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Old 10th December 2007, 12:08 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Michel
I like indeed your discussion about mendak, about keris, about the history of Indonesia, etc. but you use often words in Indonesian that I do not understand. As I have purchased an excellent English-Indonesian dictionary (as recommended by my good adviser from Australia who speaks both languages) I have tried to look for these words and other from the book "Keris Jawa antara Mystic dan nalar". To my great frustration, I have found none ! Assuming that I am not a complete nut, (past history is no proof for the present) I must do something wrong when I look at words in my dictionary. I suspect it may come from the prefix and suffix used in Indonesian. or from the spelling as it appears that Indonesian word may be spelled variously. (i.e. mendak, mendhak). Can you tel me how can I identify the base form of the word ? ( in particular since bases undergo apparently modifications when certain prefixes are attached.)
Please do not answer the easy way by telling me : learn Indonesian !
I have tried some 10 years ago with Bahasa Malaysia and already at that time it was not a success !
Thanks for any clue

Dear Michel,

I understand your difficulty. Especially in understanding the keris term that sometimes came from javanese words, and many times from old javanese for instance Kawi, or even Sanskrit.

Even the word "mendhak" in keris term, is different with "mendhak" -- or mendak -- in the general javanese meaning. Mendhak (dha is just to differ from "da" (soft spelling. Because in javanese, if you spell "deder" with hard "dha" like "dhedher", then the meaning is very far different) in keris term mean like "keris ring" below the ganja, keris accesories. But, mendhak in general javanese term (you may write to as mendak, it depends), may means "every". And may means too as "to low down -- for instance, in a move from upper step to lower step."

Bahasa Indonesia and Bahasa Malaysia, came from the same root of Malay. But sometimes with different spelling and even the vocab words came from the different origin. Malaysian, used to add the vocabulary from English words. But Indonesian, more from Dutch word and many of them from Javanese, or old javanese words. So complicated not only for foreigners, but even for Indonesians theirselves. As you know, Javanese language is only one of hundreds slangs in Indonesian archipelago.

As you know too, Indonesia spreads in more than 33.000 islands, and in three different time-zones (West Indonesian Time, Central Indonesian Time and Eastern Indonesian Time). The javanese people, spreads almost all over the archipelago, and so dominant in the Indonesian culture. I hope this will help you, a little bit...

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