JAVANESE & INDONESIAN NAMES

 

Notes #1 THE LANGUAGE

In Javanese, 'name' is 'jênêng'. In Indonesian, it is 'nama'. If plural, the word is repeated, sewn together with a dash.

All Javanese and Indonesian 'i' is pronounced as in 'Italy'.

The 'R' is pronounced as it is in Italian.

All the 'D' in every word of Indonesian language is pronounced hard, i.e. just like the English 'D'.

Javanese 'D' come in two sorts.

The first is like within the English 'D', which in Javanese is written as 'DH'.

The second is 'weak', like Japanese 'D', written in Javanese as just 'D'.

Indonesian language contains all the letters in Roman or Latin alphabet.

The Javanese doesn't have 'F', V', 'Q', 'X', and 'Z'.

If imported words contain those letters, the Javanese script is still able to be used to write them down in; only 'F' and 'V' will be substituted with 'P', 'Q' with 'K', 'X' with 'KS', and 'Z' with 'S'.

Indonesian and Javanese languages are hierarchical, like German. See the last two boxes of specimens on the other page if you have no idea what I mean.

Javanese 'O' in oral form or 'A' in written form are mostly pronounced like the English 'A' in 'wash' and 'what'.

That's why, in the most correct written form, names such as 'Surakarta' are written that way instead of 'Surokarto' ('Surókartó') which is how it should be pronounced.

I can't follow the correct pattern to write Javanese words down, here, because the rule has been reflecting no living Javanese speech but inaccessible perfection. Most real-life Javanese and Indonesians out here will never be able to read Javanese words correctly when written correctly (savvy?), let alone non-Javanese and non-Indonesian.

The most complicated and generally messy nomenclatural thing is THIS town's namesake. It has been one heck of a headache not just to European tourists and Japanese travel agents but also ourselves.

Its original name is [1] Ngayogyakarta (read it as 'Ngayogyókartó', if you can pronounce this).

As a kingdom, its official name has been, since 1700's until this minute, [2] Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat.

In speech, to shorten it up the Javanese used to say [3] 'Yoja' (pronounced 'yow-jaw').

In writing, the shortened name is [4] 'Yogya' (pronounced 'hyog-yah').

That is kind of informal.

Formal namesake is [5] 'Yogyakarta' -- 'karta' is an old Javanese word that means 'city'.

In 1945, the Republic of Indonesia claimed independence, and this Central Javanese sultanate was one of the kingdoms that wholeheartedly supported the Republic in its war for independence that lasted until 1949. It even became the Republic of Indonesia's capital city for a while.

In the churning years of Independence, the locals found 'Yogya' and 'Yogyakarta' as being both unpronounceable as far as non-Javanese Indonesians were concerned. So although the written name stayed the same, the Yogyanese let the spoken name to mutate into [6] 'Jogja' ('Jog-jah').

But as a province of the Republic, the spot was named [7] 'Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta' (literal: 'Special Region of Yogyakarta'), which signifies its status of being a kingdom still with a lot of space to manage its internal affairs on its own, as well as a province like the rest of Indonesian areas.

Indonesians, as I always suspect, love abbreviations just like the Russians of Stalin's heyday did. So the official republican name was shortened into [8] D.I.Y., pronounced as 'day-ee-yay'.

Hence addresses and company names have either 'Yogya', 'Yogyakarta', or 'DIY' on them.

In 2002, Sultan Hamengkubuwono X (the tenth) granted the use of his very own handwriting to be the font used at official logos put on tourism-related stuff in this area.

The advertising people asked him to write the name of his territory.

His Majesty scribbled this:

Sultan's font
[9] 'Jogja'.

That is the oral form of the name, and the name of the province/kingdom/city has never been written like that before, except in the period between 1945 to 1972, when the Indonesian grammatical rules and such were still based on the by now archaic system, where 'U' was written as 'OE' and 'J' written as 'DJ' and 'Y' was 'J' -- back then, of course 'Yogya' was written as 'Jogja', and 'Jogja' was written as 'Djogdja', while a lot of people also wrote it as 'Djokdja' and 'Djokja'.

From 2002 on, and in a confusion until today, some people write 'Yogya'/'Yogyakarta', some others follow the Sultan's old-fashioned Indonesian or alternately a radically colloquialized 'Jogja' or [10] 'Jogjakarta'.

