Help Preserve Javanese, Balinese, Sunda Scripts - Hanacaraka

It’s Faster for Some to Learn to Read than Others

Over the years living in Thailand, I had many people coming from Non-English speaking backgrounds approach me about how they might best approach learning Thai. Many of these people came from language backgrounds that had their scripts based on the Indic Sound system – e.g. Burmese, Hindi, Nepali, Panjabi etc. My Burmese maid could speak Thai, but only read Burmese – this was a tool I used to help her start reading Thai. There were also several Thai born Panjabis that could kind of speak Panjabi, but couldn’t read or write it. They could however read Thai, so I used this chart to help them learn to write the Gurmukhi script.

Indonesian’s Have a Secret Weapon that they don’t Realise

There were also a lot of Indonesians in the group. Knowing that many of them would have at least had a grounding in ‘Bahasa Daerah’ or their own ‘local language’ when they were at school, I thought that this might be enough to give them a head start on their Thai.

I originally wanted to include Javanese, Balinese, Sundanese, Batak and a few other ‘Bahasa Daerah’. There wasn’t enough space on this chart though, so I selected the languages that I thought would serve the largest amount of people living in Thailand / SE Asia. The two local Indonesian languages that I inlcuded in my Indic Consonant Compass are Javanese and Balinese.

The whole gyst of this clip is to hopefully inspire Indonesians to not only dilligently persue learning languages from other countries, but to at the same time get excited about breathing new life into the ‘Bahasa Daerah’ or ‘local languages’ of Indonesia. In this clip, I pay particular attention to Javanese, because for many people who have learned Javanese at school, they might not realise the relationship between it and Balinese and also it and all the other Indic Scripts. A rhyme ‘Hanacaraka’ was developed way back as a mnemonic device so people could remember the alphabet easily.

The Javanese Alphabet ‘Poem’

Ha ꦲ | Na ꦤ | Ca ꦕ | Ra ꦫ |  Ka  ꦏ

Da ꦢ | Ta ꦠ | Sa ꦱ | Wa ꦮ | La ꦭ

Pa ꦥ | DHa ꦝ | Ja ꦗ | Ya ꦪ | NYa ꦚ

Ma ꦩ | Ga ꦒ | Ba ꦧ | THa ꦛ | NGa ꦔ

This works wonders for remembering the letters easily, but the downside is that you lose the original framework of the alphabet. When you understand this original base framework of the Indic Sound System, you suddenly have whole new worlds opened up to you.

It Even Works with People Who Have Never Learned an Indic Based Script Before

I use this chart also in my Cracking Thai Fundamentals group, so it can also be used by people who have never had any prior learning of a script based on the Indic system. The Indic system’s genius is that the letters are arranged as a map of the human mouth. I developed a series of glyphs that represent the key points and actions of the mouth. For Korean speakers, you will notice an eerie similarity.

Check my Interactive Indic Consonant Compass out at

Video Clip Transcript

Stuart Jay Raj’s SE Asian Indic Consonant Compass

Ha Na Ca Ra Ka – Da Ta Sa Wa La
Pa DHa Ja Ya NYa – Ma Ga Ba Tha Nga

Asalamu Alaikum and Good Morning Everyone

I’m really excited today because I have something
extremely valuable that I’m going to share with you

For those Javanese people watching, raise your hand if
you have ever learned the Javanese alphabet (Hanacaraka)?

You’ve learnt it before right?

Now raise your hand if you can still competently read and write it?

How could that be?

Nowadays there are so many
Indonesians learning foreign languages

For example, English, Japanese, Chinese

But what a pity. It’s almost as though the more
that Indonesians learn languages from overseas

The more the local languages of Indonesia are lost

Last year I developed a tool that can be used by
people from India and other countries in SE Asia

That will help them preserve and learn languages
that are based on the Indic Writing System

They include Javanese, Balinese, Thai,
Cambodian, Burmese, Tibetan, Sanskrit

It’s called ‘Stu’s Indic Consonant Compass’

Or in Indonesian, ‘Indic Consonant Compass’

For those who have learned ‘Hanacaraka’ (Javanese Alphabet) before

You learnt it in the order ‘Ha’ then ‘Na’
then ‘Ca’ then ‘Ra’ followed by ‘Ka’ right?

This is because back in those days, the Javanese language scholars needed
a tool that would allow their students to remember the alphabet easily

So they wrote the poem ‘Ha Na Ca Ra Ka’

But originally, the Javanese letters also came from that Indic system

It’s an absolutely amazing system because

Each of the letters in the alphabet are arranged to
represent the points of articulation in the vocal cavity

So the ‘ABC’ alphabets in Javanese, Balinese, Thai,
Hindi etc are actually maps of the mouth cavity

So if you can learn this amazingly logical Indic system

You can then easily learn other languages based on that system

For example, Thai, Burmese, Cambodian,
Hindi, Sanskrit can then be easily learned

You can read a more detailed explanation of this system at

Let’s preserve Indonesia’s local languages

So that Indonesians don’t lose their culture and their identity

I’m Stuart Jay Raj from Language and Mind Mastery at

Thank you



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Written by

Stuart Jay Raj