#EngTrivia: English Indonesian?

Maybe Wikipedia isn’t the official encyclopedia or the most trusted site academically, but interestingly… Have you ever stumbled upon this part of Wikipedia?

Screen Shot 2014-04-25 at 23.37.44

When you click on the link the explanation is as follows:

“The following is a partial list of English words of Indonesian origin; they are English language loanwords (kata serapan) that can be found in Indonesian, but many of them were borrowed directly from Malay during the British colonial period.”

How interesting, isn’t it? Previously, we have had some discussions on English words absorbing words from other languages. After knowing English language for so many years, I was never sure that some of these are from Indonesian/Malay language.

Here’s our top 10 list which we quite often hear or seen around us all the time:

  1. Orangutan. From: orang hutan.
    • Everyone knows this endangered and cutest species, it is our duty to protect it always.
  2. Satay. From: sate (Javanese).
    • A very popular ready meal choice overseas now, well at least in London.
  3. Tempeh. From: tempe.
    • A very popular choice for an overseas vegetarian friends nowdays. In London, tempeh is imported from Belgium or Netherlands.
  4. Cockatoo. From: burung kakatua.
    • Should I say kakak tua? “Burung kakak tuaaa…” It’s a children song from Indonesia.
  5. Tapir & Babirusa.
    • In Natural History Museum London you can easily find these. Just go to the mammals section.
  6. Paddy. From: padi (Indonesian) / pari (Javanese).
    • Example: “You won’t resist the views of these paddy fields.”
  7. Sarong. From: Sarung.
    • We would wear this clothing for praying, daily or traditional purposes
  8. Gong. From: part of the gamelan.
  9. Kris. From: keris.
    • So if Ms Word suggested you Kris instead of keris, it’s alright.
  10. Gutta-percha. From: getah perca.
    • It was used as insulation for telegraph cables in the 19th century.
  11. Okay, last one might sound random to you, but I recently just read it on a book about telegraph to television, so I thought it’s interesting. :)

For more words, also check out the following link:

Fellas’ contribution:

“and at first i thought orangutan was like tarzan or something similar haha.” – @CAROLLINACINDY

“Amok…from ‘amuk'” – @SescoSaragih

“o yea, running amok, that is pretty often used :) I don’t think sambal terasi is ever translated in English, although terasi is usually referred as shrimp paste” – @gregoriusA

“How about ‘boogie man’? Some says it was from Bugis sailors but I’m not sure if it’s from a reliable source.” – @animenur

“In Wikipedia it did say something like it http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bogeyman” – @EnglishTips4U

Compiled and written by @daedonghae at @EnglishTips4U on Saturday, April 26, 2014


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