1.1 Early kingdoms era
2 Classification and related languages 3 Geographical distribution 4 Official status 5 Phonology
5.2 Consonants 5.3 Stress 5.4 Rhythm
6.1.1 Noun affixes 6.1.2 Verb affixes 6.1.3 Adjective affixes
6.2.1 Gender 6.2.2 Number
6.4.1 Negation 6.4.2 Prohibition
6.5 Adjectives 6.6 Word order
6.7 Measure words
7 Writing system
7.1 Letter names and pronunciations
Loan words of
9 Literature 10 As speakers of other languages 11 Words
11.1.1 Cardinal 11.1.2 Ordinal
11.2 Days and months
11.2.1 Days 11.2.2 Months
11.3 Common phrases 11.4 Example
12 See also 13 References 14 External links
14.1 English-Indonesian translation services 14.2 English-Indonesian dictionaries
Early kingdoms era
Rencong alphabet, native writing systems found in central and South
Dutch colonial era
Dutch East India Company
Birth of the Indonesian language
Volksraad session held in July 1938 in Jakarta, where Indonesian was
formally used for the first time by Jahja Datoek Kajo.
The nationalist movement that ultimately brought Indonesian to its
national language status rejected Dutch from the outset. However, the
rapid disappearance of Dutch was a very unusual case compared with
other colonized countries, where the colonial language generally has
continued to function as the language of politics, bureaucracy,
education, technology, and other important areas for a significant
time after independence. Soenjono Dardjowidjojo even goes
so far as to say that "Indonesian is perhaps the only language that
has achieved the status of a national language in its true sense"
since it truly dominates in all spheres of Indonesian society. The
ease with which
Adoption as national language
The Pledge was the result of second
Modern and colloquial Indonesian
Further information: Indonesian slang
Road-signs in an airport terminal
Toll gate in Indonesia
Classification and related languages
Numbers in Austronesian languages
PAN, c. 4000 BCE
tekau (archaic: ngahuru)
However, Indonesian as it is known today was heavily influenced by
several languages due to historical ties with other nations. Dutch
made the highest contribution to the language, especially in
vocabulary due to the Dutch's colonization for over three centuries,
from the 16th century until the mid-20th
century. Asian languages also influenced the
language, with Chinese influencing Indonesian during the 15th and 16th
centuries due to the spice trade; Sanskrit, Tamil, Prakrit
and Hindi contributing during the flourishing of Hindu and Buddhist
kingdoms from the 2nd to the 14th century; followed by Arabic after
the spread of
In 2010, Indonesian had 42.8 million native speakers, and
154.9 million second-language speakers, who speak it
alongside their local mother tongue, giving a total number of speakers
Indonesian is also the language of Indonesian mass media, such as
magazines. Printed and broadcast mass media are encouraged to use
proper Indonesian, although more relaxed popular slang often prevails.
Warning sign in Indonesia
Indonesian is the official language of Indonesia, thus its usage is
encouraged throughout the Indonesian archipelago. It is regulated in
Chapter XV, 1945 Constitution of
.mw-parser-output .templatequote overflow:hidden;margin:1em 0;padding:0 40px .mw-parser-output .templatequote .templatequotecite line-height:1.5em;text-align:left;padding-left:1.6em;margin-top:0 The national language shall be Indonesian.— Article 36, Chapter XV, Constitution of Indonesia
Indonesian functions as a symbol of national identity and pride, and
is a unifying language among the diverse Indonesian ethnic groups. It
also serves as a vehicle of communication among the Indonesian
provinces and different regional cultures in Indonesia.
The language is used as the national official language, the language
of education, communication, transaction and trade documentation, the
development of national culture, science, technology, and mass media
According to Indonesian law, the
Phonology Main article: Malay phonology Vowels It is usually said that there are six vowels in Indonesian. These six vowels are shown in the table below. However, other analyses set up a system with other vowels, particularly the open-mid vowels /ɛ/ and /ɔ/.
Table of vowel phonemes of Indonesian
In standard Indonesian orthography, the
Diphthongs Some analyses claim that Indonesian has three native diphthong phonemes only in open syllables, they are:
/ai̯/: kedai ('shop'), pandai ('clever') /au̯/: kerbau ('buffalo'), limau ('lemon') /oi̯/ (or /ʊi̯/ in Indonesian): dodoi, amboi Others assume that these diphthongs are actually a monophthong followed by an approximant, so ⟨ai⟩ represents /aj/, ⟨au⟩ represents /aw/, and ⟨oi⟩ represents /oj/. On this basis, there are no phonological diphthongs in Indonesian. Diphthongs are differentiated from two vowels in two syllables, such as:
/a.i/: e.g. lain ('other') [la.in], air ('water') [a.ir] /a.u/: bau ('smell') [ba.u], laut ('sea') [la.ut] Consonants
Indonesian consonant phonemes
The consonants of Indonesian are shown below.
