Javanese

Speaking and Listening Resources

This page provides several useful resources for independent Javanese learners looking to practice their listening and speaking. Unfortunately, the number of such resources is fairly limited (especially in English), as Javanese has not received the same amount of attention as other foreign languages.

1. Mango Mango is a language-learning website (and app) that offers Javanese lessons on a variety of useful topics including family, travel, school, money, shopping, and travel. Each lesson provides audio from a native Javanese speaker. However, these lessons do not go into the specifics of different language registers, and grammar is simplified.

Many public libraries and schools offer a free subscription to Mango.

2. Northern Illinois University This website is dedicated to Javanese language education and provides links to:

Waljinah: a famous Javanese singer

Basiyo (a famous Javanese comedian)

Gendhing (Javanese wedding songs),

Campursari (contemporary Javanese pop songs), and

Wayang Kulit  (shadow puppet performances)

3. Londo Kampung (Youtube Channel) Londo Kampung is a Youtube Channel run by Dave Jephcott, an Australian man who grew up and continues to live in Java. He is fluent in Javanese and is known for comedic videos where he surprises Javanese people with his language abilities. Londo Kampung generally speak in the Ngoko register.
4. The Sound of the Javanese language (UDHR, Number, Greetings & The Parable) This Youtube Video outlines various Javanese expressions, numbers, as well as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Javanese. This is helpful for seeing how Javanese is pronounced.

Some other things to note:
1. Spelling – while Javanese does have a standardized spelling, you may encounter other versions online. The largest discrepancy is with the letter a/o, for example with “basa” meaning language. The letter a is often pronounced as “oh,” but is generally spelled as an “a” in the current standardized spelling.
2. Register – many resources do not distinguish between registers, that is, they may provide all the dialogue or vocabulary in one register (either Ngoko or Krama, but not state or explain why).
3. Dialect – the resources you find may also vary in dialect. For example, “piye kabare” (how are you?) in the standard dialect may be seen as “yok apa kabare rek?” in the E. Javanese dialect.

License

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Resources for Self-Instructional Learners of Less Commonly Taught Languages by University of Wisconsin-Madison Students in African 671 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.