Category Archives: knowledge

#ENGCLASS: CODE-SWITCHING AND CODE-MIXING (REVISIT)

This article is a revisit and rewritten version of #EngClass: Code-switching vs. Code-mixing (2015).

“Hujan-hujan begini, I feel so lucky that I got to work from home. Semoga orang-orang yang literally have to be out there to make a living bisa survive.”

Have you ever said or typed something in this manner, fellas?

Indonesian younger generations (millennials and younger), especially those who live in capital cities and are heavily exposed to foreign languages, often do code-switching and code-mixing.

This could happen with many different languages at once, as Indonesia is immensely rich in culture. I often find myself code-switching and code-mixing with my Indonesian friends, using Javanese, Indonesian, Balinese, and English, all in one conversation.

What are code-switching and code-mixing and why do we do them? Are they bad or incorrect or wrong?

Some argue that code-switching and code-mixing can be used interchangeably. We tend to go with a more specific definition for each.

Code-switching is changing from one language to another during a speech, especially on a clause or a sentence level.
Example:
“Hujan terus. It’s very cold outside.”

Code-mixing is adding one or two words of another language into the speech, not enough to make a clause or a sentence.
Example:
“Mana my umbrella? Hujannya deras sekali.”

Here are the possible reasons why someone or a group of people code-switch or code-mix:

1. Talking about a secret
In a group dominated by English-speaking people who don’t speak Indonesian, we might speak in Indonesian if we want nobody to find out what we’re saying.

2. Failing to find the compatible words or terms/words or terms from the other language come first to our mind when we are required to make quick decisions or quick responses
On some occasions, we might struggle to find the suitable words or terms from the same language and we end up inserting one or two words from another language.

Example:
“Bisa tolong print ini, nggak?”
We know the Indonesian equivalent of the verb ‘to print’ is ‘cetak’, but in a rush, we might forget about it and blurt out ‘print’, even though the rest of the sentence is in Indonesian.

3. To soften or strengthen a request or a command
Some requests seem more earnest and some commands sound less bossy if we add the English word ‘please’ to the sentence.
Example:
“Tolong bantuin aku, ya, please…”
Please, jangan ribut, teman-teman!”

4. To emphasise what has previously been said in another language
Example:
“Ingat, besok jangan telat. Don’t be late.

5. To sound smart
Some people do think that using foreign languages during an argument will make them look smarter and will get the point across. We see this a lot during a Twitter-war amongst Indonesians. Some of us might switch to English in order to be taken seriously.

Are code-switching and code-mixing bad or wrong or incorrect, linguistically speaking?

We even have a joke about it now, ‘byelingual.’

Well, we Indonesians speak at least 3 different languages: our mother tongue (for each province or regency might use a different one), Indonesian, and English. Add other languages we learned over the course of our lives, we can collectively cry in multilingual.

Linguists might say that code-switching or code-mixing is a sign that we cannot be consistent with one language, but I would argue that at some point we will inevitably code-switch or code-mix, especially if we interact with people from many different backgrounds on a daily basis.

Besides, there are quite a few English words being adopted by Indonesians that using the Indonesian counterparts might confuse our audience. For example, we will be easily understood if we say ‘keyboard’ instead of ‘papan ketik.’

Considering the above points, I wouldn’t say either code-switching or code-mixing is wrong. I would still propose that for the sake of being on a mutual understanding, we stick with the language that will be understood better.

Using English in a Twitter debate with a fellow Indonesian might make us feel better as we can say what we want to say clearly, but if it ends up confusing our interlocutor even more, we won’t reach a middle ground anytime soon.

Share your thoughts on code-switching and code-mixing by mentioning us or write on the comment section below!

@unclee_eman: Keminggris. Sama 1 lgi minlish, kalo debat kudu di mix pake english biar dikira pinter dan berbobot bacotanya hehehe

Colloquially, yes. In Indonesian, English-Indonesian code-switching and code-mixing is known as Jaksel dialect, or bahasa daerah Jaksel, as people from southern Jakarta are considered by many to be the ones who popularised them @kaonashily: I thought it was bahasa Jaksel

@slvywn: code-mixing waktu kuliahnya biasanya dibarengin sama code-switching, pembahasan bagus ni

I know, right? I personally think it’s cool for us Indonesian to be able to use 3 different languages in one go. P.S.: The word ‘pisan’ that means ‘sangat’ or ‘sekali’ is also found in Balinese. @Inisinene: pada suatu hari “any idea? buntu pisan parah” me as sundanese proud but make it baker street lol

Exactly. @AM_Ihere: Lebih paham download daripada unduh.

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Tuesday, 23 February 2021.

RELATED ARTICLE(S):
#EngClass: Code-switching vs. Code-mixing
#EngKnowledge: English Words of Indonesian Origin
#EngTalk: English Words as Bahasa Indonesia Slang (2)
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Further #EngTalk: Penggunaan Bahasa Inggris di Indonesia

#GRAMMARTRIVIA: LOWERCASE AESTHETIC

Fellas, have you ever heard of ‘lowercase aesthetic?’ It’s the act and art of turning our auto-capitalisation off and type all letters in lowercase. Examples, as taken from Billie Eilish’s YouTube channel:

How, when, and why did this trend start?

In English, and many other languages from every part of the world, we begin a sentence with an uppercase or a capital letter. The title of something also carries the capitalisation rule with it. The word ‘I’ is always typed as an uppercase.

But when it comes to internet language or online conversation, particularly a social media post or text messages, we often disregard grammatical rules including capitalisation as long as it doesn’t change the meaning of the sentence.

Lauren Fonteyn, a linguistics lecturer at the University of Manchester who studies language on the internet, concluded this phenomenon, as quoted by Mashable on this article: the surprising reasons we turn off autocaps and embrace the lowercase.

The lowercase movement can be traced back to 2015 or even earlier, when social media started seeing its ever-increasing popularity. It’s become an unwritten norm on the internet, what’s more with notable public figures or celebrities popularising it.

Those who favour lowercase believe that lowercase is more than just a utility; it subtly conveys that the person using all lowercase is hip, casual, and chill, doesn’t get riled up by little things. In short, all lowercase helps with one’s online persona. Uppercase is reserved for specific context, like conveying excitement or putting emphasis on certain word(s).

