Talk:Indonesian phrasebook

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What are 10000 and 100000 called? Malagasy has names for the powers of ten up to a million (tapitrisa), and "ribu" is an obvious cognate of "arivo". -phma 12:42, 28 Mar 2004 (EST)

There are independent words for 10.000 and 100.000 which are borrowings from Sanskrit. 10.000 = koti and 100.000 = laksa. But 10.000 is just called sepuluh ribu and 100.000 seratus ribu. Meursault2004 16:50, 28 Mar 2004 (EST)

I'm not familiar with Malayan languages. I'm wondering if Indonesian and Malaysian are sufficiently different to have different phrasebooks. --Evan 17:47, 28 Mar 2004 (EST)

Well grammatically both languages are not that different, but idiomatically the difference can be great. So I think Indonesian and Malaysian should have different phrasebooks. Obviously the Malaysian phrasebook should be written by a native speaker of Malaysian Malay.

Or to save space, the Indonesian and Malaysian phrasebook could be combined into just one phrasebook. And only the differences between Indonesian and Malaysian Malay will be higlighted. For example "Police" is called "polis" in Malaysia and "polisi" in Indonesia. Meursault2004 19:02, 28 Mar 2004 (EST)

I was just thinking about this too... having travelled in both, I think the similarities are much greater than the differences from a traveller's point of view, so for time being I'll plunge forward and redirect Malay phrasebook here with a notice added to the beginning. Jpatokal 10:56, 8 Nov 2004 (EST)
Having travelled a little more in Indonesia I've changed my mind, so now they're separate again. Jpatokal 04:44, 6 Jun 2005 (EDT)

Orwellian newspeak[edit]

Indonesian is indeed noted by several for its fondness for Orwellian newspeak feature. But this feature is actually not a legacy of Soeharto's New Order society, which is somewhat reminiscent of Orwell's 1984 society. The truth is less romantic or intriguing. It is rather a peculiarity of Indonesian as an Austronesian language. Many if not all Austronesian languages, as Indonesian, show a certain fondness for bisyllabic words. And indeed, most of these acronyms are bisyllabic. Meursault2004 15:56, 5 Jun 2005 (EDT)

But why doesn't Malay do it then? In Malaysia it's the acronym that rules. Jpatokal 00:48, 6 Jun 2005 (EDT)

Well as for Malay, the acronym or rather the 'acronymisation' of loose words is another manifestation of the same phenomenon. In Javanese for example, this feature also concerns everyday's words, not just political or socio-economical concepts.

There is furthermore one important difference between Orwellian Newspeak and Indonesian. In 1984's Newspeak there is an attempt to minimise the vocabulary of the English, while in Indonesian the vocabulary has grown extensively the last 50 years or so. Another interesting fact about Orwellian Newspeak is that this may have been based on facts not just fiction. The American and I think the British tried to create a simplified version of the English language. Meursault2004 04:14, 6 Jun 2005 (EDT)

OK, maybe you're reading a little too much into my flippant metaphor. Feel free to change it if you can think of something better... but quite seriously, the only other language I know of that practices this so regularly is Soviet-era Russian (Komintern, Vagonmashimpexpstroy, etc.) Jpatokal 04:26, 6 Jun 2005 (EDT)

Well I dont know the reason why the Soviets did that. Maybe they did that to cover up the true meaning of the words? I don't know. But it is also possible that there is some Soviet influence to be discerned in Indonesian. It was actually not Soeharto but Soekarno who started this fondness for what I call 'acronymisation'. Soekarno is also noted for his leftist sympathies. He is even accused of being a communist by some. Meursault2004 04:31, 6 Jun 2005 (EDT)

Anda vs kamu[edit]

The phrasebook uses the formal/polite Anda form, not the informal kamu/mu, so I've rolled back this change:

What is your name? 
Namanya siapa? (NUM-muh-nyuh shah-puh?)
What is your name? 
Siapa namamu? (shah-puh NUM-muh-moo?)

Is it worth it to list both? Jpatokal 01:26, 5 March 2007 (EST)

Sorry. Should be under pronunciation. Not sure why siapa is pronounced shah-puh here when on the main page it is: (For example)

What is your name? Namamu siapa? (NAH-mah-moo see-AH-pah?) Surely it is see-AH-pah?

-- 23:07, 21 October 2012 (EDT)


Changed the pronunciation of 'e' to reflect the three (not two) ways to pronounce it and also to render it clearer. This is a phrasebook and talking about a 'schwa' is unnecessary.


"...agglutinative language, which means that suffixes are all attached to a base root." Remove the reference to suffixes and replaced with affixes and changed base root (surely redundant?) to stem. Also though that saying the word order is Subject-Verb-Object was a bit too sweeping. Added some examples of where it may cause confusion to think that way.