February 12, 2010

Balinese dancers in 1929

Om Swastyastu.

This is a photo that I found on Wikipedia with the description Potret dua gadis penari Bali Portrait of two young Balinese dancers. If possible, I would like to add many photos and perhaps some videos also here to liven my blog up! If I only have article after article, I suppose everyone will be very bored, even me. Yeah, I have to find some photos and videos. If you have any photos that you would like to share with me, let me know.

Here are a few review sentences from my first lesson. The first group I will give in both Bahasa Indonesia and English. I realized that for me I should change the order of the translations. In my previous post, I gave the sentences and vocabulary in this order Alus - Bahasa Indonesia - English, but after trying to study the material, it seems to work better for me to first give the English so that I can try to get a mental image first of what I am about to say, followed by the Bahasa Indonesa so that I still have the image and now the new grammar, finally followed by the Basa Bali which basically shares the same grammar as Indonesian but substituting new vocabulary. In the first group that follows I won't give the English on purpose, trying to force myself or if anyone else who comes by here to think in Indonesian or Balinese. The second group will be only in Balinese. I am making up these sentences by my own and there may very well be some mistakes. If you understand basa Bali and you find a mistake, please let me know.

Bahasa Indonesia - Alus
Boleh saya bertanya? - Dados tiang matakén?
Dari mana Anda? - Saking napi jeroné?
Saya dari New York di Amérika. - Tiang saking New York ring Amérika.
Saya tinggal di Kuta. - Tiang meneng ring Kuta.
Bisa saya tahu nama Anda? - Dados uningin parabé?
Nama saya Polos. - Parab tiangé Polos.
Anda siapa? - Sira parab jeroné?
Nama saya Hendra. - Wastan tiangé Hendra.
Saya guru. - Tiang dados guru.
Saya mahasiswa. - Tiang dados mahasiswa.
Mau ke mana Anda? - Jagi kija?
Saya main-main. - Tiang malelancaran.

This second group will be only in Balinese. I am making up these sentences by my own and there may very well be some mistakes. If you understand basa Bali and you find a mistake, please let me know, because I would appreciate your help tremendously. The following sentences might be easier to understand because I will use the same sentence pattern filling in new vocabulary.

Tiang saking New York.
Tiang saking Fukuoka.
Tiang saking Denpasar.
Tiang saking Amérika.
Tiang saking Jepang.
Tiang saking Bali.
Tiang saking Australia.
Tiang saking Kanada.
Tiang saking Jerman.
Tiang saking Perancis.

Tiang meneng ring Sanur.
Tiang meneng ring Ubud.
Tiang meneng ring Nusa Dua.

Tiang meneng ring Jimbaran.
Tiang meneng ring Denpasar.
Tiang meneng ring Legian.
Tiang meneng ring Seminyak.
Tiang meneng ring Candidasa.
Tiang meneng ring Lovina.
Tiang meneng ring Semarapura.

Parab tiangé ʻAnalū.
Parab tiangé Hendra.
Parab tiangé Wayan.
Parab tiangé Madé.
Parab tiangé Nyoman.
Parab tiangé Ketut.
Parab tiangé Komang.
Parab tiangé Putu.
Parab tiangé Gedé.
Parab tiangé Adé.


February 11, 2010

Guat-guat Tsunami di Bali

Om Swastyastu!

Have you heard of the Bali Post? When I was in Bali, someone told me that on every Sunday there are two or three pages in the newspaper devoted to writing news in Balinese. After just a little searching on the web, I was able to soon find the homepage. As far as I know, there are articles written only in Indonesian or Balinese, nothing in English, but if you are interested in learning either Indonesian or Balinese, make sure you check out the newspapers online. Or, even if you are not that interested in learning these two languages, you can still check out the online newspapers which are full of photos and ads to get a feel for Bali or perhaps even get some information. The section of the newspaper for articles written in Balinese is called Bali Orti. Orti is Balinese for news. On the right hand side of the homepage you should be able to find a small photo of the current copy of the newspaper. If you click on it, you will be able to read the newspaper online. There is also a calendar and I have noticed that often Sunday's copy isn't available. I don't know why? That is in fact the one day of the week which is most interesting for me because of the Bali Orti section. At the top of the homepage there is also a tab with the same name Bali Orti and we can find some articles written in Balinese but much fewer than the actually Sunday paper. Bookmark the link and check back on Sundays!

