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Thread: Would an Indonesian use "kami" or "kita" in this situation?

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    Moderator Puspawarna's Avatar
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    Default Would an Indonesian use "kami" or "kita" in this situation?

    I've never had much problem keeping my kami and kita straight, but the other day I was amused to find myself in a situation where I really wasn't sure which was correct. Here is the context: My driver and I were on our way to pick up my husband from his office. I always phone my husband as we are getting closer, so that he can come down from the 20th floor and meet us out front.

    So, I SMS'd him "we're almost here", but my driver didn't know that. As we pulled into the driveway of the building, he asked (in Indonesian) - "Did you tell Pak Puspa that we are arriving?"

    To which I answered - "Yes, a few minutes ago I told him we had almost arrived." In Indonesian, I said something like "Ya, saya tadi kasitahu bahwa kita sudah hampir tiba."

    But which is better, "kita" or "kami"?

    On the one hand you could treat this as: Yes, I just told him that we/kita [kita=me and the person I am talking with, who is arriving along with me] have almost arrived.

    On the other hand, you could treat this as:Yes, I just told him "we/kami [kami=driver and Puspa but doesn't include the person I told this fact to, my husband] have almost arrived."

    So what would an Indonesian say? (Probably something like "udah, Pak", thus avoiding the whole question.)
    Free Ferdi and Neil! And let the truth be known.

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    Kita.

    Ya, aku bilang, "kami udah deket"
    Ya, aku bilang kita udah deket.
    Last edited by Hombre de Maiz; 24-02-13 at 11:15.

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    Kami is correct, but kita is more commonly used.

    reminds me of a joke, "Kita, loe aja kali Gue nggak..."

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    or you could do what I do when stuck between the kami/kita and a hard place and stick with "saya"...
    Nakal but nice
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    Member bow chicka wow wow's Avatar
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    Definitely 'kita'. My understanding of 'kita' is that it's inclusive and 'kami' is exclusive.

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    Moderator Puspawarna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bow chicka wow wow View Post
    Definitely 'kita'. My understanding of 'kita' is that it's inclusive and 'kami' is exclusive.
    Oh, I understand the difference between kami and kita. But the issue is: If I said to my husband, "we've almost arrived" it would be "kami" for sure. And now I am telling my driver exactly what I said to my husband - I'm just quoting myself. So if I said "kami" to my husband", and I'm telling my driver what I said to my husband, shouldn't it still be "kami"?

    Portuguese actually has a special tense for when you are quoting someone, even if the quote is indirect. I always thought that was odd but now I am beginning to see how there could be a distinction between what you say when you are quoting someone and when you aren't!
    Free Ferdi and Neil! And let the truth be known.

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    Moderator ponyexpress's Avatar
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    I am pink therefore I am ham

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    It gets complicated when you consider that 'kami' is strictly formal while 'kita' can be both formal and informal. Informally (in Jakarta at least) 'kita' is used in the place of 'kami', which leads to the common smart aleck comment like 'kita? elu kali, gue mah enggak'.

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    it should be kita when you talk to the driver - kita = you and I, the person we talk to is inclusive.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Puspawarna View Post
    Oh, I understand the difference between kami and kita. But the issue is: If I said to my husband, "we've almost arrived" it would be "kami" for sure. And now I am telling my driver exactly what I said to my husband - I'm just quoting myself. So if I said "kami" to my husband", and I'm telling my driver what I said to my husband, shouldn't it still be "kami"?

    Portuguese actually has a special tense for when you are quoting someone, even if the quote is indirect. I always thought that was odd but now I am beginning to see how there could be a distinction between what you say when you are quoting someone and when you aren't!

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    Member misano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hendry_ohe View Post
    it should be kita when you talk to the driver - kita = you and I, the person we talk to is inclusive.....
    I agreed. just take it simply - Kita is the proper considering the situation of OP
    How people treat you is their KARMA, how you react is YOURS - Wayne Dryer.

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