Wednesday, 12 March 2008

28 When you are in emergency

No one wishes to be in emergency, neither do you. But if you are in such a situation, you should ask for help, whom you should ask depending on the kind of the emergency. And what if this happens when you are in Indonesia? The following terms and expressions might be of importance when you are in emergency.

Please call the police! Tolong panggil polisi!
Please call a doctor/an ambulance, quickly! Tolong panggil dokter/ambulans, cepat!
Help! Tolong!
Beware of pickpocket! Hati-hati banyak pencuri!
There has been an accident! Ada kecelakaan!
Fire! Kebakaran!
He's/she's bleeding (heavily). Dia berdarah.
He's/she's (seriously) injured. Dia luka parah.
I can't move my (hand, arm, foot, leg, neck). It hurts. Saya tidak bisa menggerakkan (tangan, lengan, kaki, telapak kaki, leher) saya. Sakit.

Until next lessons, sampai jumpa!


Tuesday, 4 March 2008

27 Is this site of any help?

Dear readers,

Is this blog of any use to you? If it is, please feel free to bookmark it and feed it if necessary. If it is the first time you visit my blog, please refer to my previous blogs (see Blog Archives), start from the beginning! And to make your study complete, 
feel free to visit It won't harm you any penny!

I hope you'll enjoy my service, but if you think this site needs some improvement I am very happy to hear it from you!



Wednesday, 27 February 2008

26 When You Compare Things (2)

It is possible that when you compare two objects or facts you find both have the same quality. Then you will say that A has the quality as that of B, or A is as good as B. In Indonesian we would say:

A sama kualitasnya dengan B


A sebaik B.

From these two constructions we can formulate the following general rules for comparing two objects (facts) when both have the same quality or characteristics:

[Object 1] sama + adj. +nya dengan [Object 2]


[Object 1] se+adj. [Object 2].

(Note that we can replace adj. with adv. in both constructions. The second construction is simpler then the other.)

Let us try digesting the rule by using some examples below.

John is clever. Tom is as clever as John.
John pintar. Tom sama pintarnya dengan John, or John sepintar Tom.

John runs rapidly. Tom runs as rapidly as John.
John lari cepat. Tom lari sama cepatnya dengan John, or Tom lari secepat John.

His house is big and expensive. Her house is as big and expensive as his (house).
Rumahnya(♂) besar dan mahal. Rumahnya(♀) sama besar dan mahalnya dengan rumahnya(♂), or Rumahnya(♀) sebesar dan semahal rumahnya(♂).

Now, it is your turn to play around with the following adjectives and adverbs.

Rajin (diligent)
Malas (lazy)
Murah (cheap)
Gelap (dark)
Terang (bright)
Bersih (clean)
Kotor (dirty)
Berharga (valuable)
Fasih (fluently)
Lambat (slowly)



Tuesday, 26 February 2008

25 When You Compare Things (1)

Did you know that every second you have to decide which way you have to go? In this case, you will compare which is the worst, the normal, and the best way. But, I will not discuss further about this philosophical thing here, I concern rather on the three categories of adjectives and adverbs. More specifically, we will talk about the degrees of comparison of the adjectives and adverbs in terms of what so-called the comparative and superlative. As far as the English language concern, generally we add -er to the adjective or adverb for the comparatives and -est for the superlatives, except for words longer than two syllables. Take, for example, the adjective clever. Its comparative is cleverer and its superlative is the cleverest. There are some change of form for certain words, but I will not delve into this exception.
What we are concerned about is the case related to words having more than 2 syllables. In this case, we add more and the most for their comparative and superlative, respectively. For example, the word expensive becomes more expensive (comparative) and the most expensive (superlative). This specific case applies also in Indonesian language in that the word lebih (meaning more) is used for the comparative and paling or ter for the superlative, and this rule applies for all words ignoring the number of syllables. Let us take some examples of adjectives and adverbs with their comparatives and superlatives.

Clever     pintar
Cleverer    lebih pintar
Cleverest   paling pintar or terpintar

John is clever. Tom is cleverer than John. But Jerry is the cleverest of all.
John pintar. Tom lebih pintar daripada John. Tapi Jerry paling pintar dari semuanya.

Rapidly       cepat
More rapidly    lebih cepat
The most rapidly    paling cepat or tercepat

John runs rapidly. Tom runs more rapidly than John. But Jerry runs the most rapidly of all.
John lari cepat. Tom lari lebih cepat daripada John. Tapi Jerry lari paling cepat dari semuanya.

Can you do the following examples using the above rule? I hope so.

Rajin (diligent)
Malas (lazy)
Murah (cheap)
Gelap (dark)
Terang (bright)
Bersih (clean)
Kotor (dirty)
Berharga (valuable)
Fasih (fluently)

I also hope that this Indonesian simple rule for degree of comparison will help you increase your understanding.



Monday, 25 February 2008

(24) Some more expressions

Here are some more expressions or phrases that may be useful when you are in Indonesia.

A taxi is usually caught at a rank outside the airport (after you pass the passport control, claiming your baggage, and go out). You can also phone for a taxi wherever you are; numbers are listed in the yellow pages or you can see on the billboard around. You can pay the taxi either based on the meters or on the agreement. If you are not sure about the distance, taxis with meters are recommended.