What do I plan to write here? Of course, I wanted to share the above information with everyone and next I would like to copy an article in my blog from the homepage. This is going to be very boring for everyone, but I will tempt to highlight the words that I understand as sort of a way of giving myself a boost of self-confidence if you can call it that. At this very early stage, I will probably be highlighting only those words which resemble either English or Indonesian. In a way, this is very embarrassing because you can see exactly what little of the language I really understand, and that goes for the Indonesian loan words used in the article too! If my Indonesian was flawless, I am sure that I would be able to guess the meaning of so much more. Oh well, I have to start some place. Why don't you also try printing up an article for the Bali Post and highlighting the words that you know? It might just turn out to be a fun exercise!

Here is the article in red and the link to the original on the Bali Post homepage posted on February 6, 2010. I will highlight the words that I understand in blue:

Guat-guat Tsunami di Bali

Ngebitang catetan-catetan indik tsunami ring Bali. Yén ten iwang wénten Bali sampun keni tsunami ping pitu. Punika sané kacatet.

Pusat Penelitian Lingkungan Hidup Universitas Udayana (PPLH Unud), nyatet wénten ping pitu tsunami sané ngeninin Bali inggih punika ring warsa 1818, 1848,1917,1925, 1930, 1985, lan 1994. “Agengnyané tsunami sané ngeninin Bali wantah seperdelapan saking tsunami sané ngeninin Acéh lan Timor-Timur. Nanging frékuénsi tsunami ring Bali agengan malih seperlima saking tsunami sané ngeninin Jawa Timur lan NTB,” baos PPLH Unud, Drs. R. Suyarto, M.Si. Suyarto taler maosang tsunami sané ring Bali kaawinang olih linuh.

Tiosan kaawinang olih linuh, manut staf BMKG Sanglah, Madé Kris Adi Astra, wénten petang gejala alam sané ngawinang tsunami. “Maka patpat inggih punika linuh, longsor, letusan gunung berapi, lan météor,” Kris nugesin. Kris taler maosang Bali rumasuk daérah sané rawan keni tsunami. “Punika nénten prasida kapasahang saking mekanisme gempa pembangkit tsunami ring Indonésia sané durung becik kauningin,” Kris ngwewehin.

Yadiastun Bali rumasuk daérah sané rawan keni tsunami manut penelitian Suyarto, tsunami ring Bali rumasuk daérah kategori tingkat berbahaya. “Tegehnyané tsunami sawatara 1-5 métér,” baos Suyarto. Manut Suyarto, daérah Bali kantun beténan ring daérah pantai selatan Banyuwangi sané rumasuk sangat berbahaya santukan poténsi tegehnyané tsunami lebihan saking limang meter.

Manut Kris, daérah selatan Bali sané paling rawan keni tsunami. “Santukan, yéning kacingakin saking sejarah, Bali sering keni tsunami tetangga,” baos Kris. Punika awinan linuh ring provinsi tetangga salanturnyané tsunami ngantos ka Bali. Imbanyané, tsunami sané kaawinang olih linuh ring selatan Sumbawa warsa 1977 lan tsunami warsa 1994 sangkaning linuh di selatan Jawa.

Tabél Tsunami di Bali


Waktu Sumber


22 Novémber 1815 Bali -
8 Novémber 1818 Laut Jawa-Laut Flores
21 Januari 1917 Laut Bali
19 Juli 1930 Laut Jawa
13 April 1985 Laut Bali lan Pasifik
19 Agustus 1977 Sumbawa
2 Juni 1994 Laut Jawa


Sumber; BMKG

Tiosan ring punika taler manut Suyarto, daérah Bali sané mapoténsi keni tsunami ngantos 29.112,480 ha. “Daérah sané berpoténsi tinggi keni 14.268,060 ha lan berpoténsi sedang wantah 14.844, 420 ha. Punika ring 33 kecamatan ring kutus kabupatén di Bali,” Suyarto nuturang. (iwa)

Here are two new words that I understood from this newspaper article. I will note them now but I probably won't spend much time on memorizing them because I prefer to learn by heart only the words in my vocabulary lists for the moment.

sané - yang - which, that
lan - dan - and


February 10, 2010

Carakan - M

Om Swastyastu.

