I heard this funny story from my neighbor.
Mr. Sukri was a villager without good education, but he was a workaholic man. One day he wanted to register his son to study in an Islamic school. It was a dormitory where the students study about moral, culture, and religious law.
Based on our culture, we must be so polite to behave and to speak in such place. As like in Spanish, there are tu and usted which mean you in English. Usted is more polite than tu. In our language there are more than two kind of words which have different level. To say you we have be'en/be'na, mpean, panjenengan, ajunan. Ajunan is the most polite one. When I speak to friend, I use be'en/be'na, but with new people or someone who are older than me I use mpean. However, it's suggested to use panjenengan because it's more polite. The teacher in Islamic school (Kyai) is a very honorable one, so we must use the most polite word, it is Ajunan.
Mr. Sukri did not know how to use those words properly. So he learned to his neighbor before went to the school. His neighbor taught him how to begin speaking to kyai like this, "It's easy. Kaule abdina, mator abele, ajunan otabe panjenengan." In English "Kaule and abdina mean I, mator and abele mean tell, ajunan and panjenenganmean you, otabe means or."
Mr. Sukri repeated it in a good sentence, "Abdina mator dek ka ajunan." in English "I tell you". Then he went to the Islamic school with his son and his friend. Unfortunately, he forgot the word order. He was so nervous. Kyai welcomed him very warm with a nice smile, but it did not reduce his nervous.
Mr. Sukri started to speak, "Kyai, kaule abdina ... mator abele dek ka ajunan panjenengan."
Kyai was smiling at him. While the others included Mr. Sukri's son laughed out louder. But, they suddenly stopped it because it was impolite. The mistake was Mr. Sukri used double words. Kaule and abdina have the same meaning, but different level. Matorand abele were also the same in meaning. Ajunan and panjenengan also have the same meaning. So, he didn’t need to use all those words.
That’s all the story.
*Mr. Sukri is not his real name