Where can I get a taxi? Di mana saya bisa dapat taksi?
Please get me a taxi. Tolong panggilkan saya taksi.
What’s the fare to …? Berapa ongkosnya ke …?
How far is it to …? Berapa jauhnya ke …?
Take me to … Tolong, antar saya ke …
this address   alamat ini
the airport   bandara
the railway station   stasiun kereta
the town centre   pusat kota
the … Hotel          Hotel …

Turn left/right at the next    Tolong, belok kiri/kanan
at the next corner                   di pojokan setelah ini.

Go straight ahead.   Lurus saja.
Please stop here.   Tolong berhenti di sini

I’m in a hurry.   Saya lagi (ter)buru-buru.
Could you drive more   Bisa tolong lebih pelan/cepat?
Could you help me carry   Bisa minta tolong bawakan
my luggage?                        koper saya?

Will you wait for me, please?    Bisa tunggu saya?
I’ll be back in …    Saya kembali …
10 minutes     10 (sepuluh) menit lagi.
5 minutes        5 (lima) menit lagi.

When you reach the destination, the meter on the front panel will show you how much you have to pay (in rupiah, the Indonesian currency). Just give the amount of money it shows, but if you give the taxi driver a service tip, it will very be appreciated. Often, it is impossible to pay the fare exactly as shown by the meter. For example, if the meter shows 121150, you should pay 125000 rupiahs, as coins worth of 150 are difficult to get. Basically, 150 rupiahs pay only a candy, and 5000 rupiahs is worth of about US 50 cents. The rule of the thumb is to pay after rounding up the meter read to about 5000 rupiahs.

That would be enough for the moment. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.



Thursday, 21 February 2008

23) Prefixes and Suffixes

Most of the sample words in the Indonesian sentences I have given to you in the lessons so far were of the root form. Indeed, with some exceptions, we can speak Indonesian without using derived words. However, in many situations, e.g. when we have to speak formally, we have to add prefixes (and even suffixes) to certain words in order that they become formal or to have their proper meaning. For example, you can say either “Saya cari buku di perpustakaan” or “Saya mencari buku di perpustakaan” because both have the same meaning: I looked for a book in the library.

A basic step in learning bahasa Indonesia is to learn the root words. Later, you can enrich your vocabulary by adding prefixes and suffixes to the root words to get other meanings of the corresponding words. You will also learn that any verb can change into noun, adjective, or adverb, depending on the prefix and/or suffix added to it. On the other hand, nouns, adjectives or adverbs may also be changed into verbs by adding these prefixes and suffixes. I will give you the rules of adding these prefixes and suffixes in the present lesson and in the lessons to come. In the present lesson we will learn how to add such prefixes as me-, men-, mem-, meny-, and meng-.

The general rules of adding these prefixes are as follows.

1. me- may be add to words beginning with l, m, n, r, and ny.
2. men- may be add to words beginning with c, d, j, and t (but t is dropped).
3. mem- may be add to words beginning with b, and p (but p is dropped).
4. meny- may be add to words beginning with s only (by dropping s)
5. meng- may be add to words beginning with g, h, a, e, i, o, u, and k (but k is dropped).

Examples using the above rules (please do not worry about the word meanings first):

1. The words latih, masak, rasa, nyanyi become melatih memasak, merasa, and menyanyi.
2. The words cari, datang, jual, tari become mencari, mendatang, menjual and menari.
3. The words buru and potong become memburu and memotong.
4. The word salin becomes menyalin.
5. The words gambar, hukum, asah, ekor, ingat, obral, upah, and kikis become menggambar, menghukum, mengasah, mengingat, mengobral, mengupah and mengikis.

In the next lessons, I will explain how adding prefixes and suffixes may affect the meaning of the corresponding words and, therefore, you have to be careful about this. I also have to discourage you not to try to make up your own Indonesian words by adding prefixes and suffixes unless you have looked up the words in the dictionary. Be sure to stick to what you have learned thoroughly.



Tuesday, 19 February 2008

(22) A great site on Indonesian language

Dear readers,

If you are interested in learning how Indonesian words or phrases are spoken I recommend you to visit this site. You can learn Indonesian language for free! Yes, it's free. You can directly listen to or download the lessons for free. It is updated twice a week. 
Tell your friends who may want to learn Indonesian language.

Good luck,


Monday, 18 February 2008

(21) Some more daily expressions

When you come to Indonesia, you must certainly pass the passport control in the Sukarno-Hatta (or Cengkareng) International Airport. You do not need to worry about the language here because the officers speak English. After you pass the control, then you may have to be in contact with some Indonesian people, either the taxi drivers, or baggage porters, hotel receptionists, the one in charge of picking you up, etc. On many occasions, you do not need to worry about the language they use. They are very helpful and ready to help you, even though they use broken English. Now, if you can speak some Indonesian expressions, then you will be surprised how they respond to you with enthusiasm. Here are some expressions you will need in such situations. Memorize and practice them with your partners. (Memorizing some useful expression is one of ways in mastering a language).

I’ll be staying … Saya akan tinggal …

a few days beberapa hari
a week seminggu
a month sebulan

I’m here on holiday. Saya ke sini untuk liburan.
I’m here on business. Saya ke sini untuk bisnis.

