Learn Javanese Alphabet – Script and Latin Writing Complete with Examples

Java tribe is one of ethnic groups in Indonesia. It is categorized as one of big ethnic groups in Indonesia. Java tribe has rich culture. One of the culture that attracts some people is the language. Every provinces in Java has their own dialect. Moreover, Javanese people has their way on how to address people in Javanese. Another uniqueness of Javanese is on the alphabet. The Javanese alphabet is different from latin alphabet.

The Javanese alphabet or Javanese script is called hanacaraka or carakan. Even though the direction of the writing is the same which is from left to right in horizontal line, the alphabet has different form. The writing process in Javanese script is different with the usual writing process. Also learn about Indonesian Words A-Z List

Let’s learn Javanese alphabet! There are some types of Javanese script that is mentioned below:

Hanacaraka script

Hanacaraka script is the basic alphabet of Javanese script. Every alphabet has own pair. The function of this script is to delete vocal letter. These script consists of one or more alphabet. There are twenty alphabet in Hanacaraka. Each Hanacaraka has meaning.

1. Ha na ca ra ka

It is H N C R K for international alphabet.
H as in Hurip means life.
N as in Legeno means bare
C as in Cipta means idea or creativity
K as in Karya means work.
H is voiceless as in Hurip. Hurip is read urip.

2. Da ta sa wa la

in latin, it is D T S W L.
D as in Dodo means chest.
T as in Toto means arrange
S as in Saka means foundation.
W as in Weruh means seeing.
L as in Lakuning Urip means the meaning of life.

Another meaning of Da ta sa wa la is:

Da-ta (affiliation of da and ta) means essence.
S as in Satunggal means the one.
W as in Wigati means kind.
L as in ala means bad.

3. Pa Dha Ja Ya Nya

Pa Dha Ja Ya Nya is actually a phrase. It can not be interpreted word by word. Pa dha ja ya nya means the same strength. In latin it is P Dh J Y Ny. 

4. Ma Ga Ba Tha Nga

It is M G B Th Ng
M as in Sukma means soul.
G as in Raga means body or physic.
B – Tha as in Bathang means human corpse.
Ng as in Lungo means gone.
In Javanese the letter a is read as o. For example in saka that is read as soko. Cipta is read as cipto.

Wilangan script

Wilangan script or numbering script is the way to write number in Javanese.

Punctuation script

In writing process, it is very important to have great punctuation. It also applies in Javanese script. The application of punctuation in Javanese is different, it depends on

Sandhangan script

Sandhangan script is vocal letter that is not independent and written in the middle of the word. Sandhangan script is differentiated by the way to read.

Rekan script

Rekan script is the way to write in Javanese in loan words from Arabic.

Murda script

Murda script is written when a capital letter appears in the script. The function of this script is to write name of people, place, or any other words started with capital letter. It is also used to start a new paragraph. 

Pasangan script

The function of Pasangan is to delete from the script before. It is used to write syllable that is not contained in the vocal letter.

After learning about Javanese script, now let’s move on how to write Javanese in latin. A lot of people have mistaken to write in Javanese, even Javanese people. It is because Javanese people never learn about the writing process in Javanese. They do not know about the basic rule or hanacaraka script.

But now, it has been mentioned above, people should be aware on how to write in Javanese. Here’s some example of Javanese writing.

1. National hero : Diponegoro should be written in Diponegara.
2. Places name : Mojokerto should be written Majakerta.
In this case, the letter ‘a’ is read ‘o’. It does not need to add the consonant letter with ‘o’, because it is automatucally read ‘o’. Let’s learn more about Javanese Swear Words

Another example is this popular sentence which it means I am fine.

1. Aku rapopo. ( Wrong)
2. Aku ora apa-apa. ( Correct)

In Javanese, when Javanese is written incorrectly, the supposed meaning changes as well. For instance, in this lyrics “ Yen mangan ra diator wetengmu mesti loro” (If you eat the air conditioner, your stomach will become two). The meaning sounds so wrong. It must be written “ Yen mangan ra diatur, wetengmu mesthi lara ( If you do not eat properly, your stomach will get sick). Let’s take a look to Javanese slang words

The matter in Javanese is on how to write. So, if people want to learn Javanese properly, it is best to buy a dictionary.