Non-native consonants that only occur in borrowed words, principally
from Arabic and English, are shown in parentheses. Some analyses list
19 "primary consonants" for Indonesian as the 18 symbols that are not
in parentheses in the table as well as the glottal stop [ʔ]. The
secondary consonants /f/, /v/, /z/, /ʃ/ and /x/ only appear in
loanwords. Some speakers pronounce /v/ in loanwords as [v], otherwise
it is [f]. Likewise /x/ may be replaced with [h] or [k] by some
speakers. /ʃ/ is sometimes replaced with /s/ and was traditionally
used as a substitute for /ʃ/ in older borrowings from
/ɲ/ is written ⟨ny⟩ before a vowel, ⟨n⟩ before ⟨c⟩ and ⟨j⟩. /ŋ/ is written ⟨ng⟩. The glottal stop [ʔ] is written as a final ⟨k⟩, an apostrophe ⟨'⟩ (the use ⟨k⟩ from its being an allophone of /k/ or /ɡ/ in the syllable coda), or it can be unwritten. /tʃ/ is written ⟨c⟩. /dʒ/ is written ⟨j⟩. /ʃ/ is written ⟨sy⟩. /x/ is written ⟨kh⟩. /j/ is written ⟨y⟩. Stress Indonesian has light stress that falls on either the final or penultimate syllable, depending on regional variations as well as the presence of the schwa (/ə/) in a word. It is generally the penultimate syllable that is stressed, unless its vowel is a schwa /ə/. If the penult has a schwa, then stress moves to the ante-penultimate syllable if there is one, even if that syllable has a schwa as well; if the word is disyllabic, the stress is final. In disyllabic stress with a closed penultimate syllable, such as tinggal ('stay') and rantai ('chain'), stress falls on the penult. However, there is some disagreement among linguists over whether stress is phonemic (unpredictable), with some analyses suggesting that there is no underlying stress in Indonesian.
Rhythm The classification of languages based on rhythm can be problematic. Nevertheless, acoustic measurements suggest that Indonesian has more syllable-based rhythm than British English, even though doubts remain about whether the syllable is the appropriate unit for the study of Malay prosody. However, many linguists suggest that rhythm in Indonesian is not payed[clarification needed], because Indonesian is not a kind of tonal language like Chinese, Thai, or Vietnamese.
Grammar Word order in Indonesian is generally subject-verb-object (SVO), similar to that of most modern European languages, such as English. However considerable flexibility in word ordering exists, in contrast with languages such as Japanese or Korean, for instance, which always end clauses with verbs. Indonesian, while allowing for relatively flexible word orderings, does not mark for grammatical case, nor does it make use of grammatical gender.
Affixes In Indonesian, affixes take on an important role because slightly different affixes may have very different meanings. There are four types of affixes: prefixes (awalan), suffixes (akhiran), circumfixes (apitan) and infixes (sisipan). Affixes are categorized into noun, verb, and adjective affixes. Root words are either nouns or verbs, which can take on affixes to generate new words, for example, masak (to cook) may become memasak (cooks), memasakkan (cooks for), dimasak (is cooked), pemasak (a cook), masakan (a meal, cookery), ‘’termasak’’ (accidentally cooked). Many initial consonants alternate in the presence of prefixes: sapu (to sweep) becomes menyapu (sweeps/sweeping); panggil (to call) becomes memanggil (calls/calling), tapis (to sieve) becomes menapis (sieves). Other examples of the use of affixes to change the meaning of a word can be seen with the word ajar (teach):
ajar = teach ajaran = teachings belajar = to learn mengajar = to teach (intransitive) mengajarkan = to teach (transitive) diajar = to be taught (intransitive) diajarkan = to be taught (transitive) mempelajari = to study dipelajari = to be studied pelajar = student pengajar = teacher pelajaran = subject, education pengajaran = lesson pembelajaran = learning terajar = taught (accidentally) terpelajar = well-educated, literally "been taught" berpelajaran = is educated, literally "has education" Noun affixes Noun affixes are affixes that form nouns upon addition to root words. The following are examples of noun affixes:
Type of noun affixes
Example of root word
Example of derived word
pə(r)- ~ pəng-
telunjuk (index finger, command)
kemelut (chaos, crisis)
gerigi (toothed blade)
bangun (wake up, raise)
The prefix per- drops its r before r, l and frequently before p, t, k. In some words it is peng-; though formally distinct, these are treated as variants of the same prefix in Indonesian grammar books.
