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Lesson Transcript

Jason:Hi everyone. Jason here! Welcome back to IndonesianPod101.com. This is Absolute Beginner Season 1, Lesson 23 - This Indonesian Taxi is on the Road to Nowhere.
Fira:Hello everyone! I'm Fira. In this lesson, we’re going to learn about the verb ‘bisa’ which means ‘can’ or ‘be able to’.
Jason:The conversation takes place at a taxi outside a Hotel. And it’s between a taxi driver and Edi. They speak informal Indonesian.
Fira:Let’s listen to the conversation.
Jason:Hmm, doesn’t sound very easy to take a taxi in Indonesia.
Fira:That’s right, especially in tourist areas.
Jason:In the dialogue, Edi wanted to go to two places.
Fira:Pasar Beringharjo and Kota Gede – two popular places for tourists in Yogyakarta.
Jason:So why are these famous?
Fira:The first place, Pasar Beringharjo, is a huge market near the center of Yogyakarta. It’s a traditional market, so you’ll see all kinds of things being sold here.
Jason:Right. And one of the things you can buy there is songbirds, right? Fira, why would a huge market like this be selling songbirds?
Fira:Well, it’s because songbirds are one of the five traditional things that any “proper” Javanese man should have.
Jason:Ah, so that’s why people come to the market to buy the birds. Now, what about the other place?
Fira:Kota Gede is a village on the outskirts of the greater Yogyakarta area which is famous for its silversmithing.
Jason:That’s right – you can go over there and get some nice examples of Javanese silverworking
Fira:If you have any plans to visit Yogyakarta, make sure you see these two places.
Jason:Okay, now onto 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 Ndak which means ‘no’ in English. We’ve learned another word, ‘tidak’, that also means ‘No.
Jason:What’s the difference between the two?
Fira:‘Tidak’ is the formal way to say ‘No’, while ndak is more casual. You’ll hear ndak more when you are travelling around Indonesia.
Jason:And we have one more word meaning ‘No’ right?
Fira:Yes, you can also say nggak. (slow) Nggak. Nggak is quite casual, however, people use this more than ndak.
Jason:It is spelled ‘N-G-G-A-K’. How do you say the first NG sound correctly?
Fira:It might not be easy to pronounce. Let me read it slowly. (slow) Ng-Gak.
Jason:Listeners, repeat after Fira.
Fira:Ng-Gak. (five seconds)
Jason:And we have one more word to mean ‘No’, right?
Fira:Yes, and it’s tak. Actually, this one seems a little more formal.
Jason:Okay, now onto the grammar.
Jason:In this lesson, we’re going to learn about the verb bisa meaning ‘can’ or ‘be able to’. Okay, let’s learn how to use the verb. How do you say ‘Can you go to the hotel?’ in Indonesian?
Fira:Bisa pergi ke hotel? (slow) bisa pergi ke hotel? // Bisa means ‘can’, pergi means ‘to go’ and ke is ‘to’. So all together it means ‘Can you go to the Hotel’?
Jason:In the sentence, bisa acts like an auxiliary verb here – it helps add meaning to the main verb pergi ‘to go’.
Fira:So it’s like the verb mau, meaning ‘to want’.
Jason:OK, let’s try another example. How would you say “Can you drink beer?”
Fira:This might be important if you make a bunch of Indonesian friends… Bisa minum bir? (slow) Bi-sa mi-num bir?
Jason:See, all you have to do is to put the verb bisa before the main verb. Fira, I have another question – is it ever possible to have bisa by itself?
Fira:It’s possible, especially when you answer questions.
Jason:So when I ask you ‘Can I go to the hotel?’, you can simply say...
Fira:‘Bisa’. (slow) Bisa.
Jason:It means ‘I can.’ Then what about ‘I can’t’
Fira:You can simply put the word tidak before the verb Bisa. So tidak bisa means ‘Can’t.’
Jason:Then how do you say “I can’t drink beer”?
Fira:Saya tidak bisa minum bir. (slow) Sa-ya ti-dak bi-sa mi-num bir.
Jason:But we can say it another way, can’t we?
Fira:Yes, we certainly can! We can just omit the pronoun saya in the beginning, so it is; Tidak bisa minum bir. (slow) Tidak bisa minum bir.
Jason:The important thing here is that the negative adverb has to go before the auxiliary verb bisa. Okay, let’s have a look at one more example. How do you say ‘I cannot go to the bank’ in Indonesian?
Fira:Listeners, can you guess how to say this? It’s simple! You can say Saya nggak bisa pergi ke bank. Or Saya nggak bisa ke bank without the main verb.
Jason:And we can also make it shorter.
Fira:Right. Nggak bisa ke bank.


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