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Lesson Transcript

Fira: Hi everyone. I’m Fira.
Gina: And I’m Gina. Hello and welcome to IndonesianPod101.com. This is All About Lesson 1, Introduction to Indonesia and the Indonesian Language.
Fira: Together, we'll be your guides to everything Indonesian.
Gina: That's right! In this series, we’re here to teach you the ins-and-outs of the fascinating Indonesian language.
Fira: Indonesian is a really interesting language in a lot of ways.
Gina: Yeah, I think the listeners out there who have studied a western or East Asian language, and are studying a language like Indonesian for the first time, will be amazed at just how different it is.
Fira: It’s truly a beautiful language. In this lesson, let’s learn some basic facts about the Indonesian language.

Lesson focus

Gina: So what language family does Indonesian belong to?
Fira: Well, it’s an Austronesian language. Do you know what that means?
Gina: Sure. Austronesian languages are a family of languages spoken in the Malay Peninsula, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, Madagascar, and Oceania.
Fira: Right! It makes up one of the largest language families in the world today as there are over twelve hundred languages which are a part of this family. Indonesian is closely related to its geographical neighbors, which include Javanese, Sundanese, and Balinese.
Gina: It’s also related to virtually all of the languages of the Philippines, including Tagalog, as well as being distant linguistic "cousins" to Polynesian languages such as Samoan, Tongan, and Hawaiian!
Fira: It branches out so far across the globe! All the way in Africa, the Austronesian language spoken on the island of Madagascar is called "Malagasy". By the way, did you know that today there are around two hundred million speakers of Indonesian?
Gina: Right! It’s such a big number! But only seventeen million are native speakers, so that means that there are 183 million speakers who have learned Indonesian as a second language. That’s still amazing, wouldn’t you say?
Fira: Yeah, and I think our listeners will find Indonesian quite easy to follow since it’s written in Roman script.
Gina: Yes, but the spelling might throw some people off at first.
Fira: Good point. The Indonesian spelling system went through four different systems before taking its present form.
Gina: And I thought English spelling was hard enough! Imagine having to change spelling four different times.
Fira: Don’t worry, though. The spelling is much more phonetic than in English.
Gina: Well, that’s a relief. We’ll talk about that in another lesson.
Fira: Right, but now let’s talk about pronunciation. Indonesian vowels are really simple! As opposed to English, vowels only have one pronunciation, except with the letter "e", which we’ll get to later.
Gina: Yes. We actually have a series for Indonesian pronunciation where you’ll learn more about this.
[About the Motherland]
Gina: So, how about going over a bit more of Indonesia itself? Indonesia and the Indonesian language have long and complex histories behind them.
Fira: That’s true. Indonesia is one of the most culturally diverse places in the world. There are over three hundred and fifty different ethnic groups, each with its own culture and language, spread out over Indonesia’s seventeen thousand plus islands. That’s a lot of different groups, and a lot of land and water!
Gina: Yeah. The philosophy of "unity through diversity" is really important to Indonesian people. What’s that famous saying, Fira?
Fira That would be Bhinneka Tunggal Ika, which means "There are many, but there is one." This is our national motto.
Gina: What does the name “Indonesia” mean?
Fira: From Greek, "Indo-" means "India" and "-nesia" means "islands", which reflects the centuries of history with Indian traders in this area.
Gina: Right, but isn’t there another name for Indonesia?
Fira: Are you thinking of Nusantara?
Gina: Yeah, that’s the one!
Fira: Nusantara, meaning “archipelago”, is actually a very poetic way of referring to the country. Most people just say “Indonesia”.
Gina: I see. That makes sense since Nusantara comes from Old Javanese. Ok! Let’s talk about why we should learn Indonesian, Fira.
Fira: Sure, I have five reasons. Let’s start from number five; You can communicate with Indonesian people and Indonesian speakers.
Gina: Right. Whether it’s with Indonesian friends, family members, or people you meet when traveling, Indonesian has over two hundred million speakers. That’s a lot of people to converse with!
Fira: And, as we mentioned before, a lot of land in which to converse!
Number four; Indonesian pronunciation is easy! It’s pronounced just the way it looks, so you can start speaking and reading right away.
Gina: Yeah! No more frustrating study sessions with pronunciation guides and audio CDs trying to figure it out!
Number three; Learn culture and history. Indonesia is known for its rich and wide variety of cultural activities, such as gamelan music ensembles, wayang kulit shadow plays, and colorful batik cloth.
Fira: Learning Indonesian will give you great insight into the world of Indonesian culture and history, which will help you better understand the structure of the language and the way of the people, as well.
Gina: Number two; Help keep a language alive. It’s important to realize the significance of learning any language. Aside from increasing communication skills, we preserve and understand culture and history which is essential to understanding our world and, ultimately, ourselves.
Fira: Exactly! And finally...
Gina: The number one reason you should learn Indonesian is…
[drum roll sound effect]
Fira: It’s fun! Traveling to and within Indonesia and communicating with the people is truly a life-changing experience. Indonesia has cultural diversity, a rich and complex history, and vibrant natural beauty to boot. It truly is one of the cultural and natural treasures of the world that everyone should experience at some point in his or her life.
Gina: Listeners, we’ve only just begun talking about Indonesian! We think that you’ll be more amazed with each lesson!
Fira: That’s right. By learning about the Indonesian language, culture, and history, you’ll feel like you’re in a magical place where past meets present.