Verb affixes Similarly, verb affixes in Indonesian are attached to root words to form verbs. In Indonesian, there are:
Type of verb affixes
Example of root word
Example of derived word
belajar (to study)
menolong (to help)
diambil (be taken)
memperpanjang (to lengthen)
diperdalam (be deepened)
termakan (to have accidentally eaten)
letak (place, keep)
letakkan (keep, put)
berpasangan (in pairs)
berdasarkan (based on)
memastikan (to make sure)
menemani (to accompany)
mempergunakan (to utilise, to exploit)
mempelajari (to study)
kehilangan (to lose)
disakiti (to be hurt by)
dibenarkan (is allowed to)
kenal (know, recognise)
diperkenalkan (is being introduced)
Adjective affixes Adjective affixes are attached to root words to form adjectives:
Type of adjective affixes
Example of root word
Example of derived word
cerlang (radiant bright)
cemerlang (bright, excellent)
In addition to these affixes, Indonesian also has a lot of borrowed affixes from other languages such as Sanskrit, Arabic and English. For example, maha-, pasca-, eka-, bi-, anti-, pro- etc.
Nouns Common derivational affixes for nouns are peng-/per-/juru- (actor, instrument, or someone characterized by the root), -an (collectivity, similarity, object, place, instrument), ke-...-an (abstractions and qualities, collectivities), per-/peng-...-an (abstraction, place, goal or result).
Indonesian does not make use of grammatical gender, and there are only
selected words that use natural gender. For instance, the same word is
used for he/him and she/her (dia or ia) or for his and her (dia, ia or
-nya). No real distinction is made between "girlfriend" and
"boyfriend", both pacar (although more colloquial terms as cewek
girl/girlfriend and cowok boy/boyfriend can also be found). A majority
of Indonesian words that refer to people generally have a form that
does not distinguish between the sexes. However, unlike English,
distinction is made between older or younger.
There are some words that have gender, for instance putri means
"daughter", and putra means "son" and also pramugara means "male
flight attendant" and pramugari meaning "female flight attendant".
Another example would be olahragawan, which equates to "sportsman",
and olahragawati, meaning sportswoman. Often, words like these (or
certain suffixes such as "-a" and "-i" or "-wan" and "wati") are
absorbed from other languages (in these cases, from
Number Indonesian grammar does not regularly mark plurals. In Indonesian, to change a singular into a plural one either repeats the word or adds para before it (the latter for living things only); for example, "students" can be either murid-murid or para murid. Plurals are rarely used in Indonesian, especially in informal parlance. Reduplication is often mentioned as the formal way to express the plural form of nouns in Indonesian; however, in informal daily discourse, speakers of Indonesian usually use other methods to indicate the concept of something being "more than one". Reduplication may also indicate the conditions of variety and diversity as well, and not simply plurality. Reduplication is commonly used to emphasize plurality; however, reduplication has many other functions. For example, orang-orang means "(all the) people", but orang-orangan means "scarecrow". Similarly, while hati means "heart" or "liver", hati-hati is a verb meaning "to be careful". Also, not all reduplicated words are inherently plural, such as orang-orangan "scarecrow/scarecrows", biri-biri "a/some sheep" and kupu-kupu "butterfly/butterflies". Some reduplication is rhyming rather than exact, as in sayur-mayur "(all sorts of) vegetables". Distributive affixes derive mass nouns that are effectively plural: pohon "tree", pepohonan "flora, trees"; rumah "house", perumahan "housing, houses"; gunung "mountain", pegunungan "mountain range, mountains". Quantity words come before the noun: seribu orang "a thousand people", beberapa pegunungan "a series of mountain ranges", beberapa kupu-kupu "some butterflies". Plural in Indonesian serves just to explicitly mention the number of objects in sentence. For example, Ani membeli satu kilo mangga (Ani buys one kilogram of mangoes). In this case, "mangoes", which is plural, is not said as mangga-mangga because the plurality is implicit: the amount a kilogram means more than one mango. So, as it is logically, one does not change the singular into the plural form, because it is not necessary and considered a pleonasm (in Indonesian often called pemborosan kata).
Pronouns Personal pronouns are not a separate part of speech, but a subset of nouns. They are frequently omitted, and there are numerous ways to say "you". Commonly the person's name, title, title with name, or occupation is used ("does Johnny want to go?", "would Madam like to go?"); kin terms, including fictive kinship, are extremely common. However, there are also dedicated personal pronouns, as well as the demonstrative pronouns ini "this, the" and itu "that, the".