Still some others are chaotically writing [11] 'Jogya' and [12] 'Jogyakarta'.

There is also [13] 'Yogjakarta' because newer generations of Javanese born after 1970 have been saying the name as [14] 'Yogja' ('hyog-jaw') when talking in this language, stressing the letter 'G' that their parents and grandpas had omitted from being pronounced before.

There. You can't possibly write or say the name of this place wrongly, because we can't nail down any version as the right one ourselves.

As for me, I stick to the original Javanese pronunciation and spelling -- it is, after all, Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat that it began its laudable existence more than 300 years ago with, so that despite this messy nomenclatural thing in 21st century, it is Yogya to me, which means 'hyog-jaw' in contemporary Javanese, and in Indonesian I spit it out as 'hyog-yah'.

Anyway, a good many Javanese words will acquire radically different meanings altogether if wrongly read.

For instance, the Javanese word for 'from' is 'sókó'. It should be written, correctly, as 'saka'. But 'saka' is an independent Indonesian word that means 'flag', and if the 'S' is upper-capped it means the lunar calendar of the Balinese Hinduism. Thus the Javanese word for 'from' is written as 'soko' here, even though this is not the correct written form but the way it is to be pronounced.

Next; there are two kinds of Javanese 'T'.

The first is 'weak', nearly unpronounced; the second is very hard, written as 'TH', which is, unfortunately, absolutely unpronounceable to caucasian tongues (only certain African tribes could perfectly do that).

There is a gigantic possibility that average Javanese and Indonesians won't be able to pronounce your name the way you want them to.

Even Indonesians whose names are somewhat 'foreign' (Christian names, for instance) have always have to give up trying to apply correction to the way those are pronounced, and resign to the fate of being incorrectly addressed-as.

Example for the previous item: 'Joel'.

It is, in Javanese and Indonesian, written as 'Yoel' -- that's the Indonesian Bible says.

But before 1972 the Indonesian language wrote the letter 'U' (in Indonesian, the letter is read as 'oo' -- like, in 'boo') as 'OE' ('Soekarno', 'Soeharto', etc.). This makes every 'OE' that is supposed to be pronounced 'o-e' to suffer getting 'u'-ed.

The poor expat Joel and the poor native Yoel will both find themselves being addressed as 'Yul' (read it as 'yule').

Another example: 'Daniel'.

Indonesians in general will delete the letter 'E' from it when saying it (not when writing it down) because they are accustomed to write down every 'i' in their own names as 'ie'.

The latter is believed to have the power to make the names prettier ('Hartati' will write her name as 'Hartatie', 'Rosi' jolts down her signature as 'Rosie', and so forth).

So, to the average Indonesians, 'Daniel' is just a pathetic attempt at beautifying the original name 'Danil' [pronounced as 'dan-eel'], which is how 'Daniel' will be pronounced to the last breath of that person.

Some Indonesian Daniels I know around here already got a nervous-breakdown, though the expat Daniels have no idea why they are being called 'Danil' but the reason naturally eludes them.

And some of those Indonesian Daniels are Muslims and were born as Muslims; only their parents never knew any other reference for 'Daniel' other than 'Baldwin' (not even 'Defoe', for Christ's sake).

The same happens to any foreign names with 'CH' in the middle, like 'Michelle'.

It will be read by Indonesians as 'Mitchel'.

The reason is just as nerve-wrecking as the Daniel doodah.

Indonesians write their names down with 'CH' since it is thought to be cool that way, while the real names are loaded with 'C' wherever the 'CH' is put at.

The exceptions in this are Muslim names, in which 'CH' is read as 'K', such as 'Chairul' (male), or 'Chairani' (female).

If this is followed in the pronunciation of 'Michelle', you'd end up with her brother.

And you know what? There are many Indonesians named 'Michelle'.

