Questions about Indonesian

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Re: Questions about Indonesian

Postby aaakknu » 2019-09-06, 6:14

If I have a 50.000 rupiah banknote and want to change it for 5 banknotes 10.000 rupiah each, what should I say?
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Re: Questions about Indonesian

Postby kupamanduka » 2021-02-01, 13:04

aaakknu wrote:If I have a 50.000 rupiah banknote and want to change it for 5 banknotes 10.000 rupiah each, what should I say?


Hello! This is really late, but I want to answer your question. I'm a native speaker of Bahasa Indonesia, currently taking Indonesian language and literature major. In that situation, you could simply say, "Tolong tukar lima puluh ribu ke lima (lembar) sepuluh ribu." They will understand you. It translates to, "Please change the fifty thousand to five sheets of ten thousand." You could exclude the word "lembar (sheet)" though.

Trivia time:
I've grown up under Javanese culture. My friends and I tend to use the word "pecahan" (translates to "fraction" in English), as if we cut the money in some parts in literal way. Therefore, if it's an informal situation, I would say, "Kamu punya pecahan lima puluh, nggak?" And then I add an information, "Yang sepuluh ribu," so my friend would know that what I need is 10.000 only. It translates to, "Do you have a "fraction" of fifty thousand? The ten thousand one."

I hope it helps!

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Re: Questions about Indonesian

Postby kupamanduka » 2021-02-01, 13:09

aaakknu wrote:If I have a 50.000 rupiah banknote and want to change it for 5 banknotes 10.000 rupiah each, what should I say?


Hello! This is really late, but I want to answer your question. I'm a native speaker of Bahasa Indonesia, currently taking Indonesian language and literature major. In that situation, you could simply say, "Tolong tukar lima puluh ribu ke lima (lembar) sepuluh ribu." They will understand you. It translates to, "Please change the fifty thousand to five sheets of ten thousand." You could exclude the word "lembar (sheet)" though.

Trivia time:
I've grown up under Javanese culture. My friends and I tend to use the word "pecahan" (translates to "fraction" in English), as if we cut the money in some parts in literal way. Therefore, if it's an informal situation, I would say, "Kamu punya pecahan lima puluh, nggak?" And then I add an information, "Yang sepuluh ribu," so my friend would know that what I need is 10.000 only. It translates to, "Do you have a 'fraction' of fifty thousand? The ten thousand one."

I hope it helps!

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Re: Questions about Indonesian

Postby aaakknu » 2021-02-02, 13:34

kupamanduka wrote:
aaakknu wrote:If I have a 50.000 rupiah banknote and want to change it for 5 banknotes 10.000 rupiah each, what should I say?


Hello! This is really late, but I want to answer your question. I'm a native speaker of Bahasa Indonesia, currently taking Indonesian language and literature major. In that situation, you could simply say, "Tolong tukar lima puluh ribu ke lima (lembar) sepuluh ribu." They will understand you. It translates to, "Please change the fifty thousand to five sheets of ten thousand." You could exclude the word "lembar (sheet)" though.

Trivia time:
I've grown up under Javanese culture. My friends and I tend to use the word "pecahan" (translates to "fraction" in English), as if we cut the money in some parts in literal way. Therefore, if it's an informal situation, I would say, "Kamu punya pecahan lima puluh, nggak?" And then I add an information, "Yang sepuluh ribu," so my friend would know that what I need is 10.000 only. It translates to, "Do you have a 'fraction' of fifty thousand? The ten thousand one."

I hope it helps!

Terima kasih!
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Re: Questions about Indonesian

Postby linguoboy » 2021-02-02, 18:03

Quick pronoun question: What do Javanese speakers use colloquially for "they"? I understand that mereka is predominately a written form, but since it is derived from Javanese, I was wondering if it is used more generally in some areas.
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Re: Questions about Indonesian

Postby linguoboy » 2021-02-04, 20:31

Here's another, more general question.

Indonesian seems to make widespread use of specific directional verbs like masuk "go into", turun "go down", keluar "go out", etc.The lessons I'm using commonly combines them with pleonastic prepositional phrases, e.g. saya keluar ke luar. Some of the sentences are very artificial and I can't tell whether it's usual to use this way or if they're just using both the specific verb and the prepositional phrase in order to teach us the meaning of both. Any Indonesian speakers have a feel for the usage here?
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Re: Questions about Indonesian

Postby kupamanduka » 2021-02-13, 16:06

linguoboy wrote:Quick pronoun question: What do Javanese speakers use colloquially for "they"? I understand that mereka is predominately a written form, but since it is derived from Javanese, I was wondering if it is used more generally in some areas.


I'm a Javanese myself so I think it's safe for me to answer this question! However, I'm a Javanese lived in Yogyakarta, which it's slightly different from a Javanese language used in Central Java or East Java. So I don't speak for the whole language though I believe that for this particular case, I think they didn't differ much. The first word came up to my mind is "kae" - which it also be used for "he/she" (literally it translates to "it").

But, precisely, we will add more word so by that it could make sense. For example, "kae kabeh" (it translates to 'all of it'), "wong-wong kae" (they people), "kae-kae" (simply plural form of 'it'). Please note that this is a Javanese ngoko (everyday conversations as in informal style) and not krama (rudimentary form). Thank you!

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Re: Questions about Indonesian

Postby kupamanduka » 2021-02-13, 16:16

linguoboy wrote:Here's another, more general question.

Indonesian seems to make widespread use of specific directional verbs like masuk "go into", turun "go down", keluar "go out", etc.The lessons I'm using commonly combines them with pleonastic prepositional phrases, e.g. saya keluar ke luar. Some of the sentences are very artificial and I can't tell whether it's usual to use this way or if they're just using both the specific verb and the prepositional phrase in order to teach us the meaning of both. Any Indonesian speakers have a feel for the usage here?


