Letter: On Bahasa Indonesia and Arabic
Thank you, Ambassador Nikolaos van Dam, for this very clear and interesting article about Bahasa Indonesia and Arabic (The Jakarta Post, Oct. 12).
Of course, you are absolutely correct in your observations about the natural and infallible development of Arabic throughout many countries and centuries.
The fact that Bahasa Indonesia has arrived to where it is today in Indonesia is almost unbelievable; any linguist might say that such development would have been impossible.
As you strongly demonstrate, a language develops independently by being used and spoken within a country, rather than according to political aims and regulations.
But the fact that after only about 80 years, one can communicate with almost everybody across this enormous archipelago via a common language, is nothing less than a linguistic and pedagogic wonder.
Magelang, Central Java