Lingua cultural features of personal pronouns in Indonesian and Uzbek languages

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Автор(ы): Sarieva Zamira
Рубрика: Филологические науки
Журнал: « Евразийский Научный Журнал №12 2020»  (декабрь, 2020)
Количество просмотров статьи: 56
Показать PDF версию Lingua cultural features of personal pronouns in Indonesian and Uzbek languages

Sarieva Zamira
Termiz State University

Annotation. A pronoun is an independent part of speech that indicates objects, signs, but does not name them. Personal pronouns are used to denote people and objects. Personal pronouns play a great role in communication. Usually we use personal pronouns when we do not name the person or the object directly. For example: we say ’he’ instead of Anvar or Ali. ’she’ instead of Anora, Zilola etc.

Key words: personal pronouns, cultural aspect, age and social status, formal speech, informal speech.

Аннотация. Местоимение — это самостоятельная часть речи, обозначающая предметы, знаки, но не называющая их. Личные местоимения используются для обозначения людей и предметов. Личные местоимения играют большую роль в общении. Обычно мы используем личные местоимения, когда не называем человека или объект напрямую. Например: мы говорим “он” вместо Анвара или Али. “она” вместо Анора, Зилола и т. д.

Ключевые слова: личные местоимения, культурный аспект, возраст и социальный статус, формальная речь, неформальная речь.

This article will reveal specific features of personal pronouns in Indonesian and Uzbek languages. One of the main points that should be taken into consideration is the cultural aspect.

In Indonesian culture the aspect of formal and informal have a big impact on the language.

It is obvious from the usage of personal pronouns. It is very important take into consideration the culture aspect when you talk to another person. For most of personal pronouns there are two forms they are formal and informal. Besides, while talking to another person you should take into consideration this person’s age and social status. Thus, apart from formal and informal situation while addressing to others the speaker should consider these main points before choosing which form of personal pronoun to use:

Age and social status

It is very important to be polite while speaking to others. So misusing personal pronouns can be considered as ’ rudeness ’ and cause misunderstanding.

First person singular ’I’

In Indonesian language there are two main types of personal pronoun : formal and informal.

“Saya” — ’I’ formal

“Aku” or “ku” — ’I’ informal

For example: Saya tingal di kota Termiz

/live in Termiz / ( Saya — I (Formal))

Aku tingal di kota Termiz

 / I live in Termiz / (Aku — I ( Informal))

Ku tingal di kota Termiz

/I live in Termiz / (Ku — I ( Informal))

Saya belajar bahasa-bahasa asing di universitas

/ I study foreign languages at university/

Kamu ( kau) — you ( informal) Anda — you ( formal)

So, depending on situation speaker can use personal pronouns referring to first person singular.

In formal situations like: talking to the public or to the elders denote ’I’ “saya” can be used, in informal situations “aku” “ku” can be used.

Note: The pronoun “gue” ( “I” informal) is used in Jakarta.[2]

In Uzbek language the pronoun “men” refers to first person singular “I” and used both in formal and informal speech.

For example: Men hozir ishlayapman.

/ I am working now/

The sentence that is mentioned above can be used in both formal and informal context.

Note: The pronoun “man” ( “I” informal can be used in some cities).

In some contexts when the speaker wants to denote modesty he or she can use his/her name in Indonesian language. For example I had a friend who usually said her name instead using ’I’. This is considered humble way of the speaker talking about herself/himself. For example:

Ifah mau pergi ke pasar.

Ifah wants to go to the market

Instead of : Saya (aku,ku) mau pergi ke pasar.

I want to go to the market.

There is similar equivalent in Uzbek language the speaker may replace “men” with the noun “kamina” in the same situation.

The impact of cultural aspect on Indonesian and Uzbek languages can be analyzed on the example of personal pronoun in second person singular (you). Both in Indonesian and Uzbek languages it is important to consider features as: age and social status. [2]

Both In Uzbek and Indonesian language there are two types of “you”.

In Uzbek language the pronoun “siz” (“you” formal) is used towards elder people, the pronoun “sen” is more informal. In Indonesian language towards elder people the pronoun “anda” ( “you” formal) is used, while the pronoun “kamu” (you) is informal.

Indonesian language:

Anda akan bermain dengan mereka ( formal)

/You will play with them /

Kamu di mana? ( Informal)

Where are you?

Note: in Indonesian language while referring to people who is elder than the speaker the nouns “Bapak” ( for male) and “Ibu” ( for female) are usually used. In most cases it is considered impolite to use personal pronoun “Anda” for elder people.

For example: Saya sudah mengirimkan laporan ke bapak

/I have sent a report to you/

Another form of ’you’ is pronoun “engkau”:

-Engkau dapat mengerim telegram dari sini.

/You can send telegram from here/

Uzbek language:

Sen qayerda yashaysan?

/where do you live?/ (informal)

Siz qayerda yashaysiz?