I’m sorry, I don’t understand. Maaf, saya tidak mengerti.

Porter, take this luggage Pak, tolong bawa ini (while pointing to the luggage)
That’s may suitcase. Itu tas saya.

Please take this to… Tolong bawa ini ke …
bus/taxi   bus/taksi

How much is that? Berapa (ongkosnya)?

Where’s the nearest currency exchange office? Di mana tempat tukar uang terdekat?

I want to change some dollars/pounds. Saya ingin tukar beberapa dollar/poundsterling.

Can you change this into …? Bisa tukar ini ke …?

Indonesian rupiahs rupiah
German marks mark Jerman
Japanese yens yen Jepang
Singaporean dollars dollar Singapur

What’s the exchange rate? Berapa nilai tukarnya?

Where is the …? Di mana …?
car hire tempat sewa mobil
restaurant restoran
newsstand kios koran

How do I get to Bandung? Bagaimana caranya ke Bandung?
How do I get to ….Hotel? Bagaimana caranya ke Hotel …?

Is there a bus into town? Apakah ada bus ke kota?

Where can I get a taxi? Di mana saya bisa dapat taksi?

Until next lessons, good luck!


Friday, 15 February 2008

(20)Verbs and Tenses

In my earlier postings, I gave some Indonesian verbs without due attention to time and continuance or completion of the action or state expressed by the verbs. Now I will show you how the form of Indonesian verbs stays unchanged independent of the doer and tense. On the hand, this is an advantage in that you do not need to pay attention to the tense. All you need is the original form of verbs (you need less effort in memorizing). On the other hand, the lack of verb change makes you difficult in the beginning (this is especially the case for those whose languages apply verbs change due to time and the doer. Similarly, I had the same situation when once I learned English, German and other languages). But, do not worry about this, you will be familiar later. Let me give you some examples below.

Present tense:
I go to the office every weekday (He goes to office every weekday)
Saya pergi ke kantor setiap hari kerja (Dia pergi ke kantor setiap hari kerja)

Past tense:
I went to the office yesterday
Saya pergi ke kantor kemarin

Present continuous tense:
I am going to the office right now
Saya sedang pergi ke kantor sekarang

Perfect tense:
I have gone to the office
Saya sudah pergi ke kantor

Future tense:
I will go to the office tomorrow
Saya akan pergi ke kantor besok

You see in all tenses the word pergi (= go) does not change irrespective of time and active person. Hence, all you need to do is just concentrate on the time phrases concerned. Here are the time phrases generally used for all the tenses:
Present tense: hari ini (today), minggu ini (this week), setiap hari (every day), etc.
Past tense: kemarin (yesteday), minggu lalu (last week), tahun lalu (last year), etc.
Present continuous tense: sekarang (right now, at the moment)
Perfect tense: -
Future tense: besok (tomorrow), minggu depan (next week), tahun depan (next year), etc.

Please pay attention when you talk about the follwing tenses.
Present continuous tense:
Put sedang or lagi before the verb, e.g. Saya sedang pergi ke kantor sekarang.

Perfect tense:
Put sudah before the verb, e.g. Saya sudah pergi ke kantor.

Future tense:
Put akan before the verb, e.g. Saya akan pergi ke kantor besok.

Sometimes, time phrases are not necessary if the context is clear, especially in the conversation.

Until next time, good luck!


Wednesday, 13 February 2008

(19) Ordinal numbers, fractions, and number of categories

1) Ordinal numbers are formed by adding ke to the corresponding cardinal numbers:

1st ke satu (Sometimes, pertama is used instead of ke satu)
2nd ke dua
3rd ke tiga
4th ke empat
5th ke lima
6th ke enam
7th ke tujuh
8th ke delapan
9th ke sembilan

2) Fractions

The symbol / (slash) of the fraction is called per in Indonesian numbers.

½ setengah, separuh, or satu per dua
¼ seperempat, or satu per empat (you may notice here that se stands for satu)
¾ tiga per empat
5/6 lima per enam

3) Number of categories

Look at the following examples:

A monkey seekor monyet
2 monkeys dua ekor monyet
General rule: number + ekor + animal(s)
(Originally, ekor means tail (of animals))

A person seorang
2 persons dua orang
General rule: number + orang

An apple sebuah apel
A car sebuah mobil
3 books tiga buah buku
General rule: number + buah + object(s)
(Originally, buah means fruit.)

A piece of paper sehelai kertas
2 pieces of paper dua helai kertas
General rule: number+ helai + thin object(s)
(Sometimes, lembar is used instead of helai.)

A cigar/cigarette sebatang cerutu/rokok
A tree sebatang pohon
General rule: number + batang + long or slender object(s)

In all cases, the object form does not change even though it changes from single to plural, i.e.
mobil remains mobil (sebuah mobil becomes dua buah mobil) in contrast to “a car becomes two cars” or an ox becomes two oxen, or a leaf becomes two leaves.

You got it?



Tuesday, 12 February 2008

(18) Numbers (1)

Talking about numbers is as interesting as that about nouns. By mentioning numbers we can be sure if the noun involved is few or many in number. Numbers can be cardinal or ordinal. We will talk here about cardinal numbers first.

