Just now, this [Superman] shared [this link] on Facebook. To understand this, I need not to look farther than my mirror. I consider myself belong to the earliest generation in which this phenomenon starts to be prevalent. By Indonesian standard, even for non-native standard, I speak fluent English. But my proficiency in Javanese, which is supposed to be my first/second language, is limited to the ngoko/”rude” form and very little krama inggil/the “polite” form. That’s like only knowing a half of the language. There are a few reasons of this. Somehow my parents decided to teach me more Indonesian, which I am very fluent in, and only little Javanese. Family members can also speak to each other in ngoko, although with some krama inggil words when referring to the parents (although I usually just replace those words with Indonesian words instead), so it’s no wonder that my krama inggil doesn’t improve much.
I live in Singapore, so there is very little need of knowing and speaking Javanese. There was one occasion though, when I die die had to speak krama inggil Javanese. When I still rented my previous room, I stayed with, well, the Singaporean owner, of course, and a Javanese family also from my hometown (actually our homes are just a few hundred metres apart). The couple’s parents often visited them, and they seemed to speak Javanese more often. So, when I conversed with them, I had to use krama inggil. It felt very awkward, since I didn’t know the polite forms of many words, so at times I had to resort to Indonesian, or mistakenly used the rude forms. Another thing is, older Javanese generations speak veeeeeery slowly, whereas I am known for my fast talk, so the way I spoke krama inggil was like very un-Javanese.
On another occasion, when I returned home last year, my Father took me to his school reunion, in which I talked to some of his friends. At this time, however, I initiated to talk in krama inggil, instead of Indonesian. At home, my Father laughed. He seemed very surprised and was very keen of talking about this to my Mother.
Closing remarks. I talked to my Father just a few weeks ago when he visited me (I am in [Palapa Oath] mode, so I don’t want to return home until I submit another paper), that quite likely I will not have a Javanese wife. I understand very much about the surrounding issues of having girlfriend/spouse of different ethnicity/nationality, but like it or not, with this current condition most women I meet are not Indonesian, let alone Javanese. So the family line from my branch may stop being and speaking Javanese at some point of time.