/where do you live?/ (formal)

Personal pronouns: ’he’, ’she’, ’it’:

In Uzbek language unlike English the aspect of gender does not make influence on personal pronoun, so pronoun of third person singular has got only one form: “u”. In Indonesian language ’he’, ’she’, ’it’ is translated as “dia” or "Ia“.[2] For example:

1.Dia sedang mencari Tom.

/He (she) is looking for Tom now/

2. Dia ingin membeli mobil tahun depan.

/He (she)wants to buy a car next year/

Personal pronouns plural form

Indonesian language:

First person plural:

Kita akan segera berangkat ke Bali.

/We will leave for Bali soon./

Second person plural: Kalian semua adalah keluargaku

/All of you are my family members./

Third person plural: Mereka pulang malam ini.

/They went home tonight./

Uzbek language:

First person plural: Biz uy vazifa qilamiz.

/We will do our homework./

Second person plural: Sizlar o’sha bozorga borasizlar.

/You will go to that market./

Third person plural: Ular ertaga uyga boradilar.

/They will go home tomorrow./

While considering the lingua cultural feature of personal pronouns in Indonesian language there are three main points to consider: (1) age, (2) social status, and (3)


The influence of age aspect on the usage of personal pronouns in Indonesian language is very important. Unlike English and Uzbek language where first person singular has one form in each language, that is “I” in English language and “Men” in Uzbek language ( not considering “man” that is used in some regions like Indonesian “gue” used in Jakarta ) in Indonesian there at least two forms of personal pronouns “saya” and “aku” or “ku”. Cultural background should be considered while using them.

For example:

— Ibu Siti, saya ingin beli buku ini .

Mrs Siti want to buy this book .

Personal pronoun ’kamu’ ( Indonesian language) is neutral and has translation form ’you’. ( in English).In terms of formality, ’kamu’ as informal form and used for greet younger people and who is the same age. The same as Uzbek pronoun “sen”. As, “sen” also used while talking to a person who is the same age or younger than the speaker and can not be used while talking to elders.

Personal pronoun ’Anda’ (Indonesian language) (polite form),always written with an initial capital letter and used for the same age / equivalent and older.

Note: In some contexts this pronoun also can be used while addressing to a person who is younger than the speaker. This form of communication is considered more polite and official. For example: teacher talking to the student.

While communicating in target language the speaker’s aim is to transfer ideas to the target audience, in this process just grammar, vocabulary and phonetic knowledge is not enough. The speaker should be aware of the cultural background of the audience in order avoid cultural misunderstanding, leading to miscommunication.

When speaker talks to the person who is elder or has higher social status. It is more appropriate use ’bapak’ or just ’pak’ for male and ’ibu’ for female.

’Bapak’ and ’Ibu’

In Indonesian culture the speaker uses ’Bapak’ and ’Ibu’ in conversation between:

Students their teachers

Shop assistant and customers

Employees their superiors

Usually when the speaker talks to elders or to those whose social status is higher ’bapak’ or ’Ibu’ is used instead of ’anda’ as it was mentioned above, this may cause some misunderstanding, as “bapak” or “pak” is translated as mister.

Selamat siang Bapak Asko ( or ’bapak’) . Saya ingin bertanya tentang kelas, boley saya bertemu sama bapak?

Good afternoon Mr. Asko. I want to ask about class, can I meet with you?

Literal translation:

Good afternoon Mr. Asko. I want to ask about class, may I meet Mister?

In first sentence the word " bapak" ( or pak) is translated as mister and in the second one it is translated as you. The reason is lingua cultural feature, that is talking to elder person you can not use the same word as when you talk to your friend. Although, if the speaker does not know the person he/she talking to the speaker can use “Anda”, but in most cases “bapak” or “pak” is used.

Also “bapak” or “pak” is translated as ’Mister’ in the second sentence we translated it as ’you’ because if the student says:

Good afternoon Mr. Asko. I want to ask about class, can I meet with you?

It is also possible for elders use ’bapak’ or ’ibu’ while speaking about themselves instead of ’saya’ - “I”. For example:

Ibu sudah punya mobil putih. Ibu mau beli mobil merah.

already have a white car. I want to buy a read one.

Bapak punya bobil biru.

I have a blue car.


The cultural aspect is very important while using personal pronouns in Indonesian and Uzbek languages. The speaker should consider the context and the person who he/she is talking to. In order to avoid miscommunication the speaker must respect person’s age and social status. The different forms of personal pronouns denotes relationship between speakers. In conversation being polite is as important as the structure and vocabulary that the speakers use to share their ideas and communicate with each other. Showing respect toward the person that you are talking to is part of the culture that impact the language too.


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  2. Sarieva Zamira. Comparison of personal pronouns in Indonesian and Uzbek languages. Academia Open 2019-12-03
  3. Suzanne Romaine. Language in Society: An Introduction to Sociolinguistics Oxford University Press.2000. pages: 60- 67
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