Personal pronouns From the perspective of a European language, Indonesian boasts a wide range of different pronouns, especially to refer to the addressee (the so-called second person pronouns). These are used to differentiate several parameters of the person they are referred to, such as the social rank and the relationship between the addressee and the speaker. This table shows an overview over the most commonly and widely used pronouns of the Indonesian language:
kami(we: they and me, she/he and me)
kita(we: you and me, you and us)
Anda sekalian(you, you all)
dia or ia(she/he)
First person pronouns Notable among the personal-pronoun system is a distinction between two forms of "we": kita (you and me, you and us) and kami (us, but not you). The distinction is increasingly confused in colloquial Indonesian. Saya and aku are the two major forms of "I". Saya is the more formal form, whereas aku is used with family, friends, and between lovers. Sahaya is an old or literary form of saya. Sa(ha)ya may also be used for "we", but in such cases it is usually used with sekalian or semua "all"; this form is ambiguous as to whether it corresponds with inclusive kami or exclusive kita. Less common are hamba "slave", hamba tuan, hamba datuk (all extremely humble), beta (a royal addressing oneselves), patik (a commoner addressing a royal), kami (royal or editorial "we"), kita, təman, and kawan.
Second person pronouns There are three common forms of "you", Anda (polite), kamu (familiar), and kalian "all" (commonly used as a plural form of you, slightly informal). Anda is used with strangers, recent acquaintances, in advertisements, in business, and when you wish to show respect (though terms like tuan "sir" and other titles also show respect), while kamu is used in situations where the speaker would use aku for "I". Anda sekalian is polite plural. Engkau (əngkau), commonly shortened to kau, and hang are used to social inferiors, awak to equals, and əncik (cek before a name) is polite, traditionally used for people without title. The compounds makcik and pakcik are used with village elders one is well acquainted with or the guest of.
Third person pronouns The common word for "s/he" and "they" is ia, which has the object and emphatic/focused form dia. Bəliau "his/her Honour" is respectful. As with "you", names and kin terms are extremely common. Mereka "someone", mereka itu, or orang itu "those people" are used for "they".
There are a large number of other words for "I" and "you", many
regional, dialectical, or borrowed from local languages. Saudara "you"
(male) and saudari (female) (plural saudara-saudara or
saudari-saudari) show utmost respect. Daku "I" and dikau "you" are
poetic or romantic. Indonesian gua "I" (from
Possessive pronouns Aku, kamu, engkau, and ia have short possessive enclitic forms. All others retain their full forms like other nouns, as does emphatic dia: meja saya, meja kita, meja anda, meja dia "my table, our table, your table, his/her table".
Possessed forms of meja "table"
mejaku (my table)
mejamu (your table)
mejanya (his, her, their table)
There are also proclitic forms of aku, ku- and kau-. These are used when there is no emphasis on the pronoun:
Ku-dengar raja itu menderita penyakit kulit. Aku mengetahui ilmu kedokteran. Aku-lah yang akan mengobati dia. "It has come to my attention that the King has a skin disease. I am skilled in medicine. I will cure him." Here ku-verb is used for a general report, aku verb is used for a factual statement, and emphatic aku-lah meng-verb (≈ "I am the one who...") for focus on the pronoun.
Demonstrative pronouns There are two demonstrative pronouns in Indonesian. Ini "this, these" is used for a noun which is generally near to the speaker. Itu "that, those" is used for a noun which is generally far from the speaker. Either may sometimes be equivalent to English "the". There is no difference between singular and plural. However, plural can be indicated through duplication of a noun followed by a ini or itu. The word yang "which" is often placed before demonstrative pronouns to give emphasis and a sense of certainty, particularly when making references or enquiries about something/ someone, like English "this one" or "that one".
This book, these books, the book(s)
These books, (all) the books
That cat, those cats, the cat(s)
Those cats, the (various) cats
Pronoun + yang
Q: Anda mau membeli buku yang mana? A: Saya mau yang ini.
Q: Which book do you wish to purchase? A: I would like this one.
Q: Kucing mana yang memakan tikusmu? A: Yang itu!
Q: Which cat ate your mouse? A: That one!
Verbs Verbs are not inflected for person or number, and they are not marked for tense; tense is instead denoted by time adverbs (such as "yesterday") or by other tense indicators, such as sudah "already" and belum "not yet". On the other hand, there is a complex system of verb affixes to render nuances of meaning and to denote voice or intentional and accidental moods. Some of these affixes are ignored in colloquial speech. Examples of these are the prefixes di- (patient focus, traditionally called "passive voice", with OVA word order in the third person, and OAV in the first or second persons), meng- (agent focus, traditionally called
"active voice", with AVO word order), memper- and diper- (causative, agent and patient focus), ber- (stative or habitual; intransitive VS order), and ter- (agentless actions, such as those which are involuntary, sudden, stative or accidental, for VA = VO order); the suffixes -kan (causative or benefactive) and -i (locative, repetitive, or exhaustive); and the circumfixes ber-...-an (plural subject, diffuse action) and ke-...-an (unintentional or potential action or state).
duduk to sit down mendudukkan to sit someone down, give someone a seat, to appoint menduduki to sit on, to occupy didudukkan to be given a seat, to be appointed diduduki to be sat on, to be occupied terduduk to sink down, to come to sit kedudukan to be situated Forms in ter- and ke-...-an are often equivalent to adjectives in English.
