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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!