Module 1
Module 2 (L16-31)
Module 3
Module 4

Lesson 2

“Where Are You From?”

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Listen to the audiobook for Lesson 2.


  • To practise asking where a person comes from
  • To get to know the Indonesian names for a number of countries

Vocabulary Review

Kosa Kata LaluL1-FlashcardsL2-JodohkanL3-Cari Kata
Note:Kosa Kata Lalu translates as “past vocabulary”, i.e. vocabulary that appeared in previous lessons. Make sure that you have memorised all these vocabulary items as you will need them for this lesson.Study them using the flashcards as well as in the following exercises (Latihan). Common exercise types are Jodohkan (Matching), Cari Kata (Find the Hidden Words), Isian (Cloze exercises), or Rangkai Kata (sentence jumbler).Click in the next tab (L1) to continue with exercises no. 1.

Here are some of the frequent words used in this lesson that have appeared in previous lessons.

Anda,  biasa,  duduk,  apa kabar?,  kenalkan,  nama,  pagi, seperti, siapa

Use the following flashcards to review the above vocabulary items.

Kosa Kata Lalu Pelajaran 2

[qdeck] [q]Anda[a]you (formal)
[q]biasa[a]usually, normal
[q]duduk[a]to sit
[q]apa kabar?[a]How are you
[q]kabar[a]the news
[q]kenalkan[a]let me introduce
[q]nama[a]a name

Find the Hidden Words

Find the following hidden words: you • usual • sit • what • news • let me introduce • name • morning • who

Getting a Conversation Going

Click on the following grey bar to see a transcription of the above conversation.

Iwan:Selamat pagi, Nur. Apa kabar?
Nur:Kenalkan, ini Erna dari Medan.
Iwan:Apa kabar, Erna?
Erna:Baik. Maaf, nama Anda siapa?
Iwan:Saya Iwan.
Erna:Asal Anda dari mana, Wan?
Iwan:Saya dari Lombok.
Erna:Lombok? Jauh sekali, ya.
Nur:Silakan duduk, Iwan.
Iwan:Terima kasih.
Now do the following comprehension exercises (latihan) L4 to L5 to make sure that you understood the dialogue.


Note that the above video recording was improvised by the actors and rendered slightly more informal. This is the original text that we gave them.

Try to repeat the dialog. Say the sentences out loud until the words come smoothly off your tongue. Then click on the sound file to check whether you got it right. Keep on trying till the entire dialogue comes smoothly off your tongue.

Iwan:Good morning, Nur. How are you?
Nur:Just fine.
Nur:Let me introduce; this is Erna from Medan.
Iwan:How are you Erna?
Erna:Good. Sorry, what was your name?
Iwan:I’m sorry. I am Iwan.
Erna:Where are you from, Iwan?
Iwan:I’m from Lombok.
Erna:From Lombok? That’s far away!
Nur:Take a seat, Iwan.
Iwan:Thank you.

Click on the following grey bar to see a transcription of the above recording.

Iwan:Selamat pagi, Nur. Apa kabar?
Nur:Baik-baik saja.
Nur:Kenalkan, ini Erna dari Medan.
Iwan:Apa kabar, Erna?
Erna:Baik. Maaf, siapa nama Anda?
Iwan:O maaf. Saya Iwan.
Erna:Anda berasal dari mana, Iwan?
Iwan:Saya dari Lombok.
Erna:Dari Lombok? Jauh sekali!
Nur:Silakan duduk, Iwan.
Iwan:Terima kasih.

Peta Dunia—World Map

Look at the world map. We have named twenty countries. The countries are: Australia, China, Cuba, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and Singapore.

Some countries sound similar in Indonesian, but others are quite different.

Click on the grey bar to see a table with the countries and their English counterparts. Study it briefly (or use the world map below), and then close it and continue to Latihan 6.

Country Names
New ZealandSelandia BaruMexicoMeksiko
Saudia ArabiaArab SaudiUnited KingdomInggris
United StatesAmerika SerikatSingaporeSingapura
Peta DuniaL6L7

Study this map and memorise the Indonesian names for the following countries. Then complete exercises L6 and L7.


Do you notice the i-button? Click it to receive instructions.

Note that at any time you can consult the word list (Daftar Kata) at the end of this lesson!

Asking Where Someone Comes From, And Expressing Surprise at the Answer

There are two slightly different ways to ask “Where are you from?” in Indonesian. You can say Anda berasal dari mana? In relaxed conversation you can drop berasal and simply say Anda dari mana? although in some contexts this phrase can also mean “Where have you just come from?”

