Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Bahasa Indonesia for global language!

Does no one other than me think Bahasa Indonesia would make a great universal language?

People have dreamed of a global tongue for years, starting with Esperanto, a made-up language from the late 1800s that still has a devoted following of perhaps a million speakers around the world. Only about 1,000 native speakers, though, since it's not indigenous to any part of the globe. (Fun fact: Billionaire financier George Soros is a native Esperanto speaker.)

Bahasa Indonesia, though - along with extremely similar Bahasa Malayu, since BI developed from Sumatra's Riau province, right across the Malaysian straits - already has a base of hundreds of millions of speakers. And its structure ... lack of verb conjugation, tenses, plurals, or male/female nouns, while employing the Latin alphabet ... is designed so that even numbskulls like me can pick it up fairly easily.

To be sure, Bahasa Indonesia gets far more complicated once you progress beyond a basic level. But if you're looking for a language with a built-in audience that could be learned and adopted by nations around the world, it seems to me like a natural fit. Someone please give the United Nations a call and get back to me ...


Tomorrow: What's up with Papua?


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6 comments:

Bill Chapman said...

Wow! I'll stick with Esperanto, thank you!

Brian Barker said...

I think there should be a spoken Universal Language as well.

Check http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8837438938991452670 if you have time.

Otherwise http://www.lernu.net ?

Brett said...

It's certainly a hell of lot easier to learn (and pronounce) than English, Mandarin, Cantonese... um pretty much every other bloody language on the planet!

Jakartass said...

Or bahasa Malay?

Bryce said...

Well here's your link to building Bahasa Indonesia into a universal language:

Bahasa Indonesia wiki browser

Bill Chapman said...

I'm not persuiaded! I'll continue to use Esperanto!