Negation Four words are used for negation in Indonesian, namely tidak, bukan, jangan, and belum.
Tidak (not), often shortened to tak, is used for the negation of verbs and "adjectives". Bukan (be-not) is used in the negation of a noun. For example:
Saya tidak tahu (Saya tak tahu)
I not know
I do not know
Ibu saya tidak senang (Ibu saya tak senang)
mother I not be-happy
My mother is not happy
Itu bukan anjing saya
that be-not dog I
That is not my dog
Prohibition For negating imperatives or advising against certain actions in Indonesian, the word jangan (do not) is used before the verb. For example,
Jangan tinggalkan saya di sini! Don't leave me here! Jangan lakukan itu! Don't do that! Jangan! Itu tidak bagus untukmu. Don't! That's not good for you. Adjectives There are grammatical adjectives in Indonesian. Stative verbs are often used for this purpose as well. Adjectives are always placed after the noun that they modify. Hence, "rumah saya" means "my house", while "saya rumah" means "I am a house".
(The) green forest.
Hutan itu hijau
forest that green
That/the forest is green.
Kəreta yang merah
carriage which (is) red.
(The) carriage which is red = the red carriage.
Dia orang yang terkenal sekali
he/she person which be-famous very
He/she is a very famous person
Orang ini terkenal sekali
person this be-famous very
This person is very famous
To say that something "is" an adjective, the determiners "itu" and "ini" ("that" and "this") are often used. For example, in the sentence "anjing itu galak", the use of "itu" gives a meaning of "the/that dog is ferocious", while "anjing ini galak", gives a meaning of "this dog is ferocious". However, if "itu" or "ini" were not to be used, then "anjing galak" would meaning only "ferocious dog", a plain adjective without any stative implications. The all-purpose determiner, "yang", is also often used before adjectives, hence "anjing yang galak" also means "ferocious dog" or more literally "dog which is ferocious"; "yang" will often be used for clarity. Hence, in a sentence such as "saya didekati oleh anjing galak" which means "I was approached by a ferocious dog", the use of the adjective "galak" is not stative at all. Often the "ber-" intransitive verb prefix, or the "ter-" stative prefix is used to express the meaning of "to be...". For example, "beda" means "different", hence "berbeda" means "to be different"; "awan" means "cloud", hence "berawan" means "cloudy". Using the "ter-" prefix, implies a state of being. For example, "buka" means "open", hence "terbuka" means "is opened"; "tutup" means "closed/shut", hence "tertutup" means "is closed/shut".
Word order Adjectives, demonstrative determiners, and possessive determiners follow the noun they modify. Indonesian does not have a grammatical subject in the sense that English does. In intransitive clauses, the noun comes before the verb. When there is both an agent and an object, these are separated by the verb (OVA or AVO), with the difference encoded in the voice of the verb. OVA, commonly but inaccurately called "passive", is the basic and most common word order. Either the agent or object or both may be omitted. This is commonly done to accomplish one of two things:
1) Adding a sense of politeness and respect to a statement or question For example, a polite shop assistant in a store may avoid the use of pronouns altogether and ask:
Ellipses of pronoun (agent & object)
Can + to be helped?
Can (I) help (you)?
2) Agent or object is unknown, not important, or understood from context For example, a friend may enquire as to when you bought your property, to which you may respond:
Ellipses of pronoun (understood agent)
Rumah ini dibeli lima tahun yang lalu
House this + be purchased five-year(s) ago
The house 'was purchased' five years ago
Ultimately, the choice of voice and therefore word order is a choice between actor and patient and depends quite heavily on the language style and context.
Emphasis Word order is frequently modified for focus or emphasis, with the focused word usually placed at the beginning of the clause and followed by a slight pause (a break in intonation):
Saya pergi ke pasar kemarin "I went to the market yesterday" – neutral, or with focus on the subject. Kemarin saya pergi ke pasar "Yesterday I went to the market" – emphasis on yesterday. Ke pasar saya pergi, kemarin "To the market I went yesterday" – emphasis on where I went yesterday. Pergi ke pasar, saya, kemarin "To the market went I yesterday" – emphasis on the process of going to the market. The last two are more likely to be encountered in speech than in writing.
