Via the always interesting Far Outliers, another blog discovery: Slainte, “David Goldsworthy’s writings – Indonesia, Irish Music, Language and Linguistics, Mainly Poetry, but not Politics (or Economics).” How can I resist a description like that? His latest post [sorry, the archived link is empty — LH, 2021] is on Jakarta Chinese Indonesian:

Having learned most of my Indonesian in Central Java it came as a bit of a shock when I started working at my current school in Jakarta and being confronted with the Jakarta Chinese variety of Indonesian. I can’t say at this point in time just how much it differs from Central Javanese Indonesian other than it is often spoken at break-neck speed – much faster than one is used to hearing in Java.

I find the Jakarta Chinese variety of Indonesian a fascinating code and wish I had more time to devote to a serious analysis of it.

One difference is the counting system that one often hears. I think it comes from the Hokkien language…

The first five numbers are ce, nok, sa, si, nggo. An earlier post [again, the archived link is empty — LH, 2021] is on the Indonesian Orthodox Church; as my mother used to say, I never thought the subject would come up.


  1. That’s interesting! I never knew there was a Jakartan Chinese variety that was different from plain Jakartan? I thought the counting numbers had already been assimilated into the local lingo – I know bajaj (motorised trishaw) drivers understand when you bargain with them, and I figured the speed was just a capital-city thing. I don’t know I always thought Parisians spoke french faster than the rest of France, and Seoul Korean was faster than anywhere else too!
    I think it does come from Hokkien by the way – together with gua for I and loe for you; but I seem to recall seeing this in some documents teaching colonials a bit of local language in Malaya as well. Not sure where/when though

Speak Your Mind