Why does Malaysia not belong to Indonesia?

sunda-islands.com Lexicon

Bahasa Melayu & Bahasa Indonesia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei

Bahasa Melayu (Malay language, Malay) is the national language in Malaysia (Bahasa Malaysia, Malay), Singapore and Brunei Darulssalam. The official language in Indonesia is Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian). These languages ​​are not artificial languages, but closely related forms of Malay, which has been the trading language of the Malay Archipelago (Sunda Islands) for centuries. Malay is part of the Austronesian language family, which includes around 700 languages ​​between Madagascar and Easter Island. In the Malay archipelago alone, between 200 and 350 different regional languages ​​are spoken. The most important are Javanese, Sundanese and Madurese. Forms of Malay are spoken in the Malay Peninsula, the eastern coastal areas of Sumatra, Jakarta, the coastal areas of Kalimantan, Manado, the Lesser Sunda Islands, and the Moluccas.

Over time, many other languages ​​have influenced Malay. 2000 years ago it was Sanskrit, in the 13th century Arabic and in the 16th century various European languages. Since the beginning of colonial rule in what is now Malaysia and Indonesia, these have mainly been English and Dutch. After Indonesia's independence, terms from regional languages ​​increasingly flowed into the language, especially Javanese.

In the 19th and 20th In the 18th century, Malay was considered outdated and backward in Malaysia. After Malaysia's independence in 1957, a state language commission introduced thousands of neologisms. The language thus renewed was integrated into the school system a little later. It was called Bahasa Kebangsaan (national language) from 1957 to 1969, and has been called since 1969 Bahasa Malaysia.

The term Bahasa Indonesia was coined at the 2nd youth congress in 1928. The motto was "Satu nusa, satu bangsa, satu bahasa!" (One country, one people, one language!). Malay was later established as the basis of Indonesian. No particular regional language was preferred, which might have led to conflicts. In 1945 Indonesian became the national language of Indonesia and, among other things, served the purpose of uniting the numerous ethnic groups of Indonesia into one nation.

For a long time, Indonesian was a compulsory subject in Indonesian schools, while the rest of the lessons were held in the regional addresses. Today only Indonesian is taught. Nevertheless, one shouldn't forget that Indonesian is actually every Indonesian's second language. You can tell from the pronunciation which region he or she comes from. A large part of the Indonesians still speak only their respective regional language (especially in the remote areas). For example, the BahasaBali is still maintained in Bali in the areas outside the tourist centers.

You can find pronunciation basics on our language information pages.
Literature on the subject

Nation building Indonesia

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