This maybe difficult to grasp, but even if there are many Indonesians who still make mistakes in writing "keluar/ke luar", they still understand the meaning of each concept and they can differentiate the usage of both words in everyday conversations. Even if "saya keluar ke luar" is an ineffective sentence, it's not like we never heard of it - few times in my life I heard the sentence was used in dialogue whether it's used as it is or we joke about it (because it's funny). Since the way native speaker absorbs the language is by mass immersion, the "specific directional verbs" aren't really hard to remember; e.g. masuk (enter), keluar (out), turun (down), naik (up), pergi (go), etc.

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Re: Questions about Indonesian

Postby linguoboy » 2021-02-13, 17:50

Thanks so much for answering my questions, kupamanduka! I really wish I could find some good introductory resources for learning Javanese.
kupamanduka wrote:Even if "saya keluar ke luar" is an ineffective sentence, it's not like we never heard of it - few times in my life I heard the sentence was used in dialogue whether it's used as it is or we joke about it (because it's funny). Since the way native speaker absorbs the language is by mass immersion, the "specific directional verbs" aren't really hard to remember; e.g. masuk (enter), keluar (out), turun (down), naik (up), pergi (go), etc.

These sorts of directional verbs are fairly common across languages. It's really English (along with related languages like German and Swedish) that stands out for preferring phrasal verbs (e.g. go in, go out, go down, go up) instead.

But I think you've answered my question: Kami akan keluar ke luar sounds roughly as awkward as "We're going to exit out" would in English. I expect you and your friends would find a lot of the sentences used in the Duolingo Indonesian course pretty laughable!
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Re: Questions about Indonesian

Postby kupamanduka » 2021-02-14, 2:34

linguoboy wrote:Thanks so much for answering my questions, kupamanduka! I really wish I could find some good introductory resources for learning Javanese.
kupamanduka wrote:Even if "saya keluar ke luar" is an ineffective sentence, it's not like we never heard of it - few times in my life I heard the sentence was used in dialogue whether it's used as it is or we joke about it (because it's funny). Since the way native speaker absorbs the language is by mass immersion, the "specific directional verbs" aren't really hard to remember; e.g. masuk (enter), keluar (out), turun (down), naik (up), pergi (go), etc.

These sorts of directional verbs are fairly common across languages. It's really English (along with related languages like German and Swedish) that stands out for preferring phrasal verbs (e.g. go in, go out, go down, go up) instead.

But I think you've answered my question: Kami akan keluar ke luar sounds roughly as awkward as "We're going to exit out" would in English. I expect you and your friends would find a lot of the sentences used in the Duolingo Indonesian course pretty laughable!


You're welcome! Javanese language is a cool language in the usage of ngoko (informal)/krama (formal) style. It's more complex than simply switching informal to formal if you're talking to an older person. You have to keep maintain the ngoko style for verb affect on you. For example, you want to ask your father, "I want to eat. Father, do you want to eat?" You will say, "Kulo ajeng maem. Bapak badhe dhahar?" Notice that you differentiate "want to eat" which affect yourself and your father.

LOL. I'm curious about Duolingo Indonesian, but I believe it happened to many languages course in Duolingo!

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Re: Questions about Indonesian

Postby linguoboy » 2021-02-14, 15:47

kupamanduka wrote:You're welcome! Javanese language is a cool language in the usage of ngoko (informal)/krama (formal) style. It's more complex than simply switching informal to formal if you're talking to an older person. You have to keep maintain the ngoko style for verb affect on you. For example, you want to ask your father, "I want to eat. Father, do you want to eat?" You will say, "Kulo ajeng maem. Bapak badhe dhahar?" Notice that you differentiate "want to eat" which affect yourself and your father.

Oh, I'm well acquainted with this phenomenon from learning Korean. There you could say:

먹고 싶어요. 아버님 ,잡수시고 싶으세요?
Mek.ko siphe.yo. Apenim cap.swusiko siphusey.yo?

There's a completely different honorific verb for "eat" which is obligatorily followed by the respect particle 시 /si/. This shows up again in the verb for "want" where it combines with the informal polite ending -어요 /e.yo/ to form -세요 /sey.yo/. Oh, and the word for "father" has the honorific suffix -님 /-nim/, which is something like "sang" in Indonesian. All in all, the effect is very respectful indeed, while still being somewhat familiar and affectionate.

kupamanduka wrote:LOL. I'm curious about Duolingo Indonesian, but I believe it happened to many languages course in Duolingo!

You should take a look! I'm sure it will be good for a laugh. Some of the sentences are hilariously rude (at least to middle-class USAmericans). They teach you to say "Kamu membosankan, saya bosan." I boggled!
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Re: Questions about Indonesian

Postby linguoboy » 2021-02-15, 19:36

Okay, question on word order. Here's another example sentence from Duolingo:

Ini singa tergermuk yang pernah saya lihat.

If they ask you to translate "This is the fattest lion that I have ever seen" and you respond with:

Ini singa tergermuk yang saya pernah lihat.

it is marked wrong. Similarly with:

Apa saja yang dapat saya lakukan. (accepted version)

and

Apa saja yang saya dapat lakukan. (not accepted)

I can't find anything that explains why this happens online or in my reference grammar. Googling finds plenty of examples of both orders (though more examples with the order ADVERB + SUBJECT than vice versa). What's even more confusing is that it doesn't seem to be consistent for other adverbs/modals. I can't find the example now, but at least once when I wrote "yang bisa saya" instead of "yang saya bisa", it was marked wrong.
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