Stuart Jay Raj – Help Preserve Javanese, Balinese and other Bahasa Daerah Indonesia – Hanacaraka

Over the years living in Thailand, I had many people coming from Non-English speaking backgrounds approach me about how they might best approach learning Thai. Many of these people came from language backgrounds that had their scripts based on the Indic Sound system – e.g. Burmese, Hindi, Nepali, Panjabi etc. My Burmese maid could speak Thai, but only read Burmese – this was a tool I used to help her start reading Thai. There were also several Thai born Panjabis that could kind of speak Panjabi, but couldn’t read or write it. They could however read Thai, so I used this chart to help them learn to write the Gurmukhi script. There were also a lot of Indonesians in the group. Knowing that many of them would have at least had a grounding in ‘Bahasa Daerah’ or their own ‘local language’ when they were at school, I thought that this might be enough to give them a head start on their Thai. I originally wanted to include Javanese, Balinese, Sundanese, Batak and a few other ‘Bahasa Daerah’. There wasn’t enough space on this chart though, so I selected the languages that I thought would serve the largest amount of people living in Thailand / SE Asia. The two local Indonesian languages that I inlcuded in my Indic Consonant Compass are Javanese and Balinese. The whole gyst of this clip is to hopefully inspire Indonesians to not only dilligently persue learning languages from other countries, but to at the same time get excited about breathing new life into the ‘Bahasa Daerah’ or ‘local languages’ of Indonesia. In this clip, I pay particular attention to Javanese, because for many people who have learned Javanese at school, they might not realise the relationship between it and Balinese and also it and all the other Indic Scripts. A rhyme ‘Hanacaraka’ was developed way back as a mnemonic device so people could remember the alphabet easily. Ha Na Ca Ra Ka Da Ta Sa Wa La Pa DHa Ja Ya NYa Ma Ga Ba THa NGa This works wonders for remembering the letters easily, but the downside is that you lose the original framework of the alphabet. When you understand this original base framework of the Indic Sound System, you suddenly have whole new worlds opened up to you. I use this chart also in my Cracking Thai Fundamentals group, so it can also be used by people who have never had any prior learning of a script based on the Indic system. The Indic system’s genius is that the letters are arranged as a map of the human mouth. I developed a series of glyphs that represent the key points and actions of the mouth. For Korean speakers, you will notice an eerie similarity. You can find a full explanation at http://stujay.com/2009/01/02/jazz-lessons-on-language-improvisation-101-stuart-jay-raj%E2%80%99s-indic-script-compass/. The chart can be downloaded for free from http://stujay.com/downloads/?did=8 Stuart Jay Raj http://stujay.com


Course Discussion

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Stuart Jay Raj is a polyglot who specializes in the languages and dialects spoken in South East Asia and China. His talents have allowed him to earn a professional living as a simultaneous interpreter in Thai, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Indonesian, among others, providing language and cultural training for multinational companies in the region and hosting his own TV programme on Thailand's Channel 5. He holds a degree in Cognitive and Applied Linguistics from Griffith University and has become an expert in the field of language acquisition with a strong track record of success. Stuart's background knowledge of Sanskrit, Khmer, Lao and various Chinese dialects and minority languages enables him to present a fascinating and unique perspective on the Thai language which makes everything fall logically into place.