Monday, December 22, 2008

Indonesian Anda

Indonesian is a young language. And some time ago I was commenting about pronouns. The use of anda in Indonesian is very interesting. I found this and thought of posting it.

There are many words for 'you' in Indonesia. Anda is the one that most closely resembles the all-purpose English pronoun 'you'. But Anda is by no means the most commonly used word for ' you' although its popularity is definitely on the rise. It is important to remember that, unlike the English 'you', Anda still cannot be used indiscriminately to all and sundry. In addition to Anda, learners of Indonesian should set out to master the appropriate use of, at the very least, Bapak, Ibu Saudara, Adik, Abang, kamu dan kalian. There is some confusion over the spelling of Anda. It would seem that for some people Anda is analogous to Bapak, Ibu, Saudara, etc and should be written with an initial capital letter. Others see it as analogous to kamu and kalian and therefore most appropriately spelled with a small initial letter. The official dictionary of standard Indonesian, the Kamus Besar Bahasa Indonesia prepared by the Government's Language Centre (Pusat Pembinaan dan Pengembangan Bahasa), spells Anda with a capital A. but it is also very common to see anda written wholly in lower case.

Anda is a fairly recent invention. Reputedly it was coined in the 1950s by Sutan Takdir Alisjahbana (1908 - 1994), the greatest of the pioneer developers of Indonesia's national language. A critic of hat he regarded as 'feudal' features of Indonesia's languages, Takdir sought to create an egalitarian second-person pronoun that could be used to address anyone, irrespective of rank and age, and that would eventually displace the hierarchy of pronouns like Tuan, NyonyaBapak, Ibu, Saudara, Adik, Abang, engkau, kamu, kaliat, etc. He detached the suffix -anda that was traditionally used to add a dimension of respect to common kinship terms (producing titles like Ayahanda, Ibunda, Ananda, Kakanda, Adinda, and others). Standing on its own, Anda was at first used almost exclusively as a catch-all second-person pronoun in advertisements and formal public announcements. Since the 1980s Anda has come to be used more and more in conversation, though it still sounds somewhat stiff. Despite its increasing use, it has so far failed to achieve "monopoly" status as a second-person pronoun. In effect, it constitutes just one more pronoun option, beside all the others, that has to be considered by speakers when choosing which second-person pronoun is the most appropriate in a particular situation.

It was taken from a Yahoo Groups and it said the source is the Indonesian learner's dictionary.

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