dipublikasikan di PROSODI Journal 2006, Vol.1, No.1, ISSN 1907-6665.

Iqbal Nurul Azhar

Abstrak: Bahasa Madura sebagai salah satu bahasa etnik di Indonesia difungsikan dengan baik oleh penggunanya, yaitu masyarakat Madura. Ia difungsikan sebagai bahasa pergaulan yang dipakai secara menyeluruh dalam percakapan sehari-hari. Namun dibalik itu, ada sebuah fenomena yang mengganjal terhadap penggunaan bahasa Madura dalam tulisan, utamanya dalam menulis SMS. Bahasa Madura jarang dipakai dalam bentuk tersebut dengan berbagai alasan beragam, yang salah satunya adalah sulitnya memotong satu kata untuk menghemat karakter. Tulisan ini mengupas sekilas mengapa fenomena ini terjadi sebagai bagian kajian budaya dan bahasa Madura yang jarang sekali dilakukan oleh para ahli. Temuan yang disertakan di tulisan ini dapat kita jadikan renungan untuk memikirkan eksistensi bahasa Madura ke depan.

Kata kunci: bahasa madura, memotong kata, SMS


Let us imagine we are going to communicate via SMS to someone faraway from us, let’s say in Australia. We first open the communication by greeting him/her. Our first expression may appear like this: Hi Joanna! How are you? Long time no see. Suddenly we remember that we have got a limited account to send SMS. So, we have to be careful in taking care of the account. Without doing that, we will not be able to communicate and share information completely. One well known and possible solution to do that; we clip the expression to save the characters and of course to save the account. We then write like this: Hi Jo! How r u?Long time no c.

After sending the first greeting, we continue to send many clipped sentences and the communication goes hotter, and at last, the communication arrives to the end. It is closed by Joanne. She writes: Ok then! I’ll call u if I can get d doc. c u! That is the last word from Joanne. We reply: c.u t Jo! And the communication ends.

On the illustration above, it is clear that the communication via SMS has been made as simply as possible. We do not need to write a very long sentence to represent our idea while we are able to make it shorter. Here in sending SMS, simplicity becomes the norm. People understand and say no comment.

In Indonesia, clipping is also used as the best choice to communicate via SMS. Clipping pattern of Indonesian language is likely similar with English; A word is clipped shorter, yet it is still intelligible. In Indonesian SMS, to greet someone we just write; Hai Rud!Pakabar?Lama gak ktm ya? (Hi Rud! How are you? Long time no see ha.) instead of writing: Hai Rudi! Apa kabar? Lama tidak bertemu ya? Like what Joanne writes, we just simply write: Tak telp km kl dah dpt dokumnt itu ok! Ampe ktm. (Ok! I will call you if I can get the document. See you) to end the communication. Indonesian people make the simpler communication by clipping the words, a trend in nowadays communication via SMS.

There are many clipped words which are famously understood by Indonesian. This article will bring ten of them to be shown. Those are:

1. Aq stands for Aku means I in English

2. Yg/yng stands for yang means which in English

3. Lg stands for lagi means more in English

4. Am/ama stands for sama means with in English

5. Bcnda stands for bercanda means just a joke in English

6. Org/orng stands for orang means a person/people in English

7. Tp stands for tapi means but in English

8. Bs stands for bisa means can/the ability to do something in English

9. Ato stands for atau means or in English

10. Kl/klo stands for kalau means if in English

Unfortunately, a phenomenon to clip a Madurese words/expression in writing SMS is not often found. We take for example the communication like Joanne’s clipped sentence (Ok then! I’ll call u if I can get d doc. c u!), Madurese rarely clip their native words/expression like that.

I as a Madurese have never found Madurese people clip an expression of greeting; Dha’ ramma kabarra?Abid ta’ atemmo yah? (How are you? Long time no see ha..) into D’ ramm kabrr?Abd ta’ atmmo yah, or Dha’ rmma kbrra?Abid ta’ atmm yah? These clipped expressions sound awkward to read by Madurese, even by the writer of the SMS itself. Or the clipping expression: Deggi’ ba’na etelponna mon dokumenna la etommo! Montemmon laen areh, (Ok then I’ll call you if I can get the document. See you!) into Degg ba’na etllpn mon dokemnn la etmmo!Mn tmmon laen arh might appear as a big problem that will directly bother the communication between two persons via SMS.

Why is it difficult to clip a Madurese expression/word in SMS? This question may come as a response related to that phenomenon. As a result, this paper is written. This paper is aimed to answer these following questions:

a. Why is it difficult to clip a Madurese word/expression in SMS?

b. How Madurese cope with that problem?

In general, the discussion of those questions comes in turn as follow; a. The reasons why is it difficult to clip a Madurese word/expression, b. The ways Madurese solve their problems, and c. recommendation to be considered

The reasons why it is difficult to clip a Madurese word/expression

After seeing the difficulty of clipping a Madurese word/expression, we need to know the reasons behind this matter. There are at least three reasons can be found behind those problems.

