Bahasa Indonesia as The Unifying Language of The Nation
Written By : MOH. GUFRON
Language is a system of communication to express thinking and feeling from one person to another people as a life need. Language is the most important aspect in life of all human beings because we need it to interact with another people. There are many kinds of different languages in this world, but there is no strong evidence about how many languages are there. In a research conducted by some experts from the National Virtual Translation Center, they said that there are from 6800 to 6900 kinds of languages in the world. In fact, from time to time different languages disappear, because peoples speaking them die out or assimilate with other peoples. In this time, as we were concerned that there is a language that we call as mix language (Bahasa Gaul). Mix language is a language that assimilated from another language without losing the original language structure itself, this language often used by among the young generation within informal situation. So the language could not be classified into the official language of a country, because every country has a national language as symbol or sign of its country. A national language is a language which connects a people with another people in one place or in a country and perhaps by the territory they occupy. A national language may represent the national identity of a nation or country (see wikipedia the free encyclopedia, 2007). And do you know what languages is the most widely spoken one…??? If you think it is English, you are badly mistaken. According to National Virtual Translation Center, the most language widely spoken is Mandarin Chinese with the number of native speakers about 880 million. 325 million native speakers speak Spanish and English in the third rank with 315 million native speakers included Bahasa Indonesia, it used in the most of island in Indonesia. Indonesia is the fourth most populous nation in the world. Of its large population, the number of people who speak Bahasa Indonesia fluently is fast approaching 100%, making Bahasa Indonesia become one of the most widely spoken languages in the world.
Bahasa Indonesia is the one of national languages are there, the native speakers of this language is Indonesian people. Although Bahasa Indonesia is not the first language or mother tongue of the most Indonesian people, but this language becomes an official language of Negara Kesatuan Republik Indonesia (NKRI) which unites all of indigenous people that extended from Sabang to Merauke, from Miangas to Talaud. Most of Indonesian people, aside from speaking the national language, are often fluent in one of the 748 regional languages in Indonesia as a mother tongue (for example Javanese, Sasaqnese, Bimanese, Sundanese etc). Nonetheless, Bahasa Indonesia is used widely in formal education, mass media, official correspondence, and another communication forms, they are conducted in Bahasa Indonesia. So it can be said that the Bahasa Indonesi is used by all citizens of Indonesia (see wikipedia the free encyclopedia, 2007). Bahasa Indonesia inaugurated as a national language after the Proclamation of Indonesian Independence precisely the day after Proclamation.
Bahasa Indonesia is one of the many varieties of Malay from the 19th century. On its development, Bahasa Indonesia changes due to its use as a working language in the colonial administration and the various standardization processes since the beginning of the 20th century. Naming Bahasa Indonesia initiated since Sumpah Pemuda launched October 28, 1928. Until now, the Bahasa Indonesia is a living language, which continues to produce new words, either through the creation and absorption of local languages and foreign languages.
The Bahasa Indonesia was originally written using the system as known as van Ophuijsen system with the Latin script introduced by Charles Van Ophuijsen, 1986. And later on March 19, 1947 “Ejaan Republik” inaugurated to replace the previous spelling. We are familiar with this spelling as “Ejaan Soewandi”. And the writing system used at this time is Ejaan Yang Disempurnakan (EYD) was inaugurated on August 16, 1972 by the President of the Republic of Indonesia (see Kridalaksana H, 1991).
Along with the times, Bahasa Indonesia as the unifying language of the nation which we must protect its existence wherever we are. Especially for the younger generation have to be more active in keeping the existence of this national language. Because in this global era, all possibilities can be happen, such as the disappearance of this language as the influence of other languages and from another possibilities. Before it all happened, let’s together we uphold our national language is.
Asmadi T.D. Bahasa Indonesia. Laman Lembaga Pers Dr. Sutomo. Edisi 08 Februari 2010. diakses 5 Maret 2010.