Some of the lowercase users also believe that using all lowercase in non-professional setting is somewhat liberating. It means that after hours and hours being constrained by grammatical rules while at work, one finally gets to be themselves by using all lowercase. By this, we can assume that lowercase users feel that using all lowercase is a way to express themselves.

Another interesting point to note is that many lowercase users are found on online communities, namely fandoms, where using all lowercase gives them a sense of being a part of something, a sense of belonging.

What do you think about this phenomenon, fellas? Share your thoughts.

@slvywn: i’ve been dong this for years because it looks better on my eyes

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, 18 February 2021.

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#IOTW: IDIOMS THAT MENTION ROME

Rome. A city full of myths, legend, and history. Rome’s influence to the whole world is such that we have four idioms in English that mention Rome. We Indonesian will at least be able to name one of them, as it has an Indonesian version.

Photo by Chait Goli on Pexels.com

‘Banyak jalan menuju Roma’ is the Indonesian version of ‘all roads lead to Rome.’ In Indonesian, it’s commonly interpreted as there are a lot of ways to achieve something, which essentially means ‘never give up.’

The English version has a slightly different meaning. It means that all methods of doing something will lead to the same result. However, the idiom ‘all roads lead to Rome’ had a literal meaning once.

To mark the starting point of the Roman road system to the rest of Italy, Emperor Caesar Augustus of the Roman Empire instructed the building of Milliarium Aureum or the Golden Milestone around 20 BCE. All roads were considered to begin at this monument and all distances in the Roman Empire were measured relative to it.

Next, we have ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day.’ The first known reference to this idiom was actually made by a 12th-century cleric in the court of Phillippe of Alsace, the Count of Flanders, in present-day Belgium.

It was recorded in a mediaeval French poem around the end of the 12th century as ‘Rome ne fu pas faite toute en un jour’ and then it was included in the book Li Proverbe au Vilain by Swiss linguist Adolf Tobler in 1895. This idiom means that everything takes time and effort.

Another idiom is ‘when in Rome, do as the Romans do.’ It means wherever we are in the world, it’s expected that we respect local people and local culture. The phrase’s origin can be traced back to the 4th century, written by Saint Augustine.

During that time, Saint Augustine moved from Rome to Milan to become a professor of rhetoric. In his previous Roman church, there was a custom to fast on Saturdays, but he didn’t find such tradition in Milan. Thus, he found the place quite different.

Saint Ambrose, a bishop of Milan, then advised Saint Augustine, “When I go to Rome, I fast on Saturday, but here I do not. Do you also follow the custom of whatever church you attend if you do not want to give or receive scandal (create controversies)?”

These wise words left such a deep impression that Saint Augustine wrote it in a letter. Later on, similar phrases started gaining popularity and came to a conclusion as ‘when in Rome, do as the Romans do.’

The last one is ‘fiddling while Rome burns.’ It means to continue our regular activity to avoid dealing with something unpleasant or to do something trivial in the midst of an emergency. Sounds like celebrities and influencers who attend or host parties during a pandemic.

All shades aside, in July of 64 AD, a great fire ravaged Rome for six days, destroying 70 percent of the city and leaving half of its population homeless. Emperor Nero, who was notorious for being a tyrant, was believed to quite literally play music, specifically a fiddle, during the fire.

However, historians debate this theory as Nero was at his villa in Antium, around 35 miles from Rome. Music historians believe the viol class of instruments (to which the fiddle belongs) was not developed until the 11th century, making it disputable for Nero to have played one during the fire.

Nero returned to Rome immediately and began disaster relief measures, but as he was known for being an ineffective leader, his people didn’t trust him. Many Romans accused him of instructing to start the fire in order to empty some lands which would then become his Golden Palace and its surrounding gardens. Nero himself accused and subsequently arrested and executed the Christians.

He cast the blame on the Christians because Christianity was a relatively unknown religious sect at the time. But the story that Nero played a fiddle during the Great Fire is considered more of a legend than a fact.

There they are, fellas, 4 idioms that mention Rome, each with its origin and history. Feel free to add anything that we’ve missed or correct us if there is any inaccuracy.

Source:
Wikipedia
Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Cambridge Dictionary
https://theculturetrip.com/europe/italy/articles/the-origin-of-the-saying-rome-wasnt-built-in-a-day/
https://www.romecitytour.it/blog/why-do-we-say-when-in-rome-do-as-the-romans-do/
https://www.history.com/news/did-nero-really-fiddle-while-rome-burned

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 8 February 2021.

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#ENGKNOWLEDGE: MANY, MANY TYPES OF CITRUS FRUITS

Vitamin C is one of the most important nutrients to maintain our immune system, especially during rainy season. The first thing that comes into our mind when talking about vitamin C is probably an orange.

In Indonesian, oranges are often referred to as ‘jeruk,’ regardless of the species. There are jeruk purut, jeruk nipis, jeruk bali, jeruk keprok, jeruk mandarin, and many other types. However, these fruits go by different names in English. On this article, we will discuss the many, many types of citrus fruits, the genus which oranges are a part of.

1. Sweet orange (Citrus × sinensis)
This species is what we refer to as an orange. It is a hybrid of pomelo and mandarin orange. It is sweet, relatively easy to peel, and it has only a few seeds, if not seedless. It has a spherical shape.

Image source: Wikipedia

2. Mandarin orange (Citrus reticulata)
A mandarin orange is generally smaller than a sweet orange. It has a sweeter and stronger flavour and is often less sour. The rind is easy to peel and the fruit is often flat on the pole (oblate).

Image source: Wikipedia

3. Pomelo (Citrus maxima or Citrus grandis)
The largest citrus fruit of the family Rutaceae. It is 15-25 cm in diameter and is a natural (non-hybrid) type. It is considered as the ancestor of grapefruit and many other hybrids. Native to Southeast Asia, a pomelo has a thick rind, which probably requires a knife to peel, and white or pinkish flesh. The one with white flesh is usually sweeter than the one with pinkish flesh. Inside the rind, there is a membrane that is chewy and bitter. It is what’s known in Indonesian as ‘jeruk bali.’

