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Javanese Language in/as Culture


Admission requirements

Basic knowledge of Indonesian is not required, but it will be a pro.


Javanese is the mother tongue of about 100 million people around the world. It gives access to a dynamic contemporary culture that includes performing arts like the wayang shadowplay, and to a vast literature that reaches back many centuries. Today Javanese is spoken in Indonesia (especially Java), but also in the diaspora in Suriname and Malaysia, and it is a heritage language in, among other places, Singapore and the Netherlands.

Javanese Language in/as Culture is an introduction to contemporary spoken Javanese that devotes ample attention to how the language is part of culture and how it is used in everyday interaction. Javanese has fascinating characteristics. It can be used to show politeness in very intricate ways, especially through word choice and tone of voice. (It is not difficult to be rude either, as you will learn in Lesson 4.) It is a highly context-sensitive language: certain elements that in, for instance, English must be expressed – through sentence subjects, verb times, whether nouns are singular or plural, etc. – need only be made explicit if they are unclear from the context. It has a fascinating set of words for imitating sounds and even movements. And much more.

Javanese Language in/as Culture uses a textbook with interactive multimedia component for explanations, examples, vocabulary lists, and exercises.

Course objectives

This course aims at:

  • the A1 (beginner) level of spoken Javanese according to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). Speaking: Learners should acquire communicative skills enabling them to converse about simple and routine matters. They should be able to describe aspects of their backgrounds and environments in simple terms and a culturally suitable manner. Listening: Learners should be able to understand ordinary speech on common topics and to extract the main point of messages if people talk slowly. Reading: Learners should be able to read and understand short and simple texts in spoken Javanese style on familiar matters containing basic vocabulary. Writing: Learners should be able to write short texts on familiar topics in spoken Javanese style.

  • fundamental theoretical insight into how Javanese language, interaction, and culture are interwoven


The timetables are avalable through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

Textbook, multimedia materials, seminar (one two-hour seminar per week)

Assessment method


Assessment of Javanese Language in/as Culture consists of the following components:

  • in-class language performance and active participation: 30% of final grade

  • written assignments: 10% of final grade

  • project: 20% of final grade (audio blog, group video project, classroom drama performance, etc.)

  • end-of-term oral exam (oral proficiency interview): 20% of final grade

  • end-of-term written exam: 20% of final grade

Attendance and active participation are obligatory. If you are unable to attend a class session (seminar), please inform the teacher in advance, providing a valid reason for your absence. Absence at more than 25% of sessions results in exclusion from the course.


The final grade of the course is established by determining the weighted average of all assessment components. In order to pass the course, the final grade needs to be 5.5 (=6) or higher.


If the final grade is insufficient, only the end-of-term oral and written exams can be retaken (40% of final grade).
The course is an integrated whole. All assessment components must be completed in the same academic year. No partial grades can be carried over into following years.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will be organized.

Reading list

Textbook with online interactive multimedia component


Enrolment through MyStudyMap is mandatory.

Registration Studeren à la carte

Registration Studeren à la carte.


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Vrieshof