top of page

Jardinggu Keninu: Australia 🇦🇺

Nubu ja birah Singapura di Fiji! Yo mistih tona falah mutu grandi merseh kung nus sa kambradu kung host na Sigatoka. Presta Fuad logu skribeh nus sa review-review na Tripadvisor :)

Na post resenti mbes di Fiji kung post di reglasang di yo sa Jardinggu Keninu, ja skribeh di susesu kiora nus kereh falah di jenti di otru nasang, nang asih nggeh akeli jenti sabeh nus ta falah di eli. Kiora nus teng na Fiji, fora di jenti Viti/Biti, nus pun teng trabalu igual kung jenti beng di Australia.

Palaredi Baxter kung Scully-Zuzarte dos-dos falah palabra pra Australia na Kristang igual di akeli na Inggres: Australia pra Tera, kung Jenti di Australia pra akeli tera sa jenti (Baxter, 2004, p. 25—na izemplu pra "di"; Scully & Zuzarte, 2004, p. 155; 2017, p. 162). Nang asih, kora sibrih isti palabra, tudu jenti pun podih sabeh di keng bos ja falah, maski olotu ngka sabeh Kristang—palabra "Australia" super fasel pra intindeh/kuniseh di tudu. Asih kung andasang stretu, isti palabra ngka gadrah Reglasang di Skundeh.

Kaza Opera Sydney (soletrah Sidni na Kristang?) kora yo ja bizitah na 2007

Podih dah isti palabra ngua otru figura mas "skundidu"? Anumbes podih, kontu nus skutah otru demonym-demonym impustah di otru linggu ja bai rentu di Kristang, inda gadrah Reglasang di Skundeh. Asih:

Jenti Landes, di Portugis sa holandês

Jenti Ropianu, di ?Inggres sa European

Jenti Japang, di ?Inggres sa Japan

Jenti Spanyol, di Portugis sa espanhol

Jenti Vayanu^, di Portugis sa havaiano

Pra Japang kung Spanyol, sertu teng jenti impodih papiah Kristang inda podih intindeh isti dos palabra, mas kiora bos ta papiah presta, yo lembrah otru jenti inda logu teng tantu trabalu intindeh Japang sa /ŋ/ kung Spanyol seng /ɛ/ prumiru chuma na Portugis.

Ki amostra teng naki? Pra 4 di 5 palabra numinti na riba, kora ja impustah na Kristang, ja pedreh syllable prumiru. Isti gadrah Reglasang di Skundeh mas sertu. Sibrih Inggres ke Portugis chuma rais di palabra nubu Kristang, pra Jenti Australia, nus podih falah:

Jenti Stralyang, di Inggres sa Australian (pedreh syllable prumiru di /ɒˈ/ ke /ɔˈ/)

Jenti Stralyanu, Stralianu ke Straliyanu, di Portugis sa australiano (igual ke riba sa)

Fuad kung yo ja sibrih namba dos na Fiji, mas namba ngua pun podih—dos-dos gadrah Reglasang. Pra Tera sa nomi pun podih sibrih dos-dos.

Jenti sa Tensang Buniteza

Yo lembrah Reglasang di Skundeh super mistidu pra papianti di tantu linggu keninu. Fora di kultura kung rostu sa kauzu (dos-dos pun mistih lembrah), pun teng ngua kauzu di kabesa lebi: pra gadrah bodru di linggu, judah papianti teng kara pra gadrah sigredu, stiru kung otru information na diskursu trabalu ke diskursu kung jenti teng tensang mal, jenti kereh danah kung papianti di isti linggu, kung otru koza. (Papianti kung nus sa studanti Kodrah Kristang sertu sabeh signifiku di Jenti Natibu, Jenti Rabu kung Jenti Muru—Reglasang di Skundeh teng tantu balor naki!)

Asih yo pun mistih igzaminah mpoku peskisador/a / papiakisador/a^ sa tensang, kora olotu falah mpustah palabra di otru linggu (+ olu riba di Inggres kung otru linggu di coloniser) mas fasel ke mas stretu ke otru kauzu impoku stranjeru. Sertu mas fasel; nang asih, fasel pra keng kung keng sa tensang? Kifoi mas fasel? Na fundu, nteh nada mal di mpustah palabra chuma ngua aksang; pun teng mutu tantu kauzu bong pra mpustah palabra nteru. Nang asih, sempri mistih lembrah di kampu kung kurenti alrededor di linggu kung eli sa papianti, membes kung astrang di istoria kung nus sa tera kung mundu sa pasadu.

