Balinese romanization?

Waruno Mahdi mahdi at FHI-BERLIN.MPG.DE
Thu Jul 28 13:18:47 UTC 2011

Dear Ed,

Latin-script publications in Malay appeared since the early 17th 
century as a result of missionary schooling and Bible translation. 
The spelling underwent numerous changes, until an extremely 
complicated standard spelling was introduced by Werndly in the 
1730-s, that remained in used for some 100 years.
With appearance of Malay-language newspapers in the mid 19th century, 
Malay spelling became extremely liberal, until the van Ophuysen 
standard spelling was introduced in the early 20th century, only to 
be reformed after independence, first in 1947, then in 1972.

In Javanese, on the contrary, all print publications were in the 
traditional Javanese script, even for Javanese-language newspapers in 
the second half of the 19th century. Javanese-language publications 
of Balai Pustaka were originally (1910-1920) for the greater part in 
Javanese script, and only few were in Latin script. Some languages 
were more rapidly published in Latin script, particularly Sundanese, 
Toba Batak, Madurese, a.o., but not Balinese

I actually do not know particularly much about Dutch-Balinese culture 
contacts, except that, apart from isolated visits by Dutch explorers 
and traders around 1598-1620, or purchase of Balinese slaves in the 
subsequent period, they mainly date from around 1845-1855, when H. 
Zollinger, and then W.R. van Hoe"vell (_e"_ is an _e_ with two dots 
on top of it), visited and reported from the island. This was also 
the beginning of step-by-step Dutch conquest of Bali (at first the 
northernmost part), that ended with complete Dutch rule over Bali in 
1908. But to my knowledge, Balai Pustaka did not yet publish in 
Balinese in the 1910-1920 period.

When publications in Balinese began to appear in Latin script I do 
not know for certain, but Balinese script was still widely in use 
till at least the middle of the 20th century. In the 1950-1980-s it 
became increasingly often replaced by Latin script so that hardly 
anybody still used the traditional script in the 1990-s. But these 
are just very approximate datings, because I have not done any 
particular study of the Balinese spelling situation and may have 
overlooked important instances of early Latin-script Balinese usage 

Sorry this has not been a bit more informative.


>  Hi all,
>  A short question: are there any references that state when Balinese
>  was first publicly romanized? Or is there an assumption that it was
>  romanized  roughly around the same time other regional languages
>  (Javanese, Indonesian, etc.) were romanized by the Dutch?
>  Thanks,
>  -Ed

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