Govt Wants Bahasa Indonesia to Be Southeast Asia's Lingua Franca



Laila Afifa

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Education, and Cultural Affairs Minister Nadiem Makarim wants to adopt the Indonesian language, or Bahasa Indonesia, as a common language among different native speakers in Southeast Asia, or “lingua franca.”

    Nadiem maintains that this will be the main goal of the National Agency for Language Development and Cultivation. “One of the future goals for the national agency is to prepare Bahasa Indonesia as the lingua franca in Southeast Asia,” said the minister in a meeting with the House of Representatives (DPR) Commission X on Thursday, Feb. 20. 

    The founder of homegrown decacorn Gojek said that the step should be taken is implementing a linguistic innovation, including adapting to other cultures and languages which can help bridge the country with international communities. 

    However, he has not set a clear target; “It’s still unknown when this will be achieved, but we must surely dream big.”

    Nadiem Makarim also asserts the importance of innovation in Bahasa Indonesia to further strengthen the country’s position in the international stage, not only in terms of economy but in culture and linguistics.