Monday, December 12, 2016

Longman Language Activator – Book Review

Longman Language Activator
by Pearson Education

A ubiquitous, classical question that lingers in many people's minds is "How can I improve my English?" In certain cases, one of the areas that they really need to improve on – but that they might not realize they have to – is vocabulary. Our world is a vast entity where a massive number of things exist and occur. Thus, we need to be able to express an idea or thought as clearly as possible. For this reason, expanding your English vocabulary bank would surely turn you into a more effective communicator.

And congratulations, folks! The Longman Language Activator has been 'born' to serve that function. In the preface (p. vii), it is mentioned that Lord Randolph Quirk called the Longman Activator, which includes the Longman Essential Activator (intended for lower-level students), 'the dictionary the world has been waiting for', and in my view, it definitely is.

How will this dictionary help you enrich your vocabulary? The Longman Language Activator will take you on a journey to words and/or phrases in generally the same meaning area, so that you know their differences, if any, and express what you want to say or write more exactly and/or accurately. For instance, under the "to eat" section (p. 345), there are "eat", "have", "chew", "swallow", "lick", "consume", "dig in/tuck in", and "chow down". In addition to clear, easy-to-understand definitions, this dictionary contains plenty of examples in case you need help in understanding. It also features pronunciations to make sure you pronounce the words and phrases correctly (British/American) as well as labels to ensure you use them appropriately (British/American, formal/informal, etc.). Grammar and collocation information, which I find extremely important, adds to the appeal of this book, and the alphabetical order organization as well as a useful index at the back of the book make it convenient for readers to use.

One thing that could be improved is its coloration, as this book is printed in black and white except for the cover and the "Using the Activator" section. Its 'sister' (the Longman Essential Activator) is more pleasing to the eyes as it is beautified with color. What is more, the second edition of the book was published in 2002; it has been 14 years since then, so it might need to be revised/updated.

Without a doubt, the Longman Language Activator – along with the Longman Essential Activator, I believe – is absolutely a must-have for English learners and teachers who would like to take their English to the next level. This book is definitely worth every cent/penny you spend.
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Sunday, December 4, 2016

Indonesian or English Expressions?

It is no surprise that a humongous amount of Indonesian language has entered my ears and my eyes--and my brain--considering the fact that I have spent most of my life in this wide-stretching, equator-passed country. Surprisingly, there are a huge number of Indonesian expressions that are strikingly similar to or even exactly the same as English ones if translated, sometimes with the help of thinking figuratively. I have compiled a 'mini' list of these expressions and hopefully it will quench your language thirst, expand your linguistic knowledge, or even just kill your time in a nice fashion. Cheers!

• The Indonesian expressions display a range of formality levels.
• I believe there are many, many more of such expressions out there. So if you know any, please poke me, and I will add yours to the list. Huge thanks to those who have contributed to helping me build up the expression bank!

1. a bitter pill to swallow – menelan pil pahit
For Chelsea, losing to Manchester United was a bitter pill to swallow.
Chelsea menelan pil pahit dengan kalah dari Manchester United.

2. backstab – menusuk dari belakang
Several days ago I found out that Lousia had backstabbed me. I thought she was a good friend!
Beberapa hari lalu saya menemukan bahwa Louisa menusuk saya dari belakang. Saya pikir dia seorang teman yang baik!

3. black and white – hitam dan putih
It is very difficult to make a decision since it is not a black and white issue.
Sangat sulit untuk mengambil keputusan karena ini bukan isu hitam dan putih.

4. crocodile tears – air mata buaya
Don't believe Martin. He is a playboy. Those are just crocodile tears.
Jangan percaya Martin. Dia itu playboy. Itu cuma air mata buaya.

5. empty vessels make the most noise – tong kosong nyaring bunyinya
That gubernatorial candidate speaks the most but actually he is the least skilled of all. Empty vessels make the most noise.
Calon gubernur itu paling banyak berbicara tetapi sebenarnya dia yang paling tidak mampu dari semuanya. Tong kosong nyaring bunyinya.