Measure words Another distinguishing feature of Indonesian is its use of measure words, also called classifiers (kata penggolong). In this way, it is similar to many other languages of Asia, including Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai, Burmese, and Bengali. Measure words are also found in English such as two head of cattle, a loaf of bread, or this sheet of paper, where *two cattle, a bread, and this paper (in the sense of this piece of paper) would be ungrammatical. The word satu reduces to se- /sə/, as it does in other compounds:
Used for measuring
things (in general), large things, abstract nounshouses, cars, ships, mountains; books, rivers, chairs, some fruits, thoughts, etc.
dua buah meja (two tables), lima buah rumah (five houses)
seekor ayam (a chicken), tiga ekor kambing (three goats)
seorang laki-laki (a man), enam orang petani (six farmers), seratus orang murid (a hundred students)
smaller rounded objectsmost fruits, cups, nuts
sebiji/ sebutir telur (an egg), sebutir/ butiran-butiran beras (rice or rices)
long stiff thingstrees, walking sticks, pencils
sebatang tongkat (a stick)
things in thin layers or sheetspaper, cloth, feathers, hair
sepuluh helai pakaian (ten cloths)
flat fragments slabs of stone, pieces of wood, pieces of bread, land, coins, paper
sekeping uang logam (a coin)
letters, firearms, needles
sepucuk senjata (a weapon)
things which cut lengthwise and thicker
sebilah kayu (a piece of wood)
things which can be measured with number
sebidang tanah/lahan (an area)
sepotong roti (slices of bread)
nets, cords, ribbons
seutas tali (a rope)
things easily torn, like paper
secarik kertas (a piece of paper)
Example: Measure words are not necessary just to say "a": burung "a bird, birds". Using se- plus a measure word is closer to English "one" or "a certain":
Ada seekor burung yang bisa berbicara
"There was a (certain) bird that could talk"
Indonesian alphabet and Perfected Spelling System
Indonesian is written with the
Phoneme Obsoletespelling Modernspelling
/u/ oe u
/tʃ/ tj c
/dʒ/ dj j
/j/ j y
/ɲ/ nj ny
/ʃ/ sj sy
/x/ ch kh
Introduced in 1901, the van Ophuijsen system, (named from the advisor
of the system, Charles Adriaan van Ophuijsen) was the first
standardization of romanized spelling. It was most influenced by the
Letter names and pronunciations The Indonesian alphabet is exactly the same as in ISO basic Latin alphabet.
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z
Indonesian follows the letter names of the Dutch alphabet. Indonesian alphabet has a phonemic orthography; words are spelled the way they are pronounced, with few exceptions. The letters Q, V and X are rarely encountered, being chiefly used for writing loanwords.
Name (in IPA)
Sound (in IPA)
a as in father
b as in bed
ch as in check
d as in day
e as in red
f as in effort
g as in gain
h as in harm
i as in pin
j as in jam
k as in skate
l as in let
m as in mall
n as in net
o as in owe
p as in speak
qi or qiu (/ki/ or /kiu̯/)
q as in queen
Spanish rr as in puerro
s as in sun
unaspirated t as in still
u as in pull
ve (/ve/ or /fe/)
/v/ or /f/
v as in van
w as in wet
/ks/ or /s/
x as in box
y as in yarn
z as in zebra
In addition, there are digraphs that are not considered separate letters of the alphabet:
uy as in buy
ou as in ouch
oy as in boy
/ɣ/ or /x/
similar to Dutch and German ch, but voiced
ch as in loch
ng as in sing
Spanish ñ; similar to ny as in canyon with a nasal sound
sh as in shoe
Vocabulary See also: List of loanwords in Indonesian
A pie chart showing percentage of other languages contribute on loan words of Indonesian language.
Dutch (42.5%) English (20.9%) Arabic
As a modern variety of Malay, Indonesian has been influenced by other
languages, including Dutch, English, Arabic, Chinese, Portuguese,
Sanskrit, Tamil, Hindi, and Persian. It is estimated that there are
Number of words
Note: This list only lists foreign languages, and thus omitting
numerous local languages of
Loan words of
Karena semua dibiayai dana negara jutaan rupiah, sang mahaguru sastra
bahasa Kawi dan mahasiswa-mahasiswinya, duta-duta negeri mitra,
Menteri Kebudayaan dan Pariwisata suami-istri, beserta
karyawan-karyawati lembaga nirlaba segera berdharmawisata ke pedesaan
di utara kota kabupaten Probolinggo antara candi-candi purba,
berwahana keledai di kala senja dan bersama kepala desa menyaksikan
para tani yang berjiwa bersahaja serta berbudi nirmala secara
berbahagia berupacara, seraya merdu menyuarakan gita-gita mantra, yang
merupakan sarana pujian mereka memuja nama suci Pertiwi, Dewi Bumi
yang bersedia menganugerahi mereka karunia dan restu, meraksa dari
bahaya, mala petaka dan bencana.
