Learn Indonesian Week 9: The Use of Classifiers

One of the features of Indonesian which is unfamiliar to English speakers is the use of classifiers. These classifiers are categories of noun, with the category placed first and the particular type/kind/specimen within that general category placed after it. This structure is even more common in Thai than Indonesian, but it takes some getting used…

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,…

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 inĀ  colloquial Indonesian but rarely covered in formal ”learn Indonesian books”. This post aims to clear up the difference between…