1 satu
2 dua
3 tiga
4 empat
5 lima
6 enam
7 tujuh
8 delapan
9 sembilan

10 sepuluh
11 sebelas
12 dua belas
13 tiga belas
14 empat belas
15 lima belas
16 enam belas
17 tujuh belas
18 delapan belas
19 sembilan belas
20-99 dua puluh – sembilan puluh sembilan

100-199 seratus – seratus sembilan puluh sembilan
200-999 dua ratus – sembilan ratus sembilan puluh sembilan
1000 seribu
10 000 sepuluh ribu
100 000 seratus ribu
1000 000 sejuta
2000 000 dua juta
1000 000 000 semilyar

You may notice that the syllable se in 10, 11, 100, 1000, 10 000, 100 000, 1000 0000, and 1000 000 000 means a or one.
Now, can you say 2007 in Indonesian language? You may then try the following numbers:

1000 459
135 056

You did? Congratulation then! (Indonesian says: Selamat ya? :-) )



(17) Prepositions(2)

Here are some more prepositions. But please remember: you have to read posting (15) first before learning this #(17) posting.

Indonesian words used to mean the preposition about are many, but the main words are: tentang, sekitar, and mengenai. To make it clear, here are some sentences involving these words.

He knows much about cars.
Ia tahu banyak tentang mobil, or
Ia tahu banyak mengenai mobil.

They will come back at about 10 o'clock.
Mereka akan kembali sekitar jam 10.

I am worried about your health.
Saya kuatir
dengan kesehatanmu.

As you see, you may use tentang or mengenai if you talk about somethings (nouns, facts, information, etc.). But if you talk about time, then use sekitar. Sometimes, about may mean dengan (the basic meaning of which is with), as you see in the last sentence.

Useful information about tentangmengenai, and sekitar. First, the root of these words are:

tentang -  tentang (tentang is the root) = about
mengenai - kena = be hit or to hit
sekitar - kitar = to circle

Second, we can add prefix, suffix, or insertion to these words and resulted in verbs, nouns and other prepositions. But, further about these prefix, suffix, or insertion will come later.

That's will be enough for the moment.



Monday, 11 February 2008

(16)Refresh your intention!

Dear readers,

Please remember that this site is a free one in that you can learn Indonesian (language, culture, habits, etc.) for free without any charges or obligations. Do not be bothered by those ads displayed here (but only in case you need more information other than I have provided in the lesson). All I need of you is that you concentrate on your lesson each time you read a posting of mine. Only this way you can master Indonesian language. If you are new to this site, then just go to my previous postings, start from there, master the lessons therein, and then proceed until you can go along with my recent postings.

The lessons I provided here have been arranged so that they will constitute a full course of Indonesian language. So that if you follow them thoroughly from the beginning till the end, you will certainly be able to read, write, and speak of Indonesian language, from simple expressions up to very complex ones! You do not believe it? How can you deny it if you never try?



Friday, 8 February 2008

(15) Prepositions(1)

I think I have by chance put some preposition in my previous posts. You may check my previous posts if I am right. Here are some prepositions which you will have to learn since they are the most encountered.

di = in, on, at (showing location or position)
ke = to (showing direction)
kepada = to (especially) a person(s)
pada = on, in, at (about time)
dari = from (showing the origin),
dari = of (showing the part of something)


Ia punya rumah di London.   He/she has a house in London.

Saya lihat anda di TV.   I saw you on TV.

Saya simpan buku itu di rumah.     I put the book at home

Mau pergi ke mana pak Joko?   Where is Mr Joko going to?

Dia mau (pergi) ke toko.    He is going to the shop

Kepada siapa anda bertanya?    To whom are you asking?

(Sometimes, kepada should be put while there is no preposition needed in English at all:
Anda harus bertanya kepada ahlinya.  You should ask the expert.)

Pertemuan pada tanggal 15 bulan depan dibatalkan
The meeting on the 15 (of the next month) is cancelled.

Bayi itu lahir pada (tahun) 1980.   
The baby was born in 1980.

Sidang akan dimulai pada jam delapan pagi.
The session will be started at eight in the morning.

Maria berasal dari keluarga sederhana.
Maria comes from a simple family

Sebagian dari uangnya akan disumbangkan.
Parts of the money will be donated.

More prepositions will follow. Read carefully, learn thoroughly, and memorize the above prepositions.
If possible, practice them with some Indonesian friends, or listen to Indonesian broadcastings or TV.

See you in the next postings,


(14) Daily Expressions and Greetings (1)

Now it is time for you to learn daily expressions and greetings. These are very useful especially when you come to or need to interact with those in Indonesian communities in your country or in Indonesia. I will present here the simple ones first. Do not be greedy; just eat as your stomach can hold. Do not worry; I am sure you will later be smarter and capable of speaking, writing, and listening of Indonesian language. Here they are:

Selamat pagi! Good morning!
Selamat siang! Good day!
Selamat sore! Good afternoon!
Selamat malam! Good evening!
Selamat tidur! Good night, sleep well!

