The fun part and also the most embarrassing part about learning a language is the blunders you make.

For a native English speaker, the [ng] sound at the beginning of a syllable (in the onset) doesn’t exist, it only exists at the end of a syllable (as a coda), as in [sing]. So your mouth has to learn how to produce that sound, otherwise people just don’t understand. Try:

[nge.nyang] ‘bargain’

[nye.ngit] ‘cruel’

[se.re.nge.nge] ‘sun’

[je.ne.nge] ‘name’

And then when the [ng] sound is in the onset combined with [l] or [r], I just sound horrible….

[nge.la.ngi] ‘swim’

[nge.ru.ngok.no] ‘listen’ (the ‘k’ is a glottal stop)

So I just sound out each syllable really slowly, which sounds probably worse. hahah!

Besides pronunciation blunders, I often make mistakes because I don’t remember a word correctly, because I just heard it once or something, and then I try to replicate it, but it’s not quite the same…..

For example, one time I asked my friend to pass me a pillow, ‘bantal’, but instead I said please pass me some guy’s balls ‘kxntxl’. They were laughing so hard…. OJO! Don’t say that!!

Or the one time I asked if the bananas were pregnant ‘meteng’ instead of ripe ‘mateng’.

Then I offered my friend an airport “bandara” as a souvenir to remember me. Opo? Oh, I mean ‘bandera’, a flag of Canada!

And then last week I sat “lunggoh” in Yogyakarta. I meant to say that I went there: ‘lungo’.

And then I wanted to know if the vilage has a security system “ronda”, but I asked if the village has a widow “rondo”. Well, probably there are some widows in the village…!

aaaah. The joys of learning a language.


One comment on “opo?

  1. Kathleen says:

    That totally made my day! It kind of makes you appreciate the English language, doesn’t it?

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