My English Vs My Javanese

When I was in junior high, I believe if I had a chance to stay abroad---in English speaking country---I would be able to speak English. I'll speak Fluently even the chance I've got to stay there was only for a month. That's what I—and most people—believe in. In fact I never had a chance yet.
For now, I've been staying in Java more than four years. Can I speak Javanese?


Although I surrounded by javanese sounds almost every time, just a few words I've known. Such as; tumbas (buy), mboten opo-opo (never mind), matur nuwun (thank you), ndere' langkung (excuse me), and my favorite is; mboten ngertos (I don't understand).
I did ask my Javanese friend. I did try to memorize lots of Javanese words. I DID! But when it come out from them, the Javanese, all those words sounds overlapped.
It sounds like, ngaongengengh hbeddehd begh begh begh eddddehng....

I don't know exactly how they produced sounds like that. All I can do is just smiling and nodding. It intimidated me sometime, while I was sitting in Angkringan and people chatted and laughed in familiar rhythm that I can't understand. Familiar and strange at the same time...
Most of them thought that I am new here. Some time they started to judge me, thought that I did not socialize well. And I just smile (smile is my hobby by the way).
Is it true that I'm not good in my social life here? Honestly.. YES. Or may be.. I don't know. Not sure. As I know I still have some Javanese friend. My classmate and My friends, My landlord also a Javanese. Of course there were lots of conversation between us. But it used to be in Bahasa Indonesia. It just much simpler to chat in bahasa than Javanese with them.

But the good fact is, as John Lennon said, “I'm not the only one!” hehehe. If you are Javanese, and have a non Javanese friend, try to talk with them in Javanese. Just a few of us, the non Javanese people who finally can speak in Javanese fluently. We could catch some words up, but speak as the Javanese after four years? I don't think so. Some of them might be pretending that they understand of what were you saying. But trust me, they DIDN'T.

However, I enjoy staying here. The other fact about stay in Jogja than another city in Indonesia is, Jogja has bunches of books. For me it is enough to make me happy. It has a lot of bookstore with reasonable price. Lots of library. And guess where is my favorite place in my university in my whole day life here in Jogja? It is the library!
The best thing about it is, they have new collections donated from world bank. Most of them are published by Mc Graw hill. My favorite books are about English writing. I can not remember exactly, when and how I'm interested in studying English. It is always my favorite subject since I was in Junior high. I never cheated in my English test. I always confident enough to pass it by myself.
So, after years of staying in Jogja, my English (I think) getting better. Much better. It may be still ungood enough for me to get a scholarship or being lawyer in USA (heheh), but I myself, prefer to speak in English rather than Javanese.

So, if people really want to know why I can't speak in Javanese after four years, the real answer is; I'm not interested. Not because it's not important but I don't know why it's just not interesting me. And also because we, as the Indonesian, have lingua franca. We have bahasa Indonesia to cover the difference between us. For me it is so wonderful to have Bahasa Indonesia. With Bahasa Indonesia we can communicate with anyone from around Nusantara.

Some student may be good in Javanese because they may have their own interest. Or, they just interested (how could I know?). Javanese also has long history and deep philosophy. It interesting for many scientist and academies.

For me, it just so hard to understand what Javanese are saying in Javanese.
If I have to watch two movies. One in English and one in Javanese. For the English one, I probably understand what the movie tells about and what the actors and actress said without subtitle. But for the Javanese one? I don't think so. Once I tried to read a news paper which had pages written in javanese. I had no idea what the text talked about, at all!

I hope it's okay, unable to speak javanese after four years living in Jogja, while bahasa javanese surrounded me all the time. Is it really okay?#anxious.


  1. Wow.. I totally agree with you..
    It's true that sometimes, even us Javanese people couldn't even understand our own local language.

    I still can't find the reason nor my opinion about that case, so I can't really talk much about it.. :P

    nice post.. :D

  2. The opposite in you is me. Since I live at Banjarmasin, I don't think so that I interest to speak Banjarese. But, I can speak with this language eventhough just few word. And sometimes I don't understand what the meaning of some words that my friends use. Therefore, I forgot some Javanese words especially krama lugu, krama alus that's make me speak in dual language if my family talk to me including in Bahasa and Javanese :D

    Then for English language, I interest it. Because in my college I learn and studying it. I think, I've the complicated to speak up in English language. I am nervous. May be I've to practice it more and more. I want to understand what the meaning of foreign songs that I like so much. I want sing that song as well.

  3. Komentar ini telah dihapus oleh pengarang.

  4. God will send u a javanese girl to be your wife...and by that time u will be able to speak javanese fluently ^_^

  5. Setuju ama Mbak Rifkaaaa..... cari bojo orang jawa, ntar biar digembleng pelajaran bahasa jawa, kalo perlu huruf jawanya sekalian... kalo perlu lagi ngajarnya pake cambuk!!!!!!!! #sadissssss

    maap nyampah pake bahasa indo....

  6. yahaha ... "It sounds like, ngaongengengh hbeddehd begh begh begh eddddehng...."
    same with me, everyone kept saying why I still cannot understand javanese and I already stayed for a years.
    first, I don't want to learn it, because my own local language is still bad yet, I feel ashamed *blush*
    and that's true, smiling is an universal body language :)

  7. I have a friend, shes my room mate at the dormitory, and she come from sumbawa, 1 year at the dormitory is enough to make her fluently in speak javanese. she has no choice to learn other language to enjoy our javanese joke. that's the amazing of being dormitory students. ^_^ we are give a strong influence to the other.

  8. terlahir sebagai orang yang berdarah campuran, aku tahu kok gimana rasanya. biarpun sejak lahir di jawa, kalo udah disuruh ngomong bahasa jawa alus aku hampir bisa dibilang ga bisa. apalagi kalo bahasa padang, nyoba ngomong aja kedengerannya udah lucu.

    tapi belajar bahasa itu nyenengin kok. aku pengen bisa menguasai banyak bahasa, tapii... entahlah :p

  9. All@
    Thanks All...

    I love You all! hehehe

  10. wah..konsisten nih posting english nya, hehehe

    go ahead mas! :D

  11. well, actually my dad married to javanese woman, my mom. and i couldn't say he is fluent in javanese. i think he can catch what people talks in javanese, but while came his turn to talk, he only could respond it with 'nggih', 'mboten' and so on.

    fyi, my dad grew up in lombok, too. but i couldn't speak lombok, even a word. my bad.


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