Image credit: Wikipedia

4. Grapefruit (Citrus × paradisi)
Grapefruit is a hybrid of sweet orange and pomelo. The colour of the flesh varies from pale yellow to dark pink. It is generally smaller than a pomelo, with 10-15 cm in diameter, more sour or bitter. Native to the Barbados, it grows in grape-like clusters, which is probably why it is named grapefruit.

Image source: Wikipedia
A grapefruit cluster. Image source: Wikipedia

5. Tangerine (Citrus x tangerina)
A hybrid of mandarin with some pomelo contributions, a tangerine shares a lot of mandarin features that sometimes it is hard to differentiate them. It is sweeter, smaller, and less-rounded than a sweet orange. When it is ripe, it could be slightly soft.

6. Clementine (Citrus × clementina)
Another one that carries a lot of mandarin orange traits is clementine. The exterior is glossy and the rind is easy to peel. Juicy and sweet, it is less acidic than a sweet orange. A clementine is generally smaller than a tangerine, thus earning it the commercial name ‘cuties.’

Image source: Wikipedia

7. Blood orange (Citrus × sinensis)
A blood orange is considered a natural mutation of a sweet orange, which is probably why it goes by the same Latin name. The flesh of this fruit is blood red and the taste is a mix of an orange and a raspberry. As it originated from Europe, it is hard to come by in Southeast Asia.

Image source: Wikipedia

8. Tangelo (Citrus × tangelo)
This variant got its name from tangerine and pomelo. Also known as honeybells, the fruit is juicy and has a tart and tangy taste.

Image source: Wikipedia

9. Bitter orange/Seville orange/sour orange/bigarade orange/marmalade orange (Citrus × aurantium)
Having sour and bitter taste, this type of citrus is rarely eaten fresh and is more commonly used in cooking or liqueur (a type of liquor that requires additional flavours from fruits, herbs, or nuts).

Image source: Wikipedia


10. Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)
Bergamot is a probable hybrid of lemon and bitter orange. It is the size of an orange with dark green to yellow exterior similar to a lime. The extract of bergamot is often used to add scent to food, perfume, and cosmetics.

Image source: Wikipedia

11. Yuzu/yuja (Citrus junos)
Yuzu (Japanese) or yuja (Korean) is native to East Asia. The fruit looks somewhat like a small grapefruit with an uneven skin, and can be either yellow or green depending on the degree of ripeness. It has various uses, from culinary to skincare. Have you ever heard of yuzu bath or yuja skincare?

12. Kumquat (Citrus japonica)
Kumquat closely resembles an orange in color and shape but is much smaller, being approximately the size of a large olive. The fruit is often eaten whole with its peel and sometimes is a part of a fruit salad.

Image source: Wikipedia

13. Citron (Citrus medica)
Citron is a large fragrant citrus fruit with a thick rind. It is one of three natural citrus fruits (the other two being mandarin and pomelo) from which all other citrus types developed through natural or artificial hybridisation. It has culinary and medical uses.

Image source: Wikipedia

14. Lemon (Citrus limon)
Lemon is native to South Asia, primarily Northeastern India. Lemon juice is used for culinary and non-culinary purposes throughout the world. The distinctive sour taste of lemon juice makes it a key ingredient in drinks and foods such as lemonade and lemon meringue pie.

15. Lime
There are several species of citrus trees that are called limes, including the Key lime (Citrus aurantiifolia), Persian lime, kaffir lime, and desert lime. Limes are sour and sometimes bitter, often used to accent the flavours of foods and beverages. In Indonesia, the most popular one is probably ‘jeruk sambal’ or ‘jeruk limau’ (Citrus amblycarpa), whose fruits and leaves are often used in condiments.

Source:
https://www.homestratosphere.com/types-of-citrus-fruits/
https://www.seriouseats.com/2018/01/know-your-citrus-a-field-guide-to-oranges-lemons-limes-and-beyond.html
Others are mentioned above.

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Saturday, 6 February 2021.

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#ENGKNOWLEDGE: MICHELIN STAR

Hi, hello, everyone, how are you today?

Thanks to a new commercial of a certain online marketplace, I discovered a new song that immediately got me hooked, God’s Menu by Stray Kids, which includes the line, “Cookin’ like a chef, I’m a 5-star Michelin…”

Stray Kids’ Felix on God’s Menu music video. Courtesy: JYP Entertainment’s YouTube channel.

The song is such an earworm; I can’t get it out of my head. Now, whether KPop is your cup of tea or not, most of us at least have read or heard about Michelin, a French multinational tyre manufacturer. So, what does a tyre manufacturer have to do with cooking and chefs?

In my opinion, the song is trying to say that Stray Kids is a KPop group that creates music that is one of its kind, just like cooking a special cuisine. The line is a reference to Michelin Guide and its stars, and this is our topic for today.

In 1900, brothers Édouard and André Michelin, who were the founders of car tyre manufacturer Michelin, published a book called Michelin Guide, which was basically a travelling guide for car owners to essential services and points of interest all across France, to respond to the increasing demand of cars.

The book quickly became popular amongst travellers, with several editions for other nations soon followed the French one. The first ever English version was published in 1909.

The publication of the Michelin Guide was temporarily suspended during the first World War. After seeing how the Guide was used as a prop up for a workbench, Michelin decided to charge for it (the Guide had initially been distributed for free).

Over the years, Michelin noticed the increasing popularity of the restaurant section, which then prompted the company to recruit a team of inspectors to visit and review the restaurants anonymously. The restaurant owners were not aware of the inspectors, nor were they aware of being inspected.

The restaurants that managed to impress the inspectors are then awarded with ‘Michelin star’:
– One star means a very good restaurant in its category
– Two stars mean excellent cooking, worth a detour
– Three stars mean exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey

The 3-star restaurants are on the highest tier. This group consists of restaurants that are worth a special trip by themselves, or in other words, we visit the area just to go to the restaurants. It is considered a great honour to be featured and awarded a star, even though there are some controversies as well. There are several editions of the Guide published in Europe, Asia, and America, and there are even editions for major cities in the continents.

