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Learn Indonesian Through Comics #001

Hello, I'm thinking about teaching you guys all, Bahasa Indonesia, through comics. The language that is used in these comics that we're gonna learn is Indonesian Colloquial language, everyday language that is used in Indonesia.

We're gonna learn from a famous comic. This comic is called Juki, and this is a famous one in Indonesia, and we're gonna learn one page at a time. I will also give you an explanation and try to also give you translations in English so that you will understand the meaning.

If you want to learn Bahasa Indonesia with me, you can just join my group. You can check it out on the About Me page.

So let's learn from the first page.

Learn Indonesian Through Comics

Let's see our first page here.

Learning Bahasa Indonesia Through Comics

We can see the title is 'Si Juki.' 'Si' here is like the definite article 'the' in English, so it can be translated as 'The Juki.'

Next is 'tarkam.' Tarkam is an abbreviation for 'anTAR KAMpung,' and in literal translation, it means 'between villages.' Jawara means a champion. So, 'jawara tarkam' in a rough translations means 'a champion from a tournament that is held between the surrounding villages.'

In Indonesia, they usually held a tournament that is gathered by many surrounding villages. And they will choose the winner from that tournament, so in this case, Juki is the champion from that tournament.

Okay, right now, let's go to the next page.

Introducing Ourself In Bahasa Indonesia

Here, Juki is introducing himself. Let's see first the picture below.

Scene 1
I'm gonna break the sentences down. Let's learn the first sentence there, that is,
Halo, perkenalkan lagi.
If I translate this into English, it will be like this,
Hello, let me introduce myself again.
Halo = hello.
Perkenalkan = introduce.
lagi = again.

And then the next sentence is,
Gue Juki, seorang mahasiswa yang sedang liburan semester.
If I translate this into English, this would be,
I'm Juki, a college student on a semester break.
Seorang = a person.
mahasiswa = college student.
yang sedang = is on or is doing something.
liburan = holiday, vacation
liburan semester = days off happening between a semester in college.
Gue is I, there are a lot of ways to say I in Bahasa Indonesia, for example, the common things that you already learned I think are 'saya' and 'aku.'

Gue here is coming from a regional language in Indonesia. It is from Jakarta and has been used widely in Indonesia. You will hear lots of these 'gue' things in everyday conversation in Indonesia.

Let's watch this scene for a second. This is a conversation between 2 co-workers in the office.

So as you can see, the two of them are using 'gue' extensively. This is very common in Indonesia, and the conversation happened in that scene are as follows:
A: Woi! (Hey!) 
B: Apaan? (What?) 
A: Loe ada ide lagi ngga? (Do you have any more ideas?) 
B: Aah, ganggu aja loe! (Argh, you're very annoying!) 
A: Ih, loe mah! (Come on, bro!) 
B: Gue lagi coba hacking CCTV kantor nih. (Right now, I'm trying to hack office's CCTV.) 
A: Serius loe? Terus? (Seriously? And then..?) 
B: Aah, banyak nanya! Ya kalau gue berhasil, gue bisa looping CCTV kantor jadi pak boss itu tetap ngelihat kita kerja. (Too much asking! If I succeed with this I can loop this CCTV so our boss will always see us working.)
So gue and loe are things that you need to know. Gue = I and loe = you. Next lesson, maybe we're gonna also learn from movies so that you can really see the situation and I think it's more fun learning Bahasa Indonesia that way.

Next, let's see this picture.

Scene 2
The first sentence is,
Sejujurnya kalo udah liburan semester gini, gue bingung harus ngapain. (Honestly when a semester break like this is coming, I really don't know what to do.)
I think it is better if I just translate the sentence side by side like this so that you can see and easily get a grasp of the meaning.

Kalo is the same as kalau, where kalau is more formal than 'kalo'. Udah = sudah, udah is more used in the informal, sudah is more formal.

Ngapain = melakukan apa.

If I make the sentence more formal than it will become like this,
Sejujurnya kalau sudah liburan semester seperti ini, saya bingung harus melakukan apa.
So that you can see and understand the difference between formal and informal.

Bingung = confused

The next sentence is,
Tiap malem gue mimpi hal-hal aneh. (Every night I dream of strange things.)
Malem is the same as malam. Malem is used in the informal, and malam is more formal.

Tiap = every.
malam = malem = night.
mimpi = dream.
hal-hal = things.
aneh = strange.

The next sentence is,
Emak juga udah ngomel-ngomel karena gue kayak pengangguran yang hobi menganggur. (My mother also kept complaining because I'm like an unemployment guy who likes to waste time.)
Emak = mother.
ngomel-ngomel = complain.
karena = because.
kayak = kaya = like
pengangguran = unemployment guy
hobi = hobby
menganggur = do not have a job.

And now, let's see scene 3. Here we can learn vocabulary about the activity.

Scene 3
The first sentence there is,
Kegiatan gue, kalau ngga tidur, ngemil, tidur lagi, makan lagi. (My activities usually if I'm not asleep, I'll eat and then sleep again and then eat again.)
Kegiatan = activity.
Ngemil = eating light meat or maybe snacks.
Tidur = to sleep.
Makan = eat.
Ngemil and makan are also to eat, but the difference is ngemil is eating something light, and makan is eating something heavier.

The next sentence is,
Gitu aja terus sampe siomay bang Maman buka cabang di bulan. (That is all, what I'm doing all day until Maman's siomay open a branch on the moon.)
Sampe = sampai, sampe is informal and sampai is more formal than sampe.
Siomay is the food like this one in this youtube video, you can watch it at 00:19. It was me actually in that video eating siomay that I bought from a guy over there who was selling this siomay.

Cabang = branch.
Bulan = moon.

And then our last scene, scene 4.

Scene 4
The first sentence is,
Sesekali gue mengurus peliharaan di tamagotchi kesayangan. (Every now and then, I take care of my pets in my favorite tamagotchi.
Sesekali = every now and then.
Mengurus = to take care.
Peliharaan = pets
Kesayangan = my favorite.

And then the last sentence is,
Selain itu, tetap tidur. (Besides that, I'm sleeping.)
Selain itu = besides that.
Tetap = still.

I think that's all for now. Next, we will continue this learning Bahasa Indonesia through comics. So stay tuned on my blog. We're gonna learn Bahasa Indonesia, not from textbooks but from real conversation.

We're gonna real some colloquial language here. Okay, so that's all for now. I hope you enjoyed this and I'll see you again soon. Bubye now.


  1. what does it mean "open a branch on the moon"?

    1. [Open a branch on the moon] refers to the literal translation of [sampe siomay bang Maman buka cabang di bulan]. If translated literally, this is the translation of the phrase, but the real meaning of the phrase [sampe siomay bang Maman buka cabang di bulan] means that all Juki did was eat and sleep. Nothing more.


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