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!