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Lesson Transcript

Jason:Hi everyone! Jason here! Welcome back to IndonesianPod101.com, Absolute Beginner Season 1, Lesson 10 - What’s in that Indonesian handbag of yours?
Fira:Hi, I’m Fira.
Jason:Thanks for being here with us. Fira, what are we looking at in this lesson?
Fira:Well, in this lesson, we’re going to learn how to use the suffix “nya” in Indonesian.
Jason:This conversation takes place at a hotel garden. It’s between Edi and Tuti, and Edi will ask whether he can borrow her cell phone.
Fira:The speakers will speak in formal Indonesian.
Jason:Okay, let’s listen to the conversation.
Jason:Alright, so Edi wants to borrow Tuti’s cell phone – but it’s buried somewhere in her bag.
Fira:That’s pretty common. Anyways, cell phones are quite popular in Indonesia, so let’s talk about them for a bit.
Jason:In fact, cost is a key reason why cell phones have been so popular in Indonesia.
Fira:Right. Before cell phones, people had to set up and maintain landlines for phone service, which were not cheap to come by. Landlines are still expensive, but cell phones are easy and cheap to set up.
Jason:And In Indonesia, all you have to do is get a cell phone and buy a SIM card. In Indonesia, SIM cards are basically removable cards that are associated with a particular service provider. You can remove SIM cards to switch between providers in different countries.
Fira:Right. And Indonesian people send a lot of text messages.
Jason:In Indonesia, I’ve seen a lot of my friends just constantly text each other back and forth. Why is this?
Fira:Well, the main reason is that it’s a lot cheaper than talking on the phone. For the average Indonesian user, talking on the phone is still expensive. So people usually just text each other.
Jason:Ah, that makes sense. Now on to the vocab.
Jason:Let's have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Fira:The first word is boleh. Do you know what this means, Jason?
Jason:Sure, it’s like ‘May I’ in English, right? I know that we can use this when we want to ask for permission to do something.
Fira:That’s right.
Jason:So, Fira, how can we use the word to ask for permission?
Fira:It’s rather simple, really. All you have to do is use boleh before the main verb.
Jason:That sounds simple enough. So try some examples first. How do we say “may I eat”?
Fira:Boleh makan? Bo-leh ma-kan?
Jason:Alright then, how do you say “May I drink”?
Fira:Boleh minum? Bo-leh mi-num?
Jason:May I drink? So simply say ‘Boleh’ and main verb to mean ‘May I’?
Fira:That’s right.
Jason:Okay, on to the grammar.
Jason:In this lesson, we’re going to learn how to use the suffix “-nya” in Indonesian.
Fira:You’ll see this suffix a lot in Indonesian.
Jason:That’s right. First, we should explain to our listeners why this suffix can be a bit confusing. To make a long story short, it has many functions in Indonesian – in this lesson, we’re going to go over three of those. What shall we go over first?
Fira:Well, let’s take our sentence from our conversation. In the dialogue, Edi said “Ada kunci mobilnya”. Here, we have our verb ada, which is like “there is” or “there are” in English.
Jason:Right. We learned this word in lesson 9.
Fira:And then we have kunci mobil, which means ‘car keys’. Kunci means ‘key’ or ‘lock’, while mobil means ‘car’. So, literally ‘Ada kunci mobil’ means ‘There are car keys’.
Jason:But at the end, you can see the suffix ‘nya’. What is it?
Fira:It means ‘your’ in this case. So simply, ‘kunci mobil’ means ‘car keys’ but you can make it mean ‘your car keys’ by adding ‘nya’ at the end.
Jason:Right, -nya refers to a second-person possessive pronoun – we know that in English as ‘your’. However, we know this only because Edi is talking to Tuti and finds her keys in her bag. What if one more person was there?
Fira:When there are only you and the other person, that’s simple. But if you say Ada kunci mobilnya and there are two other people with you, then it could cause some confusion.
Jason:It’s because we don’t know which person the keys belong too. Without the appropriate context and background information, -nya could either stand for a second-person possessive OR a third-person possessive pronoun!
Fira:Well, the main thing to remember is that –nya is never, ever used as a first-person possessive pronoun, like in English ‘our’.
Jason:What if you want to talk about your own car keys. How do you say ‘those are my car keys’?
Fira:In Indonesian, you can say “Ada kunci mobil saya. (slow) A-da kun-ci mo-bil sa-ya.” Here, we have ‘saya’ meaning ‘me’, ‘my’ or ‘mine’ at the end, instead of Nya’
Jason:Okay, what’s the next function of the suffix –nya, Fira?
Fira:In Indonesian, -nya basically also acts like ‘the’ in English.
Jason:Actually, this function is connected to the first one. Since ‘nya’ means ‘your’ or ‘the other’s’ as well, it can be also considered as ‘the bag’ or ‘the keys’
Fira:That’s right. Okay, then let’s take some examples.
Jason:Fira, How do we say ‘your bag’?
Fira:Tasnya. Tas-nya.
Jason:OK, how do we say ‘your cellphone’?
Fira:That’s easy. HPnya. H-P-nya. HPnya.
Jason:Let’s try one more, a bit more difficult perhaps. How do you say ‘his or her handkerchief’?
Fira:Saputangannya. Sa-pu-ta-ngan-nya.
Jason:See, it’s pretty simple to make these forms – all you have to do with –nya is to stick it to the end of any noun.


Jason:Well, that’s it for this lesson. Thanks for listening, everyone! See you next time!
Fira:Bye in Indonesian.