Friday, May 8, 2009

ETHNIC LANGUAGES IN INDONESIA: QUO VADIS ?

Being a country with various ethnic groups, Indonesia declared Indonesian Language as the national language functioning as a lingua franca. Since then it is very essential to ease the communication among those diverse ethnic groups throughout Indonesia as well as to unify the whole nation. This is in line with Holmes’ opinion that a lingua franca is ‘a language serving a regular means of communication between different linguistic groups in a multilingual speech community’ (81). This language policy has been successful. More and more people prefer to use Indonesian Language even among their own ethnic groups. This phenomenon is both gratifying and saddening.

The increasing number of people using Indonesian Language is gratifying.
It shows that the national language has unified the nation. People can use Indonesian Language to communicate with other ethnic groups for any purposes. As a result, any information can be accessed and transferred easily. In the long run, it contributes to the speed of national development.

On the other hand, it is saddening to see that the number of ethnic language speakers gradually decreases. It may due to practicality or the limited vocabulary of ethnic languages to express ideas. Therefore, ethnic language is considered as a hindrance in communication. In fact, ethnic languages are national heritage. They are very important vehicles of cultural expressions, knowledge, and values. In addition, they can help us discover indigenous values, which can also strengthen the national identity.

Maintaining ethnic languages in Indonesia is as crucial as developing Indonesian Language because both form linguistic diversity. Through formal instructions, both ethnic languages and Indonesian Language will be acquired by larger group of people.


Reference
Holmes, Janet. Introduction to Sociolinguistics. England: Pearson Education Limited,
2008.

2 comments:

Worldside said...

If a population in a school or institution set a foreign language as the language of everyday use, what does it call?

Worldside said...

School-compulsory English speaking program in Islamic boarding school,,, what does it call?