Apa itu Aksara Batak?

Judul Aksara Batak
Penulis Uli Kozok
Jumlah Kata 393
Tingkat Kesulitan B2unduh pdf

Introduction: The Batak Script

Indonesia has a large amount of pre-Islamic indigenous scripts (aksara) that are all derived from the Brahmi script of South India. The oldest Indonesian inscriptions dating to the first six centuries from the first millennium were still written in Sanskrit language and in a southern Brahmi script. This script was later modified and used for writing texts in the Malay and other indigenous Indonesian languages. This script is commonly called the Kawi script and most texts written in Kawi are either in Malay or in Old Javanese. In the early years of the second half of the second millennium this script began to diversify and many local scripts were created: Javanese, Balinese, the Batak scripts, the Ulu scripts of South Sumatra, the Bugis script, and the Philippine Baybayain scripts.

The Batak script was used to write on various media including bamboo, bark paper, bone, and occasionally even in stone. When the missionaries came, and shortly after the Batak lands were subjugated under Dutch rule, the Batak script slowly disappeared. Today there are very few people left who can still read and write their native script.

Today there are over 1000 Batak manuscripts in museums and libraries, predominantly in the Netherlands and in Germany. Prof. Uli Kozok has written a book about the Batak script. The following video animation by Natalia Simanjuntak is based on Dr. Kozok’s book.

Siapa Natalia Simanjuntak?
A translation is displayed on mouseover.
Natalia-Simanjuntak

Natalia Simanjuntak

Saya dibesarkan oleh ayah dan ibu yang tidak menggunakan bahasa Batak. Sebab dibesarkan di Jakarta, interaksi dengan bahasa/budaya Batak hanya terbatas dari acara keluarga besar. Oleh karena itu, pengetahuan saya terhadap bahasa Batak sangat sedikit. Saat menempuh jenjang pendidikan S1, saya menemukan unggahan di Instagram mengenai berbagai macam aksara Indonesia. Saya sangat kaget bahwa suku Batak memiliki sistem tulisnya sendiri. Ternyata aksara Batak sudah lama tidak disosialisasikan dan hanya dilestarikan seadanya. Bahkan saya yang merupakan keturunan Batak tidak pernah sadar akan warisan budaya ini. Hal ini membangkitkan semangat saya untuk menyampaikan pesan genting akan kondisi aksara Batak yang memprihatinkan dengan menggunakan talenta saya, yaitu menggambar video animasi.

Nama : Natalia Rachel Belinda Simanjuntak
Tanggal lahir : 30 Desember 1998
Email : [email protected]
Pendidikan : Sarjana Desain Komunikasi Visual

Kartu Bolak-Balik

Here are some of the key words in the text. Learn them before listening to the video.

[qdeck align=”center”][q]aksara[a]script, a letter of a script
[q]hal[a]matter, circumstance
[q]digunakan[a]be used
[q]bahan[a]material, ingredient
[q]ilmu[a]science, knowledge, wisdom
[q]salah satu[a]one of
[q]perkembangan[a]development
[q]berkembang[a]to develop
[q]merupakan[a]to be, constitute[/qdeck]

Nonton Yuk!

Pemahaman 1

Admittedly, this video is long and complex and contains a lot of words that are new to you. If you are not able to answer the following comprehension questions, you may use the sound file below, which is spoken not as fast as the original sound file, in better sound quality, and without background noise.

Bacaan

APA ITU AKSARA BATAK?

Kalau lagi baca, enaknya pakai bahasa Indonesia yang baik dan benar, kan? Ejaannya jelas, dan fontnya gak aneh-aneh. Tapi, gimana sih kalau kita disuruh baca tulisan yang begini… atau begini? Gimana kalau hal ini sudah terjadi dengan salah satu sistem tulis di Indonesia? Yaitu Aksara Batak.