The first reason might appear because Madurese are not familiar with Madurese language used in writing, the second reason comes as the continuation of the first reason; there is no clear pattern related to how to clip a word/expression in Madurese, the third reason is related to the special character of Madurese language;

The first reason comes as the result of Madurese language status. Being an ethnic language, not as an official language, gives little benefit to Madurese, especially to Madurese language’s usage in daily lives. As we come to the written one, the usage of Madurese language is almost left. No definite reasons to explain this problem, yet in general it appears as the result of the improvement on literacy-rate.

It seems it is difficult to understand why this ‘good factor’ plays roles in that problem, but although it is difficult to understand, it can be explained like this: To achieve the knowledge how to write, people must undergo the so called formal educational process in school. This process is managed in a formal way and it gives the impact on the usage of the delivery language.

National policy puts Bahasa Indonesia (the official language of Indonesia) as the delivery language in every school, and of course the students speak and write using that language. In written, students write using alphabetic script in that language too. The students get used to write in Bahasa Indonesia, and it appears as a new pattern in society. Unlikely no one writes Madurese language using alphabetic form. They prefer Bahasa Indonesia to Madurese. When a person does so, it may imply that the person wants to achieve a certain goal, for example to attract people’s attention in the form of ads, or to deliver a massage from a certain institution in the form of banners. However, in major Madurese interaction using alphabetic script, they do it via Bahasa Indonesia. Based on this situation, it is understandable if one day we find a Madurese becomes confused reading a certain writing which uses Madurese as the delivery language. We take for an example; Madurese will face difficulty in understanding the word raja in a sentence: na’ kana’ rowa raja. Raja in this sentence can be read both /r ? d j ? h/ (big) and / r ? d j ? / (a king). Since Madurese rarely use Madurese language in writing form, they face difficulty in distinguishing words. From that situation it is understandable if a Madurese does not use Madurese language in writing SMS.

The second reason might come as the impact of the first reason; there is no clear pattern related to how to clip a word in Madurese. This problem can simply be explained as a chained factor, where one factor influences another. When people are reluctant to use Madurese language in writtten form, then no Madurese writing exists in society. When no Madurese writing exists in society, it gives the impact to its people’s ability in reading the language in written form. They are not accustomed to read Madurese in written, and they face difficulty to read Madurese in written form. When someone writes a sentence in Madurese and send it via SMS, the receiver will spend times to understand it, since it is hard for him to grasp the information behind the sentence.

Arriving at this situation, we can imagine how difficult the communication via SMS is. Moreover if one day someone tries to do like Joanne does, clipping a Madurese word, and send it via SMS, it gives doubled problems to the receiver. When the receiver meets a clipping word bdhn in a sentence Tang bdhn rassanma sake’, the receiver at least must pass through two activities before he/she understands the message. The first she/he must match the message with Bahasa Madura he acquires in his/her mind. From this sentence, the word bdhn, in Madurese mind possibly indicates badhan (body) or budhun (ulcer). It means in a complete writing, the sentence my appear like this: Tang badhan rassana sake’ (I feel pain in my body), or Tang budhun rassana sake’ (I feel paint in my ulcer), the second he/she must guess what the clipped sentence means. In this case, the receiver has to choose whether bdhn refers to badhan (body) or budhun (ulcer). Madurese language and its clipping as it is used in SMS becomes peculiar for Madurese themselves. For instance the clipped word bgt? in Indonesian, which is clipped from begitu? (like that in English) is “unmarked” or usual phenomenon and is understood by many people. While in Madurese, the clipped word lrng, which is clipped from the word larang (expensive in English) is “marked” or unusual in the sense of Madurese people. Much puzzlement will arise related to this problem.

The third reason lies on the special character of Madurese words. Madurese has more consonants than its neighboring languages due to it having a voiceless unaspirated, voiceless aspirated, and voiced sounds. It has a contrast between dental and alveolar (even retroflex) stops. The word Beddha’ (face powder), is a clear example for that character. Besides, the usage of three syllables in a single certain utterances, influences the difficulty in clipping the words. Utterance Dha’ kamma’ah? (Where are you going?) which consists of three morphemes dha’, kamma, and ah, since it is pronounced in a single utterance, gives difficulty in clipping the expression. Taking one morpheme may produce difficulty in understanding the idea. In Indonesia, the expression Kamu mau kemana? is consisted from four morphemes, and it is pronounced in three spaced untereances, kamu-mau-kemana. From these spaced utterances, Indonesian is easier to clip the expression. Indonesian can clip kamu mau kemana easily into Km mo kmn?

