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Lesson Transcript

Jason:Hi everyone. Jason here! Welcome back to IndonesianPod101.com. This is Absolute Beginner Season 1, Lesson 17 - Indonesia is a Beautiful Place!
Fira:Hello everyone! I'm Fira.
Jason:In this lesson, you’re going to learn how to describe someone’s character or appearance in Indonesian.
Fira:Like “He’s tall”, or “She’s beautiful”. The conversation takes place at a hotel restaurant, and it’s between Edi and Tuti.
Jason:Okay. let’s listen to the conversation.
Jason:Fira, why did Tuti correct Edi? Is it rude to say ‘beautiful’ in Indonesian?
Fira:Oh, not at all. But you can use the word Indah only for non-human beings.
Jason:I see. So for example, “the flowers are beautiful”, right?
Fira:That’s right.
Jason:And in the dialogue, Edi was describing his girlfriend as ‘refined’. So in Indonesia, what kinds of people are considered refined?
Fira:In general, people want to have their personalities reflect the quality of Halus.
Jason:What’s Halus?
Fira:Halus means ‘refined’. And actually, you can see how the refined Indonesian people are in the forms of art, such as dance, and also the shadow puppets.
Jason:Right. In the performance, you can see the character named Arjuna. He’s portrayed as someone with a slight physique and a soft yet stable voice.
Fira:Yeah, Arjuna in the wayang puppet show has really skinny arms and a downcast gaze.
Jason:So basically, the character doesn’t stare into the eyes of another person. Not only traditionally but also still in these days, it’s very rude to look at someone directly in the eyes in Indonesia. Then Fira, what’s the opposite of halus?
Fira:The opposite of halus is kasar, which means ‘rough’ or ‘crude’ – even “evil”. Unlike halus characters in wayang, kasar characters are typically aggressive, hairy, loud, and impulsive.
Jason:Ah, I saw them too. Their eyes are usually bulging – and they aren’t afraid of staring anyone in the eyes.
Fira:You know it well!
Jason:Then on to the vocab.
Jason:Let's have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson. In this lesson, we’re going to learn the pronoun Dia. Before checking it, let’s review the pronouns that we learned so far.
Fira:We learned saya. Sa-ya.
Jason:This means ‘I’ or ‘me’.
Fira:Right. The other one we learned is Anda. An-da. This means ‘you’.
Jason:Correct. And the pronoun of this lesson is..?
Fira:dia. (slow)Dia.
Jason:It means ‘he’ or ‘she’. It can be used for either ‘he’ or ‘she’.
Fira:Yes, that’s right. In Indonesian, we don’t make a distinction between male and female pronouns, so you can use dia for both men and women.
Jason:Ah, I see – how do we use this?
Fira:Well, dia behaves just like our other pronouns that we’ve learned.
Jason:Then, how do we say ‘He’s Indonesian’?
Fira:Dia orang Indonesia. Di-a o-rang In-do-ne-si-a.
Jason:Then, how do we say ‘she’s Indonesian’?
Fira:Dia orang Indonesia. (slow) Di-a o-rang In-do-ne-si-a. It’s very simple.
Jason:See that, everybody? You don’t have to change anything – you just don’t have to pay attention to gender in Indonesian. Then Fira, what about ‘his’ and ‘hers’? How do you say ‘What’s his name?’
Fira:Siapa nama dia? (slow) Si-a-pa na-ma di-a?
Jason:It’s the same word, but you can simply put the pronoun after the noun that is being possessed.
Fira:In this case, you can simply put the word ‘nama’ before the word ‘dia’. Literally it means ‘name he’ or ‘name she’, but in Indonesian, it means ‘his name.’
Jason:Okay, let’s go to the grammar point.
Jason:In this lesson, we’re going to learn how to describe someone’s character or appearances in Indonesian.
Fira:In English, there are some adjectives like “beautiful” and “pretty.” But Indonesian doesn’t really have adjectives. Instead, we use verbs. We call them stative verbs.
Jason:Right. Stative verbs denote some sort of quality rather than an action of some sort.
Fira:In the dialogue, we had this word. tinggi.(slow) Ting-gi.
Jason:This means ‘tall’. Actually, Indonesian people are not really that tall; usually 5’6 or 165 cm on average. But if you’re under that height, then you’d be considered ‘short’, which is…
Fira:Pendek. (slow) Pen-dek.
Jason:It means ‘short’. Then what about ‘strong’, Fira?
Fira:‘Strong’ in Indonesian is kuat. (slow) Ku-at.
Jason:If you look rather athletic, people will describe you in this way. Then what about the word ‘weak’?
Fira:It’s ‘lemas’. (slow) lemas.
Jason:And the next one describes me, right? How do you say “handsome”?
Fira:(laughs) ganteng. (slow) ganteng.
Jason:So how do we use these stative verbs in a sentence?
Fira:It’s very simple. You can simply say someone’s name or pronouns, then add these verbs.
Jason:So, How do you say “I’m handsome”?
Fira:Saya ganteng.
Jason:Then what about women? How do you say ‘pretty’ or ‘beautiful’?
Fira:We have two words to describe it. The first one is indah. (slow) In-dah..
Jason:And this means ‘pretty’, right?
Fira:Right, it means ‘pretty’ or ‘beautiful’. But you have to be careful with this one.
Fira:Well, it’s because we don’t use it to describe human beings. You can use it only to describe the beauty of non-human things like flowers. So you cannot use the word indah to describe someone’s beauty.
Jason:Then which word can I use for my wife?
Fira:Instead of indah, we say cantik. (slow) Can-tik.
Jason:So, remember, everyone, for pretty or beautiful things, we use the word indah, but for describing people, we use the word cantik. So Fira, how do you say ‘Tuti is pretty’ in Indonesian?
Fira:Tuti cantik. (slow) Tu-ti can-tik. You can simply put someone’s name, then put the stative verb.
Jason:Then what about ‘beautiful house’?
Fira:In that case, you can use the word indah. The house is ‘rumah’ in Indonesian, so you can say ‘Rumah Indah’, (slow) Ru-mah in-dah.
Jason:That’s right. Basically, you put the modifying verb AFTER the noun in question. Now, how do you say ‘the house is beautiful’?
Fira:Well, it can be the same. – but you can add our demonstrative itu, which means ‘that’ after rumah, ending up with rumah itu indah. ‘That house is beautiful.’
Jason:What about ‘very beautiful?’
Fira:In the case, you can use the adverb Sekali. (slow) Se-ka-li.
Jason:This means ‘very’. Then how do you say ‘he or she is very strong’?
Fira:Dia kuat sekali. You can simply add the adverb after the adjective.


Jason:Okay. That’s it for this lesson.
Fira:Thank you for listening everyone.
Jason:See you next time!