Why choose ITC for your Indonesian translation projects?

Over the years, ITC has developed a strong network of translators whose native language is Indonesian. These linguists have passed several rounds of tests and are evaluated regularly. In addition, the ITC project managers have drawn up language guides to help translators follow the specific rules that apply to Indonesian.

History of the language: translation into Indonesian

Indonesian (or Bahasa Indonesia) has been declared as the national language since 1928, long before the Indonesia’s independence. It then became the lingua franca which was able to unite all the tribes in Indonesia. It also played a very important role in trade and religion spread at the time. The Declaration of Sumpah Pemuda (literally said ‘Youth’s Oath’) brought about the high spirit among the Indonesians to use this language as their daily communication means. It was encouraged to be used as a language in the association or gathering, literary works, dan printed media. The spirit of nationalism also contributed to its very rapid development as everyone wanted to show their identity as a nation. Indonesian was officially announced as a national language of the Republic of Indonesia in 1945 and it has been an Indonesian official language since then. Indonesian is a dynamic language, which until now continues to produce new words, either through the creation or absorption of local and foreign languages​​. Indonesian is the standard dialect of Malay. Indonesian phonology and grammar are simple enough; the fundamental basics for basic communication can be learnt in just a span of a few weeks. Indonesian is the language used as an introductory language in schools in Indonesia and as a business language in Indonesian market and trade.

Specific features of the Indonesian language

Indonesian is a standardized register of Malay. In its standard form, it is essentially the same language as the official Malaysian and Brunei standards of Malay. However, it differs a lot from Malaysian in several aspects, with differences in pronunciation and vocabulary. These differences are due mainly to the Dutch and Javanese influences on Indonesian. Indonesian was also influenced by the “Melayu pasar” (literally “market Malay”) that was the lingua franca of the archipelago in colonial times, and thus indirectly by other spoken languages of the islands. Whilst Indonesian is spoken as a mother tongue by only a small proportion of Indonesia’s large population (i.e. mainly those who reside within the vicinity of Jakarta and other large predominantly Indonesian-speaking cities such as Medan and Balikpapan), over 200 million people regularly make use of the national language, with varying degrees of proficiency. Unlike British and American English differences, the Indonesian and Malaysian differences are very significant. For example, ‘post office’ in Malaysia is “pejabat pos” (in Indonesia this means ‘post officer’), whereas in Indonesia it is “kantor pos”, from the Dutch word for office, kantoor. There are also some Portuguese influences: in Indonesia, Christmas is known as “Natal”, whereas Malaysia uses “Krismas”, derived from English (or in some cases also “Natal”, due to Indonesian influence). Pronunciation of some loanwords in Malaysian follows English, while some in Indonesian follows Dutch, for example Malaysian “televisyen” (from English: television) and Indonesian “televisi” (from Dutch: televisie), the “-syen” and “-si” also prevail in some other words. There are also instances where the Malaysian version derives from English pronunciation while the Indonesian version takes its cue from Latin. To quickly trace if the written language is Malaysian or Indonesian, see how ‘anda’ meaning ‘you’ in English is treated. If it is capitalized no matter where it is, it is Indonesian. If it is in small cap and sometimes in capital where it occurs in the beginning of sentence, it is Malaysian. It is easy to trace, isn’t it?