SKRIPSI Jurusan Sastra Inggris - Fakultas Sastra UM, 2017

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The Tendency of Using Indonesian and English Swear Words by ELL Students of State University of Malang

Palupi Sekar Apsari




Apsari, Palupi Sekar. 2017. The Tendency of Using Indonesian and English Swear words by ELL Students of State University of Malang. Sarjana’s Thesis. Universitas Negeri Malang: Department of English. Advisors: (1) Dr. Emalia Iragiliati Sukarni, M.Pd., (2) Maria Hidayati, S.S., M.Pd.


Key words: Swear words, Indonesian swear words, English swear words, ELL students, Types of swear words.

Swearing has been considered as a rude and offensive act among society. In fact, nowadays swearing seems to have shifted its nature. It is not rare anymore to see people swear at each other, especially among close friends. Swearing has been defined as a form of solidarity among friends. People swear in many languages, yet most people tend to swear in their native languages because they are accustomed to using those languages since they were born. This research aims at investigating the tendency of using swear words by the participants who are exposed to both their native language and also a foreign language. Thus, English Language and Literature (ELL) students of State University of Malang are chosen as the participants of this research. Its goal is to find out whether the participants tend to swear in Indonesian as their native language or even in English as their foreign language.

The research design for this research is descriptive qualitative. There are two ways for the researcher to collect the data. First, the researcher recorded the conversations between ELL students during many occasions such as lunch break, chatting during classes, etc. The recordings are later transcribed so that the researcher could find and highlight the swear words found. Second, the researcher also distributes questionnaires to 20 participants. The questionnaires focus on finding out the reasons behind the tendency itself. In addition, the researcher also grouped the swear words into the strong and weak ones.

The research findings show that even though the participants are exposed to English for quite some years, they are still accustomed to and feeling more comfortable to swear in Indonesian, particularly Javanese, as their native language. It is shown by the number of frequencies between Indonesian and English swear words. There are 28 Indonesian swear words that are produced 187 times. And as for the English swear words, there are 6 swear words that are produced 26 times. The result from questionnaires also show the same outcome. 12 out of 20 participants say that they choose to swear in Indonesian than in English. While the other 8 choose English and also both Indonesian and English. The tendency of using Indonesian rather than English swear words is mostly because the participants feels more comfortable and are able to express their feeling sincerely. The swear words are also used as an expression to show annoyance, surprise, insult, and even violent refusal.


This research concludes that people are still accustomed to their native language while they are swearing. Even though they have been studying and exposed to English for some years, it doesn’t seem that it brings major change for their language habit. This research is expected to give contributions to the readers, subsequent researchers and also parents and teachers in order to get a broader perspective regarding the use of swear words. For the subsequent researcher in particular, it is hoped that this research could broaden and expand the research that can be analyzed through many approaches of studies.