Indonesian, an Austronesian language, is a standardized form of Malay and
is spoken throughout Indonesia. About 30 million people speak Indonesian as
their first language and a further 140 million speak it as a second
language. Indonesia is a linguistically diverse region where the Indonesian
language acts as a lingua franca, even though there are more native speakers
of Javanese - about 75 million.
During the time Indonesia was a Dutch colony, the Latin alphabet was
introduced to write Indonesian and a number of Dutch spellings were used.
This alphabet was called ejaan lama (Old Script) in Indonesian.
In the 1930s, as part of the independence movement, the Indonesian
language was standardised and the term Bahasa Indonesia was adopted
as the name of the language.
In 1947 the spelling of oe was changed to u. Then in 1972 a set of official
changes to the Indonesian spelling system were introduced by former president
Soeharto. The major changes included changing ch to kh, dj to j, j to y, nj
to ny, sj to sy, and tj to c.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason
and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. (Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)