British English or American English?

Posted: Maret 30, 2010 in Bahasa Inggris

British English or American English?
Praktik Bahasa Inggris di Indonesia sangat membingungkan. Bayangkan saja, kiblat Bahasa Inggris di negeri ini sebenarnya British English atau American English sih?

Sejak SD hingga SMP, saya selalu diajari British English di sekolah. Artinya, saya pada mulanya mengenal kata-kata seperti biscuit, centre, colour, dialogue, favourite, football, dan realise. Namun, ketika saya sewaktu SMP juga mengambil kursus Bahasa Inggris di LB-LIA (sekarang LBPP-LIA), saya mulai mengenal kata-kata American English seperti cookie, center, color, dialog, favorite, soccer, dan realize. Di bangku SMA pun, American English lebih mendominasi telinga dan mata saya, terutama karena gempuran produk Negeri Paman Sam tersebut, seperti musik, film, iklan komersial, dan lain-lain.

Kebingungan saya belum sempat terjawab ketika tiba-tiba satu pertanyaan lagi muncul: bagaimana dengan praktik Bahasa Inggris di negara-negara Asia Tenggara? Iseng-iseng saya menyelidiki Bahasa Inggris mazhab manakah yang mereka pakai. Maka, saya mensurvey beberapa situs internet dari beberapa perusahaan media di Asia Tenggara. Sebagai indikator, saya menetapkan sufiks -ise sebagai representasi British English dan akhiran -ize untuk American English. Indikator ini saya anggap cukup dapat diandalkan untuk mengetahui preferensi mazhab Bahasa Inggris suatu media.

Hasilnya sebagai berikut:
==================================================================

1. Bernama.com (Malaysia)

* “I will utilise my website and blog to let the people know me and our division better.”
* On Ka Ting’s claims that MCA was still an organised and united party when he left it for retirement in 2008, …

2. BangkokPost.com (Thailand)

* Many villagers in the North also burn garbage either because no organised collection exists, or to avoid collection fees where it is available.
* Expat bosses have unrealistic expectations of Thai staff to adopt a more Westernised approach, says Valerie McKenzie, managing director of Thana Burin Asia Pacific Ltd.
* After Yaowaraj the motorised marchers were to travel through Wongwienyai, the Charansanitwong Road and cross Phra Pinklao Bridge before returning to Phan Fa Bridge, ….

3. Inquirer.net (Filipina)

* Akbayan said the Supreme Court decision had jeopardized democracy.
* Nine of the 15 justices voted to authorize Ms Arroyo to appoint the next Chief Justice,…. ”We need the new Congress, after having organized itself, to determine whether or not there is a need for the impeachment process,” Aquino said… ”We should not politicize [it] because it is the remaining bastion of our democracy,” Bello said at the Fatima University.

4. VietnamNews.vnanet.vn (Vietnam)

* The right to explore and exploit minerals will be auctioned, and information and databases on mineral resources will be commercialised to increase the State budget, ….. The Law on Minerals had recognised auctions as one of the ways to go about mineral exploitation since its enactment in 1996…. In another movement, MONRE also strengthened its management to reorganise environmental activities in the country.
* Handicraft producers need to co-operate with each other to tap and maximise their export potential, says Vu Quoc Tuan, chairman of the Viet Nam Handicraft Villages Association.
* Exchanges, depository centre reorganised.

5. BruDirect.com (Brunei Darussalam)

* I am sure we have many government boats not utilised fully.
* It is hoped that the draft can be finalised soon with the help of the workshop held earlier.
* …co-organised by the Co-Curriculum Department’s Uniformed Group Section as well as the Royal Brunei Armed Forces Army Cadet Group….involving schools and colleges nationwide are participating in the four-day camp which began on Thursday and supervised by 35 teacher-cadets.

6. InSing.com (Singapura)

* Preparations for the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) are moving quickly, but organisers said they are still short of 5,000 volunteers.
* “It is a pre-requisite to continued growth and successful integration into a globalise world.”
* Wee then liaised with the financial controller at the time, Alex Ng Soon Heng, on how to doctor the accounts.