When someone tells you where they come from you can respond by saying O begitu (Is that so? Really!) followed by the question Saya kira Anda dari… (I thought you were from…). Or you can express incredulity or crass surprise by saying Hah? again followed by the question Saya kira Anda dari… (I thought you were from…)

Study this fragment of a conversation. Learn it by heart. Notice the two slightly different, but equally correct and common ways of asking where someone comes from. Notice also how you can express surprise or incredulity, and how you can give corrected information about where you come from.

Anda Berasal Dari Mana?

Listen to the dialogue and answer the following questions before looking at the transcription (transkripsi) of the dialogue.

  • Where are the two people from?
  • Apparently the male speaker thought she were from another place. From where?

Once you have listened to the dialogue and answered the questions, look at the transcription of the dialogue by clicking on [+ Transkripsi]. In most browsers you will see that the text is underlined. This means that mouse-over is activated. When you hover the mouse pointer over a sentence, an English translation will be displayed.

laki-lakiAnda berasal dari mana?
perempuanSaya berasal dari Mesir.
laki-lakiHah? Dari Mesir! Saya kira Anda dari Arab Saudi!
perempuanTidak. Saya dari Mesir. Anda dari mana?
laki-lakiSaya dari sini.

Now, complete latihan (exercises) L8 – L14. Remember that these interactive exercises are an important part of the course materials. Also, do not forget to always click on the i-button to get instructions.

Cara Indonesia

Saying the Names of Countries

Cara Indonesia

The Indonesian names of some countries look the same as in English, but very often Indonesians pronounce them somewhat differently from the way they are pronounced in English. For example, “Australia” in Indonesian is pronounced something like /owst’RĀ.lee.yā/. Sometimes you also hear /oost’RĀ.lee/ although this is regarded as somewhat less “educated”. “Indonesia” is not pronounced /in.duh.NEE.shā/ as it is in English, but rather /endo.NEE.see.yā/ with each syllable of roughly equal length, and a slight emphasis and rise in pitch on “NEE”.


Exercise 02-01: Let’s Speak!

To complete this IndoLingo exercise, record your voice, then download it and name the file Exercise 02-01. Send it to your IndoLingo Instructor. If you are not subscribed to IndoLingo, you may do this exercise as a written homework assignment (PR).

IndoLingo & PR

IndoLingo allows you to record and download your voice. IndoLingo assignments contain various listening and speaking activities. You complete the IndoLingo assignment, record and submit it. The assignments will then be assessed by a native speaker and returned to you with corrections and/or comments.

The development of speaking skills is an area that is insufficiently or not at all covered by most online courses. We are changing that!

«The Indonesian Way« uses IndoLingo as a tool to provide students with the opportunity to communicate with a native speaker through the IndoLingo assignments, to actively use and develop their speaking skills, and to achieve a near-native pronunciation of the Indonesian language.

The IndoLingo supplement for the «The Indonesian Way« costs $25 for 10 speaking assignments. On average, one module of the TIW contains about 10 IndoLingo assignments. IndoLingo can be purchased in the here. You can freely select the assignments you want to do, but you must use your IndoLingo subscription within six months.

Task 1

Answer each of the questions below with a complete sentence.

Question 1: Siapa nama Anda?
This question should be answered with a complete sentence containing an authentic ethnic personal name, e.g. Ahmed, John, Giovanni, Dimitri, Akiko, Sergio etc.

Question 2: Anda berasal dari mana?
This question should be answered with a complete sentence containing the Indonesian name of the country the person comes from. Refer to the map for the names of countries. Cover a variety of countries.

Do the exercise orally over and over again until all the words come smoothly and correctly. Then record it and post it to IndoLingo.

Task 2

Then write five mini dialogues following the example below:

  • Siapa nama Anda?
    Nama saya Henk.
    Anda berasal dari mana?
    Saya berasal dari Belanda. OR Saya dari Belanda.

Record it and post it to IndoLingo.

Exercise 02-02

In each of these mini-dialogues there are two speakers. You take the role of the second speaker. In the second line, say the name of the country where you think the first speaker comes from, then after you have been corrected, give your own country of origin in the last line. Say the sentences out loud taking care to get the Indonesian pronunciation of country names correct. Study the example first.

