Preserving Old Minahasan Words

Wait a minute! Uh..oh…! I was alarmed when my husband said that word! It’s an old Minahasan word stands for brush like in toothbrush, etc. I remember my childhood when I heard such old language is so developed now! That word is bundur. To my surprise, I couldn’t even find that word, as we mean it, on google search! No, there is one actually, but it’s not explaining the meaning.

So, thanks to my husband, I got an idea of writing a new post dealing with our old Minahasan words. I hope it would be useful someday. Just to clarify, what I’m going to list here is only for the old words which I am familiar with, and I am not going to talk about our tribal language of Tombulu’ because even though I live in Tombulu’ region in Minahasa, I just understand it a little bit when the old people talk..but to speak in Tombulu’…hmmmm… sadly I can’t..

Some of our old Minahasan words are derived from foreign language like Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch and Japan. No wonder, since those four countries were ever be a part of our history. I will put the initial of those four countries: P, S, D, and J in brackets to refer to where each word is originated, except for words which are rooted from genuine Minahasa.

So here we go..

Bundur /’bundur/ : brush

Capéo /t∫apéo/ : hat {P: chapéu}

Kadéra /kadéra/ : chair {P: cadeira}

Pastiu /pastiu/ : bored, annoying {P: fastio}

Tésta /tésta/ : forehead {P: testa}

Milu /milu/ : corn {P: milho}

Tuturuga /tuturuga/ : tortoise {P: tartaruga}

Gergantang /g∂rgantang/ : throat {S & P: garganta}

Lengso /lèngso/ : handkerchief {P: lenyo}

Kodomo /kodomo/ : son {J: kodomo}

Bèha /bèha/ : bra {D: beha}

Besuk /b∂suk/ : visiting someone at the hospital {D: bezoeken}

Blek /blèk/ : can container {D: blik}

Brur /brur/ : brother {D: broer}

Goros /goros/ : big {D: groot}

Hanskun /hanskun/ : glove {D: handschoen}

Huk /huk/ : corner {D: hoek}

Eis /èis/ : ice {D: ijs}

Kekerlak /k∂k∂rlak/ : cockroach {D: kakkerlak}

Klar /klar/ : finish {D: klaar}

Knop /knop/ : button {D:knoop}

Kulkas /kulkas/: refrigerator {D: koelkast}

Korting /korting/ : discount {D: korting}

Korsleteng /korslètèng/ : electric problem {D: kortsluiting}

Kran /kran/ : faucet {D: kraan}

Lat /lat/ : late {D: laat}

Ledeng /lèdèng/ : water pipe {D: leiding}

Moi /moi/ : good, nice {D: mooi}

Oma /oma/ : grandmother {D: oma}

Opa /opa/ : grandfather {D: opa}

Oranye /oraηe/ : orange {D: oranje}

Pars /pars/ : purple {D: paars}

Panekuk /pan∂kuk/ : pancake {D: pannekoek}

Pus /pus/ : cat {D: poes}

Rem /rèm/ : brake {D: rem}

Servet /s∂rvèt/ : napkin {D: servet}

Slot /slot/ : lock {D: slot}

Spir /spir/ : muscle {D: spier}

Strom /strom/ : electric {D: stroom}

Suak /suak/ : weak, exhausted {D: zwak}

Sus /s∂s/ : sister {D: zus}

Portuguese & Spanish words are reconfirmed through

Dutch words are copied from “Wat & Hoe, Indonesisch” by Indonesisch: Instituut Indonesische Cursussen – Leiden

I will continue to edit this posting especially when I remember, hear, or think of any old words that Minahasan people used to speak so often in the past. Today, I remember these words below. There is no information about the authenticity of these words (like the list above), so it would be interesting if you find any words below closely related to your language..whether in its form, spelling, or meaning.

Raho /ra:ho/ : sit or stand close to a fireplace in order to get warm

Bongko /bongko/ : hunchbacked

Dodika /dodika/ : square fireplace made of wood & filled with ashes on which we cook our meals by using firewood

Tolu /tolu/ : cone-shaped hat used by local farmers when working in their fields

Gofela /gofèla/ or Rongit /rongit/ : mosquito

Tusa /tusa’/ : cat

Totofore /totoforè/ : trembling or shaking

Cokodidi /tjokodidi/ : act of being very active in one’s action

Sampuraga /sampuraga/ : doing something carelessly

Kokehe /kokèhè/ : cough

Korotey /korotèy/ : color black

edited on Jan 29th, 2012

Sayonara /sayonara/ : Good Bye (J: Sayonara)

Kabubu /kabubu/ : moldy

Toroa /toroa’/, Burako /burako/, & Purakpak /purakpak/ : bungling

Fororo /fororo/: crumple or crease

edited on Feb 10th, 2012


Categories: English | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Preserving Old Minahasan Words

  1. Donald Parengkuan

    Wow! Thanks so much Olive. I also wrote this topic for my thesis back in university. It’s called borrowings right and Minahasan language is so rich with borrowings.

    Btw, I love your blog 🙂 wish that i’ll have more than to write again in the future 🙂

  2. What a double surprise!! To have you visiting my blog & to know that you wrote about this topic! So interesting & exciting, really!! 🙂
    I’m very curious now to dig deeper about it.. Thanks bro’! 🙂

    Thanks for loving my blog & look forward to read yours (come on..blogging here is rock!) heheh..

  3. Thanks to your post, I learn a new vocabulary today: kodomo. Seriously, I’ve never heard of it 🙂

    • You’re welcome, Ly 🙂
      O, really?!? it’s become more reasonable now why it should be included in the list 🙂 🙂 🙂
      That’s the only Minahasan word borrowed from Japanese (as far as I know)

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