Linguistic Genocide in India, Indonesia, and Thailand

SHI recently commented that linguistic genocide was also occurring in India, Indonesia, and Thailand as Hindi, Bahasa Indonesia, and Thai take out the many other languages spoken in those lands.

They speak of a Hindi dialect continuum with maybe 200-300 languages in it. I am wondering what the mutual intelligibility figures are for that continuum?

Yes, Bahasa Indonesia is taking out those other languages. Also, I am not sure that those other languages are offered as native language instruction in the schools. Though I recently talked for a few years with a teenage girl from Jogjakarta who spoke Javanese as a native language. She said everyone around her did too.

Thai is taking out the other languages of Spain. But Isan does have 18 million speakers. It’s the native language of the Thais who live in Northeastern Thailand. I corresponded with a Thai woman for several years who was a native Isan speaker. It’s just about mutually intelligible with Lao. Thais claim that Lao and Isan are mutually intelligible with Thai, but if you look at a word list, you can’t see how that’s the case.

In Southern Thailand, Southern Thai has three million speakers is still doing well. A form of Malay is still widely spoken in the Muslim South.

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11 thoughts on “Linguistic Genocide in India, Indonesia, and Thailand”

  1. They speak of a Hindi dialect continuum with maybe 200-300 languages in it. I am wondering what the mutual intelligibility figures are for that continuum?

    Someone speaking a Rajasthani dialect like Nimadi or Bagdi or Gujari is impossible to be understood by a Maithili speaker from Bihar. All these languages are supposed to be versions of Hindi.

    English – Where did you go?
    Bagri – Too kathai gayairo ho?
    Standard Hindi – Tu kahaa gayi hai? (informal)?/ Ap kaha gaye hai? (formal)
    Maithili – Ker apne jaait cichh

    Standard Urdu – Aap kis taraf rukhsat kar chukay? (formal) I prefer standard Urdu to standard Hindi as it sounds more elegant, refined and polished. The same setence two Persian root words “rukhsat” means to leave and “taraf” means direction.

    A standard Hindi speaker may not understand a standard Urdu sentence but it’s not always the other way around.A standard Urdu speaker can indeed understand most Hindi words including many of Sanskrit origin. Urdu has a higher vocabulary as it brings loan words from Arabic, Persian and some Turkish.

    I am trying to be fluent in Urdu. This would help me understand a great deal of Arabic and Persian. Hindi is for uncouth peasants.

    If you really want to learn South Asian or Middle-Eastern languages, Urdu is the perfect language to acquire. You will automatically understand 99% of spoken Hindi apart from knowing a great bit of Persian and Arabic root words.

    If you waste time learning Hindi, you’ll only understand about 80% of spoken Urdu which really isn’t enough.

  2. Well regarding Indonesia, major native languages are taught at school. Examples would be in South Sulawesi, Buginese and Makasarese are taught; in East Java, either Javanese and Madurese; West Kalimantan, either local Malay and Kanayatan.

    But you are right about languages where the speakers are small in numbers are facing extinction. In high schools some streams offers foreign languages like basic french, Arabic, Mandarin, or Korean. Not sure about Thailand though. BTW I live in Malaysia and been following your blog for a long time.

    1. Yes I remember you well. Welcome back to the site! LTNS. Just curious. How are all of you old readers finding the site? I mean you go to the old page, and it’s gone, so how do you know where the new page is?

    2. Hey, are you a Malaysian Indian? I have been to KL. I spent almost half a year in Indonesia, mostly Bali and a bit of Borneo and Jakarta. I even speak a bit of Bahasa now.

          1. I looked you up on Reddit where they were dissing you big time. Probably this thread. I think someone mentioned that you had relocated to your own domain, not linked to it. Just mentioned the name. I can’t place it.


            They’re really spreading the love for RL. There are a number of threads. Dude, it’s really bad. I’d have lawyering up, man and sue them all for defamation. What they’re doing is called character assassination.


            Luckily for you those threads are now closed or archived. So, there won’t be any new comments. Try not to make too many enemies. If all you want in life is chill and enjoy your beer, and spend time with beautiful babes, then these morons are not worth your time.

      1. How do you live when you go live someplace for six months at a time like that. Where do you work? Where do you stay? Etc.

        Bahasa Indonesia and Malay are considered two of the easiest languages on Earth for a human to learn. That’s if you refuse to believe the lie linguists made up that all languages are equally difficult or equally easy to learn.

        1. How do you live when you go live someplace for six months at a time like that. Where do you work? Where do you stay? Etc.

          How do you think I ended up in so much debt? It’s really bad. I wanted to live in foreign countries. I had figured that since I’m still relatively young, I’d gain that experience. I went for that crazy vacation after my mother died. I needed a change of air.

          It wasn’t all that bad as I was living on the cheap, no fancy touristy stuff. I’d eat from local groceries and use a bicycle for my commutes. For inter-city transport, I’d use the cheapest options, usually a bus. Luckily, the exchange rates were favorable at that time.

          At times, I did splurge. Mostly hookers and alcoholic joints in Bali and Ho Chi Minh city.

          I did not work even one day, I mean not for a lack of trying. I am lazy, yes but there are also visa restrictions in place.

          I travelled through Indonesia, Vietnam, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. But, almost 2/3rd of the time was in Indonesia.

          But yes, financially, it’s not looking nice for me at the moment as I have to work my ass off to clear those bad loans. Who cares, I have zero regrets.

          1. Most of my bad loans are due to staying in fancy resorts and places. I mean I had to have a swimming pool handy, with a view of coconut trees and sandy beaches.

            It was pure bliss. I don’t know I just didn’t feel like leaving that paradise called Bali mid-way. It was such a perfect life. I would start every morning on Arak (an Indonesian moonshine spirit with almost 50 percent alcohol content), then smoke a pack before having a heavy breakfast.

            This would be followed by long hours of chatting up white females from European countries and trying to get them to my bedroom. If I failed in my quest, I would walk all the way to the beach and drink cheap Indonesian beers like Bintang. Eat at a grocery or just act like a fool. Come back to the resort and take a dip in the pool. Wow, I never had access to swimming pools while growing up. So, every day spent in those blissful waters of Bali was worth it. I also snorkelled, and went for beach diving.

            EVERY SINGLE DAY WAS A HOLIDAY. Every Friday/Saturday (if I could afford it) was spent in a Bali nightclub.

            I was running the hedonist’s dream till money ran out.

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