Aksara Batak merupakan salah satu sistem tulis di Indonesia yang sayangnya telah tergeser oleh huruf Latin. Sudah 50 tahun aksara ini tidak digunakan dan berkembang. Pada mulanya Aksara Batak diduga berasal dari aksara Kawi, yang merupakan bentuk lanjutan dari Aksara Palawa. Banyak sejarawan yang menduga Aksara Batak berkembang dari sejenis Aksara Kawi Kuno, dan mulai tersebar dari daerah bagian selatan lalu utara. Sayangnya, perkembangan penggunaan Aksara Batak tidak dapat ditelusuri setelah abad ke-14, dikarenakan penulisannya pada bahan-bahan yang mudah lapuk. Hal ini sangat menghambat para ahli untuk mengetahui secara persis asal, waktu, dan variasi-variasi perkembangan Aksara Batak.

Dahulu, Aksara Batak hanya digunakan untuk hal-hal khusus, yakni mencatat ilmu kedukunan atau hadatuon, surat-menyurat, dan ratapan. Tiga perempat dari naskah yang ditemukan membahas ilmu kedukunan yang hanya dapat ditulis oleh seorang Datu. Bahan-bahan tulis yang kerap digunakan juga bervariasi, mulai dari bambu, tulang, sampai kayu. Naskah-naskah kayu kerap dilipat-lipat dan disebut buku atau pustaha. Hadatuon sering berisi ramuan sihir, ramalan, resep obat, dan instruksi atau poda untuk melakukan ritual dan produksi obat. Bahasa yang digunakan berupa nasehat atau disebut sebagai hata poda. Tetapi, hadatuon juga dapat digunakan untuk mencelakai orang lain.

Seiring berjalannya waktu, agama Kristen dan Islam yang masuk ke tanah Batak mengasosiasikan Hadatuon dengan ilmu sihir yang “sesat”, sehingga penggunaannya berkurang secara drastis. Pada tahun 1852, Dr. Van der Tuuk, seorang penginjil Belanda yang dikirim untuk mengkaji Aksara Batak, mencatat jumlah pustaha yang sangat sedikit di daerah Sipirok karena pengaruh Islam. Pada tahun 1920, dengan masuk sepenuhnya agama Kristen ke daerah pedalaman, segala karya tulis dengan Aksara Batak berhenti dicetak.

Sekarang kurangnya pemahaman akan Aksara Batak terlihat penulisannya pada fasilitas umum di Medan yang banyak mengalami kesalahan. Mirisnya hal ini tidak disadari oleh masyarakat Batak karena sedikitnya pemahaman akan aksara tersebut.

Kurangnya kepedulian kita dengan sejarah, esensi, dan penggunaan aksara Batak sama saja dengan menghapus warisan budaya nenek moyang kita. Sekarang ini kita sepertinya lebih tertarik dengan kultur global dibandingkan kebudayaan sendiri. Padahal kebudayaan Indonesia lebih membutuhkan perhatian kita agar terselamatkan dari gerus waktu. Yuk, berbangga dengan kebudayaanmu!

Comprehension 1

Fill in the blank

Listen once again to the sound file, and then fill in the blanks. Note that you can, and should, stop the recording frequently, especially when transiting from one paragraph to the other. To advance to the next paragraph, click on the right arrow.

Translation

Click on the field with the plus sign to see a translation of the text. Don’t look at the translation before you have completed the comprehension exercises.

Translation
When we read, it’s so pleasant to read proper Indonesian, isn’t it? The spelling is precise, and it is not written in odd typefaces. But what if we must read a script like this? Or like that? What if this is one of Indonesian’s writing systems? Namely the Batak script.

The Batak script is one of Indonesia’s writing systems that was sidelined by the Roman script. For 50 years the script was not used or developed. The Batak script is thought to have had its origins in the Kawi script, which developed out of the Palava script. Many historians believe that the Batak script developed out of one of the ancient Kawi scripts and then spread from south to north.

Unfortunately, the development of the Batak script cannot from the 14th century onwards cannot be traced because it was written on fragile materials. This prevents the specialists from determining the precise origin, time [of origin], and the different variants of the Batak script.

In the past, the Batak script was used for special purposes, that is for writing down the magical knowledge known as Hadatuon, for writing letters, and for laments. Three fourth of all Batak manuscripts deals with the magical arts that can only be written by the magicians (Datu). Various kinds of writing media were used. from bamboo, bone, to tree bark. Bark paper manuscripts were often folded and were known as pustaha (books). The Science of the Datu often consists of ingredients for potions, divinations, recipes for medicines, and instructions (poda) for conducting rituals and making medicines. The language that is used is known as hata poda or the language of [magical] instructions. But the science of the Datu was also used to cause harm to other people.