After working for about two hours on my computer, I have finally made something to share with everyone. Do you remember seeing the Bali script written on street signs or temples while you were in Bali? The name of this alphabet is called Carakan in Everyday Balinese, my Balinese textbook, and although it is quite complicated, if man wrote it and writes it, surely man or foreigners can learn it! How am I going to fit this into my schedule? Oh well, even if I learn only half of the Carakan this year, those signs won't look so strange and foreign to me the next time I am in Bali. Besides, I was able to learn Japanese and there are many, many more characters used in Japanese than in Balinese. I know that I can do it with a lot of determination. Let's try learning these letters together! Here is a photo that I took from Wikipedia of the basic letters in the alphabet:

I tried to make the following graphic so that I could try learning both the letter which represents m and the basic vowels. If there is no vowel added to the consonant, it should be pronounced with the vowel a understood. If we take a look at the first letter which I have labeled as ma, in fact only the letter m has been written, but the vowel a is thought to be part of that letter. I don't really understand the whole system just yet, but I will start here. The second group of two letters is the m with an i written above it. Next, the third group of letters. Here we see the and mu giving us mu. The next one is a little tricky because the vowel sound is written first. I studied just a little bit of the Thai alphabet before and understand that the vowels were written just like these Balinese ones: behind, in front, on top, under or both in front and behind the consonants. The same principle is used here as all these alphabets are derived from India. I understand the principles, now I only have to learn the shapes!

So, can I really learn all these letters this week? There is the m plus the five or six vowels, depending on how you count the letter o? I will try! Let's try together! I downloaded this font to my computer, that is why I was able to make the graphic above and could actually type using this alphabet in my blog, but I think that if you don't have the same font installed, you won't be seeing what I am seeing. For the moment, I will just try making a graphic. It takes me forever to make it, but I will get the hang of it and since it is a picture, everyone should be seeing what I have intended for them to see.


February 9, 2010

Everyday Balinese

Om Swastyastu!

Here are a few sentences about myself using the words and grammar from yesterday. Parab tiangé ʻAnalū. Tiang dados guru. Tiang meneng ring Jepang. Did everyone understand? If not, check out my post from yesterday.

I am very busy everyday but if possible I would like to post as often here as possible. Trying to post new vocabulary, grammar and example sentences every time would be way too much for me. I plan to only post those things more or less once a week. In my other posts I want to share what little knowledge I have about Bali, introducing some of my favorite links or just writing about my thoughts. Today is sort of the culture day and I have chosen to write about the textbook which I am using because it is very precious to me since it contains a wealth of knowledge just waiting to be used.

This is the textbook that I am using.

The title is Everyday Balinese written by I Gusti Made Sutjaja and can be found here at Amazon or any other online bookstore. Amazon has the book listed at $12. Thinking about the contents, I would have paid even double for it. If you take a look at the book on Amazon you can use the Click to Look Inside feature and get a better idea of what the book looks like. It was first published in 2009 and has 192 pages. The book is divided into 23 lessons giving the lumrah or common speech level, the alus or refined speech level along with the Indonesian and English translations. The book does have some grammar points, but there are quite concise and anyone with a working knowledge of Indonesian will probably find the textbook more than easy enough to understand. The subjects in the lessons look geared towards tourists. Here are is the full list of titles of each chapter: Who are you? What is this? What is that? Where are you going? Who is this? What kind of dog is this? Where's the sea around here? When are you going to the mountain? What food is this? How many days will you be away? What day is it today? Where may I sit? Why did you go out just now? Why are you looking so sad? May I? When is he coming? What's up? Which are you going to buy? How many do you have? What's the name of that lake? Is there a shop here? Do you want to learn to write the Balinese script? What animal is that? After all of these lessons, there are a few appendices: Names of Days, Ordinal Numbers, Greetings, followed by a Handy Dictionary. Well, this is the book! My precious textbook! The book which will be teaching me the basics of basa Bali!


February 8, 2010

Palajahan 01 - Alus

Om Swastyastu.

Hello everyone! Today I want to start the first lesson in my book Everyday Balinese by I Gusti Made Sutjaja. I have been thinking about what and how to post on my blog from this textbook. It must take a lot of time, energy and thought to write any book and I don't just want to simply post word from word from my textbook because of copyright laws, but also I truly respect the author I Gusti Made Sutjaja. My blog shouldn't take the place of his book even in a small way, but instead, I would be pleased to know that because of my blog perhaps someone out there is intrigued enough to buy the book! If many people were to buy the book I suppose it would encourage I Gusti Made Sutjaja to write another book!

It is hard to understand exactly how many different speech levels there are in Balinese and looking at some of my reference books, I see that the number really depends on the linguist or student. In Everyday Balinese two levels are discussed which are most likely the basics and good enough for me to get started with. The first level is called lumrah or common and is as the author writes "used by the ordinary people in the streets". The second speech level is alus or refined which is "used by persons of a higher status or caste such as priests". It seems that the grammar is basically the same for the two levels but there is a huge difference in the vocabulary which is used. I am sure that it is going to be very confusing for me to try to learn both the lumrah and the alus vocabulary at the same time. I will probably ended up mixing the two up and forgetting which word belongs to which class. I shouldn't worry and remember that the important thing is to try. Surely no Balinese will think I am rude if I go to all the trouble of completing this whole textbook and get mixed up with speech levels when speaking in Bali.