6. experience is the best teacher – pengalaman adalah guru terbaik
The internship at that oil and gas commpany has been very meaningful to me. I really believe experience is the best teacher.
Magang di perusahaan minyak dan gas itu sangat berarti bagiku. Aku sungguh percaya pengalaman adalah guru terbaik.

7. get out of bed on the wrong side/get out of the wrong side of bed – salah bangun tidur
Clark must have gotten out of the wrong side of bed. He has been grumbling all day.
Clark pasti salah bangun tidur. Dia ngomel-ngomel seharian.

8. give someone an inch (and they'll take a mile/yard) – dikasih hati minta jantung
I don't want to help Frederick anymore. Give him an inch and he'll take a mile.
Saya tidak mau membantu Frederick lagi. Dikasih hati minta jantung.

9. golden opportunity – kesempatan emas
It is a golden opportunity to become a famous person. You must accept the job offer.
Ini adalah sebuah kesempatan emas untuk menjadi orang terkenal. Kamu harus menerima tawaran pekerjaan itu.

10. guinea pig – kelinci percobaan
No, I don't want to be a guinea pig! What if I die after taking those pills?
Tidak, saya tidak mau menjadi seekor kelinci percobaan!. Bagaimana jika saya mati setelah mengonsumsi pil-pil itu?

11. greenhijau
Are you sure you will assign this huge task to Britney? She is still green.
Apakah Anda yakin Anda akan memberikan tugas besar ini ke Britney? Dia masih hijau.

12. half-heartedly – setengah hati
Eric's work results are always bad because he does his job half-heartedly.
Hasi kerja Erik selalu buruk karena dia melakukan pekerjaannya setengah hati.

13. hidden agenda – agenda terselubung/tersembunyi
Tracy is visiting her house too? Hm... He must have a hidden agenda.
Tracy mengunjungi rumahnya juga? Hm... Dia pasti ada sebuah agenda terselubung/tersembunyi.

14. in black and white – hitam di atas putih
You must insist this agreement be in black and white.
Kamu harus bersikukuh perjanjian ini harus hitam di atas putih.

15. lightning fast – secepat kilat
Maria can run 8 meters per second. She is really lightning fast.
Maria bisa berlari 8 meter per detik. Dia benar-benar secepat kilat.

16. like a broken record – kayak tip pecah
Your brother sounds like a broken record. He is always talking about the same things.
Kakak laki-lakimu kayak tip pecah. Dia selalu ngomong hal yang sama.

17. like talking to a brick wall – kayak ngomong sama tembok
I've asked her to go to school many times, but it's like talking to a brick wall. Basically she won't do that.
Gua udah berkali-kali minta dia pergi ke sekolah, tapi itu kayak ngomong sama tembok. Pada dasarnya dia ga mau.

18. lose face – kehilangan muka
The sex scandal made the singer lose face.
Skandal sex tersebut membuat sang penyanyi kehilangan muka.

19. make yourself at home – anggap saja rumah sendiri
Please sit down and enjoy the snacks. Make yourself at home.
Silakan duduk dan nikmati makanan ringannya. Anggap saja rumah sendiri.

20. money laundering – pencucian uang
Those men in white are accused of money laundering.
Pria berpakaian putih itu dituduh melakukan pencucian uang.

21. oil and water don't mix – bagai air dengan minyak
Stephanie and Aldo always have quarrels when they are together. Oil and water don't mix.
Stephanie dan Aldo selalu berseteru jika sedang bersama-sama. Mereka bagai air dengan minyak.

22. opportunity only knocks once – kesempatan cuma datang sekali
You should accept that job offer. Opportunity only knocks once.
Kamu harus mengambil tawaran pekerjaan itu. Kesempatan cuma datang sekali.

