Based on Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, there are three kind of words which have similarity in spelling, pronouncing, or writing and the meaning is also different.
1. Homonym is a word that sounds the same or is spelled the same as another word but it has a different meaning.
e.g. : 'Bow' (= bend at the waist) and 'bow' (= weapon) are also homonyms.
2. Homophone is a word which is pronounced the same as another word but has a different meaning or a different spelling or both.
e.g. : The words 'so' and 'sew' are homophones.
3. Homograph is a word which is spelled the same as another word and might be pronounced the same or differently, but which has a different meaning.
e.g. : 'Bow' meaning the front of a ship, 'bow' meaning a loop made in a string or ribbon and 'bow' meaning a device used to shoot arrows are all homographs.
Some cases like that are also in bahasa Indonesia. There are a homonym, a homophone, and a homograph that is little confusing. We know the meaning based on the context. Of course if we utter 2 different sentences, a word called homonym or homophone or homograph in those sentences have a different meaning. Now, I am going to give you the explanation of homonym in bahasa Indonesia, whereas the homophone and homograph will be explained soon J .
In bahasa Indonesia, homonym is a word that has a same spelling, pronouncing, and writing. The difference is just only in the meaning.
1. bisa : racun (Noun : snake’s poison)
2. bisa : dapat (Verb : can)
Bisa ular itu bisa meracuni tubuh kita.
Which “bisa” is referring to “dapat” in that sentence? Is it the first “bisa” or the second one? Exactly, it is quite easy. Let’s translate the sentence into English.
The sanke’s poison can poison our body.
So, we have “snake’s poison” as the subject and “poison” as the verb. Take a look at bahasa Indonesia’s meaning. We can conclude that the first “bisa” is a noun and the second “bisa” is a verb. Now, we know what the real meaning of the first “ bisa” is. It is snake’s poison. And the second “bisa” has the other meaning. Yes, it is “dapat”.
1.manis : cantik (Adj : beautiful for things or people)
2.manis : tidak pahit (Adj ; sweet for taste)
Adikku yang manis sedang minum teh manis.
Okay, it is very easy, right? Both the words “manis” and “manis” are adjective. How do we distinguish them? We just look at the sentence and try to get the real meaning. Are you still bewildered? Fine, we can translate it first :
My beautiful sister is drinking a sweet tea.
The subject is “Adikku” (my sister). We know that “adik” is a person, so the first “ manis” has the same meaning as beautiful in English. For the second “manis”, the meaning is sweet because it explains the taste of the tea.
1. malam : lilin untuk membatik (Noun : wax)
2. malam : lawan kata siang hari (Noun : night)
Tetanggaku menjual malam di malam hari.
The first “malam” is something that is similar to wax. In Indonesia, we can use it in Batik process. The second “malam” is the opposite of “siang”. What is the meaning of “siang”? Yes, it is afternoon! So, “malam” is night in English. It refers to a dark period when the moon and the stars are available in the sky. Now, guess which “malam” has a same meaning with “lilin”. Is it the first or maybe the second one?
Here the English translation :
My neighbor sells a wax at the night.
I’m really sure you’ve got it! What is the answer? Yes, the first “malam” has the same meaning with “lilin” because it is an object sold by my neighbor. While the second “malam” refers to a dark period.
1.bulan : satelit bumi (Noun : moon)
2.bulan : periode 30 hari (Noun : month)
Bulan di bulan ini terlihat terang sekali.
Which “bulan” is the moon? Is it the first “bulan” in that sentence? How about the second “bulan”? What is the meaning? Do you still need a translation?Mmmmm….it’s okay. For the last, I’ll give you the translation. Here we go.
The moon in this month is very bright.
Tadaah…you can decide what the meaning of the first and the second “bulan” now. What is the subject? Yes, it is the moon! So, the first “bulan” in bahasa Indonesia sentence is similar to the moon in English. Then, the second “bulan” has the other meaning. That’s right! It is the month!
Well. there are so many words called homonym in bahasa Indonesia. Apparently, it’s time to do the exercise. Are you ready? Of course, you have to be ready.
a. Rapat : tidak renggang (Adj : crowded)
b. Rapat : pertemuan untuk membahas suatu hal (Noun : meeting)
Kerumunan orang yang akan menghadiri rapat sangat rapat sekali.
a. Halaman : pekarangan rumah/sekolah (Noun : yard)
b. Halaman : lembaran dari buku (Noun : page)
Aku melihat selembar halaman saat menyapu halaman.
a. Salak : buah salak (Noun : zalacca)
b. Salak : gonggongan anjing (Noun : the dog’s bark)
Salak anjing itu mengagetkan pamanku yang sedang memetik salak.
a. Beruang : binatang beruang (Noun : bear)
b. Beruang : memiliki banyak uang (Verb : have a lot of money)
Tuan itu orang beruang yang dapat membeli beruang.
a. Genting : atap rumah yang terbuat dari tanah liat yang dicetak dan dibakar (Noun : a rooftop made of clay)
b. Genting : situasi yang tegang (Adj : critical)
Para demonstran melempari polisi dengan genting dalam unjuk rasa yang genting.
Hmmm…are those exercise too difficult for you? The important point is the real meaning of the sentence. You can translate into English first, the you’ll get what exactly the sentence tells about. Okay, this is the end of our lesson. As I said at the beginning of this lesson, I am going to give the lesson about HOMOGRAPH and HOMOPHONE in the next day. I hope you are enjoying to learn bahasa Indonesia in my web. See ya J