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Hello Amir, how's life?
This is with me Fikri, greetings from Indonesia. I would like to ask you to help me enable and active the localisation for Rejang language. Its ISO code is rej. Actually, we have a little project about language's preservation through the usage of wikipedia's incubator. Your help will be helpful and help us a lot.
I truly thank you for your kindness and attention.
I wanted to check a couple of things to be sure that I'm configuring it correctly. Are there any other websites in this language? Or any online materials at all?
Hi, Amir. Thanks for such a positive reply. So sorry if I contacted you a quite late. We had many festivities here to celebrate the Eid Ul-Fitr. There are several online materials of this Rejang language. There are also several blogs created by Rejangs fellows, they either use Indonesian, Rejangs, or English.
Here you go (list of online materials and websites/blogs related to Rejangs language)
And for the bonus, this is the link to reach the incubator of Rejangs Wikipedia -> https://incubator.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wp/rej/Main_Page
DO not hesitate to reply this message. For your attention, I truly thank you.
Thanks for all the links.
There's a major difference that I see between the text in the incubator and all the other links you sent me: The Incubator frequently uses the letter "ɕ", and I don't see it anywhere else. Can you explain this please?
The Ak’saro Rikung (literally means lines by the knife) or popularly known as “Kaganga” or "Surat Ulu" was use to write Rejangs from as early as 1.300 AD. Ak’saro Rikung groupped by scholar with other scripts from neighboring languages in South Sumatera into one group called as “Surat Ulu” (literally means upstream scripts). This abugida is widely believed to be evolved from some Indic scripts used in Sriwijaya Kingdom. After the colonialisation of British and Dutch, and resistance of Dutch aims to re-colonise Indonesia which lasted till 1960s led to the degradation of literacy rate amongst Rejangs. Then Rejangs is to be seen just as a “spoken language”. Even some Rejangs itself considered the language as hard to be written.
Unofficially the ak’saro Rikung itself was later replaced by the Latin alphabet. The usage of Latin alphabet is easily seen in some newspapers, chat through the internet platform or sms. However official standard how to write Rejangs in Latin alphabet is never been passed by Badan Musyawarah Adat (BMA), which serves as de facto Rejangs institute. So we can say that until this day, there was no standard written form of Rejangs .
Then I and some of my senior high school friends try to communicate with as many stakeholder as we can about the mandatory of the Standard Rejangs written in Latin alphabet. You know, Indonesia is acknowledged just one language (Indonesian) to be the official, national, and standard language, used in various formal situation. After that we can say that many Indonesian vernacular languages including Rejangs will be diminished by nature, as parents now turn into Indonesian to speak with their children instead of Rejangs. From this objection we want to get involved in preservation of our mother tongue.
When we know that wikipedia has a feature called as incubator, we are trying to reach it and use it as the one alternative way to preserved Rejangs language. Our ambition grow stronger and stronger after seeing that Gorontalo was becoming the newest of 10 languages in Indonesia presented in wikipedia.
The last point, about the letter "ɕ", as Rejangs is never has its own standard to be written in Latin, people seems to write it normally as they write the phrases in Indonesia. But, Rejangs is rich in vowels and diphtongs as cited by McGinn in one of his paper. The usage /e/ in Indonesian that is being replicated to represents Rejangs sound of /ə/ and /e/, also /əi/ and /ei/ will create a major headache. So we proposed to use the letter "ɕ" to represent the /ə/ symbol.
Here is the example
- Upeak means old midrid or old gloves of the areca nut (in Rejangs language we called it "pinang"). Pronounce as u.peak. Upeak means tip or wage. Pronouce as u.pəak. For this word, we proposed the letter "ɕ" so it could be write as upɕak.
- Uleak means result of work, harvest, or production. Pronouce as u.leak. Uleak means work, effort, or problem. Peonounce as u.ləak. For this word, we proposed the letter "ɕ" so it could be write as upɕak.
- Seak means penis. Pronounce as seak. Seak means move on, shifted, or stand up. Pronounce as səak. For this word, we proposed the letter "ɕ" so it could be write as sɕak.
- Pet means bitter. Pronouce as pet (same as an English word of "pet"). Pet means place, about, concerning, or toward. Pronouce as pət. For this word, we proposed the letter "ɕ" so it could be write as pɕt
Honestly, the motive behind the usage of "ɕ" is from our experience encountering Rejangs materials printed. Those materials created a headache for us that considered as native speaker. We afraid that many other non-native will not be able to read and grasp the meaning properly. But we also acknowledge if we did not teach people about the letter "ɕ", what we have done in incubator will be useless as long as people can not understand it.
So sorry for such a long reply. Thanks.