For the past couple of months I have gone through differences between some essential words in Indonesian and I hope you find them useful.

In this post I would like to take a bit of a break and discuss fundamental listening skills. We’ll continue with word difference in the next post.

 Listening Tip #1: Pay attention to the words that follow a noun

Indonesian adjective follows noun and not the other way round. The same rule applies when you describe possession of things (click here to read earlier post about possession in Indonesian).

Below are the steps that should be taken to describe a noun in English & Indonesian. Notice the differences.


Step 1: Who owns itI (My)

Step 2: What are the characteristics of the object/noun: New

Step 3: What is the object/noun’s name: Car

Final Noun: My new car


Step 1: What is the object/noun’s name: Mobil

Step 2: What are the characteristics of the object/noun: Baru

Step 3: Who owns it: Saya

Final Noun: Mobil baru saya

So what does this imply?

In listening:

You must notice when an object is being mentioned and put your attention to what follows the object because it might contain further description(s).

In speaking:

When you want to describe an object/noun, you must start with the object first and and add the characteristics after the noun following the sequence that I gave you earlier.


It sounds very simple but it actually involves changing your perspective. If you are a native English speaker (or any other languages with similar structure to English), then you might need to change your mindset to begin everything from the noun rather than the descriptions when dealing with Indonesian language.

To help you practise with what you have just learned, I have included one of the tracks from our Indonesian Beginners Listening Exercises and Materials that you can listen to:


Try finding the Indonesian version of the nouns below in the recording:

My first child – His name – My third child

My last child – My house



In the next post I will look at the difference between ‘hal’ and ‘barang’ in Indonesian. Have a lovely weekend!

Have a question regarding this topic? Post your question below!

Listening Tip #1: Pay attention to the words that follow a noun

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