Javanese

Javanese is an Austronesian language spoken principally on the island of Java, Indonesia. Most Javanese speakers are also speakers of Indonesian, which is the national language of Indonesia, With around 45% of the population of Indonesia being of Javanese descent, it is the native language of almost 100 million people. While Javanese has its own script, it is increasingly written in Latin script. Javanese has three distinct speech levels, with different vocabulary and syntax for each, depending on the status of speakers. Acquisition of the appropriate forms for each level, and understanding which level to use when, is particularly challenging for native English speakers. Javanese is usually only taught as an extension to Indonesian studies, as cultural and linguistic influences between the two are significant. Acquisition of Javanese provides special access to important elements of Indonesian culture which have Javanese roots, such as Javanese dance, gamelan (music), batik, wayang kulit (shadow puppets), and various forms of written epic literature.

Number of people in Australia who speak this language at home: 56 (ABS Census Data, 2011)

Language Category: Asian Languages

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