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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Fruits in Balinese

Balinese people have a native language, Basa Bali. It has multiple levels, the 2 most significant, kasar (rough Balinese) and alus (high Balinese). Words here are in Kasar, italic words are alus.
Here are some names of fruits in Basa Bali :
Avocado - Apokat
Starfruit - Belimbing
Banana - Biu / Pisang
Durian - Duren
Papaya - Gedang
Pomelo - Juuk Bali
Mandarin Orange - Juuk Semaga
Lychee - Leci
Pineapple - Manas
Mangosteen - Manggis
Passion Fruit - Markisa
Jackfruit - Nangka
Rambutan - Nyambu
Cashew Nut - Nyambu Mente
Coconut - Nyuh / Kelapa

for Balinese peoples fruits is importance part in their daily life because apart for foods, fruits also for offering on the occasion of temple ceremony. The fuits arrange and decorated to make balinese offering called soda or gebogan.

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Balinese directions

The Balinese use a system of directions which is based on their ancient animist culture. They believe the God live in the mountians, the demons live in the ocean and the people live in between. All Balinese temples are aligned with this in mind. Towards the ocean is kelod, towards the mountians is kaja. You will often see this on maps, ‘Legian Kaja’ etc.

Living in the south of the island you can think of a rough equivalent to the tradition, north, south, east, west compass points. In other parts of the island its all backwards. In Basa Bali (Balinese) there is a kasar (rough ) version and a alus (high ) version.

In Kuta you can say that the following words match:

North - kaja (kasar), kaler (alus)
South - kelod (kasar), kidul (alus)
East - kangin (kasar), wetan (alus)
West - kauh (kasar), kulon (alus).

Balinese temples are usually oriented with the kulkul (wooden bell tower) in the kelod-kangin corner of the temple.

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Basa Bali: Is learning Balinese a good idea?

Basa Bali, the language of the Balinese has some similarities with Bahasa Indonesia. It is though, a separate language in its own right. For people coming to Bali, or living in Bali, is learning Basa Bali worth the effort?

A recent thread of the expat forum, asks that exact question. Good point mentioned and it is true that in most areas of the islands nowadays, younger people can speak Bahasa Indonesia and some English. The need to learn Basa Bali, for getting things done, does not exist. My wife Ika does not speak, and does not want to learn Basa Bali. She can get by very well in Indonesian.

A linguist I’m not, but I’d still like to learn some Balinese, as it adds spice to a casual conversation. Whenever I’m in a village and someone asks “Apa kabar?” and I respond “Becik becik kemantan,’ they break into laughter. The idea of a westerner speaking the lcoal language tickles them, and for that reason, it can be rewarding. I have also been in situations in the highlands and also here in Seminyak, where a 60 year old Balinese person cannot understand me, because they can’t speak Indonesian. Being able to pull up to a rice field on my motorbike, and chat with the old guy working in it, would be wonderful.

Anyone have tips of learning Basa Bali?

source :

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Bahasa Bali

Most people in Bali speak Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia) and many speak some English. All Balinese however, speak Balinese (Bahasa Bali). In villages and towns across the island, kids are brought up in the family home speaking Balinese, later learing Indonesian, the national language in school, or while mixing with friends. It is still possible to meet older Balinese people, who do not speak Indonesian.

Balinese has 3 main forms and many variations. The 3 main forms are Ida / Basa alus (high), Ipun / Basa Bali Madia (Middle / Polite and Ia / Basa kasar (low). When addressing another Balinese person, the speaker soon finds out there caste, by the name of the person. If a high caste Balinese encounters a low caste person, the will speak to them in low Balinese (speaking downward), the other person responding in High Balinese (speaking upward). In this day and age, the strict lingusitic observations are confined to the village and the temple. In everyday life people will generally use the rule that they will speak low Balinese to family and fiends, Middle Balinese to strangers, and in the work place, Indonesian is the common language.

The language, Basa Bali (in Balinese), is a member of the Malayo-Austronesian language family. Many visitors to Bali can speak some Indonesian, but few speak Balinese. If you know a few words it will impress the locals for sure.