As the Guide is published regularly, the restaurant list is also regularly updated. In France, there is always such an anticipation before the latest edition of Michelin Guide is published, one that is said to rival Academy Awards.

Basically, there hasn’t been a 5-star Michelin restaurant yet, but I still think it’s a nice song.

I hope you enjoy this brief article. Stay safe and healthy!

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 7 December 2020.

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#ENGCLASS: DIFFERENT TYPES OF PUNS

We talked about puns before. A pun is a form of word play that exploits multiple meanings of a term, or of similar-sounding words, for an intended humorous or rhetorical effect. Check our previous article on puns HERE.

Today, we are going to discuss several different types of puns. Let’s get into it!

  1. Homophonic pun
    A homophonic pun is a pun that uses words that sound alike, but they have different spellings and meanings.
    Example:
    “I should have known that I could not finish my dinner. That was a huge mis-steak.”
    Explanation:
    The speaker did not realise the steak would come in a huge portion; so the speaker thought that they made a mistake in ordering it. Mis-steak sounds similar to mistake.
  2. Homographic pun (also called heteronymic pun)
    A homographic pun uses words that are spelled the same but have different meanings.
    Example:
    “Time flies like an arrow, while fruit flies like a banana.”
    Explanation:
    The first part of the sentence refers to how fast time passes, by saying that it ‘flies.’ The second part of the sentence also uses ‘flies,’ but here the word refers to the insect fruit flies, that like a banana.
  3. Homonymic pun
    A homonymic pun uses words that are both homophones (have the same sound) and homographs (have the same spelling). The words could also have the same meaning.
    Example:
    “An elephant’s opinion carries a lot of weight.”
    Explanation:
    An elephant has a lot of weight, so it is assumed that its opinion also does.
  4. Compound pun
    A compound pun has more than one pun in a sentence.
    Example:
    “Never scam in a jungle as the cheetahs are always spotted.”
    Explanation:
    There are two words that are punny: scam and spotted. ‘Scam’ means swindling someone out of their money, but it could also mean ‘hustling or moving in a hurry.’
    ‘The cheetahs are always spotted’ means the cheetahs are always seen in the jungle and they have spots on their coats. So, this compound pun means we must be careful in the jungle, otherwise we will get chased by the cheetahs.
  5. Recursive pun
    A recursive pun is a pun that we can only understand by knowing the origin of it.
    Example:
    “May the Fourth be with you.”
    Explanation:
    This sentence is a modification of Star Wars’ famous line ‘May the Force be with you.’
  6. Visual pun
    A visual pun uses visual cues, whether it is a drawing or a symbol.
    Example:
    “I think you’re fantastic (Fanta-stick).”
    Picture credit: on the picture

Source:
http://www.literarydevices.com/pun/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pun
https://examples.yourdictionary.com/examples-of-funny-puns-and-punny-funs.html
https://www.masterclass.com/articles/what-is-a-pun-learn-about-the-different-types-of-puns-in-literature-and-tips-on-how-to-write-a-great-pun#5-different-types-of-puns

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Saturday, 5 December 2020.

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#ENGCLASS: PARADOX

Two days ago, we talked about oxymoron, which is a figure of speech that is made of two or more words with contradictory meaning. If you want to read the article on oxymoron, CLICK HERE.

Today, we are going to talk about its sibling, paradox. Both have similar features and are often mixed up.

Penrose triangle (picture by Wikipedia)

What is a paradox? The word paradox came from Latin word ‘paradoxum’, which came from Greek word ‘paradoxon’, which means ‘contrary to expectation.’

Just as an oxymoron, a paradox is also a figure of speech. Furthermore, it is a rhetorical device that seems to contradict itself, but actually has some truth to it.

Does this confuse you, fellas? To put it simply, a paradox is a statement that is logical but contrary to our expectation.

Example:

  1. “The only constant thing is change (Indonesian: satu-satunya hal yang tidak pernah berubah adalah perubahan).”
    Explanation: nothing in life is constant, except change. Change happens all the time, to everything, and to everyone, which makes it constant.
  2. “Failure leads to success (Indonesian: kegagalan adalah sukses yang tertunda).”
    Explanation: by failing over and over again, it means we keep trying and it might mean that someday we will be successful.
  3. “Social media brought us apart and brought us together (Indonesian: media sosial mendekatkan yang jauh dan menjauhkan yang dekat).”
    Explanation: focusing on social media often makes us ignore the people who are physically present around us.
  4. “The more you learn, the less you know (Indonesian: seperti padi, semakin berisi, semakin merunduk).”
    Explanation: the more knowledgeable we are, the more we will realise that there are so many things of which we have little knowledge.
  5. “The enemy of my enemy is my friend (Indonesian: musuh dari musuh saya adalah sekutu saya).”
    Explanation: meeting another enemy could easily make someone our enemy, too, but sometimes they can become our friend out of a mutual dislike towards someone else.

How do paradox and oxymoron differ?
How do we differentiate a paradox and an oxymoron when we see them in a sentence? The key is to remember that an oxymoron is made of words that have opposite meanings, while a paradox is a collection of words that contradicts itself. Check our sources below for complete reading.

Source:
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/paradox
https://www.dictionary.com/e/paradox-oxymoron/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradox
https://tom-stevenson.medium.com/13-paradoxes-you-can-use-to-improve-your-life-today-b32d7dca4e0f

Do you have a favourite paradox, fellas? Share it with us.

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Saturday, 21 November 2020.

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#ENGCLASS: GOOD STORYTELLING

A few days ago, one of our followers requested tips on storytelling, especially how to narrate a story in a way that the readers/audience will understand.

Bear in mind that storytelling is not only useful on writings; even audio and visual messages need a good storytelling. Whether you are telling a story verbally or via visual cues, a good storytelling skill is necessary.

Take TV or YouTube ads, for example. Even if they are told via audio-visual, most of them have good storyline. This is especially important to send a message to the audience that the products the ads are trying to sell are worthy.

If you are wondering where to start, think of a storytelling as another way of reporting something but add some emotions to it to make it more relatable to the audience. Therefore, you first need to figure out what you are trying to tell. What is it that you want other people to know? Define this first as the main idea of your story.

