Saturday, 31 October 2009

Wild Animals Come to Villages

Sundanese Corner

Dry season in some eastern regions of West Java causes deers and wild boars suffering. As the heat burns hills around the border between Kuningan and eastern Cirebon, and wells in the hills are going dry, these hungry animals seek out food and water in villages of Kubangdeleg, Sedong, and Waled.

"These wild animals have often come not only at night, but also at day time. They have even come to kampongs of Kubangdeleg that quite far from the hillside," said H. Richyadi, Village Head of Kubangdeleg.

It is a struggle for survival as deers and wild boars have annexed farms in the regions over the past few days.

Village residents of Kubangdeleg fought off three wild deers that come to their kampong a couple of days ago. One of the poor creatures was fallen into a well. A night bus on a road between Waled and Sindanglaut hit a big wild boar.

Hawe Setiawan

(Reproduced with kind permission of Pikiran Rakyat, a Bandung-based Indonesian daily newspaper. PR correspondent Agung Nugroho contributed to this report)

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Verbal Intensifier

One of the most interesting subjects in Sundanese is the so-called kecap anteuran. The phrase may be translated into English as ‘verbal intensifier’. This element of speech has no meaning but plays important role in a sentence. An intensifier usually precedes a verb to make it more effective, and also more melodious. In the sentence ‘jung manéhna nangtung’ (he/she stands up), for instance, the word jung has no meaning but intensifies the impression of the verb nangtung (stand up).

Every verb has its own verbal intensifier, e.g., gék diuk (sit down), léos indit (going to), berebet lumpat (run), nyéh imut (smile), pok ngomong (say), bray muka (open), bréh némbongan (appear), etc. Each of them are like soul mates. So please don’t forget to make sure which verbal intensifier you need to attach to a particular verb. If, for instance, you said berebet diuk or gék lumpat, people will think that you make a joke, i.e., a mistake.

However, you need not worry. You could make a simple sentence without verbal intensifier. Instead of saying, ‘Barang bray panto muka, bréh manéhna némbongan’, for instance, you might prefer to say, ‘Barang panto muka, manéhna némbongan’ (as the door was opened, she appeared). [barang = when, as; panto = door; muka = open; manéhna = she, he; némbongan = appear, seen].

In several cases verbal intensifiers seem to transform themselves into verbs, as if they are not depend on particular verbs any more. Words such as ngaléos (going to) and pokna (said he/she) are previously verbal intensifiers (from léos and pok). You could express léos manéhna indit ka kalér or manéhna ngaléos ka kalér (she/he goes to the North). [kalér = north].

Here is an example quoted from a description in Darpan's short story entitled 'Nu Harayang Dihargaan' (Those Who want to be Respected):

Hiji mangsa, Ikah geus norojol deui ti nu poek. Sakumaha biasa, ledak deui diwedak gigireun tukang kendang. Dilipen jeung nyisiran, jung nangtung, rengkenek ngarampayak deui...

In a moment, Ikah appeared from the dark. As usual, she put powder on her face beside of a percussion player. She smeared lipstick on her lips, and combed her hair, stood up, and danced again...

In the passage quoted (and loosely translated) above, the words norojol, ledak, jung, and rengkenek are verbal intensifiers.

Hawe Setiawan

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Living Sundanese

At a new mall in Bandung an advertisement is read in Sundanese: 'Hapena hade pisan, facebook oge tiasa' (what a good cell phone, good also for facebook). In fact, as far as speech level is concerned, this advertisement is composed in a somewhat polite manner, except for the word 'hade' (it is better to use the word 'sae' which is polite). However, as the complexity of speech levels have only prevented new generations and foreigners from speaking Sundanese, this advertisement is all right. Why not?

A couple of years ago, amid the growing awareness to the so called deterioration of Sundanese culture, a big banner was displayed in the front window of a provincial government building in Bandung which was read in Indonesian language: 'Gunakan bahasa Sunda di lingkungan masing-masing!' (Please speak in Sundanese at your own quarters!). That was a sympathetic message from the Dinas Kebudayaan dan Pariwisata Jawa Barat (Culture and Tourism Bureau of West Java). The government, however, forgot the very instruction, for the message was written in Indonesian language, not in Sundanese language.

In Kuningan, a town in the eastern region of West Java, a tahu (soybean cake?) vendor displays a brand name: 'Mamaningeun'. The word 'maning' is Cirebonese dialect. The form 'mamaningeun', however, makes use of the suffix '-eun' which is known in Sundanese. As for its meaning the word 'mamaningeun' reminds us to the Sundanese word 'deudeuieun' (somewhat like addicted to). Hence, this new word is a hybrid which weds Cirebonese and Sundanese elements.

hawe setiawan

Saturday, 10 October 2009

The difference between moal and henteu

Sundanese Corner

The word moal refers to a situation where a speaker is not willing to do something, whereas the word henteu refers to a situation where a speaker is not doing something.

For instance:

Abdi moal ngiring rapat (I shall not attend the meeting);
Abdi henteu ngiring rapat (I am not attending the meeting);
Abdi henteu tiasa ngiring rapat (I can't attend the meeting);

Dupi salira tiasa nyarios basa Sunda (Do you speak Sundanese)?
Abdi tiasa/henteu tiasa nyanggem dina basa Sunda (I (do not) speak Sundanese).