Getting to Know the West Java Regional Language that Is Often Used

The language of West Java has a very unique and interesting characteristic to learn. Although you don’t know the language spoken by the people of West Java, surely you are no stranger to its unique accent, for example hearing celebrities from West Java or you have Sundanese friends.

For us ordinary people, it must be very interesting to demonstrate the language or accent of west Java. Basically, each region has different language characteristics, be it Central Java, Maluku, East Java, Sumatra and so on. Likewise with the language from West Java that we  will discuss.

By hearing the accent alone, we must have been able to guess whether it was a language from West Java or not. But, it is difficult for us to know the meaning of what is said if we do not know or do not understand the language of West Java. That’s why it sounds fun to learn West Java.

In this article, we not only discuss about what languages are often used by the people of West Java, but also the variety of languages, history and spread of languages, language writing systems to not use West Java which is certainly very interesting  to learn.

Regional Languages Spoken

Sundanese are the most widely found tribe in West Java, so it’s no wonder that the most commonly spoken regional language is Sundanese. Even so, there are other languages that are also spoken by residents of West Java, such as Cirebon language for people in Cirebon Regency or City.

Cirebon language is almost the same as Banyumasan language, using only a typical Brebes dialect that is very unique. These two regional languages of West Java , namely Sundanese and Cirebon languages are the most widely spoken languages in everyday life, both in the Cirebon, Priangan and so on.

When compared to Cirebon language, Sundanese is more widely spoken by people in West Java. One of the causes is because sundanese culture is so attached and spread to various regions in West Java. This cannot be separated from the history of the Mataram Kingdom in the past that conquered West Java.

That’s why in this review we discussed more Sundanese because it is more often used by people in West Java. You will find various interesting facts from the Sundanese language and will better understand what you need to know about the West Java language.

Variations in Sundanese

In general, Sundanese has a variety of variations, ranging from Sundanese-Central Javanese dialect to Sunda-Banten dialect with different characteristics. In addition to these two dialects, who would have thought if there are still some dialect variations that we often encounter in the middle of Sundanese culture in everyday life.

Many scholars distinguish Sundanese into 6 different dialects, namely western dialects, northern dialects, southern dialects, eastern middle dialects, northeast dialects and southeast dialects. Each dialect has a different style and the regions that use it are also different, depending on the mix of languages.

For example, the regional language of West Java with a western dialect is commonly used by people in the Pandeglang and Lebak regions, except South Tangerang, Tangerang city and Tangerang regency. Different again with the southeast dialect that is often spoken by residents of Banjar, Cilacap, Pangandaran, Ciamis to the western part of Banyumas.

Before the Sundanese language as it is today, there used to be an Ancient Sundanese language that was often found in some written records, such as those found on dried leaf sheets and in stones. Until now, it is not known how the ancient Sundanese language changed to modern Sundanese.

History and Spread of Sundanese

In addition to getting to know the variety of Sundanese language, it is also interesting to discuss the history and spread of sundanese in West Java. Sundanese is a language spoken by people in the west of Java island or precisely in Pasundan or SundaNese Tatar (formerly West Java name).

In fact, this West Java language is also spoken in the western part of Central Java, such as the Cilacap and Brebes areas because both regions were once part of the galuh kingdom. No wonder there are many regional names in Cilacap that sound like Sundanese, such as Dayeuhluhur District.

According to history, around the 6th century sundanese language reached its speaking area to the Dieng Plateau, Central Java. The name Dieng also comes from sundanese, which is dihyang which means Ancient Sundanese. Only then did there be transmigration and immigration of Ethnic Sundanese to various regions outside Java.

Some areas that are the destination of the Sundanese ethnic, including West Kalimantan, South Sumatra, Southeast Sulawesi, Riau, Lampung, to Jambi. In addition, there are actually many other areas visited by ethnic Sundanese, but some of the areas that have been mentioned are the main areas.

Sundanese Writing System

In the Sundanese writing system, you will get to know sundanese characters, Sundanese alphabet, smallpox, and Sundanese pegon alphabet. In the past, sundanese was written using Sundanese characters as Brahmi characters derived from Pallawa characters through Kawi characters. The proof of this writing you can see from the inscription.

On November 3, 1705, the ancient Sundanese and Rikasara Cirebon characters began to become extinct after the VOC issued its ultimatum. At that time, the people were only allowed to write with the Pegon alphabet, Latin script, and Latin alphabet for Javanese and Sundanese, then the Latin alphabet was intensified to transcribe Sundanese works.

In addition, writing West Java or Sundanese is also related to smallpox as a Javanese script to write Sundanese at that time. This character was already used after the VOC ultimatum came out. Until now, smallpox script has been used for more than 300 years and is still maintained today.

The Sundanese Pegon alphabet is also a script used to write sundanese in ancient times. Pegon’s alphabetic writing contains standard Arabic letters and new designs. Although it consists of some standard Arabic letters, arabs will not be able to understand it if they do not master sundanese.

Undak-Usuk Sundanese

In the 17th century, the West Java region was under the rule of the Mataram Kingdom so that the Javanese language also influenced the use of Sundanese in West Java. This is what creates the existence of basa in the language of West Java. So, what is meant by this base- undak-usuk?

The use of Sundanese language must be adjusted to the social level and this is what is called base-usuk. As a result of the existence of basa-usuk then appears several terms that must be understood, namely rough, medium lemes, very rough (Cohag or rough pisan) and very smooth (sublime or lemes pisan).

Subtle language is usually used when we talk to a newly known person, parent, office or public figure. Meanwhile, coarse language is usually used when you talk to peers or close friends so it sounds more familiar if you use a rather rude language.

Sundanese language does have its own uniqueness that makes anyone will be interested in learning it. Especially with a typical dialect that makes Sundanese more delicious to hear. For more details, you need to learn more about west Java.