Indonesian, an Austronesian language, is a standardized form of Malay and is spoken throughout Indonesia. About 30 million people speak Indonesian as their first language and a further 140 million speak it as a second language. Indonesia is a linguistically diverse region where the Indonesian language acts as a lingua franca, even though there are more native speakers of Javanese - about 75 million.
In the 1930s, as part of the independence movement, the Indonesian language was standardised and the term Bahasa Indonesia was adopted as the name of the language.
During the time Indonesia was a Dutch colony, the Latin alphabet was introduced to write Indonesian and a number of Dutch spellings were used. This alphabet was called ejaan lama (Old Script) in Indonesian.
In 1947 the spelling of oe was changed to u. Then in 1972 a set of official changes to the Indonesian spelling system were introduced by former president Soeharto. The major changes included changing ch to kh, dj to j, j to y, nj to ny, sj to sy, and tj to c.
In Muslim communities in Indonesia the Jawi alphabet, a version of the Arabic alphabet, is sometimes used to write Indondesian.
Hear the Indonesian alphabet, with example words:
Semua orang dilahirkan merdeka dan mempunyai martabat dan hak-hak yang sama. Mereka dikaruniai akal dan hati nurani dan hendaknya bergaul satu sama lain dalam semangat persaudaraan.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
Information about Indonesian
Kursus Bahasa: Sistem Penyelenggaraan Kelas
Online Indonesian translation
Page last modified: 23.04.21
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