Over the course of time, Christianity and Islam entered the Batak lands and the Science of the Datu became associated with witchcraft conceived as “aberrant” which then declined rapidly. In 1852, Dr. van der Tuuk, a Dutch missionary [the linguist van der Tuuk, an outspoken atheist, was commissioned by the Dutch Bible Society to translate the bible into Batak] to study the Batak script, noted that there were very few pustaha [bark books] left in the region of Sipirok because of [the advancement of] Islam. In 1920, after Christianity had penetrated into the interior [of the Batak lands], books in Batak script ceased to be printed.

Today, a lack of understanding the Batak script is obvious [when looking at] writings [in Batak] on public facilities [buildings] which are often erroneous. It is concerning that this is not realised by the Batak people because they know very little about their script.

The lack of interest in our own history, the nature and the use of the Batak script is the same as wiping out our cultural heritage. Today we are more interested in global culture rather than our own culture. Where in fact the Indonesian culture needs our attention in order to avoid the the ravages of time. Come on, be proud of your own culture!

Linguistic Notes

Akan

You certainly know the future marker akan. But akan is also a preposition that follows a number of intransitive verbs. Most intransitive verbs with akan can be transitivised by the suffix -i, and in some cases by the suffix kan. When an intransitive verb ending with an ‘i’ –such as benci– is transitivised by the suffix -i, then only one ‘i’ is written. In other words: membencii becomes membenci.

benci akan    →    membenci ‘hate’
gemar akan    →    menggemari ‘be fond of’
sadar akan    →    menyadari ‘be aware of’
suka akan    →    menyukai ‘like’
cinta akan    →    mencintai ‘love’
percaya akan    →    mempercayai ‘believe in’
kenal akan    →    mengenali ‘be acquainted with’
curiga akan    →    mencurigai ‘be suspicious of’
bangga akan    →    membanggakan ‘be proud of’

Secara

Adverbs are words which give information about the manner in which an action is performed. Many adverbs are based on adjectives and are usually translated by an adjective with suffix -ly in English:

Whereas in English adverbs are formed by adding ‘-ly’ to an adjective, in Indonesian two words can be used as adverb markers: secara and dengan.

If you try to actively use (in speaking) adverbs, you should use dengan.

Secara only goes with certain adjectives, such as drastis ‘drastic; severe’ and persis ‘precise, exact’ in our text:

  • Mereka mengetahui secara persis apa yang terjadi.
    They know exacly what happened.
  • Harga kopi meningkat secara drastis.
    The price of coffee increased drastically.

Other examples are:

  • Anda bisa mentransfer uang secara mudah dan aman.
    You can transfer money easily and safely.
  • Saya suka hidup secara sederhana.
    I enjoy living simply.
  • Kamu harus berolahraga secara teratur.
    You must exercise regularly.
  • Kesehatan sangat penting dan bermanfaat bagi manusia baik secara langsung maupun tidak langsung.
    Being healthy is important and beneficial for us both directly and indirectly.

For more information consult Sneddon’s grammar (ISBN 9780415581547 for the US edition or ISBN 1864480297 for the Australian edition) paragraph 2.169.

The Discourse Marker kan

Kan is a short form of bukan. In colloquial speech, it is frequently added to statements to solicit agreement with one’s interlocutor. It is similar to ‘isn’t it?’ or ‘right?’ in English. Kan is used both interrogatively (isn’t it) and non-interrogatively (you know).

