Have you ever wondered if there are any endangered local languages in Indonesia? As an archipelago country, Indonesia contains many different tribes that make it riches in local languages outside of Indonesian.
It is reported that Indonesia has more than 800 local languages. The third of them claimed by experts is categorized as an endangered local language in Indonesia that should be protected.
After the independence declaration, a few years later the government decide Indonesian as the universal language for uniting the country by Sumpah Pemuda. After that time using the Indonesian language for daily use, such as business, education, and other things become a common habit for most Indonesian.
That fact brings a huge impact on the existence of local language that becomes endangered from time to time. If you are wondering what kind of endangered local languages are in Indonesia, here we have some of them on the list below.
Let’s check them out!
Woria is one of the most endangered local languages in Indonesia that come from Papua. That local language used to be spoken by the Papuan that lives around the eastern part of Cendrawasih bay specifically in Botawa village of Waropen regency one of the most remote areas in Indonesia.
Woria becomes critically endangered a few years ago because some Papuan in Botawa village speaks different local languages. In the east part of Botawa, they speak the Bonti language, while in the West part of Botawa they speak the Demise language, and in the northern part of Botawa, they speak the Waren language.
Due to social relationship, some of the local Papuan in Botawa village sometimes mixes their local language of Woria with other languages as well for communication.
Usku is one of the most endangered local languages in Indonesia that come from Papua. This local language speaks by some Papuans that live around the Usku village of Senggi district in Keerom regency which looks similar to some of the smallest islands in Indonesia.
Lately, it is reported that the Usku language only spoke by 20 people of adults Papuan in the Usku village. That makes this kind of local language have a critically endangered status, which should be preserved.
Usku is a local language of Papuan Usku village that is categorized as one of the most isolated local languages in Indonesia. It seems that they have a difficult way of preserving the language of their ancestors for their next inheritance.
3. Massep Language
Massep language is one of the most endangered local languages in Indonesia that comes originally from Papua. Some of the Papuans in Massep village of West Pantai district at Sarmi regency still speak using this local language that is different from some of the cities with the largest population in Indonesia.
Lately, it is reported that about 50 adults Papuan in Massep village still speak using Massep language while the others don’t. This kind of local language is well-known as the isolated language that most Papuan rarely speak using it which makes it critically endangered status.
4. Mansim Language
Mansim language is one of the most endangered local languages in Indonesia that comes originally from West Papua, one of the highest cities in Indonesia. Some of the West Papuan that lives around the Eastern Bird’s Head near the Manokwari region are speaking the Mansim language as it comes from their great ancestors.
Nowadays, the Mansim language is one of the most critically endangered local languages in Indonesia. Most West Papuan are barely speaking the Mansim language anymore and it’s reported only around 50 elders that keep using it.
5. Lolak Language
Lolak language is one of the most endangered local languages in Indonesia that originally comes from Celebes Island. Some of the tribes in the North of Sulawesi speak the Lolak language, which they believe comes from their Philippine ancestor.
Lolak language can be found around Lolak town in Bolaang Mongondow regency. Locals believe that their great ancestors are moving from one sea to another sea. That makes the Lolak language becomes critically endangered, now only 50 people speak Lolak.
6. Bangka Malay
Bangka Malay is one of the most endangered local languages in Indonesia that you can find in Bangka Belitung of Sumatra Island. Locals believe that the language comes from their great ancestors that urbanized from Malay that become one of the most isolated tribes in Indonesia.
Bangka Malay used to be spoken in some of Bangka Belitung’s tribes that live around Mentok, Belinyu, Sungailiat, Koba, Toboali, and Lom. Most of them come with different dialects depending on the region and nowadays becomes rare to hear locals speak this language.
7. Sahu Language
Sahu language is one of the most endangered local languages in Indonesia that you can found in around Halmahera Island. Some of the tribes on the island speak in Sahu with different accents depending on where region they lived.
Locals in Halmahera Island believe that the Sahu language is a loanword from the Ternate language that comes from the Moluccas as the center of the city on the Island. As time goes by, locals that speak in Sahu language become rare which makes it almost extinct.
8. Wetarese Language
Wetarese language is one of the most endangered local languages in Indonesia that you can find around Wetar Island South of Maluku. This kind of local language is used to be spoken by more than half people on the islands.
As time goes by many immigrant communities started to live around Wetar Island making the local tribe of Wetarese decrease in amount. That makes them rarely speak in Wetarese language for social relationships and other matters.
So, there are some of the most endangered local languages in Indonesia that are mostly extinct and have a critically endangered status. As a local tribe of Indonesian, we should preserve these local languages as the part of richest Indonesian culture that is hardly found in another country.