#EngKnowledge: English Words of Indonesian Origin

Good evening, fellas! How are you? Are you feeling good today? Mine was alright, I had a pretty tight schedule but thank God it’s over now. Fellas, do you know that languages are interconnected to each other?

Dictionary and pencil.  Selective focus on the pencil tip.

Meaning to say that a language can’t just stay independent without any influence from other languages. Indonesian for example, some words are borrowed from the local dialects or foreign languages. The words that are borrowed from other languages are called ‘loan words.’ There are two ways of loaning the words, namely adopting and adapting.

Adapting is the process when a language borrows words from a source language with adaptation in pronunciation and spelling.

Word adaptation is done in order to ease the speakers in pronouncing and writing the words in their own language. Despite of the adaptation, the meanings of the loanwords remain the same. Meanwhile..

Adopting is the process when a language adopts the words from the source language without any adaptation.

English is not a language without loanwords. As one of the biggest spoken languages in the world, English has been influenced by many languages in the world. Our beloved national language, Indonesian, is listed among language contributors of English. Meaning to say, you could find some Indonesian words in English dictionaries, such as in Oxford Learner’s Dictionary. Some words of Indonesian in English are found in several topics. Namely, animals, plants, foods, musical instruments, and clothes. Can you guess some?

  • Words of Indonesian for animals in English are ‘komodo,’ ‘dugong,’ ‘cassowary,’ ‘cockatoo,’ and ‘orangutan.’
  • Some English words for plants of Indonesian origin are ‘bamboo,’ ‘paddy,’ ‘rattan,’ and ‘cajuput.’
  • Words of Indonesian in English are also found in foods, such as ‘agar (agar-agar),’ ‘satay,’ and ‘tempeh.’
  • Indonesian words are also found for some music instruments. They are ‘gong,’ and ‘gamelan.’
  • Some English words of Indonesian origin are also found in clothes, such as ‘batik,’ and ‘sarong.’

From those words, ‘dugong’ is an ADOPTED word since it has no difference in term of the writing. Meanwhile, ‘paddy’ is an ADAPTED word since it experiences adjustments for the writing.

Thank you so much guys for your engagement in every session. We really appreciate it!


Compiled and written by @wisznu at @EnglishTips4u on September 3, 2015

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