The ways Madurese solve their problems,
When writing SMS using madurese language begins to bother Madurese people, they find ways to cope with that problem. There are four possible ways to solve the problem. Firstly they may change the language into bahasa Indonesia, secondly they write using Madurese without any clipping at all, thirdly they must force themselves to relearn again how to read and write using Madurese language, and the last, to achieve the goal to be able to clip Madurese word is SMS, they have to make “agreement” among them related to how to clip a certain Madurese word. In discussion, we are going to discuss them one by one.

Firstly, bahasa Indonesia will be used by Madurese people as a preferable language to overcome the problem. They use bahasa Indonesia in writing SMS and clip the words of the language. This clipping process in this language is much understandable then other language. The status of bahasa Indonesia as Indonesian official language as it is mentioned in the previous discussion, makes it easier for this language to be used in Madurese’s community. The use of bahasa Indonesia limits misunderstanding to grasp the idea in a certain SMS as its words are clipped. Sometimes, there appears various ways or style in clipping a word, however, the ways/styles are still understood. For instance: the word Yang (means which in English) can be clipped into yg, or yng. Both are tolerable. Another example is the word Terima kasih (thanks) can also be clipped both Makacih and trims. Both are acceptable.

To cope with the problem, Madurese use the second way; that is by writing Madurese words without any clipping at all. To avoid misunderstanding, Madurese will write fully word/expression. It sounds uneconomical, yet Madurese have no other choice. The expression must be written completely so that it can be understood clearly. The expression Abdhina lastare adha’ar (I have eaten) must be written as it used to write, no clipping. If someone tries to clip the expression, no body will be able to understand it. However, Madurese still face difficulty taking this solution. Not many of them understand fast the words written in Madurese. They need times to think about the words over.

The third way may come as a long term way to solve the problems. As it is stated in the previous explanation that Madurese must force themselves to relearn again how to read and write using Madurese language, this solution may spend a long time before this solution is ready to be used to solve the problem. It seems it is likely hilarious, asking Madurese to relearn again how to write and to read their own native language, yet Madurese must undertake this process. Parents must practice again how to read and write Madurese language using alphabetic script, and they have to teach their children to do that so. If reading and writing using Madurese language appears as a habit, then it is likely this problem related to how to understand SMS written Madurese will not appear anymore.

After establishing a new culture of reading and writing Madurese language, then we come to the final way, that is to make an agreement among Madurese related to how to clip a certain Madurese word. The agreement may not come in a big meeting, or in a formal conference. This agreement may come in a simple matter. We can illustrate it like a snowball effect. Just write an SMS, clip words in that SMS as we like, send it and ask the receiver to fallow our pattern in clipping the words. For instance, the word sengko’ (I in English) may be clipped as s’ko, sateya (now in English) may be clipped into sty or stey, send the words and ask the receivers to do the same way if they want to use the word. This paper proposes nine clipped words/expressions, that are often used in daily communication, to be used in writing SMS. Those words/expressions are:

  1. Sengko’ (I in English) is clipped into S’ko
  2. Ba’na (you in English) is clipped into B’na
  3. Dha’kamma’ah (where are you going) is clipped into Dha’kmm’ah
  4. Dhari kammah (where have you been) is clipped into Dhri kammh
  5. Sapah? (who?) is clipped into Sp?
  6. Ebhu’ (mother) is clipped into Eb’
  7. Ale’ (younger sister/brother) is clipped into Al’
  8. Gita’ (not yet) is clipped into Gt’
  9. Sakalangkong (thanks) is clipped into Sklangkng

The deficiency of competence of how to use Madurese in writing may appear as the principal reason of how to clip a Madurese word in SMS. Clipping for many people is just a trifling process that can be solved easily. But when we see this problem deeply, we will find that actually this problem is a kind of an iceberg. It hides a big problems related to the existence of Madurese language in the future. Once it appears that many people do not know how to transfer their native language in the form of writing, next, they will forget to use the native language itself. If we do not try to overcome this language, then what Yule has stated will come into reality. Yule has stated in his book “The Study of Language” that a very large number of languages found in the world today are only used in the spoken form. It rises as the consequence of not having the written form thereof. It leads to a case that many people are able to perform “a very excellent language” in their society yet failed to carry out the language in written form (Yule 1985:8). Madurese people only have their own spoken language, yet in written it appears no more.

To practice the usage of Madurese in writing in everyday activities is suggested in this paper. This practice will not only be aimed to find the problem solving the question “why is it difficult to clip a Medurese word in SMS, but more than that, it will be used to save the Madurese language itself in the future.


Yule, George. 1985. The Study of Language. New York: Cambridge University Press


  1. Desember 21, 2012 pukul 7:33 pm

    Whoa! This blog looks exactly like my old one!
    It’s on a entirely different subject but it has pretty much the same page layout and design. Superb choice of colors!

  2. Syahid
    November 6, 2020 pukul 12:00 am

    Boleh saya minta izin untuk mengkaji lebih dalam tentang Article di Blog Ini untuk dijadikan Article penelitian?

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