Selamat datang! Welcome!
Selamat tinggal! Good bye! (What you say to one staying behind)
Selamat jalan! Good bye! (What you say to one leaving)
Selamat libur! Have a nice weekend!

Selamat Natal! Merry Christmas!
Selamat Ulang tahun! Happy Birthday!
Selamat berhasil! Congratulations!

(Literary, selamat means safe, but you see in the above expressions it can mean congratulations, wish for good luck, happiness, or prosperity.)

Apa kabar? How are you?
Baik-baik saja. (I am just) fine.

Sampai jumpa lagi! See you later!

Terima kasih! Thank you!
Kembali! (or Sama-sama!) You’re welcome!

(If you interrupt a conversation, or a meeting, or pass a crowd of people):
Permisi! Excuse me!
Permisi, saya mau tanya tentang … Excuse me, I would like to ask about ….

Read, learn and practice those expressions, and look how you surprise them with these expressions. If you still find it difficult to pronounce Indonesian words then you should go back to the previous lessons! It is of no use to just read the present lesson, without you being able 
to speak/pronounce the words properly.



Tuesday, 5 February 2008

(13) Relative Pronouns

Have you ever heard about Yang? Yes, Yang in Chinese thought is the strong active male energy of force in the world, the opposite of the female energy, Yin. Indonesian language has the word yang also, but it is pronounced a bit different from Yang: Indonesian yang sounds similar to young of English word. In Indonesian language yang is not a noun, it is used instead as a relative pronoun meaning who, whose, that, or which.
Let me give you some examples of the use of yang.

(1) Yang mana mobil kamu?    Which one is your car?

(2) Lelaki yang memakai kemeja merah itu (adalah) suaminya
      The man who wears the red shirt is her husband

(3) Orang yang rumahnya besar itu meninggal kemarin
      The person whose house is big died yesterday

(4) Buku yang jilidnya merah itu ada di atas meja
      The book whose cover is red is on the table.

(5) Buku yang anda pilih mahal
      The book (that) you chose was expensive

(6) Buku yang mahal itu karangan Stephen Hawkings
      The book, which is expensive, written by Stephen Hawkings

In examples 3 and 4 you may notice the construction: yang + noun + nya, which means whose + noun. In this case, yang rumahnya = whose house, and yang jilidnya = whose cover.

Good, you have learned the word yang and its use! It’s so simple because you use one word only to be used as a relative pronoun.



Monday, 4 February 2008


A diphthong is a compound vowel made by pronouncing 2 vowels quickly one after the other. For example, the vowel sound in my is a diphthong, and is written with the diphthong [aI]. In Indonesian words the diphthongs are easily recognized because they are written as the diphthong themselves, in contrast to English or other languages where a vowel may sound as a diphthong (e.g. I, my, by, die, now, note, etc.). Some common diphthongs in Indonesian words are listed below.
Full            Separated         Meaning
ramai         ra-mai               crowded, busy, noisy, loud
damai        da-mai               peace (adj)
bagai         ba-gai                like, as if
sungai        su-ngai              river (n)
bangau      ba-ngau             flamingo, heron, etc. (n)
kacau         ka-cau               in disorder, chaotic, disorganized, confused
kicau          ki-cau                birdling
tembakau  tem-ba-kau       tobacco (n)
silau           si-lau                 dazzled (adj)
pisau          pi-sau                knive (n)
sepoi           se-poi                balmy (of air or weather)
koboi          ko-boi                cowboy

Other words containing diphthongs will follow. Please try memorizing the above words first,
before continue.

Pronouns (4)

D) Reflexive pronouns

Reflexive pronouns are myself, yourself, himself, herself, itself, oneself, ourselves, yourselves,
and themselves. A common use of reflexive pronouns is to talk about actions where the subject
and object is the same person. Indonesian grammar has a unique word sendiri to use for that purpose. Look at the following examples:

Saya sendiri melakukan itu
= I did it myself (meaning I also did it, not only you, he, she, or they)

Saya melakukan itu sendiri
= I did it (by) myself (meaning nobody else helped me)

Putting the suffix an after sendiri (to become sendirian) changes the meaning into alone:
Saya melakukan itu sendirian
= I did it alone (= I did it when I was alone)

Saya (ada) sendirian kemarin
= I was alone yesterday
Saya belajar sendirian kemarin
= I studied alone yesterday (= I was alone yesterday studying)

Beliau sendiri mengatakan kepada saya
= He/she spoke to me him/herself

Rumahnya sendiri bagus, tapi halamannya terlalu sempit.
= The house itself is nice, but the garden is too small.

Mereka sendiri membangun rumah itu
= They built the house themselves

As we have seen above, a unique word sendiri is placed after the corresponding subject to mean myself, yourself, him/herself, etc. An additional note will be of worth about the word sendiri. First, it is separable into sen-di-ri. Second, its root word is diri, meaning self or selves.
I will later explore the use of Indonesian words relating to phrases using the word self or selves.



Sunday, 3 February 2008

Pronouns (3)

Let us now learn how personal pronouns act as possessive determiners and possessive pronouns in Indonesian language.

C) Personal pronouns as possessive determiners and possessive pronouns

To make a personal pronoun possessive determiner, just place it after a noun(s).

