Borrowed Words

Check this out, there is a listing of Indonesian loanwords in Wikipedia Indonesia. This listing gives you some idea about how many Indonesian words that were actually borrowed from Dutch. Just a little note that of course it will be more meaningful if you know both language, since it’s not translated to English (doh, it’s Wikipedia Indonesia!)

I’m sure this listing will keep expanding, since I know that there are some words that are not listed yet. For example, there’s no meises (Dutch: muisjes, English: sprinkles.) But I’m happy to find this listing because I’ve been trying to make one (I only end up creating a little list here and a little list there). The reason of my interest is that I know there are so many words that are actually borrowed but they don’t feel foreign anymore, because you’ve been using them every day. My local language is Manadonese, and in this local language you’ll find even more loanwords compared to Indonesian loanwords from Dutch.

Manadonese, for example, uses huk (Dutch: hoek, English: corner). Another common word that’s also not in the list is mener (Dutch: meneer, English: Mr).  Smer (Dutch: smeer, English: ointment, grease). Sonder (Dutch: zonder, English: without). The list goes on and on, I just can’t remember them on top of my head now.

Question is, why do Manadonese borrowed more Dutch words than Indonesian? There must be an explanation for that, one that requires me to write another post.

2 thoughts on “Borrowed Words

    • I’m not sure, Liv… but for some reasons I feel that people in North Sulawesi are more open to the Dutch influence, compared to other regions in Indonesia. Manadonese did fight the colonialism, but at the same time Manadonese also seemed to have this romanticized relationship with the Dutch colonials in the past, don’t you think? Compared to any other regions in Indonesia, North Sulawesi definitely adopted more culture from the Dutch, not just the language but also the food, the dance, etc.
      Maybe from the economic point of view, Manadonese were more well-off compared to the other regions so they didn’t really feel oppressed by the colonials and thus more open to them? Or was it because Manadonese are just more relaxed, easy-going folks who managed to live with the colonials? My random guesses!🙂 Any thoughts?

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