How should I try to learn the two different speech levels? This is sort of freaking me out. I really don't think that I can learn the two at the exact same time. I suppose that I Gusti Made Sutjaja, the author, had a very good reason for teaching the two levels at the same time. I will adjust the textbook to meet my needs and will first work through just one level from lesson 1 all the way through to lesson 23 and then come back to the first lesson and start over again, but learning the other level at that time. The question is which should I learn first? I suppose that if I were living in Bali and had many Balinese speaking friends, it would be wiser for me to learn lumrah level first so that I could try out my language skills with my friends. Since I am not leaving in Bali and have only one Balinese speaking friend to whom I sometimes send an email, I will first concentrate on the alus style. The alus style is referred to as being refined. I looked at a few articles written in Balinese in the Bali Post and as far as I could understand, a lot of alus words were being used. It seems best for me to start with the alus style and then later continue on to the lumrah style as I plan to use the articles in the Bali Post as an exercise in the language.

Here is my first vocabulary list. I plan to memorize all these words this week. There are only 25 and I don't think that it will be too difficult for me to learn them by heart in a week. I will list the alus form, the Indonesian translation and finally the English. The Indonesian will be a help to me or anyone else who is reading this blog and has a working knowledge of the language.

Alus - Bahasa Indonesia - English
dados - menjadi - to be, become
dados - boleh - may
désa - desa - village
guru - guru - teacher
jaga - akan - shall, will
jero - Anda - you
kija - ke mana - where
malelancaran - tamasya - to sightsee
matakén - bertanya - to ask
meneng - tinggal - to stay, live
napi - apa - what
niki - ini - this, these
parab - nama - name
ring - di - at, in
saking - dari - from
sira - siapa - who
suwitra - teman - friend
tiang, titiang - aku, saya - I
uning - tahu - to know
wasta - nama - name
Amérika - Amérika - America
Jepang - Jepang - Japan
Kanada - Kanada - Canada
Australia - Australia - Australia

The last four words are not in the textbook but I added them to my list because they are relevant and if possible I would like to learn at least 25 new words a week. And now a few examples using the grammar and words presented in this palajahan or lesson.

Alus - Bahasa Indonesia - English
Dados tiang matakén?
- Bolehkah saya bertanya? - May I ask a question?
Saking napi jeroné? - Dari manakah Anda? - Where are you from?
Tiang saking Fukuoka ring Jepang. - Saya dari Fukuoka di Jepang. - I am from Fukuoka in Japan.
Tiang meneng ring Sanur. - Saya tinggal di Sanur. - I am staying in Sanur.
Dados uningin parabé? - Bisa saya tahu nama Anda? - May I know your name?
Parab tiangé ʻAnalū. Sira parab jeroné? - Nama saya ʻAnalū. Anda siapa? My name's ʻAnalū. What's yours?
Wastan tiangé Hendra. - Nama saya Hendra. - My name's Hendra.
Tiang dados guru. - Saya adalah guru. - I'm a teacher.
Tiang dados mahasiswa. - Saya adalah seorang mahasiswa. - I'm a university student.
Jagi kija? - Mau ke manakah Anda? - Where are you going?
Tiang malelancaran. - Saya main-main. - I'm just traveling and seeing places.

I have relied heavily on my textbook for these example sentences and in the future as my understanding of grammar and vocabulary increases, I plan to use less and less of the textbook. Once again, I strongly suggest that if you are interested in studying Balinese, please buy the same textbook that I am using Everyday Balinese by I Gusti Made Sutjaja. It is a must buy for anything willing to learn a bit of the language. Besides, I doubt that there are any typos in the book! I am not sure about my blog here. If you find any, let me know!

Did you notice that there are two words for the word name in the list above - parab and wastan. I wonder what the difference is? It could be that in the alus speech level, there are some words which are even more polite than others. I am just guessing on this and it would be wonderful if someone could leave a comment in the future. Until then, I will just try to remember that there are two words for name. I shouldn't question everything, but I will make a mental note of these two words.

Is anyone interested in learning Balinese besides me? There must be! Come on! Learn the words above with me! We have one week. If I can do it, I am sure that you can also. Good luck to both of us, or all of us!


February 6, 2010


Om Swastyastu. This is my first posting in my new blog for learning basa Bali or the Balinese language. I chose the word nyumu which means start for the title of this very first posting as it describes precisely what I am writing here - nyumu for this blog and also nyumu for my undertaking of basa Bali.

