BASA: Balinese Language Preservation Corp is a 501(c)(3) organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission 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.
I started BASAbali a couple of years ago when I went to learn Balinese and found lots of people interested but no modern materials available.
With the help of beloved professors and classmates from Cornell University, an incredibly generous and talented team of people at Transparent Language, an awesome team of videographers from VisualBali and linguists from Udayana University, many experts in Balinese culture, language and history from around the world, and so many amazing people supporting the effort in a whole variety of ways, we pulled together as many resources as we could find to create engaging dialogue-based Balinese language materials.
It soon became apparent that the materials used to teach Balinese in schools were equally dated. The project quickly morphed from providing instruction to the children of Balinese living outside of Bali, non-Balinese Indonesians, expats, and people all over the world interested in learning the language to also providing materials for use in Balinese schools.
With money raised on Kickstarter and through private donations, we raised enough money for the equipment and resources need to produce the videos and to support the linguists and We give the program free of charge to nonprofit organizations and ask for a modest fee from individuals to help us cover distribution and replication costs, video production, linguists and our fabulous in country manager, Ayu Mandala (everyone else is on a volunteer basis). The program is now being piloted in 12 middle schools around DenPasar and has been incorporated into the regular middle school curriculum for the DenPasar area. We’re now in the final stages of creating a second version of the program which will offer instruction in Indonesian for native Indonesian speakers and schools farther afield.
During the course of making these materials and translating Google HomePage into Balinese (https://www.google.co.id/), we were fortunate to have the late Fred Eiseman’s Balinese-English, English-Balinese dictionaries donated to us, with much appreciation to Maggie Eiseman and Fred’s assistant, Linud. We want to put this dictionary online, to make it freely accessible to all and to engage as much of Bali as possible to add new words, latest word usage, regional distinctions, Indonesian translation, and derivations.
If you’d like to get involved with any of these efforts, please let us know. You can reach us at Alissa at BASAbali.org and Ayu at BASAbali.org.