Indonesia is a polyglot-populated country

Indonesia is a polyglot-populated country

Translate in Indonesian

Indonesian people, if they study in an formal education and study Islam religion (the majority of religion in Indonesia is Sunni Islam) truly, at least they can understand minimal three languages, namely Indonesia, English, and Arabian. It doesn’t include the tribal languages that have differences, such as java, betawi, sunda and so on. Whereas, the distance among the tribal language users are less more about 100 km. But, sometimes someone doesn’t still understand one another, without using Indonesian language or the national language. “So, Indonesian is the country of polyglot, or someone can understand at least four language”. (Some new curriculum of the formal education, also add German and Japanese).

So, author only reminds the purpose in learning a foreign language is to get or to share new information. Not only until the “fake daily activity conversation” stage, or only can copy from daily activity conversation books.

“Forget the fake daily activity conversation, insist to search for and share complete information in learning a foreign language. It should be done by a foreign language student, because of daily activity conversation in a foreign language also less useful in our country.”

For example, if someone only want to study a foreign language to memorize daily activity conversation, they absolutely need other persons who understand the language you want to learn. In finding the other persons, in this age is not as difficult as someone finds interlocutors like it was used to being.

Everyone can imagine if old times is to get the other persons in order to become a friend in English conversation needs money that is not little, because someone needs money to go to the course or go abroad. But, in this age, only use cheap internet someone can look for foreign language learning friends, either a fellow countryman or a native speaker of foreign language.

You only need internet connection and social media, plus google translate and basic books of “daily activity conversation” that sometimes make a foreign language learning student becomes lazy in learning grammar.

Daily activity, wait a minute?

“Wait a minute!” Is a weird-heard word phrase if someone is talking each other. Most of people claim they have achieved in a grade of basic foreign language or daily activity conversation, when they are able to talk with a foreigner simply. Whereas, most of people do, only make questions in foreign language from daily activity conversation books. They just copy the text.

Author, sometimes get a little confused when looking at someone is making interview to others in English. To explain a little of their country details, sometimes can’t. Eventually, google translate becomes a short answer, and those people say that they have mastered a basic foreign language. How do you look at if like that? So, the first you have to “introduce yourself” with a fluent foreign language, then you can say “i can”.

From here, author get aware, most of them who believe able to basic foreign language only focus on “key word”, not information. Not to get any information that they need to know, by talking. For example, when someone ask “where are you from?” the other person answer “i am from japan”. We only focus on the “japan” word, then start to look for the word with internet. Whereas, to get a simple information like that, by using daily activity conversation skills you will able to.

And then, author concludes, the person who claim themselves can understand a complete daily activity conversation, but still look for new information like above, absolutely, the foreign language understanding don’t be complete yet. So, they can’t be said yet, that they have mastered a grade of basic foreign language or daily activity conversation skills.

Author, absolutely, have looked at various kinds of daily activity conversation books in foreign languages that can be bought in the book stores. Whereas, the books are not a standard book to be understood by beginner. Sometimes, the words of the books so many inserted with words for a native speaker or advanced students, and most of the readers usually don’t want to learn so deep. So, the books are on the beginner’s hand, only become like memorizing new vocabularies, without wanting to understand why the sentences to be like that.

Language is not only a memorization you can receive just like that, but much more is to complete understanding of grammar. Either English, Japanese, Arabic and so on. The third of the languages make author savvies if someone can’t get yet a complete or important information means they are still not yet able to be called as person who masters the foreign language. Even, that’s not yet if someone says active in foreign language, the level is still far away.

Have you mastered a part of language?

Conversation, if someone has been able to get new depth-information by only using conversation, the meaning they have been able to understand a part of the language. Not only to understand how to make questions like the book has wrote. But, how to answer and explain any questions fluently in a foreign language. “Can you tell me about your country?” The question always you get, but the answer is only in your mind, isn’t?

Listening, if someone has been able to get new depth-information by only using the voice, the meaning they have been able to understand a part of the language. Can you imagine, if there was no a indonesian native speaker who listens to japanese radio in japanese language in 1945, maybe Indonesian is not yet independent (Sutan Syahrir who spied on foreign radio stations on August 15, 1945). So, someone can be said they have ability in a foreign language, after they can get the point in every conversation that listened to. Not only to listen to a foreign language test.

Reading, if someone has been able to read a important article like formal education or master foreign news issue means you have mastered reading. Not only can read standard articles, always re-read in standard readings, or kinds of exam text. So, if someone has been able to read a foreign language text, they exactly understand the matters of other nations. Not only re-read sentences in foreign language, for example in a exam text sometimes the vocabularies have been repeated thousands times.

If someone only can get one information by using the combining manner, absolutely, you can’t yet master one of those. For example, when you talk about a country, you still answer, “later, the first i want to read about it”, whereas your friend still can explain with the voice, mean you can’t still do listening to. So, i can say that you only focus on “key word”, not to get or share a complete information.

Test and the levels?

