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Local Indonesian dialect kept alive on Bens FM Jakarta

One of Indonesia’s local languages got a boost after 106.1 Bens FM began educating listeners in what was their mother tongue.

The station – which broadcasts in Jakarta’s local dialect ‘Bahasa Betawi’  – has created a regular ‘Dictionary’ feature to help young people pick up the language, Asia Radio Today reports.

Betawi is the native language of about 5 million people, spoken by the city’s Betawi people.

It is falling out of use in favour of Bahasa Indonesian but is still often used in slang and in many TV soap operas.

With so many Betawi people unable to speak their “mother tongue”, Bens Radio has vowed to help keep the language alive.

As well as on air ‘Dictionary’ features, the language is being promoted on the station’s website.

Bens Radio launched in 1990 with a mission to protect the Betawi culture.

Despite being a minority language channel, Bens Radio is said to be one of the most popular stations in Jakarta.