To make a personal pronoun possessive pronoun, just put the word punya before it. Literary, punya means own or have.
Let us see some examples below.

my = saya/aku (aku is informal)

mine = punya + saya/aku (aku is informal)

our = kami (used when excluding the person addressed)

ours = punya + kami (used when excluding the person addressed)

our = kita (used when including the person addressed)

ours = punya + kita (used when including the person addressed)

your (singular) = anda/saudara/kamu/kau (kamu and kau are informal)

yours (singular)= punya + anda/saudara/kamu/kau (kamu and kau are informal)

your (plural) = kalian or anda/saudara/kamu/kau + sekalian

yours (plural) = punya + kalian or anda/saudara/kamu/kau + sekalian

his = nya/dia/beliau

his = punya + nya/dia/beliau

her = nya/dia/beliau

hers = punya + nya/dia/beliau

its = nya (as possessive determiner)

their = mereka

theirs = punya + mereka


Mobil saya baru My car is new

Mobil itu punya saya That car is mine

Rumah kami ada di Jakarta Our house is in Jakarta.

Punya kami sudah habis Ours has run out. (In this case, ours can be anything)

Anjing kita sangat pintar Our dog is very clever.

Silakan ambil punya kita Please take ours (In this case, ours can be anything)

Mereka suka tulisan anda They like your writings

Punya anda sangat menarik Yours is very attractive

Pendapat kalian tidak masuk akal Your opinion is nonsense

Pendapat anda sekalian tidak masuk akal Your opinion is nonsense

Saya akan membeli punya anda I will buy yours

Saya akan membeli punya anda sekalian I will buy yours

Kantornya jauh dari sini His/her office is far from here

Punya beliau belum terjual His/hers is not sold out yet

Tas itu besar, warnanya hitam The bag is big, its colour is black

Kami punya nomor telepon mereka We have their phone number

Punya mereka ada di Amerika Theirs is in the US

Do you think it is too much? Do not worry, just learn and memorize them again and again.



Pronouns (2)

Let me now continue our lesson with pronouns as the objects of verbs/actions.

B) Personal pronoun as an object (after verb or preposition)

me = saya/aku (aku is informal)

us = kami (used when excluding the person addressed)

us = kita (used when including the person addressed)

you (singular) = anda/saudara/kamu/kau (kamu and kau are informal)

you (plural) = kalian or anda/saudara/kamu/kau + sekalian

him = ia/dia/beliau

her = ia/dia/beliau

it = nya/ia/dia/ini/itu (in this case, nya/ia/dia/ini/itu is used depending on the context, see examples below)

them = mereka


1) Beri saya alamat anda Give me your address

2) Ia mengundang kami He/She invited us

3) Mereka mengharapkan kita datang They expect us to come

4) Saya menjemput anda di bandara I picked you up at the airport

5) Beliau mengusir kalian karena tidak sopan

He/She dismissed you (all) because you were impolite.

6) Saya mengagumi dia I admire him/her

7) Kami mencarinya We looked for it/him/her

8) Polisi mengejar mereka The police chased them.

In example 7) we may also translate We looked for it into Kami mencari (barang) ini/itu (where barang may be omitted if the object is understood).

Dear readers, we have gone so far so that I wonder if the present lesson is too difficult. Before we go to next lessons, I suggest you analyze, discern, digest, and memorize the previous lessons first. It’s better to go slowly but you get them all. In addition, you can always return to the last lessons again and again. Therefore, do not forget to save the lessons in your computer for your references.



Thursday, 31 January 2008

Pronouns (1)

I cannot imagine a conversation without a pronoun being addressed. If you talk to someone, you have to refer either to yourself, him/her, or to some others. The word that is used in place of a noun or a noun phrase is called a pronoun. Grammatically, pronouns are parts of sentences and we distinguish two types of pronouns, i.e. relative pronoun and personal pronoun.
Let us talk about personal pronoun first.

A) Personal pronoun as a subject (before verb):

I = saya/aku (aku is informal)
We = kami (is used when excluding the person addressed)
We = kita (is used when including the person addressed)
You (singular) = anda/saudara/kamu/kau (kamu and kau are informal)
You (plural) = kalian or anda/saudara/kamu/kau + sekalian
He = Ia/dia/beliau
She = Ia/dia/beliau
Mereka = they

You may notice that Indonesian does not distinguish between male and female third person, i.e. you may use ia, dia, or beliau for he or she. You may also notice that you have some choices in using personal pronouns. Which one you should use depends on the situation, which will be clear in the following examples.

Kemarin saya pergi ke Jakarta
Yesterday, I went to Jakarta

Kami mengundang anda
We invite you

Kita semua suka membaca
We all like reading

Anda bisa datang lagi besok
You may come back tomorrow

Kamu sekalian dipecat!
You are all fired!

Dia sangat mencintai istrinya
He loves his wife very much.

Dia sangat mencintai suaminya
She loves her husband very much

Mereka punya rumah besar di London
They have a big house in London

That’s enough for the moment. We will continue with some explanations about personal pronouns in the next posting.



Some important phrases

Sometimes, memorizing phrases may accelerate your process of learning a language. Let us learn some Indonesian phrases, and try memorizing them. For the moment, I will introduce you to simple phrases related to question words. You can get longer and more complex phrases, later.