Photo by Lina Kivaka on Pexels.com

From the main idea, develop the story with 4 Ps:
People: characters of the story
Place: the time and location of the story
Plot: how the story starts and ends
Purpose: what is the reason behind the storytelling

Let’s take for example the Harry Potter franchise. We have Harry as the protagonist and Voldemort as the antagonist and the others as supporting characters. They are the ‘people’ of the Harry Potter story.

The time and the location of the story are England and Scotland in the 90s, which means the story should present how England and Scotland looked like at that time. Of course, there are Hogwarts and the wizarding world as a fictional element to this story, which were created based on the author’s imagination.

And then there is plot, which begins with the murder of Harry’s parents. The story then tells Harry’s journey to defeat Voldemort and ends with Voldemort’s destruction. Along the way, there are major and minor subplots to keep the readers interested.

The last one is purpose. What is the purpose of the telling of Harry Potter story? Is it good against evil? Is it portraying the reality at the time? Is it for entertainment? Is it trying to send a message?

Once you have the general idea of the story, begin creating the structure by deciding the parts of the story that are important. How we meet the main character, how the other characters are introduced, and what happens to them.

You can use linear plot, which is a plot where events happen in chronological order. However, if you feel confident, you can try using non-linear plot. It will keep the readers/audience curious to figure out the exact timeline of the story.

Now, how do we make a storytelling effective?

1. Keep it simple
It’s good to give enough details to the story, but sometimes the less is the better, especially if there is a constraint on time and resources.

2. Keep it focused
An elaborated story is good as long as it does not stray from the purpose of the storytelling. Back to the Harry Potter example, we are all invested in how Harry will finally win the war against Voldemort, so Uncle Vernon’s family tree won’t really be necessary. Not only it does not add much to the storyline, it could also be distracting.

3. Be relatable
A great story appeals to our emotions: we care about what happens to the characters because we see parts of ourselves in them. We struggle with Harry when he is living with the Dursleys, we can understand how Ron is sometimes jealous of Harry, we are annoyed by Draco Malfoy, and some of us agree with Hermione in her bossiest, nosiest moments.

4. Use concise language
Concise means delivering a message clearly and briefly, only in a few words. Some of the ways to achieve this are reading a lot, expanding your vocabulary, and doing a lot of practice.

I hope you find this article helpful. Feel free to add your most favourite way of telling a story.

P.S.: mine is using a non-linear plot, jumping from one event to another, and preparing a plot twist or even a vague ending.

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 9 November 2020.

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#ENGKNOWLEDGE: GUY FAWKES NIGHT

“Remember, remember, the fifth of November
The gunpowder treason and plot
I see of no reason why the gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot…”

Do you remember this line, fellas? Along with this mask?

Photo by NEOSiAM 2020 on Pexels.com

Most of us heard the lines or saw the mask first on the movie ‘V for Vendetta’ (James McTeigue, 2006). The main character of the movie, V, was a victim of a biological weapon experiment. The weapon then brought England to a despotic era led by Chancellor Sutler.

V was portrayed to have taken his inspiration from Guy Fawkes. Guy Fawkes was a member of the Gunpowder Plot who was arrested on 5 November 1605. V wore a mask that was said to resemble Fawkes’ face and set a revolution on the day Fawkes was arrested, 5 November.

Due to the popularity of the movie, many people then associated the Guy Fawkes mask with a symbol of resistance against tyranny. We even have hackers that go by the name Anonymous and use the mask as their persona. However, the history of 5 November 1605 was not exactly that black and white.

If we trace the history of 5 November 1605, we could go back to the reign of Henry VIII from House of Tudor, who was the king of England from 1509 to 1547. During his reign, he declared himself as the Supreme Head of the Church of England. He adopted the Protestant faith which severed the tie between England and the Catholic Church led by the Pope and eventually resulted in excommunication of England by the Pope and other notable European kingdoms who supported the Pope.

Catholic churches and monasteries across England were forced to close their doors and had their assets confiscated. Anyone who spoke against Henry VIII found their heads rolling off of the chopping block (executed by beheading). This definitely caused a deep resentment between people of different faiths.

Upon his death, Henry passed the throne to his only legitimate son, Edward VI, who was also a devout Protestant. Unfortunately, Edward VI died young at the age of 15-16 and did not leave any heir. He chose his cousin, Lady Jane Grey, to be the new queen, despite having two half-sisters, Mary I and Elizabeth I.

The older sister, Mary I, was set on returning England to a Catholic state. With the nobility as her supporters, she overthrew Jane Grey and became the Queen of England for the next 5 years. During her reign, those of Protestant faith were deemed heretics and executed, which led to the coinage of the term ‘Bloody Mary.’ Her sister, Elizabeth I, almost met the same fate; she was accused of plotting against the Queen.

Eventually, Mary I fell ill and died of what was suspected to be ovarian cysts or uterine cancer, and as she had no heir, she reluctantly named her sister, Elizabeth I, who was a Protestant, as her successor. Elizabeth I then reigned for 45 years. She promoted religious tolerance and introduced a Religious Settlement which then became the foundation of the Church of England and Anglicanism.

But again, the succession was an issue, as Elizabeth was a woman and therefore could not pass on her family name. She was torn between marriage proposals from Spain and France, which in her view, would make England merely a vassal state of either kingdom. She was concerned that her marriage would again bring England to disharmony.

So she did something drastic: she chose not to marry. Upon her death in 1603, the throne then passed on to her closest Protestant relative, James VI of Scotland from House of Stuart, who then became James I and reigned upon England and Scotland.

The deep resentment caused by Henry VIII’s decision to declare himself the Supreme Head of the Church of England was still very much obvious more than half a century later. Even during the reign of Elizabeth I, there had been numerous attempts to overthrow the monarch and enthrone someone of Catholic faith, and this also happened during the reign of James I. One of the most notable ones was the Gunpowder Plot.

Set as an attempt to blow up the House of Lords (the parliament) and kill James I, the plot was discovered on 5 November 1605 when Guy Fawkes was arrested. To celebrate the fact that the King had survived the assassination attempt, people lit bonfires around London. An act called ‘The Observance of 5th November’ was then passed to enforce an annual thanksgiving to celebrate the plot’s failure. From then on, the 5th of November is celebrated annually in the UK. It is also known as Bonfire Night and Guy Fawkes Night.

