basa Banyumasan, basa Ngapak
Native toWestern Part of Central Java (Indonesia)
DialectsTegalan, Banyumasan, Banten
Language codes
ISO 639-3

Banyumasan (basa Banyumasan), also known as the autoglottonym Ngapak (basa Ngapak), is a dialect of Javanese spoken mainly in three areas of Java that is the Banyumasan, located in westernmost Central Java province and surrounding the Slamet mountain and Serayu River; a neighboring area inside West Java province; and northern region of Banten province. This area includes Cilacap, Kebumen, Banjarnegara, Purbalingga, Banyumas, Pemalang, Tegal, and Brebes regencies, together with independent cities within that region.[1] Banyumasan is considered as one of the most conservative Javanese dialects (comparable to the Nuorese variety of Sardinian), retaining the phonology and some aspects of Old Javanese grammar in the modern language.


Scholars divide the development of Javanese language into four different stages:

The phases above were influenced by the emergence of empires in Java. In Javanese cultural history, empires yielded some distinct grades of language, each grade representing the social grade of the speakers (mainly nobles and populaces). Those grades of language are not of significant influence to Banyumasan people. In the Banyumasan region, high grades are usually used only when speaking to a stranger assumed to come from the eastern area of Java i.e. Yogyakarta / Surakarta etc., or on certain occasions. Nowadays the Banyumasan people use high grade Javanese to a stranger, a noble man and older people. Surakartan and Yogyakartan style are usually considered the standard Javanese language.[2]


Banyumasan many differences compared to standard Javanese, mainly in phonology, pronunciation and vocabulary. This happened due to cultural or character distinction and widely current usage of Old Javanese vocabulary. Another distinction is that the pronunciation of the vowels is not as complicated.

Vocabulary distinction is basically found in:

Banyumasan Standard Javanese English
ageh ayo come on
ambring sepi quiet
batir kanca friend
bangkong kodok frog
bengel mumet dizzy
bodhol rusak broken
brug → Dutch loanwords kreteg bridge
bringsang sumuk hot
gering kuru thin
clebek kopi coffee
londhog alon slow
druni medhit stingy
dhonge/dhongane kudune should be
egin isih still
gableg duwe have
getul tekan arrive
gigal tiba fall
gili dalan road
gujih rewel fussy
jagong lungguh sit
kiye iki this
kuwe iku that
letek asin salty
maen apik good
maregi nyebeli badly


Javanese speech varies depending on social context, yielding three distinct styles, or registers. Each style employs its own vocabulary, grammatical rules and even prosody. This is not unique to Javanese; neighbouring Austronesian languages as well as East Asian languages such as Korean, Japanese and Thai share similar constructions.

In Javanese these styles are called:

  1. Ngoko is informal speech, used between friends and close relatives. It is also used by persons of higher status to persons of lower status, such as elders to younger people or bosses to subordinates.
  2. Madya is the intermediary form between ngoko and krama. An example of the context where one would use madya is an interaction between strangers on the street, where one wants to be neither too formal nor too informal.
  3. Krama is the polite and formal style. It is used between persons of the same status who do not wish to be informal. It is also the official style for public speeches, announcements, etc.

In the Banyumasan region, Madya and Krama styles are rarely used, usually towards a stranger who is assumed to come from the eastern area of Java (wetanan) such as Yogyakarta, Surakarta etc. or on certain occasions, an eastern style of language (basa wetanan) named bandhekan (from gandhek).

Dialects and sub-dialects

There are three main dialects of Banyumasan: North area (Tegalan), South area (Banyumasan), and Banten.

The Tegalan dialect is spoken in northern areas of Banyumasan: Tanjung, Ketanggungan, Larangan, Brebes, Slawi, Moga, Pemalang, Surodadi, and Tegal.

The Banyumasan dialect is spoken in southern areas: Bumiayu, Karang Pucung, Cilacap, Nusakambangan Island, Kroya, Ajibarang, Wangon, Purwokerto, Purbalingga, Bobotsari, Banjarnegara, Purwareja, Kebumen, and Gombong.

The Banten dialect is spoken in north Banten.

In addition, there are several sub-dialects spoken in Banyumasan, such as Bumiayu, Dayeuhluhur, and Ayah.

See also


  1. ^ Abdul Muslim (3 December 2015). "Bahasa Banyumasan Terancam Punah" [Banyumasan Language Threatened with Extinction]. Berita Satu (in Indonesian). Retrieved 25 March 2022.
  2. ^ "Bupati Luncurkan Aplikasi Kamus Bahasa Banyumas" [Banyumas Regent Launches Banyumasan Language Dictionary Application]. (in Indonesian). Archived from the original on 13 January 2020. Retrieved 15 February 2020.