  • Saya berasal dari Rusia.
    Hah? Saya kira Anda berasal dari ___Jerman __.
    Tidak, saya berasal dari Rusia. Anda berasal dari mana?
    Saya berasal dari _Singapura_.
  1. Kenalkan, saya Shun. Saya dari Cina.
    Hah? Saya kira Anda dari __________!
    Tidak, saya dari Cina. Anda berasal dari mana?
    Saya dari ____________.
  2. Saya berasal dari Belanda.
    O begitu, Saya kira Anda berasal dari __________.
    Tidak. Saya berasal dari Belanda. Anda dari mana?
    Saya dari ____________.
  3. Nama saya Sarah. Saya dari Australia.
    Dari Australia? Saya kira Anda dari __________.
    Tidak, saya dari Australia. Dan Anda? Anda berasal dari mana?
    Saya dari __________. Jauh dari sini!
  4. Selamat pagi. Nama saya Herman. Saya dari Indonesia.
    O begitu. Saya kira Anda dari __________.
    Tidak. Saya dari Indonesia. Anda dari mana?
    Jauh dari Indonesia. Saya dari __________.
  5. Saya berasal dari Perancis, jauh dari sini.
    Dari Perancis? Saya kira Anda berasal dari __________.
    Tidak. Saya dari Perancis. Anda berasal dari mana?
    Saya? Saya berasal dari __________.

Exercise 02-03

Translate the following mini-dialogue into idiomatic English. You may use a dictionary. Do not use any online translation aid!


A: Good morning. Excuse me, what is your name?
B: Good morning. My name is Salim.
A: Come on in, Salim. Please take a seat.
B: Thank you.
A: Where are you from, Salim?
B: I am from Padang.
A: Oh, I see.

Awas !!

The Letter “C”


For the most part the spelling of Indonesian is regular and fairly faithfully follows the sounds of the language. But there is one letter in Indonesian that represents a different sound from what is usually represented by the same letter in English. The Indonesian letter “c” stands for the sound /ch/ as in the English words “cheese”, “church” etc.

So the Indonesian word Cina is pronounced /CHEE.nā/ (not /KEE.nā/ or /SEE.nā). And the word Perancis is pronounced /p’RĀN.chees/ (not /p’RĀN.kees/ or /p’RĀN.sees/).


Also note that the word Perancis is also frequently spelled Prancis! This is because the Schwa (if you have forgotten what the Schwa is, go back to Lesson 1) is pronounced so weakly that you hardly hear it. You also find the same variation in the spelling of the island of Sumatra which is either written Sumatra (just like in English), or Sumatera.


Pronouncing Indonesian Vowels


As mentioned in Lesson One, in Indonesian there is roughly even stress on each syllable with – in most, but far from all cases – a slightly heavier stress on the second-to-last syllable. One exception to this rule occurs when a word has an unstressed “e” in it, like the “e” in the English words “later” and “after” or the “e” sounds in “phenomenon”. When this kind of “e” appears in an Indonesian word, the following syllable is usually stressed, even when that syllable is the last syllable in a word. Here are some examples:


Vowels in Indonesian are normally pronounced “pure”, that is they don’t tend towards diphthongs as is often the case in English. Practise saying these words without twisting or distorting the vowel sounds. Check the accuracy of your vowel sounds against the pronunciation of a native-speaker or the pronunciation in The Indonesian Way audio exercises.


New Vocabulary for this Lesson

Word ListL15-Cari KataL16-Cari KataL17-Teka-Teki SilangFlashcards
  • Please note that all vocabulary items printed in bold may appear in an exam!
Amérika SerikatThe United States of America
Arab SaudiSaudi Arabia
BelandaThe Netherlands, Holland
berasal (•asal); Anda berasal dari mana?to originally come (from), to originate (from); Where do you come from?
dan and
dari manafrom where
dari sinifrom here
FilipinaThe Philippines
InggrisEnglish, Britain
jauha long way away, distant
maafsorry, I apologize
Mesir Egypt
O begituI see, I understand
Selandia Baru New Zealand
saya kiraI thought (that …), I was under the impression
tidakno, not (negating a verb, adjective or preposition.)

Find the following hidden words: and • this • Arab • China • from • far • sorry • here • Egypt • Russia • no, not

Use the following flashcards to memorise the newly learned words.

[qdeck] [q]Amerika Serikat[a]The United States of America
[q]Arab Saudi[a]Saudi Arabia
[q]Belanda[a]The Netherlands, Holland
[q]berasal[a]to originally come (from), to originate (from)
[q]dari mana[a]from where
[q]dari sini[a]from here
[q]Filipina[a]The Philippines
[q]Inggris[a]English, Britain
[q]jauh[a]a long way away, distant
[q]maaf[a]Sorry, I apologise
[q]O begitu![a]Really! Really?, Is that so!
[q]Selandia Baru[a]New Zealand
[q]saya kira[a]I thought (that… )
[q]tidak[a]no, not (negating a verb, adjective, or preposition)

TIW Tutorial

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