So, I personally have mixed feelings about the fifth of November. I love the movie V for Vendetta, and many people apparently do, too. But it’s safe to say that the history behind Guy Fawkes is… a lot. Do feel free to add anything if there’s something I missed and correct me for any historical inaccuracy.

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, 5 November 2020.

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#EngTrivia: Idioms and Expressions with the Same or Similar Meanings in English and Indonesian

What are you doing for the Saturday night? I hope that you are staying safe at home but if you must go outside for essential purposes that cannot be delayed, please exercise safety precautions.

Several years ago, we posted an article about common expressions in English and its Indonesian counterparts. You can check it here: Expressions in English and Their Indonesian Counterparts Part 1 and Part 2. 

The background of these articles was that there are expressions in English that we cannot quite translate into Indonesian; we just know what they mean, thus we were trying to find similar expressions in Indonesian to help understand the English version better.

For this article, we are going to do something similar: we’ll start a series of idioms and expressions that have similar or even the same meanings in English and Indonesian. An example submitted by one of our followers on Twitter:

@fatfukuro: Don’t judge a book by its cover (Eng) and jangan menilai buku dari sampulnya (Ina).

pexels-photo-267669.jpeg
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

So here is the list of what we compiled so far:

  1. Backbone (Eng) = Tulang punggung (Ina)
    Meaning: the chief support of a system or an organisation.

  2. Backstab (Eng) = Menusuk dari belakang (Ina)
    Meaning: the action or practice of harming someone’s reputation whilst feigning friendship.

  3. Big-headed (Eng) = Besar kepala (Ina)
    Meaning: conceited or arrogant.

  4. Big-hearted (Eng) = Besar hati (Ina)
    Meaning: kind and generous.

  5. Big mouth (Eng) = Besar mulut (Ina)
    Meaning: a boastful person.

  6. Blue blood (Eng) = Darah biru (Ina)
    Meaning: a person of noble or royal birth.

  7. Bookworm (Eng) = Kutu buku (Ina)
    Meaning: someone who loves reading.

  8. Brainwash (Eng) = Cuci otak (Ina)
    Meaning: force someone to adopt a radically different belief.

  9. Brokenhearted (Eng) = Patah hati (Ina)
    Meaning: overwhelmed by grief or disappointment.

  10. Cold-blooded (Eng) = Berdarah dingin (Ina)
    Meaning: deliberately cruel or violent.

  11. Cool-headed (Eng) = Kepala dingin (Ina)
    Meaning: calm.

  12. Empty-handed (Eng) = Tangan hampa (Ina)
    Meaning: unsuccessful, fruitless effort.

  13. Fall in love (Eng) = Jatuh hati (Ina)
    Meaning: develop romantic feelings towards someone or deep liking for something.

  14. Flesh and blood (Eng) = Darah daging (Ina)
    Meaning: someone related to us by blood.

  15. Get some fresh air (Eng) = Cari angin (Ina)
    Meaning: go outside to take a break from a possibly stressful situation.

  16. Go in one ear, out of the other (Eng) = Masuk kuping kiri, keluar kuping kanan (Ina)
    Meaning: of a piece of information that is quickly forgotten.

  17. Golden child (Eng) = Anak emas (Ina)
    Meaning: a favoured child amongst a group of children.

  18. Half-heartedly (Eng) = Setengah hati (Ina)
    Meaning: not feeling fully committed or engaged to an activity.

  19. Head of the family (Eng) = Kepala keluarga (Ina)
    Meaning: someone who leads a family.

  20. Heavy heart (Eng) = Berat hati (Ina)
    Meaning: with much sadness and regret.

  21. Hot seat (Eng) = Kursi panas (Ina)
    Meaning: being in a position of heavy duty and responsibility.

  22. Iron fist (Eng) = Tangan besi (Ina)
    Meaning: of a government or someone exercising power in a ruthless or oppressive manner.

  23. Law of the jungle (Eng) = Hukum rimba (Ina)
    Meaning: of a world where those who are strong and apply ruthless self-interest will be most successful.

  24. Lift one’s hat to… (Eng) = Angkat topi (Ina)
    Meaning: praise, salute, congratulate, or pay tribute to someone.

  25. Open arms (Eng) = Tangan terbuka (Ina)
    Meaning: a warm welcome.

  26. Open secret (Eng) = Rahasia umum (Ina)
    Meaning: of a secret who is known to many people.

  27. Out of control (Eng) = Hilang kendali (Ina)
    Meaning: of something that’s no longer possible to manage.

  28. Pen pal (Eng) = Sahabat pena (Ina)
    Meaning: someone with whom we develop friendship by sending letters to one another, particularly if we live in different countries.

  29. Put one’s hands up (Eng) = Angkat tangan (Ina)
    Meaning: raise one’s hands to surrender.

  30. Quick on one’s feet (Eng) = Cepat kaki (Ina)
    Meaning: able to think and take quick action.

  31. Right hand (Eng) = Tangan kanan (Ina)
    Meaning: an assistant, the most important position next to someone.

  32. Scapegoat (Eng) = Kambing hitam (Ina)
    Meaning: someone who is blamed for the wrongdoings, mistakes, or faults of others.

  33. Silent witness (Eng) = Saksi bisu (Ina)
    Meaning: an object that displays traces of evidences of a crime.

  34. Stage fright (Eng) = Demam panggung (Ina)
    Meaning: nervousness before or during an appearance before an audience.

  35. Stepping stone (Eng) = Batu loncatan (Ina)
    Meaning: an action or event that helps someone to make progress towards a specified goal.

  36. Take something to one’s heart (Eng) = Memasukan ke dalam hati (Ina)
    Meaning: take criticism seriously and be affected or upset by it.

  37. Tangled web (Eng) = Benang kusut (Ina)
    Meaning: of a situation or a problem that is confusing or difficult to solve.

  38. Throw a towel (Eng) = Lempar handuk (Ina)
    Meaning: stop trying or doing something because lacking of determination or conviction that one can win or be successful.

  39. Turn a blind eye (Eng) = Tutup mata (Ina)
    Meaning: pretend not to notice something is happening, usually something bad.