Here are some simple ones:

Apa kabar? How are you?
Apa lagi? What else?
Tidak apa-apa! No problem!/ It’s OK!
Di mana-mana. Anywhere
Barangsiapa Whoever
Di mana saja Wherever
Kapan saja Whenever
Siapa saja Whoever
Apa boleh buat? What is to be done?
Ada apa? What’s up?/What’s going on?
Bagaimanapun However
Kapan-kapan Any time

(Sometimes, the word saja is replaced by pun, so that “Di mana saja”, “Kapan saja”, and “Siapa saja” become “Di mana pun”, “Kapan pun”, and “Siapa pun”, respectively.)
Please try analyzing, discerning, digesting and then memorizing them!
(Do you still find it difficult to pronounce the words in the above phrases? Then you should go to the previous posts).



Interrogative Words

In your daily life, you meet people, talk to and communicate with them. If you or they do not understand, you or they will ask them. So, question words, or interrogative words, will play very important role in your interactions with people.
For journalists, there are at least five question words starting with W and H they have to ask to measure the strength of their news: What, Who, When, Where, Why, and How. Other question words that also are important are Which, Whose, and Whom.
As far as the human communication concerns, question words will always be needed.

The following are some interrogative words used by Indonesian to ask questions.

Siapa (who)
Apa (what)
Mana (where)
Kapan (when)
Kenapa (why)
Bagaimana (How)
Berapa (How much/many)

Sometimes, these question words have to be combined with other word/phrase to result in other question words, for example:
Yang + mana (Which one)
Noun + siapa (Whose)
Preposition + siapa (Whom)

(Still find difficult to read these words? Please go back to the previous posts.)

Here are some examples of general sentences using questions words.

1. Siapa nama anda
Who is your name? (In English, you have to say What is your name?)
2. Apa artinya dalam bahasa Indonesia?
What does this mean in Indonesian?
3. Mana rumahnya?
Where is the house?
4. Kapan anda belajar bahasa Indonesia?
When did you learn Indonesian language?
5. Kenapa anda berhenti belajarnya?
Why did you stop studying it?
6. Bagaimana caranya?
How does it work?
7. Berapa banyak mobilnya?
How many cars has he got? (This can also mean How many cars are there?)
8. Berapa banyak anda perlu uang?
How much money do you need?
9. Yang mana anda mau?
Which one do you want?
10. Rumah siapa itu?
Whose house is that?
11. Kepada siapa mereka bicara?
Whom did they talk to? (Or To whom did they talk?)
12. Dengan siapa anda pergi ke kota?
With whom did you go to the city?

I have given you quite many new words by now. I hope you will enjoy the lesson, but if you have any comment or question, please do not hesitate to write to me.



Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Why Indonesian Language?

Are you still not interested in learning Indonesian language? You should change your mind. Remember, there are not less than 200 million Indonesian people in the world. What does it mean? It means many things! In terms of business, this may mean your big chance to offer you products or services. They are your potential targets and your profit will come true. If you are able to speak Indonesian about your business, this will leave an impression on your Indonesian marketing targets. Yes, of course, most Indonesian people who do international business understand English, too. But, imagine, how they will be more interested in your ads than others who do not speak or understand their language. I tell you, if you could just say some Indonesian phrases to them, like “Selamat Pagi”, “Apa kabar?”, “Nama saya John”, “Saya senang ketemu anda”, they will certainly welcome you. After that, you can follow this with your promotion scheme and you can count your profit since then.
Generally, Indonesian people are friendly and open. Once you introduced yourself, especially using some Indonesian phrases, then you will certainly get great audiences.
Further, by learning Indonesian language you will understand their cultures, their way of thinking, their human and natural resources, politics, economy, social aspects, just to name some. In short, learning Indonesian language means understanding so many aspects of human kind.
Furthermore, Indonesia is not only Bali. Borneo, Sumatera, Nusa Tenggara, Papua, and not less than other 17 000 islands, lie in Indonesia territory. If you have ever been impressed by the beautiful Bali, then you would certainly be so by these islands.

Attracted? Then, join me learning this prospective language. See me in the next post.


More on Syllables

I would like to write more on sylables as they are very crucial to deal with when you learn how to read Indonesian words. As I said in the posting before, it is necessary to first separate the words into their syllables before you read.
The way you separate the words has to follow the general rule that I gave you in the posting before. Once you have separated a word into syllables, then read each syllable one by one from left to right until you finish the word. Words may be separated into one (rare), two (very), three (often), four (less often), even five or six syllables (very rare). For example, the following words are separated into their syllables:

Full word    Separated (number of syllable)    Meaning

dan                  dan (1)                                and (conj.)
baru                 ba-ru (2)                              new (adj.)
praktis             prak-tis (2)                          practical (adj.)
sangat              sa-ngat (2)                          very (adv.)
belakang          be-la-kang (3)                      back (adj.)
mengganggu    meng-gang-gu (3)                 disturb(ing) (v, adj.)
menggunakan  meng-gu-na-kan (4)              use (v)
pengetahuan    pe-nge-ta-hu-an (5)              knowledge (n)
perkecualian    per-ke-cu-a-li-an (6)             exception (n)

Generally, words that are separable into four or more syllables are those of derived words. In the above examples, mengganggu, menggunakan, pengetahuan, perkecualian are derived from root words ganggu, guna, tahu, kecuali, respectively. (More on derived words will be discussed later).