Loan words of Chinese origin
See also: List of Chinese loanwords in Indonesian
The relationship with China has been going since the 7th century when
Chinese merchants traded in some areas of the archipelago such as
Riau, West Borneo, East Kalimantan, and North Maluku. At the kingdom
of Srivijaya appeared and flourished, China opened diplomatic
relations with the kingdom in order to secure trade and seafaring. In
922, Chinese travelers visited
Loan words of Arabic origin
The word masjid (mosque) in Indonesian derived from Arabic word
Many Arabic words were brought and spread by merchants from Arab
Peninsula like Arabian, Persian, and from the western part of India,
Loan words of Portuguese origin
Indonesian word "Gereja" (Church) is derived from Portuguese
"Igreja". The sign reads: "Gereja & Candi Hati Kudus Tuhan Yesus
Ganjuran Keuskupan Agung Semarang" (The Church and
Loan words of Dutch origin
See also: List of Dutch loanwords in Indonesian
Chunghua bioscoop (now bioskop = cinema), Glodok,
Loan words of English origin Many English words were incorporated into Indonesian through globalization. Many Indonesians, however, mistake words already adopted from Dutch as words borrowed from English. This is due to the Germanic traces that exist in the two languages. Indonesian adopts English words with standardization. For example: imajinasi from imagination, universitas from university, aksesori from accessory, geografi from geography, konservatif from conservative, rutin from routine, and so other. However, there are several words that directly borrowed without standardization that have same meanings in English such as: bus, data, domain, detail, internet, film, golf, lift, monitor, radio, radar, unit, safari, sonar, and video, riil as real.
Other loan words
Modern Indonesian draws many of its words from foreign sources, there
are many synonyms. For example, Indonesian has three words for "book",
i.e. pustaka (from Sanskrit), kitab (from Arabic) and buku (from Dutch
boek); however, each has a slightly different meaning. A pustaka is
often connected with ancient wisdom or sometimes with esoteric
knowledge. A derived form, perpustakaan means a library. A kitab is
usually a religious scripture or a book containing moral guidance. The
Indonesian words for the
Main article: Indonesian literature
As speakers of other languages
An old one thousand
nol or kosong
dua puluh satu
two hundred ten
dua ratus sepuluh
one hundred thousand
sejuta, satu juta
Days and months An Indonesian-language calendar Days
Spelling (in IPA)
Good evening! or Good night!
See you later!
Sampai jumpa lagi!
[ˈsampai̯ ˈdʒumpa ˈlagi]
Terima kasih (standard, formal)
You are welcome
Sama-sama or terima kasih kembali
[ˈsa'ma ˈsama] or [təˈrima ˈkasih kəm'bali]
Ya or iya
[ˈja] or [ˈija]
How are you?
I am fine
Baik or Baik-baik saja
[ˈbaik] or [ˈbaik ˈbaik ˈsadʒa]
Have a nice day!
Semoga hari Anda menyenangkan!
[sə'moga ˈhari ˈʔanda məɲəˈnaŋkan]
Selamat makan! or Selamat menikmati!
[sə'lamat ˈmakan] or [səˈlamat mənikˈmati]
I am sorry
What is your name?
Nama Anda siapa?
[ˈnama ˈʔanda siˈapa]
My name is...
Do you know?
Apakah Anda tahu?
[aˈpakah ˈʔanda ˈtahu]
Yes, I know / No, I do not know
Ya, saya tahu / Tidak, saya tidak tahu
[ˈja ˈsaja ˈtahu] / [ˈtidaʔ ˈsaja ˈtidaʔ ˈtahu]
Can you speak Indonesian?
Bisakah Anda berbicara bahasa Indonesia?
[biˈsakah ˈʔanda bərbi'tʃara baˈhasa indoˈnesi̯a]
Yes, I can speak Indonesian / No, I can not speak Indonesian
Ya, saya bisa berbicara bahasa
[ˈja ˈsaja ˈbisa bərbiˈtʃara baˈhasa Indoˈnesi̯a] / [ˈtidaʔ ˈsaja ˈtidaʔ ˈbisa bərbiˈtʃara baˈhasa indoˈnesi̯a]
What time is it now?
Pukul berapa sekarang?
[ˈpukul bə'rapa səˈkaraŋ]
It is 5.00 o'clock
Sekarang pukul 5.00
[səˈkaraŋ ˈpukul ˈlima]
When will you go to the party?
Kapan Anda akan pergi ke pesta itu?