NO SHOES

 

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JAVANESE &
INDONESIAN
LANGUAGES

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INDONESIAN
ALPHABETS

 

 

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HOW TO SAY THESE LETTERS IN INDONESIAN

WHEN I DON'T WRITE ANYTHING ELSE, JUST READ THE WORD
AND YOU ARE SPEAKING INDONESIAN ALREADY

a

b

c

d

e

f

g

h

i

j

k

l

m

n

o

p

q

r

s

t

u

v

w

x

y

z

like the 'a' in 'father'

'bay'

'chay'

'day'

'ay'

say 'elf' without the 'L'

'gay'

like 'ha' in 'harlem'

'ee'

'jay'

like 'ca' in 'California'

'el' like in 'El Mariachi'

'em' as in 'Emma'

'and', but soften the 'd' away

'oh'

'pay'

like the 'qui' in 'Paquita'

'air'

'as' as in 'as in'

'tay'

like 'oo' in 'food'

'vey'

'way'

'ex'

'yay'

'zed'

 

 

Notes #2 THE NAMES

Most Indonesian and Javanese names consist of three parts, all of which are the person's own name -- i.e. not shared with anybody else, such as their dads.

Both Javanese people and Indonesians call each other by first names.

This doesn't have anything to do with the degree of intimacy between them.

If the person is older than the speaker, or revered, or a stranger, the Indonesian 'Mr' that is synonymous with 'father' ('Bapak'/'Pak') precedes his first name - it functions as 'sir', too.

If a woman is married then others simply put on the title 'Mrs' right behind the first name without having to insert the husband's name; the same word is used to say 'Mrs' and 'mother': 'Ibu'/'Bu' - this is also the way to say 'Ma'am'.

So, married or not married, they call you You.

The difference is just this: you used to be plain You, and now, after your wedding, you are Mrs You.

We don't care a fig about what your husband's family name is, just like we never cared about your dad's.

In cases where the place to write it down is limited, such as in tax forms, name-tags, etc., the abbreviated part is always the last name -- You X.

The use of common last names shared by more than one person is a matter of personal preference.

Exceptions can be found within the Tionghoan (Chinese-Indonesian), Northern Sumateranese, Malukunese and other ethnicity's sociocultural systems that register one's name along one's clan's, which functions as an extended family name. Examples:

Sumateranese clans: Harahap, Simanjuntak, Hutauruk, Hutajulu, Siregar, Hutasoit, Pangaribuan, Hutabarat, and so on -- click here for Indonesian ethnicities' clan names.

Malukunese clans: Malaiholo, Manuhutu, etc.

Sulawesinese clans: Mallarangeng, Mattalatta, etc.

Tionghoan/Chinese-Indonesians clans: Tan, Liem, Soe, Siauw, etc.

Javanese and Indonesian names that start with the syllable 'Kris_' originally and if applied correctly mean the proprietors of the names are Christians, and usually are of the Protestant denominations.

But since 1990's, because average Indonesians think that Christian names are 'cool' -- i.e. used by the Hollywood stars and people on the Billboard Top Ten -- they give names like 'Christine', 'Ruth', 'Naomi', 'Esther', 'Rachel' [Indonesians pronounce it 'rack-al'], 'Mark', 'Michael' [sometimes pronounced as 'me-chal'], 'Daniel', and such, often in English spelling but most of the time in Indonesian pronunciation, and nearly always regardless of the origins of the names and the fact that their kids are raised as Muslims.

The same happens to Roman Catholic names that are normally given to newborns of the faith as they are baptized, such as 'Sisca', 'Siska', 'Francisca', 'Fransiska' (the second and forth names are Indonesian spelling of the first and third -- all are used as names here), 'Agustin' (this is a female name to the Indonesians who use it), 'Agustinus', 'Nicholas', 'Nikolas', Margaretha, Margareta, etc. Those names are taken by Muslim parents to launch their kids into the world as, in the same mode of operation as the above.

Another typical Indonesian blunder: you will find millions of people whose names are exactly 'Benny', 'Charlie', 'Sammy', 'Eddie' (or 'Eddy'), 'Danny', 'Rudy', 'Ronny', 'Tommy', 'Teddy', 'Bob', 'Sonny', 'Ella', and so on, without having been registered on official biz with the State as 'Benjamin', 'Charles', 'Samuel', 'Edward', 'Daniel', 'Rudolph', 'Ronald', 'Thomas', 'Theodore', 'Robert', and so forth.

Caucasian nicknames are always taken as full names by Indonesians, and only God knows why.