The linguist Fay Wouk from the University of Auckland has written an article about the discourse marker kan in the journal Multilingua: Journal of Cross-Cultural and Interlanguage Communication vol. 17, no. 4, 1998, pp. 379-406: “Solidarity in Indonesian conversation: The discourse marker kan”. She writes:

Kan appears to be similar in function to interrogative tags and to the hedge you know; however, it occurs far more frequently in casual Indonesian conversation than similar markers in other previously studied languages. The functions of kan can be characterized as solidarity-building activities: requesting agreement, marking conjoint knowledge and extending common ground. These functions are explicitly marked with greater frequency in Indonesian conversation due to differences between Indonesian and Western cultural values, which lead to differences in conversational style.Wouk, Fay
  • Kalau lagi baca, enaknya pakai bahasa Indonesia yang baik dan benar, kan?
    When we’re reading, how nice is it, if it is in proper Indonesian, right?

Kartu Bolak Balik

Make sure to study the following flip card until no more card is left!

[qdeck align=”center”] [q]aneh[a]strange, weird
[q]gimana[a]how
[q]salah satu[a]one of
[q]aksara[a]a letter, script
[q]merupakan[a]to constitute, to be
[q]huruf[a]a letter (of a script)
[q]berkembang[a]to develop
[q]pada mulanya[a]in the beginning, initially
[q]menduga[a]to assume
[q]bentuk[a]form
[q]sayangnya[a]unfortunately
[q]penggunaan[a]use
[q]mengetahui[a]to know about something, find out
[q]perkembangan[a]development
[q]hal[a]matter
[q]khusus[a]specific
[q]ilmu[a]science, knowledge
[q]surat-menyurat[a]correspondence
[q]membahas[a]to discuss, deal about
[q]kulit [a]skin
[q]disebut[a]called
[q]berisi[a]to contain
[q]pengaruh[a]influence
[q]sepenuhnya[a]completely
[q]mencetak[a]to print
[q]pemahaman[a]understanding, comprehension
[q]mengalami[a]to experience
[q]tersebut[a]the aforementioned, said
[q]membandingkan[a]to compare
[q]pada hal[a]in fact
[q]membutuhkan[a]to need
[q]agar[a]so that, in order to
[/qdeck]

Pemahaman

Now let’s check whether you can apply some of the learned words in context.

Pekerjaan Rumah (PR)

Find one sentence with the phrase “percaya akan” (include the quotation marks) and translate the sentence. Search only in kompas.com. In order to do that copy the following string and paste it into your favourite search engine:

“percaya akan” site:kompas.com

Daftar Kata

1.
kan? coll.=bukan? isn’t it? right?
ejaan spelling, orthography
gak coll. no, not
aneh strange, weird
gimana coll. = bagaimana, how
salah satu one of
aksara a letter, script
2.
merupakan to constitute, is
tergeser shifted away, sidelined
huruf a letter (of a script)
berkembang to develop
pada mulanya in the beginning, initially
menduga to assume
bentuk form
lanjutan continuation
sejarawan historian
tersebar spread
3.
sayangnya unfortunately
penggunaan use
menelusuri to track, trace
abad century
lapuk decayed
dikarenakan be caused by
menghambat to prevent
mengetahui to know about something, find out
persis precise, exact
perkembangan development
4.
dahulu in the past (=dulu)
hal matter
khusus specific
yakni namely
ilmu science, knowledge
dukun magician, healer
datu a Batak magician-healer
surat-menyurat correspondence
ratapan lament
kerap often
naskah manuscript
membahas to discuss, deal about
ilmu kedukunan witchcraft
kulit skin
kulit kayu tree bark, bast
dilipat be folded
disebut called
berisi to contain
ramuan sihir magical concoctions
ramalan forecast, divination
rupa form, shape
berupa in the form/shape of
nasehat advice
mencelakai to harm
5
seiring
mengasosiasikan to associate
ilmu sihir magic
sesat erroneous, aberrant
penginjil missionary
mengkaji to study
mencatat to note
pengaruh influence
sepenuhnya completely
karya work
dicetak be printed
6
pemahaman (•paham) understanding, comprehension
mengalami (•alam) to experience
mirisnya ironically
hal matter
masyarakat society, community, people
akan towards
tersebut the aforementioned, said
7
kepedulian concern
menghapus eradicate
warisan heritage
nenek moyang ancestors
dibandingkan compared to
pada hal in fact
membutuhkan to need
agar so that, in order to
terselamatkan saved
gerus waktu ravages of time
yuk (coll.) come on!
berbangga be proud
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