23. over my dead body – langkahin dulu mayat gue
You want to use my car? Over my dead body!
Loe mau make mobil gue? Langkahin dulu mayat gue!

24. play with fire – bermain dengan api
You want to sell drugs? Don't play with fire!
Kamu mau jual narkoba? Jangan bermain dengan api deh!

25. silence is golden – diam adalah emas
Taylor was punched by Annie because he gave her criticisms. Silence is golden.
Taylor dipukul oleh Annie karena dia memberi kritikan. Diam adalah emas.

26. sleep with – tidur dengan
The mayor was arrested because he had slept with his mistress.
Walikota itu ditangkap karena ia telah tidur dengan selingkuhannya.

27. someone’s eyes are bigger than their stomach/belly – seseorang lapar mata
Timmy gave most of his huge meal to his mom. His eyes are bigger than his belly.
Timmy memberikan sebagian besar makanannya yang sangat banyak kepada ibunya. Dia lapar mata.

28. spoon-feed – cekokin
Let him work by himself. Don't spoon-feed him.
Biarin dia kerja sendirian. Jangan cekokin dia.

29. still water runs deep – air beriak tanda tak dalam
Note: Most of the elements of these two expressions are antithetical, but the whole phrases convey exactly the same meaning.
Don't judge a person by how loud they are. Still water runs deep.
Jangan menilai orang dari berapa banyak mereka berbicara. Air beriak tanda tak dalam.

30. take my hat off to – saya angkat topi
Our sales have increased by 25% in the last three months. I take my hat off to you!
Penjualan kita telah meningkat sebesar 25% dalam waktu tiga bulan terakhir. Saya angkat topi!

31. take part (in) – ambil bagian (dalam)
My neighbor is taking part in a charity event next Sunday.
Tetangga saya akan ambil bagian dalam acara amal Minggu depan.

32. the apple doesn't fall far from its tree – buah jatuh tidak jauh dari pohonnya
Like his father, Andrew is enthusiastic about table tennis. The apple doesn't fall far from its tree.
Seperti ayahnnya, Andrew antusias terhadap ping-pong. Buah jatuh tidak jauh dari pohonnya.

33. the grass is always greener on the other side – rumput tetangga selalu lebih hijau
My little sister always thinks other girls are a lot luckier than her. The grass is always greener on the other side.
Adik perempuan saya selalu berpikir gadis-gadis lain jauh lebih beruntung daripada dia. Rumput tetangga selalu lebih hijau.

34. there's no smoke without fire – tak ada asap tanpa api
He said he is not guilty, but there's no smoke without fire.
Dia bilang dia tidak bersalah, tetapi tak ada asap tanpa api.

35. throw in the towel – lempar handuk
The badminton players thought they couldn't' win the match, so they threw in the towel.
Pemain-pemain bulutangkis itu berpikir mereka tidak dapat memenangkan pertandingan tersebut, jadi mereka melempar handuk.

36. to have a sense of humor – punya selera humor
My uncle has a great sense of humor. It is always fun to talk with him!
Paman saya mempunyai selera humor yang tinggi. Berbicara dengan dia selalu menyenangkan!

37. to have the last laugh – ketawa terakhir
I accept the defeat, but I will have the last laugh.
Gua terima kekalahan ini, tapi gua yang akan ketawa terakhir.

38. turn over a new leaf – membuka lembaran baru
Sonya has turned over a new leaf; she has stopped being a drug abuser.
Sonya telah membuka lembaran baru; dia telah berhenti menjadi penyalahguna obat.

39. two-faced – bermuka dua
Never believe Vanness. He is a two-faced liar.
Jangan pernah percaya Vanness. Dia pembohong bermuka dua.

40. wholeheartedly – (dengan) sepenuh hati
One of the keys to success is working wholeheartedly.
Salah satu kunci kesuksesan adalah bekerja dengan sepenuh hati.
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