Indonesian/Malay/Javanese: Bengawan Solo, Sala


Sichuanese Mandarin
I noticed that the word "solo" is obviously a loan word in Indonesian/Malay or Javanese, because the Google translated the word just into "solo" in English or Spanish.

And the river is called Bengawan Sala in Javanese, but the Google translated "sala" just into "sala" in English or Spanish.

If it is true, why does the river's native name use a loan word? And we know, the European first arrived in Indonesia in 16c., doesn't the river have a name before 16c.?
  • Cenzontle

    Senior Member
    English, U.S.
    Wikipedia says the city of Surakarta (Central Java) is "often called Solo and less commonly Sala".
    It's located "on the banks of the Kali (River) Solo".
    I would wager that the name is older than the Dutch presence
    and that it has nothing to do with the western (musical?) term "solo".


    Senior Member
    Though the meaning I will share is based in Tagalog.There are words in Java that have counterpart in Old Tagalog. Sala' existed both in Bahasa and Tagalog with meaning failed to hit. In Tagalog the soft form Sala(h) means to screen.I think that place Bengawan is a place where sand and silt are trapped or screened to form Tumana or sand deposit .Sala is an Austronesian which is not related to solo of Spanish.I like to call Bengawan as Tumana Bengawan.
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