By Lina Noviandari
It happened on an evening when I was reading an article about Indonesian cuisine. When it finally came to one of my favorite food ‘prekedel’ (a fried dumpling of mashed potato mixed with eggs and minced meat or tofu or corn), I was shocked. It was said in the article that ‘prekedel’ is actually come from Dutch word frikkadel. Before reading that article, I thought that ‘prekedel’ is an original Javanese cuisine because it sounds like Javanese word and because in my area, which is East Java, ‘prekedel’ is a common food to be served. Later, I found that my hypothesis was wrong.
Since Dutch came to Indonesia in early 17’s century, Dutch gave influences to Indonesia in many sectors of life such as governance, architecture, culinary, language and so forth. In the case of ‘prekedel’, it is classified as the Dutch’s influences in language. In linguistics, it is common for speakers in a country or community to ‘borrow’ other countries’ words. It happens because language is something dynamic, it changes, develops and adapts with society in where the particular language grows. It follows where the speakers go. When Dutch people stood their feet in Indonesia, therefore their language began to be heard in this country.
The interaction that was made between Dutch and Indonesian people led them to transfer each other’s knowledge of things. In this condition, they began to acquire each other’s language. Indonesian people began to acquire Dutch language and vice versa. Somehow, in the process of acquiring the language or new vocabularies, there a term so-called language shifting. For example, in the case of ‘prekedel’, at that time Indonesian people have difficulties to spell ‘f’ and changed it with ‘p’. Therefore, the word frikkadel which later became prikkadelshifted into ‘prekedel’. This word shifting can also happen because of the ‘comfort’ and ‘deal’ factor. As an example, it might be because Indonesian people feel more comfortable to say ‘prekedel’ instead of frikkadel.
Beside ‘prekedel’, there are numerous words of Bahasa Indonesia which are borrowed from Dutch. To mention few, the borrowed words such as ‘permak’ from vermaak, ‘puisi’ frompoezie, ‘semur’ from smoor, ‘potlot’ from potlood and ‘telat’ from te laat. This fact shows that Dutch gave a notable influence towards the development of Bahasa Indonesia vocabularies.
Even though Dutch-era was over years ago, its contribution towards Bahasa Indonesia vocabularies remains in everyday life of Indonesian people. Maybe we don’t realize that some foods we eat, some activities we do and some things we use or see are actually there because of the contributions of Dutch.