Is Bahasa Indonesia a Rich Language (?)



Learning a new language in an academic environment is a distinct experience from daily life. Some of my friends said that IELTS is incomparable from anything we faced here. I can say that maybe the big difference is that the language we’ve been speaking all these years is not as “rich” as the language we use today.

Bahasa Indonesia is rich. I agree. Well, it is, in different way than English. Bahasa has lots terminologies from other languages. “9 Dari 10 Kata Bahasa Indonesia Adalah Asing”
by Alif Danya Munsyi explains it. In comparison, Bahasa has few words to define an expression while English has mountains of words to define it. Slightly different meanings has its own term. Words in English has sort of ‘level’, while we only need to add “more-” and “less-” in Bahasa. Some words in Bahasa has it too, but less than what English has. Romantic, idealist, sentimentalist, dreamer, visionary, utopian has the same point but slightly different signification on to another. All of these are very different in application. Translation is one of the hottest issue in an international environment.

Probably that’s why they have thesaurus.

I realize that most probably it happens because of unassertive attitude not to read ‘rich’ books back in my hometown. However, there are  moments that only Merriam-Webster can define while the English-Indonesia dictionary can not (most of the time). Thus I said that those words need a deeper explanation by reading a bunch of complex explanation to capture the essence of some english words, even some of them are probably completely new for you.

I do not write it to disfigure the language I speak instead I try to encourage people who learns English to discover more vocabularies and how to use it properly.

Translation is not merely to translate words or sentences, it is a result of wide cultural knowledge research and development.

This post will end here, but this is just a spark from a theme of translation.


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