We have returned home from Fiji! Again, a big thank you to all our friends and everyone who hosted us in Sigatoka. The person in the relationship who is better at image will be writing the reviews on Tripadvisor :)

In my post about Fiji and the one about the rules I use with my own little Kristang language garden, I wrote about the oft-encountered scenario where a minority language speaker (or even just a non-majority language speaker, in many cases) wants to discuss a person or term currently before them in the present moment, but does not want that to be known by people who do not speak their language. When we were in Fiji, beyond what I discussed with Jenti Viti / Biti, we also encountered this quite often with anything to do with Australia.

Both the Baxter and Scully-Zuzarte dictionaries give the Kristang term for Australia as simply Australia for the country and Jenti di Australia for its citizens (Baxter, 2004, p. 25—listed under an example sentence for "di"; Scully & Zuzarte, 2004, p. 155; 2017, p. 162). Using this word, even in a string of otherwise indecipherable Kristang, however, makes it extremely easy for anyone else to immediately figure out what you are talking about, and does not quite preserve the critical Skundeh Principle.

Could another form of the same word do that instead? When we consider other demonyms in Kristang that do preserve the Skundeh Principle despite being straightforward borrowings from other languages, it does seem possible:

Jenti Landes, from Portuguese holandês

Jenti Ropianu, from ?English European

Jenti Japang, from ?English Japan

Jenti Spanyol, from Portuguese espanhol

Jenti Vayanu^, from Portuguese havaiano

In the cases of Japang and Spanyol, there will still, of course, likely be non-Kristang speakers who understand these terms quite easily; however, when submerged in a string of Kristang spoken at a more fluid rate, the /ŋ/ in Japang and the lack of the /ɛ/ in Spanyol should be enough to mask both words within the broader stream of discourse.

What pattern can we observe from the smattering of demonyms above? For four out of the five listed, when borrowed into Kristang, my ancestors appear to have dropped the first syllable in the original word. This is much more effective at preserving the Skundeh Principle (and the Skundeh Principle would probably also be one of the more unconscious reasons as to why they did it at all; more on that below). Based on this rule, therefore, if we continue to use the English or Portuguese words for Australia as the base of the Kristang word, we arrive at three options:

Jenti Stralyang, from English Australian (drops first syllable /ɒˈ/ or /ɔˈ/)

Jenti Stralyanu, Stralianu ke Straliyanu, from Portuguse australiano (same as above)

And indeed, this post was inspired by a consideration of how when Fuad and I were in Fiji, we found ourselves unconsciously gravitating to some form of the second set of words whenever we were in a context where we did not want someone else to know we were talking about Australia.

The Beautiful Intentions of Strangers

It should thus be clear just from the above discussion why the Skundeh Principle is actually something that is fairly critical to the integrity of minority languages. Beyond more affective reasons of maintaining the culture and flavour of the language (which are also still critical), there is also a more utilitarian reason as well: the Skundeh Principle allows speakers of the language to protect secrets, details and other information in multilingual contexts where other participants or speakers may not have the best intentions, or may have power over the speakers of the minority languages, or anything else like that where the person speaking the minority language is not in a desirable position.

And therefore, I want to also examine the intentions of some researchers and even linguists who maintain that straightforward borrowings from other languages (especially English and other languages of empire and colonisation) are not only the only way to go, but the most logical; what I've outlined in the previous paragraph should seem quite sensible to any minority language speaker. And of course, there are still good reasons why exact borrowings do make sense in many contexts, and do make things easier. But easier for who? And why would we want to make things easier? Call me a paranoid Singaporean who has had to speak Kristang around people who have bad intentions for Fuad and I one too many times (really one too many, especially this year), but sometimes there are good reasons for the Skundeh Principle too. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with borrowing or not borrowing; both have their uses. But their context of use is extremely important, and must be considered with the needs and ecology of the speech community and its own context and place in the wider ebbs and flows of history and intergenerational trauma.


bottom of page