Now, how to read the syllables above? The key to read a syllable is the vowel included within. The general vowels are a (sounds like ah), i (pronounced as in bit), u (pronounced as in put), e (pronounced mostly as in open or rarely as in pet), o (pronounced as in often). For example, praktis contains a and i in the first and second syllable, respectively. So, you have to read it prak-tis as you would say practice, except that the vowel a sounds like a in father.

How do you find it, difficult? I am sure it will be easier later, once you have mastered it.

To test your understanding so far, please try to separate and then read the following words:

sah (valid)
syah (a sort of sultan, king, or ruler)
ons (ounce)
mekar (developed/ing)
sekarang (now)
kemarin (yesterday)
besok (tomorrow)
menunjuk (to point to)
menunjukkan (indicate)
diperkirakan (to be predicted)

That's it! You have learned how to read Indonesian words.
How do you find this post? Beneficial, too hard to follow, or else? Please give your comments.


Monday, 28 January 2008


In the previous post I gave you a short explanation on how Indonesian language alphabets are look like. But where are Indonesian words, you asked? Be patient, pal! Right now I will give you some of them. Here they are:
kamu (you),
saya (I, me),
kantor (office),
jangan (do not),
hanya (only),
khusus (special),
asyik (absorbed, eager).

In order to read the words, all you have to do is to separate them first into their syllables. In this case:
kamu becomes ka-mu (separation before the next consonant)
saya becomes sa-ya (separation before the next consonant)
kantor becomes kan-tor (separation in between the two consonants)
jangan becomes ja-ngan (ng is counted as a single letter and separation before the
next consonant)
hanya becomes ha-nya (ny is counted as a single letter and separation before the
next consonant)
khusus becomes khu-sus (kh is counted as a single letter and separation before the next consonant)

asyik becomes a-syik (sy is counted as a single letter and separation before the next consonant)

But then, how to pronounce these words?

ka-mu:  car – moo
sa-ya: sounds like you say soya
kan-tor: kan sounds like the first syllable of conscious, and tor sounds like the last of the word motor but with a clear and strong r.
ng sounds like the last sound of the word sing.
ny, sounds like the middle of the word onion.
kh, it is difficult to find English word that contains similar sound with kh, but you can simply say it k like in that in the word comic
and sy sounds like sh in shoe.

I think these will be too much for you, so that I stop for the moment. If you are still interested in, then I will continue in the next post.



Dear readers,

How are today? In my latest post I introduced myself to you and invited you all to participate in writing down your opinions. I haven’t got any responds so far, and I thought this because I did not introduce myself clearly and thoroughly. So, today I will try again to say about myself, and then will continue with other issue that will perhaps interest you.

I am an Indonesian, live in a suburb area of the capital city, Jakarta. I can speak English, read and write English words. While I still invite you to take part or respond to my writings, I have an idea that explaining or teaching of Indonesian language will probably urge you to talk to me. Therefore, in my next posts I will dedicate most of my time to give you Indonesian language lessons for free!

Where should I start from? Well, I think the best to start is from the alphabet. If you happen to learn German language, or if you are from German speaking countries, then you are lucky because Indonesian alphabets are similar to that of German language. There are some exceptions, though, but these will not create a problem. For example, V/v is pronounced in German as ‘vow’, while it is ‘vei’ (sounds like vacant) in Indonesian. In Indonesian there is no such a letter as β, which is equivalent with double s in German language. Here are the complete alphabets and how to pronounce them.

Letter     is pronounced
A/a          a as in father
B/            b bay
C/c          chei as in chase
D/d          day
E/e          ei as in alien
F/f           ef
G/g          gay
H/h         ha as in hard
I/i           as in it
J/j           jay
K/k         kay
L/l          el as in elbow
M/m      em as in emery
N/n        en as in enter
O/o        o as in oil
P/p        pe as in pen
Q/q       ki as in quay
R/r        er as in error
S/s        es as in essence
T/t        tei as in taken
U/u       u as in put
V/v       ve as in vacant
W/w     we as in weigh
X/x       ex as in axe
Y/y       ye as in yes
Z/z        zet as in zero

That is enough for the moment. You will refer to these in the future, so I advise you to save them in your computer.



Friday, 25 January 2008

Hi there!

I am Ikawulan, male, half a century years age. My hobby is, among others, reading. But I also have to write, especially when ideas, thoughts, or inspiration come into my mind! Unfortunately, putting your ideas in newspapers or magazines is not as easy as your thoughts coming into your mind. You have to write in a format according to the newspapers' manager, then you have to wait until you get an answer that they allow your writing to come up in their newspaper or magazine. You have to wait for a day, a week, or perhaps a month until you get the answer saying that they reject your ideas!
Now, here I have a place for you to express anything coming to your mind! It is very simple, easy, and you do not need to worry about the formats of your writing, you can write anything. You are free to write, but of course if your writing hurts other's people feeling then I am sure no one will listening to your story! 
So, please start writing, and be polite and rational!