There are three main reasons for me to start a blog about basa Bali and the culture of that beautiful island. First of all, if I am well organized by using this blog, I will perhaps be able to find a grammar point, vocabulary word, example sentence, link or other tidbit about Bali easier and faster than if I were to have to search through scraps of papers with notes and vocabulary floating around my apartment. My second reason is since I don't live in Bali and am quite out of touch with the culture there, I can use this blog as a little island in cyberspace where I might be able to meet others interested in the culture and language of Bali. This is my place for enjoying an educational experience with Bali. It would be wonderful to get help from anak Bali Balinese people since I am studying all alone or just some feedback and encouragement from anyone who is also struggling to learn basa Bali or anything related to Bali. Finally, my third reason is that if I am studying basa Bali in the open like this, on internet for the whole world to see, perhaps it will give me more pressure to continue rather than give up after a few weeks or so. I read before that if you really want to succeed at a diet, it is best to tell the whole world rather than keep it a secret. By telling everyone around you, it pushes you a little more and also you might get a positive word or two from your loved ones. This makes sense to me.

Ok, why basa Bali? I went to Bali for the first time at the end of last year, December 2009. It was my first trip to Indonesia and I chose Bali because I had been studying a little of the Indonesian language and was able to find a language school in Bali where I could study Indonesian in the mornings during my one week stay there. I had a hard time trying to speak only in Indonesian during my short trip to Bali and would like to have learned a little more basa Bali but it just wasn't possible. I couldn't help but feel that I was a complete tourist in every sense of the word when I spoke in English and at such a time there was a big wall and gap between me and the people around me. When I tried using my Indonesian, I felt that wall was lower and the people seemed to smile, but when I used the few little Balinese expressions that a taxi driver taught me, I finally felt that the wall was at its lowest between me and the anak Bali when I spoke even a word or two to them in their language and not the national language or the international language. While I was in Bali, I truly fell in love with the island, its people and culture. Only a month has passed since I returned from my trip there but this feeling of Baliness, which I call it, hasn't worn off the least and I am dreaming about my next trip to Bali which I hope to take at the end of this year!

I was able to buy a copy of the book Everyday Balinese byI Gusti Made Sutjaja this week and now I feel that I am finally ready to get started with a little basa Bali! But, I am extremely busy! February and September are my two busiest months here, with February topping all the other months without a doubt! I am a teacher and more or less work every day from nine in the morning until nine at night. Also, I am studying Indonesian with a teacher three hours a week. I need about four hours for preparation time for each hour spent together with my Indonesian teacher! In addition, I am taking some advanced classes for the Hawaiian language and have lots of homework to do! Can I really find the necessary time to study Balinese? It is a good question, but I have to try. If anyone else is just as busy but still feels the strong desire to learn Balinese, drop me a line! We need to stick together! Giving each other support, I am sure that we can keep at our Balinese studies.

It is Saturday night here and I am really exhausted. I don't usually have to work on the weekends but I have just too much work at the moment and had no choice. I worked today from about eleven o'clock in the morning until nine at night. I should just turn my computer off, but I want to get started with this blog and my Balinese studies.

Let me take a quick look through Everyday Balinese. There are exactly 23 lessons. If I try to master one lesson a week or even break it up into two weeks for one lesson, I should still be able to cover the whole book during this year of preparation for my December trip to Bali. I am trying to think of a good pace for using the textbook. Should I try to cover one chapter in a week or in two weeks? I know that my teaching job will keep me busy and I have to study a lot of Indonesian and Hawaiian, not to mention Korean! Just for the records, I already speak English, Japanese, French and Italian. I am working hard on Indonesian and Hawaiian while my Korean has not improved a bit because of the lack of study time. Hmmmm. Basa Bali? Also, I bought a few books and dictionaries to learn basa Jawa and I am very much interested in basa Sunda because my Indonesian language teacher speaks that language. There isn't enough time for all of my interests! Ok, back to looking at Everyday Balinese. There are roughly 35 new words for one chapter of my Balinese textbook and I am quite sure that I can memorize that number of words in a week. There are two levels of speech in Balinese like in Javanese or Sundanese and this textbook gives both, which means double studying for each lesson. I am sure that I have to split one lesson into two weeks. I will try studying the common speech level during the first week and the refined speech level during the second week. Wish me good luck!

I have an Indonesian lesson tomorrow morning and have to get up early to study for that. I should soon stop, but I will try to post something here in a day or two. I wonder how to say good-bye in basa Bali?