Balinese words place the stress on the last syllable, whereas in Indonesian, its often on the second last syllable. So ‘Bali’doesn’t sound like ‘Baa-li’(the way I say it), it sounds more like ‘ba-LEE’. Interacting with street vendors and Kuta lcoals, you’ll soon pick up that stress on the last vowel, even when speaking English (’CanNOT, ticKET no GOOOD, must come back tommoRROW.’).

As a general rule for us Anglos is Asia, vowel sounds out here across the board tend to go as follows: A=ah E=egh I=igh O=oh U=oo.

Balinese doesn’t have f,q,v,z, or th. Special pronounciations include b or d in the middle of a word, after another consonant are very faint, eg gambelan (gamelan). Letter C is pronounced as a ch eg. ‘that’s a bencong’(benchong). Letter G is always hard, like ‘g”in girl. H is silent at the beginning of a word eg. ‘halus’(alus). Letter H sounds strongly in between 2 vowels, eg.’kesugihan’(property) and makes a dead stop at the end of a word, eg. ‘mudah’(cheap). Letter J is like the English pronounciation, except when at the beggining of a word. eg. jagi (will happen), where it sounds like a ‘dy’. Letter K is pronounced as you would expect when located at the front and middle of a word. When located at the end it makes a dead stop eg. nampek (near), almost missing the ‘K’ sound. Letter R is rolled as in latin languages. Ng is pronounced softly eg. Ningrum. In situations where the ‘g’ is followed by a second ‘g’, the second one is pronounced as a hard ‘g’, eg. genggong (Jew’s harp). Ny can be prononced like ‘ny’ in lanyard, eg. nyuh (coconut).

Phew! glad that’s over. Now for some chit-chat.

The original Balinese language, as it was when foreigners first arrived, was wrriten in aksara text, which vagely resembles hindi. The writings were preserved on lontars, dried palmleaves, like the ones on sale in Tenganen. Signs around the island will offer the phrase ‘Matur suksma’ (thank you) in aksara and in romanized text.

People visiting Bali cannot be expected to understand all the linguistic rules regarding Basa Bali and th appropriate time to use kasar (low Balinese) and Alus (high Balinese). For a visitor you’ll probalby go with the kasar, popping in the occasion alus word. That will mean people will understand you. Bear in mind that Balinese themselves may not be so familiar with Alus.

Thank you. Matur suksma.
What’s your name? Sira pesengen ragane?
Where are you going? Lunga kija?
Where have you been? Kija busan?
How are you? Kenken kabare?
How are things? Napa orti?
I’m / everythings fine. Becik becik kemantan.
I. Tiang.
I am sick. Tiang gele.
What is that? Napi punika?
Bad. Corah.
Big. Ageng
Child. Putra (boy), putri (girl).
To come. Rauh, dateng
Delicious. Jaen
To eat. Ngajeng, nunas
Family. Panyanman, pasa metonan
Food. Ajeng-ajengan, tetedan
Friend. Switra
To go. Lunga
Good. Becik
House. Jeroan.
Husband. Rabi.
No. Tan, nente.
Rice. Pantu, beras, ajengan
To sleep. Sirep sare.
Small. Alit.
Wife. Isteri.Timpal
Yes. Inggih, patut.

Here are numbers in Basa Bali from 1 to 10.
1 - Siki, diri
2 - Kalih
3 - Tiga
4 - Pat
5 - Lima
6 - Nem, enem
7 - Pitu
8 - Kutus
9 - Sia
10 - Dasa

