Learn Indonesian Week 5 Installment: ‘Apa’ Versus ‘What’

For English speakers, asking simple questions in Indonesian can be more difficult than you would think. One of the problems here is the common but mistaken assumption that the Indonesian word ‘apa‘ is directly equivalent to the English ‘what’. However, if you go about translating English sentences into Indonesian by substituting ‘apa‘ for ‘what’ willy-nilly,…

Week 4 Learn Indonesian Installement: Money Matters

In this week’s installment, we look at a number of words relating to being ‘economical’ or ‘parsimonious’. If you use the wrong one, you are liable to give offence, so it is important to get them sorted out. This lesson will focus on five Bahasa Indonesia words- pelit, hemat, menghemat, irit and mengirit– and give…

Learn Indonesian: Week 3 Installment

Sedang vs. Lagi One of the most useful, but also most confusing, words in the Indonesian language is lagi. This is largely because it has multiple meanings and uses, some of which are extremely common in  colloquial Indonesian but rarely covered in formal ”learn Indonesian books”. This post aims to clear up the difference between…