Jakarta Field Station > Projects > Language Description > Documentation of Betawi
Documentation of Betawi
Research assistant: Ferdinan Okki Kurniawan
Betawi is the indigenous Malay dialect of Jakarta. The speakers were formed from the mixing of ethnicities coming to Jakarta during Dutch colonial times. The inflows were adequately gradual to let the constant stream of immigrants be absorbed into a distinct ethnic group. This ethnic group speaks with their own dialect called Betawi Malay which is different from other dialects of Malay. Nowadays it is only spoken by older people in certain villages on the outskirts of the city. The younger generation tends to speak Jakarta Indonesian.
The project was started in June 2004. There have been twelve recordings which are collected randomly from the speakers who live or have lived in some regions in Jakarta. The regions are Kampung Melayu, Pasar Rebo, Pondok Gede, Ulujami, and Jagakarsa. Most of the regions, except Kampung Melayu, are situated on the outskirts of Jakarta. Pasar Rebo is situated at the very southeast edge of Jakarta, bordering Bogor, West Java. Pondok Gede is also situated at the very southeast edge of Jakarta, bordering Bekasi and Bogor, West Java. Ulujami is situated in South Jakarta, bordering Banten, West Java and Jagakarsa is situated in South Jakarta, bordering Depok, West Java. There are around fifteen native speakers from the total recordings, the speakers are above thirty years old. They still speak with a deep Betawi accent. The rest of the speakers are from younger generation and other ethnicities. For future plan, more recordings will be done with the native speakers from other areas of Jakarta.
Last modified: 29 Mar 2007, London, UK