The other day I found a site called Nobukaze which contains some interesting information about Japanese history, samurai, pop culture, language and a variety of other weird and wonderful Japan-related topics. There’s also some information about the Indonesian and Javanese languages and writing systems, and a guide to “Java for the Absolutely Clueless“.
The Indonesian language section mentions that there is very little mutual intelligibility between Malaysian and Indonesian, mainly because of differences in pronunciation and vocabulary. Indonesian has apparently borrowed numerous words from Javanese, which are unfamiliar to speakers of Malaysian. Does anyone speak Malaysian? Can you understand Indonesian? Or vice-versa.
Another interesting page on this site explains the origins of Japanese names. Did you know that the Japanese didn’t have individual names for their rivers and other geographical features? People might have called the stretch of a river that flowed by them by one name, while their neighbours further downstream had a different name for their stretch of river. There were no names that applied to rivers as a whole, at least until the 16th century, when Portuguese missionaries apparently forced the Japanese to adopt overall names for rivers, seas, etc, so that a map of Japan could be produced for the Pope.