Basa Bali

The mission of BASAbali is to bring together experts on Balinese language and culture to create the first multimedia language materials for spoken Balinese and the endangered Balinese script and to more generally promote the use and understanding of Balinese. BASAbali will donate all of its materials to nonprofit organizations free of charge.

A the 2015 BaliSpirit Festival, BASAbali will be the hosts for Balinese programs for adults and kids. Read about them more on the Hari Cinta Keluarga

Read more about BASAbali in this recent press release:

Technology Gives New Spark to Minority Language
BASAbali organizes project to create learning materials for threatened Balinese language
Feb. 2013 – BASAbali, a nonprofit organization created to provide a vehicle to electronically bring together anthropologists, linguists, and videographers from around the world, announced today the release of the first multimedia materials for the teaching of Balinese. The Austronesian language is the native tongue of a diminishing 1 million out of 3 million people living in Bali and its script is already endangered. As with other minority languages, globalization and tourism encourages the use of English, while the central government’s effort to keep together a country of disparate ethnic groups promotes the use of the national Indonesian.

“Bringing together expertise to create modern, engaging materials to learn Balinese is tremendous progress for the Balinese language to be recognized as part of the universe of languages and for Bali to be well known not just as paradise island but also one that is rich which indigenous culture. The materials will help Balinese thrive even in the middle of globalization,” explains Ayu Mandala, Program Manager of BASAbali.

Money for the project was raised on Kickstarter.com, an online fundraising tool, which also produced donations of legal expertise, a sound studio, logo design, and publicity. “Desktop volunteers” found through Sparked.com came forward to design the website and produce e-learning modules. Balinese videographers were located on YouTube, while linguistic and cultural listservers connected BASAbali with linguists and anthropologists. Transparent Language, a leading provider of language-learning technology, donated its software and hundreds of hours of technical expertise.

The resulting materials consist of 24 dialogue-based videos, language exercises, and grammatical notes that focus on modern, conversational Balinese. Many of the videos focus on contemporary issues facing Bali, such as organic gardening, recycling; smoking restrictions, etc. so that the videos come to life in contemporary culture. Interactive modules teach the language’s endangered script. Drawing from the extensive body of literature on Bali, the materials will also serve as a gateway to resources on Balinese culture more generally. The materials will be distributed, free of charge, to nonprofit organizations and community groups and sold to individuals at a modest fee ($25 or by donation) to cover the costs of updates, technical support, and an internship program which will send Balinese linguist students into elementary schools to teach Balinese, which so far has been taught with dated primers.

“This project will allow people to learn modern Balinese, since the Balinese language dictionaries available today are very traditional and have not developed in accordance with the progress of society and it will provide a new medium to learn the language, “says Windhu Sancaya, Professor at Lembaga Budaya Bali Institute.

As a result of this initiative, a new Balinese institute, Lembaga Budaya Bali, has been founded. The institute will sponsor internship programs for university students from Udayana and DwiJendra Universities to teach Balinese in elementary schools using these new materials and to work with Balinese teachers to create additional curriculum for the language.

For more information visit: www.basabali.org

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