==================================================================

Kembali ke Indonesia. Bahasa Inggris mazhab manakah yang dipakai media Tanah Air? Saya memperoleh datanya sebagai berikut:

1. TheJakartaPost.com

* A large-scale oil palm plantation company has been caught hoarding a large amount of subsidized fertilizer that small-scale farmers in the province are in short supply of.
* Once your page becomes recognized as a popular look, you’ll likely gain more followers who add and view your page.
* This March, get ready to be tantalized by a number of special Asian-inspired culinary promotions happening at JW Marriott Jakarta.
* Climate researchers among others from China, Australia, Thailand, Japan and the US attended the seminar jointly organized by the UI and the Association of Pacific Rim Universities World Institute (AWI).

2. Antara.co.id

* Prime Minister (Benjamin) Netanyahu acknowledged as much and apologized for it,” Obama said.
* “What we need right now is both sides to recognize that it is in their interests to move this peace process forward,” Obama said.
* Sixteen Palestinians were hospitalised after Tuesday`s violence in annexed east Jerusalem….

3. TheJakartaGlobe.com

* …the Indonesian Embassy recognized my achievement and awarded me a free trip around the United States…. Don’t worry about winning, but maximize your training, and it’s important to know your limits.
* Although the Public Housing Ministry has provided subsidized apartments across the country, Edy said these had not been properly planned.

==================================================================

Apa yang bisa disimpulkan dari data di atas? Ternyata, 5 negara di Asia Tenggara lebih menyukai British English untuk artikel atau reportase di media, antara lain Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Brunei Darussalam, dan Singapura. Tentang kelompok British English ini, dapatlah Malaysia, Singapura, dan Brunei Darussalam kita maklumi–tentu saja karena mereka adalah negara bekas jajahan koloni Inggris.

Di sisi lain, hanya 2 negara yang memraktikkan American English, yaitu Indonesia dan Filipina. Meski demikian, satu inkonsistensi kecil tampaknya dibuat Antara.co.id karena menggunakan kata hospitalised alih-alih hospitalized (wartawan Antara yang ceroboh?).

Meskipun media Indonesia cenderung memakai American English, secara pribadi, saya kini lebih menyukai British English. Mengapa?

* British English dalam arti tertentu lebih “asli” daripada American English. American English berasal dari lidah para nenek moyang imigran asal Inggris yang di masa lalu (abad ke-17) berlayar dan kemudian menetap di “benua baru” tersebut. Konsekuensinya, British English memiliki akar historis yang lebih kaya daripada American English.
* British English secara resmi dipakai di lebih banyak negara daripada American English. Lihat saja 54 negara yang tergabung dalam Commonwealth. Setahu saya, Bahasa Inggris yang dipakai dalam European Union adalah British English pula. Meski demikian, jumlah total penutur American English (baik sebagai bahasa ibu maupun bahasa kedua) tampaknya lebih banyak daripada British English.
* Aksen British English terdengar seksi, elegan, dan terpelajar. Tonton saja film-film yang diperankan aktor/aktris asal Inggris, seperti serial Harry Potter dan The Chronicles of Narnia. Lalu, bandingkan dengan label “liar dan sembrono” yang biasa dikenakan pada penutur American English (bdk. film-film country).
* Stereotip orang-orang Inggris adalah disiplin pada masalah pronunciation (pelafalan) dan spelling (pengejaan). Sementara itu, orang-orang Amerika dikenal sering keliru dan tidak peduli pada kedua pokok linguistik itu. Bahkan mantan Presiden George W. Bush dan mantan wakil Presiden Dan Quayle pernah diolok-olok karena keliru mengeja “potato” menjadi “potatoe”.

Demikianlah. Kompasianer tentunya juga harus secara konsisten memilih British English atau American English dalam bertutur. Sayang, karena di Indonesia Bahasa Inggris bukanlah bahasa resmi, kita pun menyaksikan terlalu banyak variasi bahasa ini dalam kesehariaan:
Today’s Dialogue (bukan Dialog) di Metro TV,
Khong Guan Biscuits (bukan cookies),
naik lift (bukan elevator),
acara olahraga Djarum Super Soccer (bukan Football),
ATM (bukan cash machine),
Jakarta Convention Center (bukan Centre),
dan lain-lain……….[]

Hireka Eric

Komentar
  1. Wayan Sudra mengatakan:

    Terima kasih atas dimuatnya artikel ini. Sebagai guru bahasa inggris artikel ini sangat bermanfaat dan dapat menembah pengetahuan tentang bahasa inggris.
    Salam hormat

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