Everything You Need To Learn Javanese
Javanese is an Austronesian language spoken by about 100 million people, most of whom live on the Indonesian island of Java. It’s one of the country’s official languages, along with Indonesian, and is also spoken in some parts of Malaysia and Suriname.
Javanese and Indonesian have a common origin, but while the two languages are closely related, they’re not mutually intelligible today.
Though there is a Javanese script ( ‘Hanacaraka’, a descendant of the Kawi script), the overwhelming majority of writing is done using the Latin script, with the exception of some religious texts.
Despite the vast number of speakers, learning resources for Javanese are almost nonexistent. We’ve managed to find a handful that we hope will at least give you a decent foundation in this mysterious language.
Javanese Language Learning Books
You won’t find much in the way of Javanese course books, we’re afraid. But there are a couple of books that take an in-depth look at Javanese grammar and structure. These could be useful to you as a complement to any other resources you’re able to find.
A Javanese dictionary and phrasebook, however, will be of greater immediate use to you, particularly if you want to start communicating in the language quite early on.
Javanese Children’s Books
Familiarizing yourself with the language can be done by reading Javanese-language books written for children. Such books are entertaining, full of helpful illustrations, and educational in that you get a real sense and feel for how Javanese functions in real life.