25 Local Languages in Indonesia Almost Extinct, Expert says

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1 November 2015 10:02 WIB

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - A linguist from University of Indonesia (UI) Prof. Dr. Multamia said that at least 25 local languages in Indonesia are now on the verge of extinction.

"Most of the languages are found in Maluku and Papua," Multamia said in Kupang.

According to her, the languages in question are Aputai, Burumakok, Duriankere, Emplawas, Kaibobo, Kanum, Badi, Kayupulau, Kembra, Kwerisa, Lengilu, Lolak, Melayu Bacan, Mandar, Massep, Mlap, Morori, Namla, Paulohi, Petjo, Ratahan, Salas, Taje, Tobati and Woria.

She also said that 13 other languages had reported to be extinct already because they no longer have their speakers. They are Hoti, Hukumina, Hulung, Loun, Mapia, Moksela, Naka'ela, Nila, Palumata, Saponi, Serua, Ternateno adn Te'un.

Multamia added that the majority of the languages that have been extinct were also found in Maluku and Papua and there are many languages in those two areas but have very few speakers.

"There are even some languages with only six, 50, or 500 speakers,” she added.

The condition, she said, is in contrast with what is happening in Western Indonesia, where there are few languages with a big number of speakers.

Java language, for example, has 80 million speakers, she said.

Multamia also reported at least eight languages that are dormant.

"The languages still exist but they are not used for daily communication. They no longer have speakers but they are still used as languages used as identities of the people and for traditional ceremonies,” she said.

The dormant languages in Indonesia are Dusner, Iha, Javindo, Kayeli, Nusa Laut, Onin and Tandia.

NATISHA ANDARNINGTYAS | ANTARA




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