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Lesson Transcript

Jason:Hi everyone. Jason here! Absolute Beginner Season 1, Lesson 4 - What’s Your Job in Indonesia? Welcome back to the IndonesianPOD101.com, the fastest, easiest and most fun way to learn Indonesian! I'm joined in the studio by...
Fira:Hello everyone. Fira here.
Jason:This lesson is quite straightforward– you’ll learn how to ask about someone’s job.
Fira:Ya, benar! That’s right.
Jason:So, where does this conversation take place?
Fira:Well, it takes place at a warung – that’s a “coffeeshop”, – just outside the Keraton.
Jason:Edi, our main character, is speaking with his friend Yono after a nice tour of the Keraton.
Fira:The conversation will be in formal Indonesian.
Jason:Let's listen to the conversation.
Fira:I’m a bit surprised this time around!
Fira:Well, you know, Edi is from the US, but he asked Yono what his job is. It’s usually the other way around!
Jason:That’s very true. In Indonesia, people are always asking visitors about their jobs, their families, even how much money they are making…
Fira:Yeah. I think a lot of visitors might find that a bit strange.
Jason:Definitely, and it doesn’t stop with one person. A lot of people will ask you these kinds of questions.
Fira:Well, this is how you make small talk in Indonesian.
Jason:Yeah – people are just trying to get to know you.
Fira:T his is the norm in Indonesia.
Jason:That’s true. I had a friend whose Indonesian friend casually asked him, “how much do you make?”
Fira:I see. You know, that’s a common question in Indonesia, so don’t be surprised when you hear it.
Jason:Alright, keep that in mind listeners! Let’s go on to some vocabulary.
Jason:Let's have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Fira:The first phrase is kerjanya apa?
Jason:Yes. So this means ‘what is your work’ or ‘job’, right?
Fira:That’s right. This simply translates as “what do you do?”
Jason:Exactly. What we want to point out is how this phrase is constructed.
Fira:The first word kerjanya is made up of the word kerja meaning ‘job’ or ‘work’ . It has the ending -nya, which is rather special.
Jason:We’ll go over why in this lesson’s grammar section. Okay, so we have kerjanya. What is it followed by?
Fira:The second part is the interrogative apa, which means ‘what’.
Jason:Remember listeners, we went over this in Lesson 3. But I’ve noticed something a bit unusual. In English, we usually put the “what” at the beginning of the sentence, right?
Fira:That’s right.
Jason:But that doesn’t happen in Indonesian – instead, you leave the slot where you would put an answer alone in the same place.
Fira:So, if you say “apakah kamu bekerja”, what does that mean?
Jason:It means ‘are you working?’ Remember, we also put “apakah” in the beginning of the sentence to mark some yes-no questions.
Fira:Alright then, let’s go on to the grammar points now.
Jason:In this lesson, we're going to learn how to ask about someone’s job.
Fira:First, we’re going to talk about the ending -nya.
Jason:We brought this up during the vocabulary section. So first of all, what does this mean exactly?
Fira:Well, that’s not necessarily an easy thing to answer. The ending -nya has lots of functions!
Jason:Hmm, let me have a go at explaining this. The first type of function is marking a possessive – like “his”, “hers”, “its”, “yours”.
Fira:That’s correct. So, take kerjanya again. Kerja – meaning ‘work’ or ‘job’. And kerjanya can mean one of several things.
Jason:It can mean ‘his job’, it can mean ‘her job’, it can mean ‘its job’. It can even mean ‘your job’!
Fira:Remember that Indonesian is a high-context language.
Jason:So, the exact translation of this phrase is going to highly depend on what the surrounding context is.
Fira:I never realized before how confusing the ending –nya can really be!
Jason:Yeah, it can be quite confusing at first. Try some examples. Okay, how would you say ‘his’ or ‘her name’?
Fira:Remember, the word for ‘name’ is nama. The answer is “Namanya”! Na-ma-nya. (Pause.) Namanya.
Jason:Alright, well, how about ‘the coffeeshop’?
Fira:Warungnya. Wa-rung-nya. (Pause.) Warungnya.
Jason:And finally, how would you say ‘your teacher’?
Fira:Gurunya. / Listeners, repeat after me / Gu-ru-nya. (Pause.) Gurunya.
Jason:So, is that clear with everyone? Let’s move on to the next word.
Fira:Okay, next we’ll talk about the preposition di. It has several functions.
Jason:Right. First it can be used wherever you would use the English prepositions ‘in’ and ‘at’.
Fira:Yeah. In Indonesian, you don’t really need to worry about distinguishing ‘in’ from ‘at’.
Jason:How would you say ‘in a bank’?
Fira:Di bank. (slowly) Di bank.
Jason:Right – and how about ‘at a school’?
Fira:Di sekolah. (slowly) Di se-ko-lah. (pause) Now, the other thing we have to mention is that di is used in the question di mana, which means ‘where at?’
Jason:Our listeners might confuse this with ke mana, which we talked about in Lesson 2.
Fira:Ah, right. Ke mana also means ‘where’, but more precisely, ‘where to?’
Jason:The clue is with the preposition ke, which means ‘to someplace’. And di means ‘in’ or ‘at’, so di mana literally means ‘where at’.
Fira:Pretty simple, right? So remember di for ‘in’ or ‘at’, and ke for ‘to somewhere’.


Jason:Okay, that’s it for this lesson.
Fira:See you next time!


Please to leave a comment.
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IndonesianPod101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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Hi! Could you answer this question in Indonesian: Kerjanya apa? (What is your job?)


IndonesianPod101.com Verified
Sunday at 01:05 AM
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Hello Necalr,

That is correct! Thank you for your comment. 😊



Team IndonesianPod101.com

Saturday at 06:08 PM
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Halo, saya seorang siswa SMA. Apakah benar?

Hello I'm a high school student. Is is right

Tuesday at 01:13 PM
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Hi Abdulla AA,

Both are acceptable, although “Saya pensiunan.” is the grammatically correct answer to “What is your job.” Good job!



Team IndonesianPod101.com

Abdulla AA
Saturday at 05:00 AM
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Maaf. Saya pensiunan.


Abdulla AA
Saturday at 03:14 AM
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Saya sudah pensium.

Saya bekerja selama 32 tahun di Aramco.

IndonesianPod101.com Verified
Saturday at 08:42 AM
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Hello Amber,

Thanks for posting. Your answer is perfect.



Team IndonesianPod101.com

Tuesday at 09:49 AM
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Saya mahasiswa.

IndonesianPod101.com Verified
Thursday at 05:15 PM
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Halo Lancent

thanks for posting! :wink:

Let us know if you have any question.



Team IndonesianPod101.com

Wednesday at 08:52 PM
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Saya dokter di rumah sakit.

IndonesianPod101.com Verified
Monday at 01:05 PM
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Hi Ian!

Thanks for posting.

If you use "di", it should point to a place.

So, the correct ones are:

"Kerja saya adalah pandai besi" or "Saya adalah seorang pandai besi"

"seorang" means "a person". This is to translate the particle "a" in "a blacksmith".

Let us know if you have anymore question. :wink:


Team IndonesianPod101.com