The Complexity between Mandarin and Madurese and it’s Impact

Today I’m gonna analyze the different between two languages that I mastered at, there is Mandarin and Madurese. Actually my Mandarin not really so good. But it’s ok lah! (dial: Jinglish). What is Jinglish? Jinglish is Javanese English. Haha… I get this idea while I was talking on the phone with my Mom using Madurese, and one of my friend hear and just amazed. Soon he asked me: “what language is that?”.

The Complexity of that Two Languages?
Nah, this will be my main area to review. As we know so far, Mandarin is one of the important language in the world right now. But it’s very different that Madurese is one of the languages that just commonly used in Madura Island, and it’s surrounding areas. The thing that makes both are similar according to my observation is, Mandarin have 4 tones (shēngdiào 声调) with 1 neutral tones, and Madurese don’t have tones, but at least have 5 words that have a similar sound, but different accentuation. And what makes Madurese special is there are 3 level of languages, Ja’-iya (the coarsest level, used between a young people), Enggi-enten (the medium level), and Enggi-bunthen (the refined level, used to the people that older than us). This is just the same with Javanese, Balinese, and some others.

And if you teach Madurese to the person that not entirely native from Madurese or it’s surrounding areas that speaks Madurese, like Pasuruan, Jember, etc., or in the others word that the person never learn Madurese, it is so hard to produce the right accentuation (aspirate). It’s quite different if you teach Mandarin to the person that completely never learn Mandarin. They will be easier to learn Mandarin rather than Madurese. And what is the advantages from learn Madurese for them?? It’s not widely spoken in the world! And, oh ya, ‘Mandarin’ is not recognized in China. They called Mandarin as Zhōngwén [中文] or Hànyǔ [汉语] or Pǔtōnghuà [普通话].

Let me give an example. In Mandarin, they have 4 tones, that is first tone – high level, second tone – rising, third tone – falling rising, and fourth tone – falling, 1 neutral tones. Look at the table below.

Tones Pinyin Simplified Char. Meaning
High-level (1st tone) mother
Rising (2nd tone) hemp
Falling-rising (3rd tone) horse
Falling (4th tone) scold
Neutral (5th tone) ma ‘interrogative mark’

Ok, now let’s we make a sentence based on that figure.

妈妈骑马,马慢,妈妈骂马 (māma qí mǎ, mǎ màn, māma mà mǎ)
Meaning: Mother is riding a horse, but the horse is slowly running, then the mother is scolding the horse.

If you want to hear the sentence, just go to Google Translate, choose the ‘From’ by Chinese, and ‘To’ by English or others according to your language. Then, copy that character above, paste in the field of Google Translate, click translate. Then click listen to the button above the field you paste the character.

Now, let’s we have an example in Madurese.

Badha baddhana baddha’ baddha babana
Meaning: There is a compact (the place for powder in package), the bottom is torn.

Ha, that’s the different between Mandarin and Madurese. In Madurese, you need to master at stressed up the word (aspirate) and the accent. In Mandarin, you need to master at tones and of course the accent to make you speaks really like the Chinese speak. Hehe…

One thing, the way of pronouncing the language between Madurese and Chinese Cantonese (one of the dialect in Chinese language) is the same! They prefer to strengthen the upper throat to produce a sound that really makes they are truly the native speaker.

The Impact?
I don’t have observation to know more about the impact. But, both have toughness, have a high work-ethic. My hypothesis for the impact that affected by the complexity of the language is, more complex a language, more success the people. Why? The language affected the character of the people. But why the Madurese is lagging far behind the Chinese?.

Proud to be Chinese that lived in surrounding of Madurese people in Madura Island, Indonesia. ^^

Mator sakalangkong!

NB: I write this article just for fun, that one of my main interest is learning languages and cultures.

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