Language | Saturday 19 December 2009 | sundanesecorner.org
Learners of Sundanese are often confused about the word acan [ã chan] and teu acan [teu ã chan]. The confusion is caused by the word teu, which is the abbreviation of henteu [hen teu], and means ‘not; no’. They think that teu acan is a negation of acan, whereas in fact these two words have exactly the same meaning: ‘not yet’. So one can express, ‘Riungan acan/teu acan rengse’ (the meeting has not yet finished).
One can notice at least two points: firstly, acan is the abbreviation of teu acan or tacan; secondly, teu acan sounds more polite than acan.
In different context, the word acan is used with different meaning. It can be a colloquial expression which means “even/hardly”. For example, a humble Sundanese would say, “Abdi mah teu bodo-bodo acan” (literally means “I’m not even stupid”).***