Language Shift

atlantis

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Kamu is of course very familiar. I used it quite often in conversation between friends. In Bali we use it (probably because lu - gue wasn't used) when speaking in Indonesian. In Balinese there are several levels of familiarity and politeness, so it gets more confusing.

But now even between friends, kamu is not used anymore.
Pretty much the same here, in Manado. I quite often use ngana (the local equivalent for kamu) but only with male friends and male staff.

I would use "Pak", "Bu", "Om", "tante" , "Oma", "Opa" and any third person pronoun when addressing someone not close to me . Like in your example "Itu mobil kamu ya?", we would be saying "Pak pe oto ne?'.

If I talk to any of our pembantu (which is the correct word to use here in Manado, using "asisten" would have pretty much anyone wondering who the heck you are talking about/to) I would also tend to use their first name either directly or indirectly when talking to them like in "Ros, tolong bawa tu tas di dapur" or "Annie pe baju ini kang? " while in fact talking directly to Annie but avoiding the use of a second person pronoun which would be far too familiar and would most probably making her uncomfortable.
 

jstar

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In fact it's similar in written form. If you see the WA or Messenger messages, the "Mbak" or "Bu" is repeated a million times. People are addressed in 3rd person as well. Highly inefficient.
 

john madden

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After a social gathering last night I heard my wife use "asisten" for the first time. She explained that the individual was not employed for housework rather for personal support, accompanying the employer while travelling etc.
 

Puspawarna

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If "kamu" is out, what about "aku"? And for that matter, "saya"?

I always feel like such a stereotypical, stilted, not-very-conversant expat when I use "saya" all the time. For example, I might say to my gamelan teacher, "Ma'af Pak, saya belum mengerti lagu ini, karena saya sibuk sekali di kantor, jadi saya belum punya kesempatan belajar. Saya malu."

And even while I'm babbling, I'm thinking ... "jeez, you'd never hear an Indonesian talk that way! They never say "saya" all the time." But I could never substitute "aku," because I would fear being impolite. Besides, if I've been talking to my driver for 10 years calling myself "saya," it would be weird to switch all of the sudden.
 

atlantis

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the individual was not employed for housework rather for personal support, accompanying the employer while travelling etc.
Exactly. This is how we would imagine an assisten here.

I had once this discussion with our maids asking them their feeling about it. For them it was obvious that they should be referred as pembantu and when I asked if assisten wouldn't be more suitable they really had the giggles and this air of incredulity in the eyes as in "Sudah pak bos so saki jiwa!'

I am always cautious with this sort of thread, which are very "Jakartan" imho. What may be definitely true in Jakarta may be
totally absurd in other parts of Indonesia.
 

jstar

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When it rains in Jakarta, it drizzles in the rest of the country.

It takes some time, esp. when there are different languages or dialects, but everything is being adopted. As in any country with a heavy centralized structure and mass movement by ‘financial migrants’ to the capital or major cities, a forced national language, and more and more young people with access to education, trends get replicated. And much faster now with social media (what TV stations couldn’t do in decades).

In fact almost nobody is really ‘from Jakarta’, there are not so many Betawi people. If you’re in Jakarta, just take a sample in any Grab car, restaurant, shop, .... Pak / Bu / Mas / Mbak / Ko / Ci, asal mana?
 

atlantis

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When it rains in Jakarta, it drizzles in the rest of the country.

It takes some time, esp. when there are different languages or dialects, but everything is being adopted.
Many things from Jakarta have never been adopted in Manado/Sulawesi Utara and will never be, especially when it comes to the language. Any Manadonese, living in our area, has his language deeply rooted. As well as religion it is part of his/her identity (you would often hear "torang pe bahasa" with a loud emphasis on the first word) and influences from Jakarta is certainly not encouraged in the language field, if not rejected. Talking like a Jakartan doesn't make you look smart here, save perhaps in some very elitist circles. Quite the opposite in fact. Jakarta doesn't have the attraction for Manadonese it perhaps has for Indonesian from other parts of Indonesia.

We are yet to say gue and lo, for example despite being widely popularized by TV, sosmed, songs...etc nor it would come spontaneously to anyone's mind to call someone mas or mbak, even if they are Muslim. If, following Nimbus' OP, it was normal "Back in the 70's (probably even the 80's) [...] to refer to your household staff as 'babu' and 'jongos'" in Jakarta, if I ask my Minahasan wife, they are terms she obviously knows but terms she has never heard of in Manado for the 40+ years she has been living here.

To take an example from one of your posts, arloji albeit not often used, is still very actual here as well as a plethora of other dutch words. People have just forgotten they are of dutch origin. We use maar and voor as you probably know, and it often amuses me to explain to Manadonese that the latter as nothing to do with the english "for" but as its origin back to the dutch. Many, especially among the youth, ignores it.

Despite the rain in Jakarta, it doesn't systematically mean drizzling here, especially when it comes to our language.

Even educated kids, like the one in my kids' school, barely speak Bahasa Indonesia properly. English, with the trend of ""all courses in English" schools has become their first language along with bahasa Manado.

This phenomena of calling maids assisten is nothing really new (as in "just happening now"). We have had similar threads, specifically on assisten vs pembantu in the old forum a few years ago.

I very much agree witth Nimbus who said that in a decade or so Jakarta will call its maids 'household manager' or just 'manager'. Assisten is definitely NOT a paten word and will change, well before that manadonese consider calling their pembantu "assisten"".

 

Nimbus

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If "kamu" is out, what about "aku"? And for that matter, "saya"?

I always feel like such a stereotypical, stilted, not-very-conversant expat when I use "saya" all the time. For example, I might say to my gamelan teacher, "Ma'af Pak, saya belum mengerti lagu ini, karena saya sibuk sekali di kantor, jadi saya belum punya kesempatan belajar. Saya malu."

And even while I'm babbling, I'm thinking ... "jeez, you'd never hear an Indonesian talk that way! They never say "saya" all the time." But I could never substitute "aku," because I would fear being impolite. Besides, if I've been talking to my driver for 10 years calling myself "saya," it would be weird to switch all of the sudden.
A teacher is decidedly a person of authority, so using 'saya' is proper. Besides, the first person pronoun is less of a problem than the second. I would not use 'aku' to a supir, because it sounds too intimate.

When in doubt, go for 'saya'.

A lot of Indonesians rephrase the sentence to eliminate pronouns altogether. Instead of saying "Pak, saya masih belum mengerti", they say "Masih belum mengerti, Pak". It's less exacting, but since you're the one saying it, then it's safe to assume that it's you who doesn't understand yet.

As half my brain is wired in English, I find myself using a lot of 'saya' in written Indonesian these days. I would often catch myself and rewrite it, because Indonesians just don't use that many first person pronouns.
 

jstar

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In some cases, rather old sayings become very popular again.

An example from the selebriti and gossip scene: Teman makan teman. It's when the partner is cheating with the best friend.

Another ancient one that has become very trendy, really drives me crazy. It is the constant use of Amin. And it is done by all religious denominations but mainly by ibu[sup]2[/sup]. So every time someone is making a 'motherhood and apple pie' statement or expressing a cliché (e.g. as long as you're healthy), the whole group starts to yell "Amin!". Bah.
 
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