Everyone knows Bali, Indonesia’s number one tourist destination, but not as many people know its eastern neighbor, Lombok. It’s been touted as an “unspoiled” alternative to ultra-popular Bali and does draw in a lot of foreign tourists every year. The indigenous inhabitants of Lombok are the Sasak people, who are culturally and linguistically similar to the Balinese people, except that the majority religion of the Sasaks is Islam, while Balinese people are largely Hindu. The Sasaks even have their own language: Sasak.
Today, Sasak is still spoken by around 2.7 million people, or around 85% of Lombok’s population. Although the Sasak people use the language in rural communities and when talking to their families, they use Indonesian for education, administrative purposes, and interethnic communication, with urban speakers often mixing the languages. Sasak has no official status on the island, which leaves it vulnerable to extinction. We at TranslationServices.com would hate to see a valuable cultural asset like Sasak disappear—and that’s why we’re doing our part to help preserve the language by offering Sasak translation services.
If you want to get an idea of our rates, just ask for a free quote for our Sasak translation services!
More details on Sasak, the language of Bali’s neighbor
Lombok is located right next to Bali, and sure enough, the two islands’ languages are related as well. Both come from the Malayo–Polynesian branch of the Austronesian language family, which accounts for most of the languages spoken in Indonesia. Even the traditional scripts are the same—Sasak was traditionally written on dried lontar leaves in the Balinese script, although the Latin alphabet is used today. There are five key dialects of Sasak, and some of them are not mutually intelligible.
Like many of its neighboring languages, including Balinese and Javanese, Sasak employs a complex system of speech levels that are informed by the social statuses of the interlocuters. This means that an entirely different set of vocabulary may be used depending on the social context. Sasak features low, medium, and high levels, with an additional humble-honorific form. Word order in the language is flexible, with subject-verb-object, object-verb-subject, and verb-subject-object all possible, depending on the grammatical context. Sasak verbs do not conjugate for tense, aspect, or mood, but they do have a number of derivational affixes that can produce new words from the base verb.
Would you like translation to Sasak or from Sasak?
Our Sasak translators are proud of their unique language and its various grammatical intricacies, so they’re passionate about helping clients translate to and from the language, as both directions can help preserve Sasak. Sasak-to-English translation of historical documents (even those written in the Balinese script) or Sasak folk tales can help create global awareness of Sasak history and culture, and English-to-Sasak translation of pedagogical materials, research surveys, books, poems, websites, games, apps, and more can benefit Sasak speakers by increasing the amount of content available in the language, thereby legitimizing its position in Lombok society and encouraging more use of the language. More content in Sasak even helps non-native speakers learn the language!
Why not start your Sasak translation project today? All you have to do to get started is send us a message.