Friday, December 12, 2014

Hubungan Erat Bahasa Arab dan Hindustan (India)

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perkembangan penulisan numerik
Anak benua India memiliki hubungan yang sangat klasik dengan dunia Arab, dan juga Persia. Bahkan, selama ratusan tahun, sejak abad ke-11, sebagian besar tanah India utara diperintah oleh dinasti Islam dengan akar budaya Arab.

Dinasti Mughal misalnya, yang terkenal dengan Sultan Jalaluddin Akbar [baca KISAH JODHA AKBAR].

Persinggungan lain misalnya juga telah kita bahas dalam tulisan tentang Misteri angka 786 yang populer bagi masyarakat India dan Urdu. (Baca: Menguak Misteri Angka 786].

Kali ini kita tidak akan membahas dari segi sejarah perpolitikan, tapi dari segi bahasa. Ketika menonton film hindusta, akan kita temukan banyak sekali bahasa-bahasa India yang ternyata berkonotasi sama dengan Bahasa Arab, misalnya: intizhar, kanun, mohabbat, dan lain sebagainya.

Mengapa demikian? Tertanya, hubungan kebahasaan antara India dan Arab telah terjalin sejak lama. Perbauran antara bahawa Farsi, Arab dan Turki di India dan Tanah Urdu menjadi semacam lingua franca sebagian besar India utara dan Pakistan.

Penulisan kalimat Om! dalam tulisan India
sekilas mirip dengan tiga abjad Arab: Ha, Nun dan Dal
yang dibaca dengan Hind
Beberapa kata yang digunakan sehari-hari ternyata diadopsi dari bahasa Arab, seperti kanun (hukum, dari bahasa Arab qanuun, yang diadopsi pula dari Greco-Latin "canon"). Begitupun kara siyasai atau siyasat (politik), akhbar (koran, dalam bahasa Arab, artinya "kabar"), jumuriyat (demokrasi dalam bahasa Urdu, dalam bahasa Arab, sebuah jumhuriya yang berarti republik dan jumhur adalah warga negara).

Kosa kata lain yang cukup populer adalah Kharif (dalam bahasa arab berarti musim gugur, dalam bahasa India lebih berkonotasi pada pasca-musim tanam) dan juga rabi (yang berarti musim semi dalam bahasa Arab, dalam bahasa India berarti sama dan digunakan juga dalam konotasi musim panen).

Semua kata-kata di atas sepertinya tidak ada rujukannya dalam bahasa Sanskerta sebagai rujukan utama bahasa India, tapi justru dari bahasa Arab.

Dalam harian The Economist edisi 10 Februari 2011, ada sebuah tulisan menarik berjudul 'Arabic and Hindi, Joined at Birth'. yang mengulas betapa dekatnya hubungan antara bahasa Arab dan Bahasa India yang terasimilasi sejak lama.

Berikut tulisan lengkapnya:
INDIA has very old links with the Arab world, and with Persia. For hundreds of years starting in the 11th century, large parts of northern India were ruled by dynasties with roots in that part of the world; the language of the Mughal court was Persian, and so on. This is all well-known, as is the existence of many loan-words from Farsi, Arabic and Turkish in Hindi/Urdu, the lingua franca of much of northern India and Pakistan.
But as a Hindi-speaker, even though you know, in theory, that Hindi is full of words borrowed from Arabic and Farsi, you don't always know which words they are; and you tend not to think of a word's provenance when you use it. There are words I was aware of, like kanun (law, from the Arabic qanuun, itself borrowed from the Greco-Latin "canon"), siyasai or siyasat (politics), akhbar (newspaper; in Arabic, it means "news"); jumuriyat ("democracy" in Urdu; in Arabic, a jumhuriya is a republic and the jumhur is the citizenry or polis); but these are "big" words, which I knew were borrowed in much the same way that an English-speaker knows that big words like "democracy" and "republic" are Greek or Latin in origin.
So it is still always a jolt to suddenly hear a word you recognise from everyday speech in the middle of a speech or monologue in a language you otherwise don't understand at all. Lately, I've been having this feeling as I watch coverage of the protests in Egypt. I've never thought about the etymology of the Hindi word bas (pronounced, roughly, like “bus”), which means something like “that's all”, or “enough”. I do, however, hear a lot of protestors using it in exactly the same way. It's intriguing to think that this, one of the most common words of everyday Hindi, might have come to us from Arab traders, soldiers or conquerors nearly a millennium ago. It seems likely; I cannot think of a Sanskrit root.
My favourite discovery so far involves the two main agricultural seasons in South Asia; these are known as the Kharif (post-monsoon sowing, autumn harvest) and Rabi (winter sowing, spring harvest). These terms are constantly used in discussions about agriculture and the economy. Yet somehow, I had never asked myself their origin. Looking for the meaning of another word, I stumbled across a basic Arabic vocabulary list. And that is where I discovered that the Arabic words for autumn and spring are khareef and rabee', respectively. Which, of course, makes perfect sense, now that I know.
It happens the other way around too. I was once with a Palestinian friend who had recently arrived in Delhi. At one point, in the middle of a characteristically heated exchange with an auto-rickshaw driver over the condition of his meter, she turned to me and said “Is he speaking Arabic half the time? I feel like I understand every fifth word.”
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