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

Lesson 3

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Talking About Buildings and Places

Kantor Wali Kota

Kantor Walikota Bandung (© Katong DS)


  • To gain familiarity with the terms for some commonly encountered buildings and places and to practise using them in simple conversations

Vocabulary Review

Kosa Kata LaluL1-FlashcardsL2-Jodohkan (Matching)L3-Cari Kata (Find the Words)

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

Anda,  dari mana,  malam,  O begitu,  pagi,  saya kira,  siang,  sore

Use the following flashcards to review the Kosa Kata Lalu vocabulary items.

Kosa Kata Lalu Pelajaran 3

[qdeck] [q]Anda[a]you (formal)
[q]dari mana?[a]where from?
[q]malam[a]evening, night
[q]O begitu![a]I see!
[q]saya kira[a]I think
[q]siang[a]late morning top early afternoon
[q]sore[a]late afternoon

Find the following hidden words: you • from • night • like that, so • I, me • think, believe • noon • late afternoon

More Conversation Starters

When two English-speakers who already know each other meet casually, they often make conversation by talking about the weather. Indonesians don’t usually do this (although they do sometimes). Very often Indonesians who know each other will greet each other by asking “Where are you going?” or “Where are you coming from?” This question is not seen as nosey or impolite. You can answer it truthfully and in detail if you want to, but it is not usually impolite to give a vague, even evasive, answer.

Look at these useful phrases:

  • Mau ke mana?
    Where are you going? (Literally: “Want to where?”)
    Dari mana?
    Where are you coming from? Where have you just been? (Literally: “From where?”)

Depending on the question, your answer should begin either with ke (to) or dari (from).

Mohon Perhatian! (Give Me Your Attention)

The proper Pronunciation of ke


Be careful to pronounce ke correctly. It is not pronounced like English “key” or “kay”. It sounds a bit like the first syllable in the English word “kebab”.

Dialogue–Putting Places into a Conversation

Study this dialogue between Ibu Nia and Ibu Puji and try to learn it by heart.

Ibu Puji

Ibu Puji

Ibu Nia

Ibu Nia

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

Ibu PujiIbu Nia
Selamat pagi, Bu Nia. Apa kabar?O, Bu Puji. Baik-baik saja, Bu.
Mau ke mana, Bu?Ke sekolah. Anda dari mana, Bu Puji?
Dari rumah saja, Bu.Dari rumah? Saya kira Anda dari kantor.
Tidak. Dari rumah saja.O begitu. Mau ke mana?
Ke pabrik, Bu.O begitu. Mari, Bu.
Mari. Selamat pagi.Selamat pagi.
Now, check your comprehension of the dialogue by completing latihan (exercices) L4 – L10.

Cara Indonesia

You and Bu

Cara Indonesia

Notice that in the above dialogue some sentences have no word for “you” (Anda):

Mau ke mana, Bu?
Where are (you) heading for, Ma’am?

Ellipsis of subject frequently occurs, especially in colloquial Indonesian. A subject can be omitted if it is clear from context, such as “you” in the above example.

Notice also how Bu is used. Bu can be a title, often equivalent to the English “Mrs”, although Bu can apply to unmarried women as well, especially if they are past their mid-twenties in age. It can even apply to younger unmarried women if they are regarded as having high status (like a school teacher, for example). When Bu is used as a title, it is usually followed by the name of the person concerned (as is the case with the English “Mrs”). Eh, Bu Adam. Mau ke mana? = “Well, Mrs Adam! Where are you going?”

Bu can also be a formal or semi-formal term of address when you are talking to any older or mature woman. In this case it means something like the (now rarely heard) English “ma’am” or “madam”. Selamat pagi, Bu. Dari mana? = “Good morning, ma’am. Where have you just been?”

Pak is also used like Bu as a title and term of address. As a title it is roughly equivalent to the English “Mr” followed the person’s name, and as a term of address is rather formal, roughly corresponding to the English “sir” (though it is not quite as formal as “sir”). Selamat malam, Pak. Mau ke mana? = “Good evening, sir. Where are you off to?”

Students in Indonesia usually address each other using the informal second person pronoun kamu but only when they speak to someone who is either of same age or younger. If they address someone from a higher level, they use terms of address such as mbak (for elder female) or mas (for elder male). This is the convention followed in Java. On other islands different terms of addresses are used.

Exercise 03-01

What kind of buildings are these? Write the Indonesian names in the space provided. If you need help, select “Show Word List”.

Exercise 03-02

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Answer each of the following questions. Your answer should contain the Indonesian word for a place and should begin with dari or ke, depending on which of these words appears in the question. Cite as many different kinds of buildings or places as you can in your answers

  1. Mau ke mana?
  2. Selamat sore, Jenny. Mau ke mana?
  3. Selamat malam, Pak Tukan. Dari mana?
  4. Selamat siang, Nur. Mau ke mana?
  5. Dari mana, Pak Hendrik?
  6. Hai, Marten. Mau ke mana?
  7. Selamat pagi, Bu Aminah. Mau ke mana?
  8. Apa kabar, Pak Yohannes. Dari mana?
  9. Eh, Pak Pattinasarani. Mau ke mana, Pak?
  10. Selamat malam, Bu. Dari mana?


Pronouncing the Indonesian /r/


In Indonesia, most people (but by no means all people) trill or roll the consonant /r/. Some English-speaking learners find this hard to do, but if you can succeed in doing it your Indonesian will sound much more authentic. If you find the trilled /r/ difficult to produce, try exaggerating it first, making a loud purring noise whenever you meet an /r/ sound. After a while, when you have mastered the trill and it has become a habit, you can cut back on the exaggeration. Wikihow provides several methods on how to roll the /r/. May be worth giving it a try!

Try saying these words with a good, strong rolled /r/.

With /r/ in an initial position


With /r/ in a medial position

Selandia Baru

With /r/ in a final position


With /r/ in a consonant cluster


New Vocabulary for this Lesson

Daftar Kata (Word List)L11-FlashcardL12-JodohkanL13-Cari KataL14-Teka-Teki Silang
  • Please note that all vocabulary items printed in bold may appear in an exam!
Bu Mrs., madam (a title & term of address)
gedunga building
geréjaa church
kantor an office
ke mana; Mau ke mana?to where; Where are you going?
mau to want (to do something), to want (something)
mari good bye
mesjid a mosque
pabrik a factory
PakMr., Sir (a title & term of address)
pasar a market
réstorana restaurant
rumaha house
rumah sakita hospital
sakitsick, ill
sekolah a school
tokoa shop

Use the following flashcards to memorise the newly learned words.

[qdeck] [q]Bu[a]Mrs, madam
[q]ke mana[a](to) where
[q]mari[a]good bye
[q]mau[a]to want (to do something), to want (something)
[q]Pak[a]Mr, sir (a title and term of address)
[q]rumah sakit[a]hospital
[q]sakit[a]sick, ill

Find the following hidden words: to want • good bye • a shop • a market • a house • a building • a church • an office • a mosque• a factory• a school • a restaurant

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