Banyumasan dialect

Basa Banyumasan, Basa Ngapak
Native to Western Part of Central Java (Indonesia)
Ethnicity Banyumasan people
Native speakers
12–15 million (date missing)
Dialects Tegalan, Banyumasan, Banten
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Glottolog None

Banyumasan, colloquially known as Basa Ngapak, is a dialect of Javanese spoken mainly in three areas of Java that is the Banyumasan, located in westernmost Central Java Province and surrounding the Slamet mountain and Serayu River; a neighboring area inside West Java Province; and northern region of Banten Province. This area includes Majenang, Cilacap, Gombong, Kebumen, Banjarnegara, Purbalingga, Purwokerto, Bumiayu, Slawi, Pemalang, Tegal, and Brebes regencies.


Scholars divide the development of Javanese language into four different stages:

The phases above were influenced by the emergence of empires in Java. In Javanese cultural history, empires yielded some distinct grades of language, each grade representing the social grade of the speakers (mainly nobles and populaces). Those grades of language are not of significant influence to Banyumasan people. In the Banyumasan region, high grades are usually used only when speaking to a stranger assumed to come from the eastern area of Java i.e. Yogyakarta / Surakarta etc., or on certain occasions. Surakartan and Yogyakartan style are usually considered the standard Javanese language.

Banyumasan has a lot of differences compared to standard Javanese, mainly in phonology, pronunciation and vocabulary. This happened due to cultural or character distinction and widely current usage of Old Javanese vocabulary. Another distinction is that the pronunciation of the vowels is not as complicated.

Vocabulary distinction basically found in:

Banyumasan Language Standard Javanese English
ageh ayo come on
ambring sepi quiet
batir kanca friend
bangkong kodok frog
bengel mumet dizzy
bodhol rusak broken
brug → Dutch loanwords kreteg bridge
bringsang sumuk hot
gering kuru thin
clebek kopi coffee
londhog alon slow
druni medhit stingy
dhonge/dhongane kudune should be
egin isih still
gableg duwe have
getul tekan arrive
gigal tiba fall
gili dalan road
gujih rewel fussy
jagong lungguh sit
kiye iki this
kuwe iku that
letek asin salty
maen apik good
maregi nyebeli badly


Javanese speech varies depending on social context, yielding three distinct styles, or registers. Each style employs its own vocabulary, grammatical rules and even prosody. This is not unique to Javanese; neighbouring Austronesian languages as well as East Asian languages such as Korean, Japanese and Thai share similar constructions.

In Javanese these styles are called:

  1. Ngoko is informal speech, used between friends and close relatives. It is also used by persons of higher status to persons of lower status, such as elders to younger people or bosses to subordinates.
  2. Madya is the intermediary form between ngoko and krama. An example of the context where one would use madya is an interaction between strangers on the street, where one wants to be neither too formal nor too informal.
  3. Krama is the polite and formal style. It is used between persons of the same status who do not wish to be informal. It is also the official style for public speeches, announcements, etc.

In Banyumasan region, Madya and Krama styles are rarely used, usually towards a stranger who is assumed to come from the eastern area of Java (wetanan) such as Yogyakarta, Surakarta etc. or on certain occasions, an eastern style of language (basa wetanan) named bandhekan (from gandhek).

Dialects and sub-dialects

There are 3 main dialects of Banyumasan language: North area (Tegalan), South area (Banyumasan), and Banten. The Tegalan dialect is spoken in northern areas of Banyumasan: Tanjung, Ketanggungan, Larangan, Brebes, Slawi, Moga, Pemalang, Surodadi and Tegal. The Banyumasan dialect is spoken in southern areas: Bumiayu, Karang Pucung, Cilacap, Nusakambangan Island, Kroya, Ajibarang, Wangon, Purwokerto, Purbalingga, Bobotsari, Banjarnegara, Purwareja, Kebumen and Gombong. The Banten dialect is spoken in north Banten.

In addition, there are several sub-dialects spoken in Banyumasan, such as Bumiayu sub-dialect, Dayeuhluhur sub-dialect, and Ayah sub-dialect.

See also

External links

Basa Banyumasan edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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