The Complexity between Mandarin and Madurese and it’s Impact

(This article has been published on my previous blog and has been removed)

Something interesting comes to my Youtube feeds page and suddenly I recall one of my previous blogs and tried to revive one of the article I have ever written, and thankfully it worked! Thanks to archive.org :)

So, this start from this Youtube video which has been brought by Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School, Tsedal Neeley, which she talks about how can language be used to unite rather than divide a global workforce?. You can go watch the video first and back here to read the article (revised from the original one), and let’s discuss! :)

Credit to Google

Today I am going to analyse the differences between two languages that I mastered at, Mandarin and Madurese.

The Complexity between the Two Languages?
Nah, this will be my main area to review. As far as we know, Mandarin is one of the important language in the world right now. But it is 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 similar according to my observation are, Mandarin have 4 tones (声调 shēngdiào), with 1 neutral tones, and Madurese don’t have tones, but at least have 5 words that have a similar sound (homophones) with 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 learnt 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.

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.

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

Pinyin: māma qí mǎ, mǎ màn, māma mà mǎ
Translation: Mother is riding a horse, but the horse is slowly running, then the mother is scolding the horse.

If you want to listen how it sounds, listen it using Google Translate.

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

Translation: 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 to stressed up the word (aspirate)
  • In Mandarin, you need to master at tones

One thing, the way of pronouncing the language between Madurese and Chinese Cantonese (one of the dialect in Chinese language) are quite 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 any observations to know more about the impact. But, both have toughness and 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.

Mator sakalangkong!

Notes: I wrote this article just for fun, as one of my main interest is learning languages and cultures.

More awareness, meaning, and passion