2,000 New Indonesian Words Set to Debut in Dictionary
Jakarta. Bahasa Indonesia will have 2,000 new words — adapted from regional dialects and foreign languages — in the latest edition of the government-issued dictionary, an official said.
Mujizah, head of language and literature studies at the Ministry of National Education, said on Thursday that the new words would be officially recognized as part of a campaign to increase appreciation for Indonesian language and literature.
“We won’t take just any word and add it to the dictionary,” she said. “It first has to be modified under our standardized system of spelling.”
She did not reveal any of the new words, but said they would be included in the fifth edition of the Big Indonesian Dictionary (KBBI), which is expected to be released in 2013.
She said this was also part of the effort to prevent some of the country’s rarer dialects from dying out. “Some local dialects have disappeared because the younger generation has stopped using them,” she said.
“We don’t want to lose any more because our linguistic diversity is one of the elements that enriches our country.”
Mujizah added that her language studies division was drawing up an inventory of local dialects across the country.
“We’ve currently mapped out 442 local languages across the country, but we believe there may be more than 400 others in East Nusa Tenggara, Maluku and Papua that we haven’t gotten to yet,” she said.
Mujizah will also oversee the celebrations for Language and Literature Month, which begins on Oct. 28 and will coincide with the Youth Pledge Day.
The language month campaign is aimed at encouraging Indonesians, the young in particular, to use proper Bahasa Indonesia in their everyday speech, rather than the colloquialisms that have gained a foothold in popular culture.
The language studies center has met with the producers of some of the country’s TV soap operas, or sinetron, to ask them to start using more correct Indonesian in their shows.