[ˈkapan ˈʔanda ˈʔakan pər'gi ke ˈpesta ˈʔitu]
The day after tomorrow
Happy New Year!
Selamat Tahun Baru!
[sə'lamat ˈtahun ˈbaru]
Mohon or tolong
[ˈmohon] or [ˈtoloŋ]
I am happy
I need help
Saya memerlukan bantuan
[ˈsaja məmərˈlukan ban'tuan]
Can you help me?
Bisakah Anda menolong saya?
[biˈsakah ˈʔanda mə'noloŋ ˈsaja]
Can I help you? / Do you need help?
Dapatkah saya membantu Anda? / Apakah Anda membutuhkan bantuan?
[da'patkah ˈsaja məm'bantu ˈʔanda] / [aˈpakah ˈʔanda məmbuˈtuhkan banˈtuan]
May I borrow your eraser?
Bolehkah saya meminjam penghapus Anda?
[boˈlehkah ˈsaja mə'minjam peŋ'hapus ˈʔanda]
With my pleasure
Dengan senang hati
[dəˈŋan sə'naŋ ˈhati]
Welcome to Indonesia
Selamat datang di Indonesia
[sə'lamat ˈdataŋ di ʔindoˈnesi̯a]
I agree / I disagree
Saya setuju / Saya tidak setuju
[ˈsaja sə'tudʒu] / [ˈsaja ˈtidaʔ sə'tudʒu]
I understand / I do not understand
Saya mengerti / Saya tidak mengerti
[ˈsaja ˈməŋərti] / [ˈsaja ˈtidaʔ ˈməŋərti]
I am hungry
I am thirsty
I am sick
Get well soon
Semoga cepat sembuh
[sə'moga tʃə'pat səmˈbuh]
The following texts are excerpts from the official translations of the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
English Indonesian Malay
Universal Declaration of Human Rights Pernyataan Umum tentang Hak Asasi Manusia Perisytiharan Hak Asasi Manusia sejagat
Article 1 Pasal 1 Perkara 1
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. Semua orang dilahirkan merdeka dan mempunyai martabat dan hak-hak yang sama. Mereka dikaruniai akal dan hati nurani dan hendaknya bergaul satu sama lain dalam semangat persaudaraan. Semua manusia dilahirkan bebas dan sama rata dari segi maruah dan hak-hak. Mereka mempunyai pemikiran dan perasaan hati dan hendaklah bergaul dengan semangat persaudaraan.
^ a b c d Badan Pusat Statistik (28 March 2013). "Penduduk Indonesia
Hasil Sensus Penduduk 2010 (Result of
^ a b "
^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds.
^ James Neil Sneddon. The Indonesian Language: Its History and Role in Modern Society. UNSW Press, 2004. Page 14."
^ Hammam Riza (2008). "Resources Report on Languages of Indonesia" (PDF). Retrieved 9 January 2014.
^ a b c d http://www.hawaii.edu/sealit/Downloads/The%2520Indonesian%2520Language.doc[permanent dead link]
^ a b " Bahasa dan dialek" (in Indonesian). Republic of Indonesia Embassy in Astana. Archived from the original on 1 May 2013.
^ a b Sneddon 2003, The Indonesian Language: Its History and Role in Modern Society, p. 70
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^ "The Indonesian Language – Bahasa Indonesia". 8 May 2005. Archived from the original on 8 May 2005.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
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^ a b Kratz, U. (2006). "
^ "Publication Name". Archived from the original on 10 July 2017. Retrieved 4 December 2018.
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^ Andaya, Leonard Y. (2001), "The Search for the 'Origins' of Melayu" (PDF), Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, 32 (3): 315–330, doi:10.1017/s0022463401000169, JSTOR 20072349
^ Munir Hamidy, Badrul (1985). Kamus Lengkap Indonesia-Rejang, Rejang-Indonesia. Pusat Pembinaan dan Pengembangan Bahasa, Departemen Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan. p. xv.
^ "The Indonesian Language (James N Sneddon) – book review". dannyreviews.com.
Dutch East Indies
^ Steinhauer, H. (1980). "On the history of Indonesian". Studies in Slavic and General Linguistics. 1: 349–375. JSTOR 40996873.
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^ The root ajar retrieves a historic initial l after the suffixes ber- and pe(r)-.
^ M.B. Lewis, 1947, Teach Yourself Indonesian, p. 178, ASIN: B0007JGNQO
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Indonesian edition of, the free encyclopedia
Wikibooks has a book on the topic of: Indonesian
Wikivoyage has a phrasebook for Indonesian.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Indonesian language.
How many people speak Indonesian?
free language resource
Indonesian Swadesh list of basic vocabulary words (from Wiktionary's
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