  40. Two-faced (Eng) = Bermuka dua (Ina)
    Meaning: of someone being insincere or acting one way in certain situations and then in a contrary manner in others.

  41. Walk away (Eng) = Ambil langkah seribu (Ina)
    Meaning: easily, casually, or irresponsibly abandon a situation in which one is involved or for which one is responsible.

  42. Wash one’s hands of… (Eng) = Cuci tangan (Ina)
    Meaning: not wanting to be involved with someone or something, not taking responsibility of someone or something.

  43. Watch one’s mouth (Eng) = Jaga lidah/mulut (Ina)
    Meaning: being careful of what one says.

 

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for EnglishTips4U on Saturday, 11 July 2020.


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#EngTrivia: Extended Family Members

When it comes to family members, we have our immediate family members consisting of our parents, siblings, spouses, and children. This group might also include our half-siblings (siblings we have from different parents).

And then there are our close relatives, such as grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

What we also count as our relatives are the extended family members, who are still related to us by blood but not as close as our immediate family members or our close relatives. Who are they and how do we address them?

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Photo by Craig Adderley on Pexels.com

Say, my grandfather has a younger brother. In Indonesian, I will simply call him ‘Kakek’ or grandfather, just as how I call my grandfather. But in English, I will refer to him as my great uncle. The same applies to great aunt.

And then I have a cousin, who is a child of my parent’s sibling. I will refer to this cousin as my first cousin. If my parent’s cousin has a child, that person is my second cousin. My child will also refer to the child of my cousin’s as the second cousin.

What about my parent’s cousins? In Indonesian, I will call them uncles and aunts. In English, they are still called cousins only with ‘removal’, that implies different generation. For example, my father’s first cousin is my first cousin once removed. The term applies both ways. My father’s first cousin will also refer to me as his/her/their first cousin once removed. My children will refer to them as the first cousin twice removed and vice versa.

The last but not least, we have the in-laws, who are related to us by marriage. Our spouse’s parents are our parents in law and our spouse’s siblings are our siblings in law.

 

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Saturday, 20 June 2020.


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#EngKnowledge: Twitter Handles to Expand Your Vocabularies

Many of us are on self-quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only to keep ourselves safe and healthy, we are doing this to prevent further transmission of the virus to other people with whom we interact. We might not be showing symptoms (asymptomatic), but it does not always mean we are not carrying the virus with us. For me, it is better to be safe than sorry.

However, being on self-quarantine does come with challenging times. Eventually, I noticed my sleep pattern changes as I sleep or take frequent naps during the day and stay awake almost the whole night. Do you also experience the same?

I figured that I needed to find new interests to keep me busy and I decided to read and learn more especially about topics that I had never really touched before the pandemic.
Recently, I completed the 30-day word challenge by Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

Merriam Webster
Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary’s Twitter handle

On this article, I’m going to share some accounts that will help you expand your vocabularies and learn grammar effectively.
1. Merriam-Webster dictionary
@MerriamWebster provides you with Word of the Day, the background story behind words and phrases, and trending words.

  1. Dictionary.com
    @Dictionarycom also provides word of the day and trending words, with quite a sassy and hilarious manner.
  2. The Oxford English Dictionary
    My most favourite feature of @OED is its Word of the Year, which doesn’t only cover the most searched word of the year as it might also introduce a new word that is widely used but not registered on any dictionaries yet.
  3. The Yuniversity
    @The_YUNiversity posts daily vocabulary and grammar lessons in just a few tweets and helpful infographics. Its explanation is also really easy to comprehend. Bonus: KPop fans will relate so much to this handle.

 

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, 11 June 2020.


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#EngKnowledge: World Environment Day 2020

Hello everyone, how are you doing? It’s been raining a lot here in Bali, Indonesia, despite we have entered dry season. By the way, did you know that 5 June is celebrated every year as World Environment Day?

pexels-photo-1072824.jpeg
Photo by Akil Mazumder on Pexels.com

World Environment Day (WED) is observed every year on 5 June to raise global awareness to take positive environmental action to protect nature and the planet Earth.

UN designates 5 June as World Environment Day in 1972 and two years later (1974), WED is celebrated for the first time under the slogan “Only One Earth.” During 1974-1983, WED was celebrated 10 times but only in three countries (USA, Canada, and Bangladesh).

World Environment Day 2020 is focusing on biodiversity and will be hosted in Colombia in partnership with Germany. The theme of World Environment Day 2020 is “Celebrate Biodiversity.” Videos highlighting the biodiversity and environmental achievements of different regions of Colombia will be featured throughout the day, including images and drone footage of strategic ecosystems. We can join the conversation online with the hashtag #ForNature.

Air pollution, overpopulation, deforestation, and climate crisis have been some of the major factors that affect our environment. By actively participating to decrease the impact of any factors above, we might have hope for a better environment. Humans are not the only species on this planet and our actions have significant impact on the existence of other species. Furthermore, studies show deforestation and loss of wildlife cause increases in infectious diseases, including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

We have only one Earth and we live on this world together, fellas. Let’s let nature be nature and do our parts to help reduce the negative impact of climate crisis. Stay safe everywhere you are.

 

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Friday, 5 June 2020.


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#EngKnowledge: Eid al-Fitr 2020

Hi, hello, everyone, how was your Eid holiday?

I’ll admit that to me it felt different as we have been in self-quarantine for a while that I lost count of what day it is. Do you also experience the same? Share your story!

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Photo by Khairul Onggon on Pexels.com

Eid al-Fitr is an important holiday for Muslims worldwide. In Indonesia, it is usually marked by 7-10 days of holiday to accommodate those who do homecoming trip. We didn’t see the hustle and bustle this year as much as the previous years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is also marked with visiting the houses of our close friends and relatives to ask and give forgiveness for our wrongs, which is usually ended with dining together. The signature dishes are ketupat (rice cake wrapped in coconut leaf), opor ayam (braised chicken soup), and rendang. What about in your countries?

Aside of that, we also provide assorted cakes and cookies, such as nastar (pineapple tart), putri salju (literally snow princess), and kaasstengels (soft cheese sticks), accompanied with cold juice to the guests. Given the pandemic, most of us might skip all these traditions and some might not get the chance to meet our families.