Here are some sentences in Basa Bali.
Bapa bisa basa Bali? Do you know the Balinese language?
Sira wasten jerone? What’s your name?
Adan titiange madan Nick-inggih. Sira wasten bapane? My name is Nick, indeed. What is your name?
Tiang Barrie. I (am) Barrie.
Nick uli negara dija? Nick is from which country?
Tiang uli negara England, inggih. I (am)from England, indeed.
Mara teka uli dija? (You) just came from where?
Tiang mara teka uli Ubud. I just came from Ubud.
Bapa suba makurenan? Are you already married?
Inggih. Tiang suba nganten. Yes. I am already married.
Kurenan bapane dija jani? Where is your wife now?
Ia jani di Ubud, di losman. She is now in Ubud, in the guestthouse.
Akuda bapa ngelah pianak? How many children do you have?
Dadua-abesik luh, abesik muani. Two-one female and one male.
Bapa/Meme lakar lunga kija? Where do you want to go?
Tiang lakar ka airport. I want to go to airport.
Ada ajengan Bali ane tulen? Do you have native Balinese dishes?
Wemten-inggih! We have, indeed!
Ajengan napi sane wenten? Which dishes are they?
Wenten be guling miwah bebek betutu. There is roast pork and steamed duck.
Barrie sering sering ring Bali? Barrie are you oftten in Bali?
Titiang suba ping telu di Bali. This is my third time in Bali.
Nuju dina Pekenan di Ubud. Today its market day in Ubud.
Wenten manas? Do you have pineapple?
Aksama tiang-tusing wenten. Jero kayun biu? Kayun markisa? Pardon me-there are none. Do you want bananas, passion fruit?

Questions & Requests
1. For most questions you can simply raise your voice towards the end of the sentence. eg. Bapa bisa basa Bali. Do you know the Balinese language?
2. You may add the suffix -ke to the frist word in the sentence, which is its ‘topic’or main idea.
eg. Bapake bisa basa Bali? Are you the one who knows Balinese?
3. You may use a question word.

Apa (kasar) napi (alus) what (English)
Nyen - sira - who
Engken - encen - what / which / which one
Ane encen - sane encen - which one
Kuda - adi kuda - how much / how many
Dija - ring dija - where
Kija - lunga kija - where to
Uli dija - saking napi - where from
Nguda - ngudiang - why
Apakrama - punapi awinan - why
Kenken - sapunapi - how
Pidan - ring pidan - when (past)
Bulin pidan - malih pidan - when (future)
Nyen adane - Sira wastane - what’s (your, his, her) name.
Apa orta - napi gatrane - what’s new
Kuda - aji kuda - how much
Apa ento - napi punika - what’s that
Pukul kuda jani - pukul kuda mangkin - what time
Lakar nguda - pacang ngudiang merikat - Why do you want to go there also.

More grammar rules for Basa Bali.
Balinese sentences follow a regular word order, similar to English - subject-verb-object.
eg. Bapa ruah sakeng Kuta. Bapa teka uli Tabanan. (Father comes to Kuta. Father comes from Tabanan).

The pronoun or noun after its subject indicates possession. eg Warung tiang (my stall), Barang pak (Your package).

Adjectives follow a noun. eg. Ada kopi panes? (Do you have hot coffee?) (Lit: There is coffee hot?)

One could go one for ever detailing grammar rules and exceptions. I think this will give you a insight anyway, into how the Balinese language sounds and works. I’ll tell about a thing that happened as I was writing this. Down at La Cabana in Kuta the sun was setting and I was typing away. Paying my bill I let slip a couple of Balinese words, and it was like magic. The wait staff and chefs all stopped what they were doing, looked my way and grinned. One of them continued the conversation, myself trying to remember more Balinese words. It doesn’t take long to get into the local’s consiousness.

Periplus does a handy little pocket guide to Basa Bali (Balinese), entitled ‘Practical Balinese’. Mine cost 29,000rp at Bintang supermarket, has 138 pages and is written by Gunter Spitzing.


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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Language in Bali

Balinese and Bahasa Indonesia are the most widely spoken languages in Bali, and like most Indonesians, the vast majority of Balinese people are bilingual or trilingual. There are several indigenous Balinese languages, but most Balinese can also use the most widely spoken option: modern common Balinese. The usage of different Balinese languages was traditionally determined by the Balinese caste system and by clan membership, but this tradition is diminishing.

English is a common third language (and the primary foreign language) of many Balinese, owing to the requirements of the large tourism industry. Staff working in Bali's tourist centres are often, by necessity, multilingual to some degree, speaking as many as 8 or 9 different languages to an often surprising level of competence.

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