Prefix and Spelling tips For Learning Indonesian

Capai, cape or capek'? Don't worry, they all mean the same thing!
Bahasa Indonesia has considerable variation in spelling and usage of the language, as it is continually in a process of change. (It is similar to English in this respect, for example 'shop' is no longer spelt ' shoppe' .) Bahasa Indonesia is also influenced not only by the Western world, but also by its many regional dialects.
So don't worry if you see Indonesian words which are slightly different to the ones you use, often they are both correct! A good example of this is the word for 'friend'. Both ternan and kawan are equally acceptable. However kawan can be used instead any time you like.
Here is a list of words and the variation we have used, to make things a bit clearer.

Usually the popular usage is more common in conversation and is less formal. This is worth bearing in mind as it is wise to choose standard Indonesian when writing more formal, extended pieces! The language used in this textbook is standard formal and informal Indonesian, with some examples of slang in Bahasa Indonesia, so less formal language, which is appropriate between friends, is used
in the dialogue of the photo-stories which begin every langkah (step). More formal language is used in the captions .
Hati-hati (carefully) ! In more casual speech, Indonesians often drop the first part of the verb.

... Say a mau beli CD yang ini. ..
.. . I want to buy this CD ...
. . . say a puny a banyak sekali koleksi Mozart di rumah .
. . . I've got a really big collection of Mozart at home.
Beli and punya are examples of ber- and me-verbs that have been shortened to make them sound really casual. The main point to remember is that it is fine to use popular usage and even sometimes some slang when you are around your friends, but try to stick with standard Indonesian when you are writing formal letters, doing assignments,
or addressing people you don't know.

            It is important when using these rules not to get too worried about rememberi ng all of t h em at once the
trick is just to remember one word in each category that sticks with you. For example: membaca o r
membawa. You will then have automatically remembered the rule for all base wo rds starting with b-, and so on .

As with lots of Indonesian words a prefix can be added to the front of a base word to change its meaning slightly  The pe-prefix usually gives us the person (or thing) who performs the action
of the base word.

Pe-nouns generally follow the same rules as me-verbs do when they JOin a base word . Some exceptions are: pekerja, petenis, pejalan kaki and pedagang, because they don't change the first letter of their base word.
The pe-prefix also applies when you look at personality traits. For example:

It's important to understand the difference between an adjective like diam and a personality trait like pendiam.

lbu saya diam.
My mother is quiet (right now) or Mum didn't say anything, she was just quiet.


lbu saya pendiam.
My mother is a quiet person .

Because pendiam is a noun, it has to be negated with bukan.

Imam bukan pendiam.
Imam is not a quiet person.

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