Thursday, June 5, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #14

13 Indonesian Words
Here are a few words that I like either for the way they sound or what they mean.

1) Dong - This word doesn't really have a meaning. It is my favorite because it sounds so funny. I hear it tacked on at the back of sentences a lot. For example "Don't do that, dong". If you're a Malaysian, think of it as the "-lah".

2) Choi - I think it means something like "Buddy". You only use it to call friends. For example "Hey Choi". Its actually from the Palembang dialect.

3) Kodok - Frog. I just like saying this one. Try it.

4) Chowok - Male. I think this one and the next word are in the Palembang dialect.

5) Chewek - Female. When Aaron was a baby and still androgynous looking, people used to ask me, "Chowok atau (or) Chewek?" I was always so confused wondering why they were trying to talk about Chewbacca.

6) Koki - Chef. Isn't it a cute word?

7) Balita - Toddler. This word is actually the short form of saying "BAyi di bawah LIma TAhun meaning "baby under 5 years old". Isn't it amazing how they abbreviated a 5 word phrase to just 3 syllables.

8) Kring - Cell. As in the neighborhood Catholics getting together for prayer or other fellowship. I wonder if those terrorist cells are also called 'Krings'. Once again, the word reminds me of 'Klingon'.

9) Pelit - Stingy. I learnt this word a few days ago and I've been using it a lot.

10) Gengsi - Snobbish. The dictionary has this word translated as 'prestigious' but when I asked an Indonesian how this word would be used, it had more negative uses to it than anything prestigious. Its like calling somebody a 'Snob'.

11) Yo - C'mon. This is another everyday word that is used in informal settings. I usually hear it when people are leaving "C'mon, lets go".

12) Santai - Relax. Whats not to like about this word?

13) Cicip - To try. This is used for tasting food. When you're cooking and taste to see if its right, thats called 'cicip'. Or if somebody sees you eating something yummy and they want to have a bite, they might ask to 'cicip' it.

8 comments:

Bilbo said...

I always enjoy your posts on language as you experience it...from my linguistics background and training, I find the way people actually speak (as opposed to how the language is taught in schools) to be endlessly fascinating. This post is especially good for your explanation of the derivations of some of the words (like "balita"). Maybe one of these days I should do a post or two on some of the German I've learned that you'd never pick up in school.

Mike said...

Time to santai.

Kellan said...

How fun! I won't remember any of them except for "Dong" - tee hee!

Have a good day, Amanada - Kellan

Jean-Luc Picard said...

That was fascinating to learn those unusual words and what they mean.

MamaGeek said...

Seriously Amanda, after the word DONG I just couldn't stop giggling - you so should have held that word for last! This was much fun!

Nap Warden said...

He, he, he...she said Dong;)

Amanda said...

Bilbo, it would be great if you did "German lesson" post.

Yes Yes...Dong is funny isn't it? Imagine listening to it thrown into every day conversation all the time :)

egan said...

This is why I enjoy other languages. Thanks for the cool new words.