Thursday, December 26, 2013

12 Common English Mistakes That Indonesians Make

First of all, this list of 12 mistakes is based on my experience. I encounter Indonesians every day (of course! I'm an Indonesian) and I've found these to be common among them. Secondly, I hope that it will be useful for English-learning Indonesians—and perhaps other English learners as well. Lastly, enjoy it!

1. infinitives everywhere
There are many kinds and forms of verbs in English. Indonesians tend to use infinitives for almost every occasion.

• Erick go to school every day. (should be Erick goes...)
• She have dinner with her boyfriend at Sushi Tei Central Park yesterday. (should be She had dinner...)
• Berry want to play basketball this evening. (should be Berry wants...)

2. be + infinitive
Be forms are commonly found with infinitives. They tend to "stick" to each other.

• I am like to read romance novels. (should be I like to...)
• Last Friday I was bring some food to Tony. (should be Last Friday I brought ...)

3. more + short adjective + -er
Indonesians often struggle when it comes to short comparatives.

• Elephants are more bigger than humans. (should be Elephants are bigger...)
• Kobe Bryant is more taller than Jay Chou. (should be Kobe Bryant is taller...)
• Benny is more busier than Santi. (should be Benny is busier...)
• Papayas are more healthier than beer. (should be Papayas are healthier...)

4. wh-questions
- wrong auxiliary position

• Why you are wearing jeans? (should be Why are you...)
• Why you haven't put down the guitar yet? (should be Why haven't you...)
• Why she bought that medicine? (should be Why did she buy...)

- no auxiliaries

• Why she walking around the park? (should be Why is she walking...)
• Why Carol eat last night? (should be Why did Carol eat...)

5. adjective + with
"With" is not combined with some adjectives.

• Richard is different with my father. (should be Richard is different from/than (US)/to (Brit)...)
• Jane's car is similar with Rocky's. (should be Jane's car is similar to...)
• My book is same with his. (should be My book is the same as...)
• Victoria Beckham is married with David Beckham. (should be Victoria Beckham is married to...)
However, you can say "Victoria Beckham is married with four children."

6. silent t in words ending with -st, -nt and -ct, and silent k in words ending with -nk
Indonesians tend not to pronounce the last t in words ending in -st and -nt.

• "Fast" is pronounced /'fæs/ (US) or /'fɑːs/ (Brit). (should be pronounced /'fæst/ (US) or /'fɑːst/ (Brit))
• "First" is pronounced /'fɚs/. (should be pronounced /'fɚst/)
• "List" is pronounced /'lɪs/. (should be pronounced /'lɪst/)
• "Sent" is pronounced /'sɛn/. (should be pronounced /'sɛnt/)
• "Mint" is pronounced /'mɪn/. (should be pronounced /'mɪnt/)
• "Want" is pronounced /'wɑːn/. (should be pronounced /'wɑːnt/)
• "Act" is pronounced /'æk/. (should be pronounced /'ækt/)
• "Fact" is pronounced /'fæk/. (should be pronounced /'fækt/)
• "Effect" is pronounced /ɪ'fɛk/. (should be pronounced /'ɪ'fɛkt/)
• "Expect" is pronounced /ɛk'spɛk/. (should be pronounced /ɪk'spɛkt/)

In addition, they tend not to pronounce the last k in words ending in -nk.

• "Bank" is pronounced /'bæŋ/. (should be pronounced /'bæŋk/)
• "Link" is pronounced /'lɪŋ/. (should be pronounced /'lɪŋk/)
• "Sink" is pronounced /'sɪŋ/. (should be pronounced /'sɪŋk/)
• "Tank" is pronounced /'tæŋ/. (should be pronounced /'tæŋk/)

7. wrong pronunciation of words ending in -sk
Indonesians tend to pronounce /k/ and then /s/ in words ending in -sk. Sometimes the /k/ is silent.

• "Ask" is pronounced /'æks/ or /'æs/ (US), or /'ɑːks/ or /'ɑ:s/ (Brit). (should be pronounced /'æsk/ (US) or /'ɑːsk/ (Brit))
• "Disk" is pronounced /'dɪks/ or /'dɪs/. (should be pronounced /'dɪsk/)
• "Risk" is pronounced /'rɪks/ or /'rɪs/. (should be pronounced /'rɪsk/)
• "Task" is pronounced /'tæks/ or /'tæs/ (US), or /'tɑːks/ or /'tɑ:s/ (Brit). (should be pronounced /'tæsk/ (US) or /'tɑːsk/ (Brit))

8. th sounds (/θ/ and /ð/)
Th is often pronounced /t/ when it should be pronounced /θ/, and it is often pronounced /d/ when it should be pronounced /ð/.

