Indonesian culture / Introduction · 20 April 2022

Introducing Yourself

PART 1

Nama saya

Saya means I, my, mine. In English, we say ”my name” (‘my’ comes in front of the name), but in the counterpart Indonesian expression, the word order is reversed. Therefore, you say “name (of) mine” (nama saya) instead of “saya nama”

  • Saya Tuti – I am Tuti
  • Nama saya Tuti – My name is Tuti.

Indonesian doesn’t have the verb to be’. So we don’t translate “is, am, are“.

Kenalkan

The word ‘kenalkan’ can have two meanings: let me introduce myself’ and “let me introduce you…

  • Kenalkan, nama saya Tuti. Let me introduce myself, my name is Tuti.
  • Kenalkan, saya Tuti. Let me introduce myself, I am Tuti.

In day to day conversation, when you introduce yourself, you can drop the word ‘kenalkan’. Salam Kenal. Nice to meet vou.

You can use this term when you meet the person for the first time face-to-face, virtually via email or online message.

How are you?

Apa kabar?

It literary means ‘what news’ and can mean How are you?’.

To respond to ‘Apa kabar?’, you can simply say:

  • Baik – good, fine or well
  • Baik-baik saja – just fine
  • Baik juga – fine too
  • Biasa-biasa saja – just as usual, so so, normal
  • Sibuk- busy
  • Sibuk sekali- very busy.
  • Kurang baik- not so good
  • Tidak baik- not good

Asking back to the person who asked.

You can ask back with:

  • Apa kabar? How are you?
  • Bagaimana dengan Anda? How about you?
  • Dan Anda? And you?

The preposition ‘dengan‘ actually means with, but in the above sentence the whole sentence means How about you?. ‘Dan‘ means and.

PART 2

Where are you from

It is the most frequent question asked to foreigners in Indonesia. Indonesians have great interest in knowing about other country and its people. From the minute you leave the airport and wherever you go you will be asked this question.

There are two slightly different ways to ask

“Where are you from?” in Indonesian. You can say:

  • Anda berasal dari mana?
  • Anda dari mana?
  • Asalnya dari mana?

The meaning of the above: Where are you from?

The answers can be as follows:

  • Saya berasal dari Australia. – I am originally from Australia.
  • Saya dari Australia. – I am from Australia.
  • Dari Australia. – From Australia.
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