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Hello and welcome to Indonesian Survival Phrases, brought to you by IndonesianPod101.com This course is designed to equip you with the language skills and knowledge to enable you to get the most out of your visit to Indonesia. You'll be surprised at how far a little Indonesian will go. Now before we jump in, remember to stop by IndonesianPod101.com. And there you’ll find the accompanying PDF and additional info in the post. If you stop by, be sure to leave us a comment.
Indonesian Survival Phrases Lesson 8. I Don't Understand
"I don't understand" is going to be a very useful phrase because most of the time, maybe even almost 100% of the time, you won't understand. Indonesian sounds very different from English in the beginning there will likely be an adjustment period during which your ears get used to Indonesian.
In Indonesian "I don't understand" is Saya tidak mengerti. (Slow) Saya tidak mengerti. Let’s break it down by syllable. Sa-ya ti-dak me-nger-ti. Now let’s hear it once again. Saya tidak mengerti.
The first word saya means "I." Let’s break down this word and hear it one more time. Sa-ya. Saya. This is followed by tidak, which in Indonesian is "not." Ti-dak. Tidak. So to recap here, we have Saya tidak. Literally this means "I don't." Let's take a look at the last word mengerti, which means "to understand." me-nger-ti. mengerti.
So altogether we have Saya tidak mengerti. Literally this means "I don't understand."
Another, more informal way to express "I don't understand." is Enggak ngerti. Let’s break it down by syllable. Eng-gak nger-ti. Now let’s hear it once again. Enggak ngerti.
The first word Enggak is a shortened, more informal form of tidak, which means "not." Let’s break down this word and hear it one more time. Eng-gak. Enggak. This is followed by ngerti, which in Indonesian is a shortened form of mengerti, which means "to understand."
So altogether we have Enggak ngerti. Literally this means "Don't understand." We don't really need the pronoun "I" here since in most cases, it's assumed that you're talking about yourself.
Here’s the big pronunciation tip. Indonesian has velar nasal consonant represented by ng in the beginning of words such as ngerti. This ng is like the ng at the end of “sing”. But never like the ng as in finger. For many beginners this will be difficult to pronounce. But here’s something you can do. Just isolate the ng at the end of “sing” and pronounce it by itself. Then when you’re confident enough, add any vowel after the ng and keep repeating it. Like for example ngo, ngo, ngo, ngo and so on. Eventually you’ll become comfortable enough to properly pronounce things like ngerti.
Oh and by the way, the ng like in finger is spelled ngg like in the word enggak.
Okay to close out today’s lesson we’d like for you to practice what you’ve just learned. I’ll provide you with the English equivalent of the phrase and you’re responsible for saying the Indonesian phrase out loud or in Indonesian, dengan keras. You’ll have a few seconds before I give you the answer so selamat sukses, that means "good luck!" in Indonesian.
All right so here we go!
“I don’t understand” formal version. (Saya tidak mengerti. Sa-ya ti-dak me-nger-ti. Saya tidak mengerti.)
“I don’t understand” informal version. (Enggak ngerti. Eng-gak nger-ti. Enggak ngerti.)
All right, that's going to do it for today!
Remember to stop by IndonesianPod101.com and pick up the accompanying PDF. When you stop by, be sure to leave us a comment.