'Charles' has been forever pronounced by Indonesians as 'Char-leSS' (stress the last two letters like them if you can). And many Indonesians take this name as their kids', too, or to be exact they named those kids 'Char-leSS'.

There are thousands of Indonesian kids born in 2002 that were named 'Osama'.

Downright unbelievable names have also been rampant among Indonesians, whose roots can be trekked back to 1965 -- the year the Indonesian Communist Party attempted a coup d'etat and failed very truly miserably (see History of Indonesia, or the history of Chinese-Indonesians).

The New Order Regime that rose from the occasion (they exterminated the said Indonesian Communists) just took every Chinese-Indonesian ('Tionghoan') as related to the Communists in China, or at least with the Communism of the People's Republic of China, or, indubitably, related to China, which was much of the same thing.

So the regime subjected them all to political repressions down to the release of laws to ban Chinese-sounding names and every Tionghoan was compelled to adopt an 'Indonesian name'.

As a result, archaic Javanese names that no urban Javanese born after 1950 ever used ('Kromo', 'Karto', 'Marto', etc.) and somersaulting hybrids of Chinese and Javanese names ('Martoliono', for example, from the Javanese 'Marto' plus the Chinese 'Li' and the Indonesian name-suffix '_ono' that signifies a male) have been everywhere.

Only in 1998, after the regime fell, the Chinese-Indonesian started to use their Chinese names again, and christened their babies in Chinese names.

Before 1998, shop-fronts like these would have been impossible to see anywhere in Java:

 

 

General Suharto's regime even went so far in 1990 as to force every commercial enterprise -- shops, service stations, art galleries, factories, etc., whether they were owned by Indonesian Indonesians or Chinese Indonesians or whosoever else -- to change their names into 'real Indonesian names'.

No foreign word whatsoever was okay to be fluttered, and no foreign grammar (Indonesian and Javanese grammar says you write the adjective after the noun) were allowed to show up on shop signs, let alone foreign scripts.

So the law sparked a sudden and overall birth of weird billboards over Javanese and Indonesian shops, especially nerve-wrecking to companies that had been well-known in their previous 'foreign' names.

The oldest and steadiest contemporary fine art gallery in Indonesia, which is in Jakarta and was named 'Edwin's Gallery' after its owner's and manager's first name, had to change into 'Edwin Galeri' -- and this new name is gramatically wrong as the Indonesian language is concerned (the correct one would have been 'Galeri Edwin'), and it is a major misspelling as far as English is the standard.

The manager couldn't do any better to attain both goals at once but to use this strangely-written name then, since its overseas clients and business partners mustn't be shocked by a drastic change of the name, while the Indonesian law had to be placated and it already was satisfied by a pseudo-Indonesian structure like that. (Click here for profile of this gallery, and Indonesian art galleries, artists, etc. -- I mean fine arts here, not handicrafts).

Probably 9 out of 10 Indonesian companies and shops have had even stranger names than that in 1990's because of the same law. Names that, in foreign lexicons, have meanings, became entirely meaningless when 'Indonesianized' as the law said they must get.

A record store in town, that was established in 1972 and named 'Pitstop', changed into 'Pisop' -- which doesn't mean anything in any language that we know around here. 'Rainbow Fashion' became 'Renbo'. Like Edwin's case, most of them tried to keep the old name without the name -- by writing them down in Indonesian pronunciation. That's really a nightmarish decade for linguists.

Only in 1998, too, this silly episode ended, and those places assumed their original 'foreign' names back since. Some of the establishments, though, still use the raped names until today. So in 2005 you'd still see weird names of Indonesian shops, factories, companies and service agencies. Those are relics of this episode of 1990's.

Another fact: Average Indonesians always mix Islam up with Arab and Persia in such a way that gives us the impression that they have absolutely no idea what they're talking about.

So the Islamic has always been mixed-up with the Persian and the Middle-Eastern.

Hence the ubiquity of names such as 'Reza Pahlevi', 'Moammar Khaddafy', and so on, along with the correct usage of Muslim names such as 'Muhammad', 'Ahmad', 'Ali', etc.

As far as these go, Middle-eastern and Persian political titles are also used as names by Indonesians, such as 'Syah' ('Shah'), 'Khan', 'Khadi', and so on.

 

The list of Javanese & Indonesian names is at the next page.

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