• "Bath" is pronounced /'bæt/ (US) or /'bɑ:t/ (Brit). (should be pronounced /'bæθ/ (US) or /'bɑ:θ/ (Brit))
• "Thick" is pronounced /'tɪk/. (should be pronounced /'θɪk/)
• "Thin" is pronounced /'tɪn/. (should be pronounced /'θɪn/)
• "This" is pronounced /'dɪs/. (should be pronounced /'ðɪs/)
• "That" is pronounced /'dæt/. (should be pronounced /'ðæt/)
• "Then" is pronounced /'dɛn/. (should be pronounced /'ðɛn/)
• "With" is pronounced /'wɪt/. (should be pronounced /'wIθ/ or /'wɪð/)

9. /v/ sound
Indonesians are not accustomed to pronouncing /v/. They often use /f/ instead of /v/.

• "Give" is pronounced /'gɪf/. (should be pronounced /'gɪv/)
• "Live" is pronounced /'lɪf/. (should be pronounced /'lɪv/)
• "Verb" is pronounced /'fɚb/. (should be pronounced /'vɚb/)
• "Very" is pronounced /'feri/. (should be pronounced /'veri/)

10. pronounced gh
When gh should be silent, it is pronounced /g/.

• "Eight" is pronounced /'eɪgt/. (should be pronounced /'eɪt/)
• "High" is pronounced /'haɪg/. (should be pronounced /'haɪ/)
• "Right" is pronounced /'raɪgt/. (should be pronounced /'raɪt/)
• "Weight" is pronounced /'weɪgt/. (should be pronounced /'weɪt/)

11. pronounced w in words beginning with wr-
When w should be silent in wr- words, it is pronounced.

• "Write" is pronounced /'wraɪt/. (should be pronounced /'raɪt/)
• "Wrong" is pronounced /'wrɑːŋ/. (should be pronounced /'rɑːŋ/)

12. strong forms
Indonesians tend to use strong forms when they are not normally used.

Can you swim?
"Can" here is pronounced /'kæn/ (strong form). (should be pronounced /kən/ (weak form))
• I think I will make a cup of coffee.
"Will" here is pronounced /'wIl/ (strong form). (should be pronounced /wəl/ (weak form))
Continue reading..

Sunday, December 22, 2013


About two weeks ago I was eating a portion of ketoprak at my granny's. And—no, no, it hadn't spoiled. I'm talking about something that's completely different.

One of my cousins, a six-year-old girl, wanted to get a cracker from my ketoprak. I refused to give it to her because she was spoiled rotten (now you've got it!). She was angry and tried to get it from me. However, I managed to "save" my beloved crackers from her, temporarily. Some time later, when I was not attentive, she grabbed, not one, but some crackers! If I had a T. rex... Okay, let's move on to the next point.

In the beginning, I was really mad at her. But when I thought more deeply, I realized that the child was just a "victim". As far as I am concerned, her parents are so "soft". They don't dare to give her punishments—educating ones, of course. That's what I regret.

Parents are the ones who, above all, must educate their children well. They must lead them to a good, balanced life. In school, teachers do teach children but the role of parents is undoubtedly incredibly essential. There are some things that children don't get/learn from school.

Children are successors. They will be the next leaders, the people who will take our legacy. Sooner or later they will replace us in this world. Can you imagine how would it be if this world were ruled by the spoiled?

I'm sorry, Doraemon. :p
Continue reading..


I'm making this article because of an event, an annoying event—actually more than one.

One of my friends invited me to go traveling with him. I accepted the invitation, and then we agreed on a time to set out.

But, some time later he changed the schedule without discussing with me before. I told him that I was not going because the time was not convenient for me. What happened next? I think no need to go further. (Note: This is not the first time he's done such a thing.)

Andddd, yeah, it's a very good example of a person who is very bad at being responsible. Some people might think such a case is trivial. But I think we should think about this more seriously. Everyone in the world has their own business, and they have to value and cherish each other's business, no matter what business they have, don't they? And a good point to remember is that one's business often relates to another's business. Think about the domino effect and feel the horror due to lack of responsibility.

Responsibility is something that makes a human a human. It is the foundation of every person's life and determines our future.
Continue reading..

Monday, December 16, 2013

Comparisons Are Odious

Aren't they? Yeah, at times they are. And I went through this kind of situation a few days ago.

I wanted to get a copy of Practical English Usage by Michael Swan as it is a great book on English, based on customer reviews and my friend's recommendation. It was sold by my company at 300,000 rupiahs (about 24.75 USD) and, therefore, plain cheap! I decided to buy it, so I told the PIC about my "craving".

While she was processing the purchase, one of my friends told me that there was a bookstore where he usually bought books, and, if I'm not mistaken, he told me that the book, if available, was sold at a cheaper price. Soon I tried to contact the bookstore officer, but I didn't cancel the purchase.

While waiting for the officer to give me the information, I did the transaction and got the book! But I was not satisfied. I wanted to know the price of the book from the bookstore. In short, the officer said that the book price was 246.000 rupiahs (about 20.30 USD)! I felt regretful that I had spent more money on it.

However, after thinking carefully, I realized that I had made the best decision! I needed the book and buying it right away was the right thing. Furthermore, If I had canceled the purchase, I would've been considered not responsible.

In my view, this is one of the keys to being happy in life: Don't compare things. :)
Continue reading..