Please Activate Rejang Language Localisation

Fragment of a discussion from User talk:Amire80
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Last edit: 07:28, 28 June 2018

Hello again.

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Anok kutai jang (talk)07:23, 28 June 2018

So is it your own proposal? Is it used anywhere else?

And why ɕ and not ə or é? The letter ɕ is not used as a vowel—it's a consonant, Voiceless alveolo-palatal fricative.

Amir E. Aharoni (talk)07:27, 28 June 2018

Yes, our proposal. We already submitted it for the National Assembly of The Indonesia's Language. It is not a;lready yet to be used anywhere else. That's why you can not find it in every sites or online materials I've listed before.

Actually there is no real reason behind the usage of "ɕ" instead of ə or é. We guessed that the shape of "ɕ" is a quite similar with the normal "e". We want to give people especially those who are not the native that /e/ and /ə/ sounds of Rejangs are different and differentiate with two similar shaped of letters —ɕ and e, without any knowledge that it is a consonant (voiceless alveolo-palatal fricative).

But if some kind of this work is unrecognised able or violate any rules of the wikipedia and wikimedia as general, we can drop this "ɕ" and replace it by other variations of "e".

Anok kutai jang (talk)07:34, 28 June 2018

Usually, Wikipedia must not be the first thing where something is written. You should write as this language is written elsewhere.

If it is not written at all anywhere else, and Wikipedia is the first place where it is written, then I guess you should do whatever works for you. However, please note that before you will get your own domain, you will have to go through expert verification, and the expert will have to check whether the language in which you write is actually Rejang. If it will be too strange, it won't be approved.

Which letter to use? At this point it's just my personal opinion, but if you are using the Latin alphabet, then you should probably reuse letters that are already used in other Latin-based orthographies that are familiar to Rejang speakers. Using ɕ would be highly unusual, because it is only used in the IPA, it represents a consonant and not a vowel, and it doesn't appear in any keyboards (except specialized IPA keyboards).

Using é would probably be the most familiar thing because it's used in other languages of Indonesia, and it's the easiest letter to type on a keyboard. Using ə is also a possibility, although it may be harder to type. You should thing about solutions for typing and searching as early as possible in the process, so that everybody would be able to type ;)

Amir E. Aharoni (talk)07:50, 28 June 2018

Thank you for the opinion and suggestion. Really, we never talked or discuss how commoner type this "ɕ" while it does not appear in any keyboards as you said. We think that wikipedia (in this context is incubator) is a great why to spread the language as it is easy to use and free. I have seen the great impact of Wikipedia Bahasa Indonesia, providing students with many informations we never knew before the digital period is coming. And then, for the activete of the language, is it possible to get Rejangs activated? Or maybe there are several demands that I and some of my friends should fulfill first?

Anok kutai jang (talk)07:59, 28 June 2018

I'll probably activate it soon, but please decide about the alphabet as early as possible, and make it as standard as possible.

Will Wikipedia really be the first website ever in this language? Is there any other website in this language? Most of the links that you sent me earlier are articles about the language.

Amir E. Aharoni (talk)15:03, 28 June 2018

Hi Amir. So sorry for late reply. I did not realise that you already answered my request as since 28 June I never login. Seriously, there no website using Rejang language. Actually there are some, but mostly just talking about the language and ethnicity themselves. If we can lift up incubator to be full Wikipedia, I guess this will be first website ever using this language.

If you can activate it, I and my friend will be able to translate mediawiki as soon as possible. Our hope is dangling with you. Thank you.

Anok kutai jang (talk)09:44, 13 May 2019

Thanks for the update. I remembered this request and I was wondering what's up with it :)

I see that you cleaned up the orthography in the Incubator and replaced ɕ with ê. This looks sensible and corresponds to what I can find on some other websites. Thank you.

I will add it soon.

Amir E. Aharoni (talk)11:10, 13 May 2019