia different from Malay?
Gambar oleh Syaibatul Hamdi dari Pixabay

Because they share the same linguistic ancestry with each other, Indonesian and Malay can be understood by each other with relative ease. But they can't possibly be the same thing! Differentiating characteristics between the two include pronunciation, intonation, spelling, vocabulary, and phrases. Some terms used interchangeably across the two languages have such vastly different connotations that misunderstanding them might lead to awkward situations. To provide just two examples, the Malay term "budak" means "kid" but "slave" in Indonesian, and the Malay word "bual" means "conversation" but "brag" in Indonesian.

The consequences for language instruction are less humorous, although these disparities between Indonesian and Malay do provide for funny tales. A language instructor who knows just one language and has no background in the other cannot possibly inform their pupils of these important differences and may leave them vulnerable to embarrassing circumstances. Similarly, students who are fluent in one language but have no experience with the other may be in for a rude awakening if they believe they can do adequately in both.

Indonesians felt a strong urgency to establish Bahasa Indonesia as the official language of the country after their triumphant return to freedom from Dutch colonial control. There was a need to differentiate it from Malay, the common language of Malaysia and Brunei. As a result, Bahasa Indonesia developed its distinctive grammar and vocabulary over time. In contrast to the English pronunciation of the Roman alphabet, which is used by the Malay people, the Indonesians use the Dutch pronunciation. In addition, the "r" at the end of Indonesian nouns like "besar" and "tidur" is pronounced explicitly with a resonant trill, but in Malay it is quiet, as it is in English. For this very moment, it is possible to determine the speaker's nationality with absolute certainty.

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Bahasa Indonesia also made an effort to incorporate various terms that are unique to Indonesia into its lexicon. As an example, Malay does not use "nggak" but rather "tak" for the negative. If a speaker uses the word "nggak" in his discourse, it is clear that he is actually from Indonesia and not Malaysia. Indonesian has absorbed numerous Dutch terms that are foreign to Malay speakers, such as "handuk," which means "towel" in Indonesian, and Dutch but "tual" in Malay, which is more closely related to English.

The lesson for teachers of Malay and Indonesian is that they should not believe they can effectively conduct instruction in any language simply because they are native speakers of the other language. Similarly, students shouldn't try to save time and effort by learning only one language, since doing so would mean missing out on the nuances that are specific to each tongue.

Akhyari Hananto

I began my career in the banking industry in 1997, and stayed approx 6 years in it. This industry boost his knowledge about the economic condition in Indonesia, both macro and micro, and how to More understand it. My banking career continued in Yogyakarta when I joined in a program funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB),as the coordinator for a program aimed to help improve the quality of learning and teaching process in private universities in Yogyakarta. When the earthquake stroke Yogyakarta, I chose to join an international NGO working in the area of ?disaster response and management, which allows me to help rebuild the city, as well as other disaster-stricken area in Indonesia. I went on to become the coordinator for emergency response in the Asia Pacific region. Then I was assigned for 1 year in Cambodia, as a country coordinator mostly to deliver developmental programs (water and sanitation, education, livelihood). In 2009, he continued his career as a protocol and HR officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Surabaya, and two years later I joined the Political and Economic Section until now, where i have to deal with extensive range of people and government officials, as well as private and government institution troughout eastern Indonesia. I am the founder and Editor-in-Chief in Good News From Indonesia (GNFI), a growing and influential social media movement, and was selected as one of The Most Influential Netizen 2011 by The Marketeers magazine. I also wrote a book on "Fundamentals of Disaster Management in 2007"?, "Good News From Indonesia : Beragam Prestasi Anak Bangsa di dunia"? which was luanched in August 2013, and "Indonesia Bersyukur"? which is launched in Sept 2013. In 2014, 3 books were released in which i was one of the writer; "Indonesia Pelangi Dunia"?, "Indonesia The Untold Stories"? and "Growing! Meretas Jalan Kejayaan" I give lectures to students in lectures nationwide, sharing on full range of issues, from economy, to diplomacy Less
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