English : in English, the test that so famous is English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). TOEFL also has the levels or difficulty that are different from each the test. From the levels of TOEFL, according to author is TOEFL PBT, TOEFL CBT and TOEFL IBT. Those are a test has a different level, according to author. Because the nature of the exam it is passive and active.

TOEFL Paper Based Test (PBT) listening, reading, and structure.

TOEFL Computer Based Test (CBT) reading, structure, listening, and writing.

TOEFL Internet Based Test (IBT) reading, writing, listening, and speaking.

But, for English also has two kinds of other differences that author has knew. For example, TOEFL and International English Language Testing System (IELTS). TOEFL is for American English, then, IELTS is for Britania/United Kingdom English. It has quite difference, but most of the job test in Indonesian always stress to get high score of TOEFL proficiency, not IELTS.

Need to know, in fact is at fields the writing of British English are still many found. For example, the English word use “centre”, not “center”. Centre used in British English, the exam is IELTS. Then, center is American English, the exam is TOEFL.

“So, for beginner or a person whose passive grade, most of still don’t know what the differences of TOEFL and IELTS. If someone doesn’t understand the differences correctly, they can write a combined-english text, or everyone can call as the broken grammar text in English. “ It is a different country…

Japanese : in japan, someone also know Japanese-Language Proficiency Test – 日本語能力試験 (JLPT), namely N1, N2, N3, N4, and N5. The difficultiest test is N1, then, the easiest is N5. JLPT is a international test created by Japanese government for everyone all over the world. Exactly, if you want someone is able to be said to have ability in Japanese, someone has to able to pass JLPT, in each level. Like TOEFL and IELTS, JLPT is the test of Japanese language.

To pass JLPT test, estimated the list of kanji and vocabularies of Japanese that you have to memorize is :

N5 (approximately 100 Kanji and 800 vocabularies), N4 (300 Kanji and 1,500 vocabularies), N2 (1.000 Kanji and 6.000 vocabularies), N1 (2.000 Kanji and 10,000 vocabularies).

In universities are a major in Japanese Literature, to get the bachelor’s degree never make you have to pass any levels. But, if you do study in the bachelor’s degree, a Japanese language student should be able to pass N2. Then, N1, author thinks only to them who are master. Then, N5, N4, and N3 are not bad.

Arabic : in Arabic, author only can say if someone has admitted themselves are good at Arabic, the meaning, they have mastered Nahwu and Sharaf and the levels. Not only to make daily conversation that has been written in books, or only read simple articles. But, for Arabic, author only can explain briefly. For example, like someone must has memorized one thousand of Arabic grammar in Alfiyah, or understand the changing of verb vocabularies in Sharaf and so on.

What do you only want to master basic foreign language, and feel enough?

If someone want to learn a foreign language, exactly has the main purpose to get a new information. It must be interested, enjoyed and loved. So, if someone doesn’t enjoy to look for (passive : reading, listening, active : talking, writing) new information, it can be that someone doesn’t intend to learn a foreign language.

Then, to learn a foreign language, don’t ever feel enough in basic grade. Can you imagine if someone finds a new information that interest themselves, but much more doesn’t understand the vocabularies of the article. Absolutely, the information can be changed or sometimes cause a foreign learning student becomes lazy in keeping the memorization of theirs.

“What do you only want to get old information for the rest of your life in a foreign language to keep your memorization? Or do you want to improve your memorization by befriending with dictionary?”

Remember !

After author has looked for the answer of how many vocabularies must be memorized in order to enjoy to read articles in English, it needs approximately 10.000 vocabularies (no education), then 20.000 vocabularies (formal education). But, after author has looked for much more in internet about the exact answer, how many vocabularies have to be memorized, author finds different amount. One of articles explain 3.000 vocabularies, other articles even explain, that there is a person has memorized 50.000 vocabularies, but can’t still speak in English. So, you must practice too, what have you memorized…

From there, author opined that you must have memorization of the vocabularies of English at least 50.000 vocabularies. Afterward, author still finds other articles about the learning of English by using a flashcard method, that have approximately 100.000 vocabularies in the list. The vocabularies of the flashcard is still a “word-family”. So, there is no limit to memorize how many vocabularies.

Enjoy your exam? Look difficult, but get you easier?

From a lot of information that author has, absolutely, the tests are such as TOEFL, IELTS and JLPT only make students get easier. Because, to pass a foreign language test, a foreign language student just enough memorize approximately 10.000 vocabularies plus grammar, exactly if the vocabularies that you memorize out on your exam paper.

“The choice is on your hand? Do you want to memorize a dictionary or pass the examination?”

Aji Nugroho


Author is no a english native speaker. Author only exercises to write articles in english, in order that everyone all over the world can read my writings. Everyone, who finds a mistake in my english spelling or grammar can tell my mistake below the comment form. Absolutely, your comment can be useful, in order that author can understand faster a foreign language, namely english… Thanks a lot…

In newspaper, when you want to publish writings, at least it needs about four times in the revision (others always check more a writing before publishing). I only use once in the revision, and then, sometimes i come back to correct my broken grammar… I have just little time….

Can you read my articles in bahasa, only check my original writings…

// Indonesian is a polyglot-populated country //