Stay strong, fellas. Sometimes we need to make a sacrifice to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe.

 

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 25 May 2020.


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#EngTips: Eid al-Fitr During COVID19 Pandemic

A big holiday is coming in less than a week for us in Indonesia, but sadly, it’s most likely that this year’s Eid al-Fitr will be very different than the previous years. Regardless, it’s a difficult situation for all of us so we need to work together to help flatten the curve.

What can we do on this year’s Eid? Here’s what we recommend.

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Photo by Tayeb MEZAHDIA on Pexels.com

  1. Save the funds for emergency.
    I think we can put less priority on new clothing or lavish celebrations in favour of emergency funds and donation to those who are in need.
    Do you agree, fellas?

  2. Stay in the city.
    I understand that the situation is very different from one person to another but if you still can stay in the city where you’ve been living, consider not doing the homecoming trip until we get the situation under control. This is to avoid spreading the COVID-19 virus to our family and relatives in our hometown.

  3. Minimise movement and keep physical distance.
    The Eid prayer is an important part of the Eid holiday. If the local government considers it safe to do so, still maintain your distance from other people. Keeping a safe distance between two people could reduce the risk of getting infected by the virus.

  4. Make use of the technology.
    Make use of our smartphones to contact our loved ones by, perhaps, having a virtual celebration. It is very important to stay connected as well as checking up on each other.

Those are the tips that we can share, fellas. Happy holiday and stay safe!

 

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 18 May 2020.


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#EngTalk: Generation Equality

Hi, hello, everyone! How are you doing today? Yesterday, we celebrated the International Women’s Day so this article will be related to it.

As we know it, the theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is ‘I Am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights.’ So what do you think about the theme, fellas?

calendar conceptual data date
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

For me, equality is about no discrimination towards someone regardless of whether the person is a male or female. The same opportunity, the same appreciation, and consequently, the same responsibility. I’d love to read your thoughts about it. I think I was fortunate to grow up in an environment that emphasises how women should be encouraged and supported to be the best version of themselves and I think everyone should have the same chance. Do you agree, fellas?

We have made progress, but there’s still so much to do to ensure that we could become the generation equality. I will start with promoting a safe environment for women to live in and to thrive, be it in a family, at school, or at the workplaces. The work that needs to be done is not necessarily exclusive to one type of sex or gender. We should always respect, support, and care about each other.

 

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 9 March 2020.


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#EngKnowledge: Word of the Year

Hi, fellas, did you know that Oxford Dictionaries’ Word of the Year 2019 is ‘climate emergency?’

We face more and more weather and climate-related crisis every year, so it is natural that people all around the world are getting more curious about the term ‘climate emergency’ and decided to look it up on the dictionaries.

As defined by Oxford Dictionaries, climate emergency is “a situation in which urgent action is required to reduce or halt climate change and avoid potentially irreversible environmental damage resulting from it.”

But what is ‘Word of the Year’ and how did this tradition start?

words text scrabble blocks
Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

 

Word(s) of the Year refers to any of various assessments as to the most important word(s) or expression(s) during a specific year.

The first known version of this tradition is the German one, Wort des Jahres, which was started in 1971. The American Dialect Society is the oldest English version, started in 1991. By early 2000s, a lot of organisations began to announce their versions of Word(s) of the Year for various purposes and with various criteria for the assessment.

Oxford Dictionaries’ Word of the Year for the last five years are:

2015: Face with tears of joy emoji or laughing-crying emoji, the first emoji to have ever been selected.
2016: Post-truth.
2017: Youthquake.
2018: Toxic.
2019: Climate emergency.

The American Dialect Society also chose the Word of the Decade, which is ‘web’ for 1990s, ‘to google’ for 2000s, and singular ‘they’ for 2010s. According to the Society, the Word of the 20th century is jazz and the Word of the Past Millennium is ‘she.’

 

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, 20 February 2020.


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#EngVocab: Words Related to Mobile Phone

Nowadays, a mobile phone has become a permanent part to our hands. We check our phones constantly even if there is no notification of incoming messages or calls or anything important on social medias. Do you also experience the same, fellas?

person taking photos of food
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

This article will discuss words related to mobile phones.

1. Credit
This is a common term for prepaid mobile phone service, where we purchase some amount to use the provider’s service. In Indonesian, the term ‘phone credit’ has the same meaning as ‘pulsa.’

2. Data
(Mobile) data is what connects the phone to the internet when it is not connected to a Wi-Fi network.

3. Plans
Plans mean a package that might include a number of SMS, several minutes of phone calls, and some gigabits of mobile data that we purchase from the provider on a one-off occasion or on a regular basis.

Made Wirautama (@wirautama): In Indonesian we call it “paket data”.

4. 4G and 4.5G
4G means the fourth generation of mobile phone connection. It allows a mobile phone to connect to the internet with a relatively high download speed, which is 7-12 Mbps (megabits per second), and converts the phone to a mobile multimedia. 4.5G is an improved version of 4G with faster connection that could reach 14-21 Mbps. At the moment, we’re all excited for 5G, of course.

5. 4K
What is a 4K video? A video with 4K on it means that it was shoot with a lens with 3840 x 2160 pixels. It provides clearer, less fuzzy motions.

6. 720p
720p is currently the most common number to describe screen resolution. ‘P’ means progressive-scan and ‘720’ is the number of horizontal lines on the display. Higher screen resolutions are 1080p, 2160p (4K), and 8K.

7. HD
HD stands for high definition, which is also another name for a video with 720p resolution. 1080p is full HD (FHD). 1440p is Quad HD (QHD). 2160p or 4K is Ultra HD (UHD).

8. Lite
A lite version is a ‘lighter’ version of an application. It typically takes smaller space of the phone memory, displays media with lower resolutions, and has limited features compared to the full version.

9. Beta version
A beta version generally refers to a version of a piece of software that is made available for testing, typically by a limited number of users outside the company that is developing it, before its general release.

10. International roaming
The term refers to a feature that allows us to use the service of the provider in a foreign country where the service is not available. It usually costs more than the regular service.

 

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 10 February 2020.


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