20 Days, 20 Lessons: #13

Greetings and conversational phrases are a major part of any culture. They’re often rooted in tradition and something we rarely acknowledge. For example, in the U.S., it’s second nature to ask how are you? or what’s up? upon seeing a familiar face. In Indonesia, I often get such questions. The issues arise when they become directly translated into English. To appease the good folk around me, I traditionally respond in one of three ways. Take notes, because if you know these words, everyone will tell you, “Aduuuu, sudah pintar!!!” (Wow, already smart, better understood as, you’ve already learned the language).

Lesson #13: Where you go? Have you breakfast? I wait you. To which you may respond: jalan-jalan (this directly translates to walking-walking, but roaming around is more fitting), sudah (already), belum (not yet). Now you can survive in Indonesia. I wait you. (See what I did there?).

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