BASAbali @ ARMA is a collaboration of people all over the world who have an interest in promoting the Balinese language (although officially, its a not for profit, 501-c-3 organization based in Bethesda, Maryland).
Some of us are native Balinese, some of us are married to a Balinese or have a Balinese parent, some of us are academics with an expertise in some facet of Balinese culture, and some just have a personal interest or connection to Bali. Some of us live in Bali, some in the United States, and some in the many places in between.
We first set out to create modern, multimedia materials to teach Balinese, finding only dictionaries and phrase books and outdated lesson books. Transparent Language, an incredible language learning software company based in New Hampshire, got us started with a donation of thousands of hours of technical support. With money raised on Kickstarter, an online crowd sourcing tool, we raised enough money to produce the 24 professional quality dialogue videos, accompanying language exercises, and a series of modules to teach the endangered Balinese script. We give the program to nonprofit organizations free of charge (and ask for a modest fee from individuals to help us cover costs). The software has been incorporated into the regular middle school curriculum for the DenPasar area. This first version teaches Balinese with English instruction. 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. Both will ultimately be available online, as a standalone DVD, and for mobile devices.
With teams of students and professors from DwiJendra and Udayana Universities, we were able to translate over 7500 phrases needed to translate Google’s home page into Balinese (https://www.google.co.id/). This was part of a Google effort to provide a web presence for minority languages.
We are working to create Balinese as an official WIKI language, which will provide the framework for those who want to develop WIKI applications. We are in the process of developing a Balinese-Indonesian-English wiki reference dictionary based on the late Fred Eiseman’s Balinese-English, English-Balinese dictionaries along with a team of Balinese linguists. The dictionary is intended to serve as a combination of standalone Balinese language dictionary as well as a translation dictionary between the three languages. Our hope is to engage as much of Bali as possible in adding to the dictionary.
If you’d like to get involved with any of these efforts, please let us know. For inquiries from Bali or the rest of Indonesia, please contact Awan at BASAbali.org. For inquiries from elsewhere, please contact Alissa at BASAbali.org.