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Asking and answering questions the Indonesian way Posted by on Sep 30, 2015 in Uncategorized

Having a list of phrases that are specific to the culture of the country is quite handy. You might feel uncomfortable with some of the phrases, but if you can use them correctly, you will be able to make a good rapport with the locals.


Questions Answers
1. Anda berasal dari mana? 1.  Saya berasal dari Amerika.
    Where do you come from?      I come from America (I am
     originally from America).
2. Sudah berapa lama (Anda)* 2.  Saya tinggal di sini sudah lima
     tinggal di sini?       tahun.
    How long have you been  living       I have been living here for five
    here?       year.
3. Mau tinggal berapa lama di 3.  Saya kurang tahu.
    Indonesian?      – I don’t know yet
    How long will you stay in       Sampai tugas selesai
    Indonesia?      – I will stay until I complete my
     – Empat tahun.
       For up to four years.
4. Kapan (Anda) sampai 4. Saya sampai (di sini) tiga hari
    di sini?      lalu.
    When did you arrive here?      I arrived here three days ago.
5. Di Amerikanya di mana? Di 5. Saya tinggal di Alexandria,
    Amerika tinggal di mana?      Virginia.
    In which U.S. city do you live?      I live in Alexandria, Virginia.
6.  Anda bekerja di mana? 6. Saya bekerja di Angkatan
     Where do you work?     Darat/Angkatan Laut/Angkatan
    Udara AS.
    I work in the U.S. Army/Navy/
      Air force.
    Saya anggota marinir.
    I am a marine.
    Saya bekerja di pemerintah.
     I work for the government.
    Saya bekerja di swasta.
    I work in  private company.
    Saya pensiun or Saya pensiunan
    I am retired or I am a retiree.
7.  Anda bekerja di kota apa? 7.  Saya bekerja di Fredericksburg,
     In which city do you work?      Virginia.
     I work in Fredericksburg,


Questions Answers
1. (Anda)* sudah berapa lama 1.  (Kami)* baru menikah dua
     menikah?      tahun.
    How long have you been      We have been married only for
    married?      two years.
     (Kami)* sudah menikah selama
     delapan tahun
    We have been married for eight
2. Kapan Anda menikah? 2. (Kami menikah)* tanggal
    When did you get married?     12 Desember 2007.
    We got married on Desember
     12, 2007.
3. (Apa) (Anda)* sudah punya 3. Belum
     anak?     Not yet.
   Do you have children yet?     Sudah, 2 orang satu laki dan satu
   Wah, sudah sepasang ya.     perempuan.
   Well, you already have a pair     Yes, I do. I have two children,
   of children a boy and a girl.    one boy and one girl.
4. Anaknya berapa? 4. Kami belum punya anak or
   How many children do you     Kami belum dikaruniai anak
   have?     We haven’t had any children yet.
      or We haven’t been blessed with
      children yet.
    (Kami punya)* 2 anak – satu laki
    dan satu perempuan.
    (We have) two children, one boy
     and one girl.
5. Mengapa/kenapa belum 5. Jodohnya belum datang.
    menikah?     – My soulmate hasn’t come yet.
    Why you are not married yet?     – Saya masih cari.
      I am still searching.
   –  Nanti datang sendiri kalau
      sudah waktunya.
      She/he will come to me when
        it is time.
6. Mengapa/kenapa (Anda)* 6. (Menurut saya) belum
    belum punya anak?      waktunya.
    Why haven’t you had children     We are enjoying each other’s
    yet?     company too much. .
7. Anaknya sekolah di mana saja? 7. Yang paling besar/sulung tahun
    Where are your children going     pertama di universitas dan yang
    to school?     paling kecil/bungsu masih di SMP
    Sekolah Menengah Pertama).
    The oldest is in the freshmen year,
      and the youngest is still in the
      middle school.


Questions Answers
1. Anda hobinya apa? 1.  Saya suka menonton acara
    What are your hobbies?      olahraga.
     I like to watch sport programs.
     Saya suka memancing (fishing)/
     memasak (cooking)/mendaki
     gunung (mountain climbing)/
     berkemah (camping)/
     mendengarkan musik (listening
       to music)/joging (jogging)/
     berenang (swimming).
     Saya suka bermain sepak bola
     dengan anak-anak saya.
     I like to play soccer with my
2. Apa yang biasa Anda lakukan 2. Saya suka menghabiskan waktu
    di waktu luang?     luang saya bersama keluarga
    What do you do In your free      dan teman-teman.
    time?     I like to spend time with my
      family and friends.
3. Apa saja minat Anda? 3. Saya suka dengan masalah-
   What are your interests?     masalah politik, ekonomi, dan
   I am interested in politics, 
     economy, and health.
4. Anda suka olahraga apa? 4. Saya suka olahraga …
     What kind of spors do you       I like …
    like?     Saya suka olahraga bela diri.
    I like martial arts.
    Saya suka bermain bola bastket.
   I like to play basketball.


Questions Answers
1. (Apa)*Anda sakit? 1. Belum, mungkin nanti sore.
    Apa (Anda) sudah ke dokter?     Not yet. I might go to the doctor
    Are you sick? Have you been     this afternoon.
    to the doctor?
2. (Anda)* sakit apa? 2. Saya kena demam berdarah/
    What kind of illness are you     tipus, masuk angin, demam.
   suffering from?      I was infected by dengue fever
      I had a typhoid/a cold/
      a fever.
3. Bagaimana (kabarnya)? 3. Ya, lumayan or Mendingan.
    How are you feeling?     Yes. It is little bit better or Not
    Apa sudah (merasa) baikan?     too bad
    Are you feeling better?     (Saya) masih tidak enak badan.
    Semoga cepat sembuh ya.     I am still feeling unwell.
    I hope you get better soon     Saya masih (merasa) lemas.
    I am still feeling weak.
4. Bagaimana (kabarnya)? 4. Ya, saya sudah sembuh.
    How are you feeling today?     Yes, I am fully recovered.
     Apa sudah sembuh?
    Are you fully recovered yet?
    Thanks God
    or I am glad to hear that.

Note *)

Words in brackets can be dropped, as they are understood.


Read and review the above phrases.

Ask your friend to practice with you. Imagine you are in Indonesia and you are trying to get acquainted with new neighbors.

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About the Author: asimonoff

I’m an Indonesian language instructor, instructional material developer, reading test developer, and interpreter. I have been teaching Indonesian to adult students for 15 years, and have been teaching students from many backgrounds, such as private, military and diplomatic service employees. I’m Indonesian, but am living in the US now; my exposure to different cultures in my home country and in the US has enriched my knowledge in teaching Indonesian as a second language. I approach the teaching of the Indonesian language by developing students’ critical cultural awareness and competence. This method of teaching has been proven to be a key to the success of my students. Students become conscious of the essential role culture plays in the language.