Today’s Words: antisipasi, langkah, & (di) pilpres

One method of learning a language is continuous exposure. Every weekday, I listen to the BBC Indonesia podcast at Today, I’ve pulled out a phrase from the podcast’s subtitle so we can analyze it as a whole, drawing today’s 3 words from it for special focus.

President Jokowi Winning Pilpress 2014. Image attribution: BudiasetiadiSaat Pemutusan Pemenang Pilpres 2014CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikipedia Creative Commons.

Our sentence from the BBC Dunia Pagi ini Kamis 18 Januari 2018 broadcast (yes, it’s tomorrow in Indonesia!):  ‘Joko Widodo ‘antisipasi’ langkah PDI Perjuangan di pilpres 2019.’

Incumbent President of Indonesia Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo is a member of PDI Perjuangan, or the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle founded by the 5th President of Indonesia, Megawati Sukarnoputri in 1998. It is a derivative of the Indonesian Democratic Party (PDI) founded in 1973 under Suharto’s “New Order” era policies but was dissolved amidst internal struggles shortly after Suharto left office. I’m paraphrasing here! Indonesia’s political history is complicated and full of characters, so it deserves much more attention.

But today, let’s look at the words that make up our sentence:

1. Antisipasi /an·ti·si·pa·si/ n. -anticipation
KBBI entry: perhitungan tentang hal-hal yang akan (belum) terjadi; bayangan; ramalan;
Google Translate’s version: calculation of the things that will (have not) happened; shadow; forecast;

A cognate! Antisipasi is Indonesian for the English word, anticipation. Easy enough. Let’s keep the translation of suffix -tion to -si in mind for the future.

2. Langkah /lang·kah/ n. -step, -stride, -action, -measure
KBBI entry: 1. gerakan kaki (ke depan, ke belakang, ke kiri, ke kanan) waktu berjalan: dia masuk dengan — gontai;
Google Translate: movement of the foot (forward, backward, left, right) running time: he comes in – stumbling

‘Langkah’, -step. CC0 Creative Commons image from Pixabay.

This one is a bit more complicated. Langkah can refer to a physical movement. When we look up the word ‘langkah’ in Google images, we find lots of images alluding to feet, footsteps, and movement. However, in our sentence, the context clues about Jokowi and PDI Perjuangan suggest we’re talking about politics.

3. Pilpres

Here’s an oddity! Neither ‘pilpres’ nor ‘di pilpres’ have entries in KBBI or my Alfalink. In Google Translate, pilpres is not recognized, but ‘di pilpres’ reveals the English translation ‘in the presidential election.’ Since ‘di’ means ‘in,’ we can gather that ‘pilpres’ is short-hand for ‘presidential election.’ Linguistically speaking, it appears to be a colloquialism.

Let’s crack into it a bit more:

Pemilihan = election
Presiden = Presidential
In Indonesian, adjectives come after nouns, much like Spanish. If we type exactly ‘Presidential election’ into Google Translate, we get ‘pemilu Presiden.’ Looks like we still have to drop a few letters to get to pilpres. When it comes to Indonesian shorthand, where there’s a will, there’s a way. Lots of things are abbreviated in quirky ways in Bahasa Indonesia, so formal and colloquial training are both very important!

So putting it all together, it looks like Jokowi is looking into taking political steps for the 2019 Indonesian Presidency. Well, as I write this, it’s his first term, so everyone probably knew that already, right? That’s all for today!

Spelling corrected 4/24/19… ejaan diperbarui tanggal 24/4/19