English speakers that come to Italy may hear this sentence when they ask for information or talk to Italians. For mysterious reasons, this is the Italian code for "I haven't spoken English since junior high school".
I have phrases like this for several languages. One is (forgive my awful spelling) Ta ean ear an gloch. Another is Deux etudients vent en France. Il sont avec en gruppe. Or, the conversation-spawning Ja, wij heb' geen bananen, wij heb' geen bananen vandaag!
I remember a bit more German so it would have to be something dull like "Ja, aber nur ein bisschen."
On the other hand, I remember about three words of Russian, and only how to pronounce them, as I never did get the alphabet into my head. One of them is "professor." The others, I believe, are "Da" and "Nyet." Oh, I guess there's "Pravda."
I think an Indonesian equivalent would be "I am good morning", which I have certainly heard several times. It's a joke about the English gerund, which Indonesians find terribly difficult as their language has no continuous aspect, and at the same time echoes the kind of phrase upon which beginners typically cut their teeth.
When I was first learning Spanish, my Mom asked me to speak it to a fluent neighbor, and the only thing I could think of was "levanta los manos", which he (jokingly) took to mean I was attempting to rob him.
Presumably Saya sedang makan when they answer the phone in an annoyed voice. It is unusual that what's conventionally called the 'present tense' in English usually isn't, whereas the 'be . . . ing' construction is more central and unmarked than en train de or (I presume) sedang.
I wonder if this is in any way related to "la plume de ma tante est sur le bureau de mon oncle," a sentence used in many French lesson dialogs for English speakers--perhaps conveying that "all I remember about English is what I learned in junior high"?
It's surprising how rarely you get to work phrases like "moi, j'aime mieux les frites" or "il faut que j'aille cherchez un livre" into conversations.
Yeah, sedang is very marked, which is roughly my point. I used to do a lot of court interpreting and sedang was one of those words that crept in to lawyers' questions, usually probing for very specific information. It was quite awkward.