.E N G L I S H READING:
- A foreign visitor
The desire to learn a foreign languange is a very worthwhile ambition. Learning a foreign language not only exercises the mind, but also allows to experience, in a small way, some aspects of culture different from his own. At the present time, many Indonesian people are anxious to learn English. The government promotes this desire by making English a required in school. The necessity for English and benefits that can follow from a good command of the language are obvious. English is an international language . For an individual to succed in government, in business. or any professional skill, such as medicine or dentistry, he must be able to speak, read, and write English. Many of the best professional journals and advanced textbooks are written in English. A knowledge and sufficient command of English can be considered to be a status factory. At one time Frence was a very popular language, and the mark of the trully educated and cultured individual. Now English has taken over this position.
In Indonesia there are many regional language as well as the national language, Bahasa Indonesia. Each regional language is an important part of an ethic culture that has a history dating back many centuries. The ancient Sriwijaya Kingdom ( 700-11000), the famous Kingdom of Panjajaran, and the fifteenth-century Kingdom of Majapahit are but three examles of the traditional heritage of the various ethnic groups that form Indonesia. A very important aspecty of these kingdoms can be seen in the various regional languages, for instance, Sundanese and Javanese. The history of literature nof these kingdom aere recorded in the regional languages. The social system is reflected in the language. In shot, each regional language functions as a mirror of the culture. Today, of cource, because all languages change over time, these languages are somewhat different from those of hundreds of year ago. Nevertheless, it is important to remember thier roots and origins. No foreign language, such as English, should be allowed to compete with the greatness of the regional languages as they live today.
Bahasa Indonesia is unique among the languages of the world in that it represents the conscious effort of the people of a large and very diversified country to unite themselves under the bond of a common language. The Republic of Indonesia is more than seventy years old and Bahasa Indonesia is still a young language. All languages are dynamic and in constant change, but Indonesia is even more so because it is such a new language and does not have the framework of centuries of the use. This is not to say that Bagasa Indonesia is not strong. On the contrary; because it arose from the desire of the colonized people to become an independent nation. Bahasa Indonesia serves as an everyday reminder of national unity and patriotism
For an individual to know many languages is certainly very helpful. It is not only a mark of intelligence, but also a precious advantage in education, business, and so on. Because Indonesian is still young , it is still in a state of constant change and is very easily influenced by other languages, especially, because of its current popularity, by English. The many regional languages, Indonesian and English can develop side by side. The Indonesian people should remember that thier regional languages reflect a great and ancient history and that Bahasa Indonesia represents a brave revolutionary strugle ending in victory and natioanl unity. In comparison to all this, English certainly a newcomer to Indonesia, while it is a good accept English with the customary Indonesian hospitality shown to any foreign visitor, it should be remembered that English is just what—foreign visitor.