History and spread of the Sundanese language : Nomis

Familiarize yourself with the regional language of West Java, which is often used

The regional language of West Java has characteristics that are very unique and interesting to learn. Even if you don’t know the language spoken by people in West Java, you must be familiar with its unique accent, such as hearing celebrities from West Java or having Sundanese friends.

It must be very interesting for us ordinary people to demonstrate the language or accent of West Java. Basically, each region has different language characteristics, be it Central Java, Maluku, East Java, Sumatra and so on. The same with the language from West Java, which we will  discuss.

Just by hearing the accent, we can definitely guess whether it is a language from West Java or not. But it is difficult for us to know the meaning of what is being said if we do not know or understand the language of West Java. That’s why it sounds fun to learn West Java.

In this article we discuss  not only  what language is often used by the people of West Java, but also the diversity of languages, the history and distribution of languages, the language writing system to undak usuk western Javana, which is certainly very interesting to learn.

Languages spoken

The Sundanese are the most common tribe in West Java, so it is not surprising that the Sundanian language is the most commonly spoken regional language. Yet there are other languages spoken by people from West Java, such as Cirebon for people in Cirebon Regency or City.

The Cirebon language is almost the same as the Banyumasan language, only it uses the typical dialect of Brebes, which is very unique. These two regional languages of West Java, namely Sundanish and Cirebon,  are the most widely spoken languages in everyday life, both in Cirebon, Priangan and so on.

Compared to Cirebon, Sunda is more widely spoken by people in West Java. One of the reasons is that the Sundanian culture is so inherent and spread to different regions in West Java. It is inseparable from the history of the ancient kingdom of Mataram, which conquered West Java.

That is why  we will discuss more Sundanese in this review, as it is more often used by people in West Java. You will find various interesting facts about Sundanese and better understand what you need to know about the West Javanese language.

Variations in Sundanese

In general, the Sundan-Banten language has various variations, from the Sundan-Central Javanese dialect to the Sundan-Banten dialect with different characteristics. In addition to these two dialects, one would think that there are still some dialect variations that we often encounter in the midst of Sundanese culture in everyday life.

Many experts distinguish Sundans into 6 different dialects, namely Western dialect, northern dialect, southern dialect, eastern middle dialect, northeastern dialect and southeast dialect. Each dialect has a different style, and the regions that use it are also different depending on the language mix.

For example, the regional language of West Java with Western dialects commonly spoken by people in the Pandeglang and Lebak regions, with the exception of South Tangerang, the city of Tangerang and the Regency of Tangerang. In contrast to the southeastern dialect, which is often spoken by the inhabitants of Banjar, Cilacap, Pangandaran, Ciamis to the western part of Banyumas.

Before the existence of the Sundanese language, as it is today, there was an old Sundanese language that was often found in some written records, such as those found on the leaves of dry leaves, as well as in stone. Until now, it is not known how the old Sundanic language changed to modern Sundanese.

History and spread of the Sundanese language

In addition to knowing the diversity of the Sundanese language, it is also interesting to discuss the history and spread of the Sundanese language in West Java. Sundanish is the language spoken by people in the west of the island of Java, or more precisely in Pasundan or Sundan, Tatar (formerly West Java).

In fact, this West Javanese language is also spoken in the western part of Central Java, such as the  regions  of Cilacapand Brebes, since these two regions were once part of the Kingdom of Galuh. Not surprisingly, many regional names in Cilacap sound like Sundan, such as Dayeuhluhur District.

Historically, around the 6th century, the Sundanese language entered the realm of its narrative on the Dieng plateau in Central Java. The name Dieng also comes from the Sundanese language, namely dihyang, whichmeans old Sundan. Only then did the reincarnation and immigration of ethnic Sundanes to various areas outside of Java take place.

Some of the areas that are targeted by the Sundanese ethnicity, including West Kalimantan, South Sumatra, South East Sulawesi, Riau, Lampung, to Jambi. In addition, there are actually many other areas that are visited by ethnic Sundanese, but some of the areas already mentioned are the main areas.


In the Sundanic script you will get acquainted with the Sundanic script, the Sundanic alphabet  , the  cacarakan alphabet and the Sundanish pegon alphabet. In the past, the Sundanic language was written using the Sundanese script as the Brahmi jumber script, which was derived from the Pallawa script through the Kawi script. You can see the proof of this writing from the inscription.

On November 3, 1705, the old Sundanian script became extinct, and Cirebon Rikasara became extinct after the VOC issued its ultimatum. At that time, people were only allowed to write with the Pegon alphabet, the Latin alphabet and the Latin alphabet for Javanese and the Sundanian alphabet, after which the Latin alphabet was amplified when transcribing Sundanese works.

In addition, writing Western Javanese or Sundanese is also associated with Cacarakan as a  Javanese  script to write the Sundanese language at the time. This script was already in use after the VOC ultimatum was issued. Until now, the smallpox script has been used for more than 300 years and is still maintained.

The Pegon Sundanian alphabet is also a script used to write the ancient Sundanese language. This written Pegonian alphabet contains standard Arabic letters and new patterns. Although some of them consist of standard Arabic letters, Arabs will not be able to understand them unless they know the Sundanic language.

Sundánský Undak-usuk

In the 17th century, the West Java region was under the rule of the Kingdom of Mataram, so the Javanese language also influenced the use of the Sundanese language in West Java. This is what creates the existence of basic undak-usuk in the regional language of West Java. What, then, are meant by these basic foundations?

The use of the Sundanic language must be adapted to the social level, and this is what is called undak-usuk bassa. As a result of the existence of alkaline problems, several terms have appeared that need to be understood, namely, rough, medium hemes, very rough (Cohag or rough pisan) and very fine (sublime or lemes pisan).

Fine language is usually used when talking to a newly acquaintance, parent, official, or public figure. Meanwhile, abusive language is usually   used when talking to peers or close friends, so it sounds more familiar if you’re using rather rude language.

The Sundanic language has its own uniqueness that makes anyone interested in learning it. Especially with a pronounced dialect, which makes the Sundanish language even more pleasing to the ear. For more information, you need to learn more about West Javanese language.

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