Gina: Okay everybody. That’s it for this lesson.
Fira: See you next time.
Gina: Bye.


Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

IndonesianPod101.com Verified
Thursday at 06:30 PM
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Hello, listeners! Why are you studying Indonesian? Could you let us know your special reason?

IndonesianPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 04:17 PM
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Hi Joana,

Thank you for your message.😄

We're glad to hear that you are enjoying our content!❤️️

Have a great day!



Team IndonesianPod101.com

Sunday at 07:54 PM
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Selamat Malam, Nama saya Joana. I'm studying Indonesian because I have met so many Indonesian friends. And I would like to talk to them by their language, I also think it's easier to learn because some of Indonesian words are almost similar to Philippine languange (Tagalog).

Thanks for creating this website, thanks to IndonesianPod101 team. I find it fun to learn your language through this website.

Have a nice day everyone!

Joana 🇵🇭

IndonesianPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 05:30 PM
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Hi Noe Pobadora,

Sama-sama! :)

Selamat belajar ya. I hope you have fun learning here.



Team IndonesianPod101.com

Noe Pobadora
Tuesday at 02:06 PM
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Terima kasih from the Philippines.

Monday at 08:57 AM
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Hi Adrienne,

Thank you for posting!


Team IndonesianPod101.com

Tuesday at 10:52 PM
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Hai Eric,

Gw ngerti. susah cari org bule utk latihan bahasa indonesia sperti sm org lokal.

IndonesianPod101.com Verified
Monday at 11:30 PM
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Hi Peter,

Bhinneka Tunggal Ika is derived from the Old Javanese language called Kawi language. And this quotation came from a poem which was written by Mpu Tantular during the reign of the Majapahit empire around the 14th century on the island of Java. So these are not actually Indonesian language.

In Indonesian language these translated as “Berbeda-beda tetapi tetap satu”.

Bhinneka means "diverse", "various" or "assorted".

Tunggal means "one".

and Ika means "that".

Literally in Indonesian it is "Beraneka Satu Itu".

Hope this helps :innocent:



Sunday at 01:44 PM
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My inner nerd wanted to look at the motto Bhineka Tunggal Ika literally

In Google translate: if Bhineka is capitalized it's translated as Unity

if bhineka is lowercase it's translated as diverse

is that accurate?

tunggal either upper or lowercase translates as single

Ika doesn't translate to anything

this sort of fits with the two translations from the notes and the transcript

There are many, but there is one


Unity through diversity

all that should help me remember!

IndonesianPod101.com Verified
Saturday at 10:44 PM
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Halo James!

Thank you so much for the comment!

Yes, I also realized there are many similarities between Filipino and Indonesian!

Words like "sakit" for "sick", "anak" for "child", "mangga" for "mango", and many more!:wink:

I hope you enjoy the lessons and good luck in learning Indonesian:thumbsup:



Team Indonesianpod101.com

Wednesday at 02:07 AM
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Halo Fira!

Saya dari Filipina. Sangat menyenangkan belajar Bahasa Indonesia! Semoga aku bisa fasih. There are many similarities between Filipino and Indonesian. More power to your team!