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Basics 1Edit

Pronunciation Edit

Indonesian words are spoken as they are written. Vowels pronounciation:

Indonesian English
a AH like "a" in "father"
e AY like "a" in "date", or UH like "a" in "about",4

or E like "e" in "bed"

i EE like "ee" in "see"
o OH like "o" in "no", or AW like "o" in "on"
u OO like "ou" in "you"

Sentence Composition Edit

Common sentence structure:

Subject – Verb – Object

 Note that in Indonesian we don't have articles (a, an, the) and we don't discriminate between the singular form and the plural form of a noun. That's right, the word stays the same whether there is only one of it or there are more than one!

For example:

Indonesian English
Saya mau apel I want an apple
Saya mau apel I want apples
Kamu mau jeruk You want an orange
Kamu mau jeruk You want oranges

You’ll find more tips and notes throughout the courses. Selamat belajar!


Self-Introduction Phrases Edit

Literally meaning "What (your) news" in English, Apa kabar actually means “How are you” or “How do you do”.

Siapa is used instead of apa for asking a person’s name in Indonesian. A fuller explanation Click Here (

Indonesian Noun Phrase Edit

Generally, the sentence structure of Indonesian and English is similar. But, the structure of noun phrases is opposite to English, the main noun position is before the modifier noun.

For example:

  • Nama saya = My name
  • Apel merah = Red apple

More info abut the word order in a noun phrase:

To be Edit

In spoken Indonesian, You don’t need to translate “to be” (is, am, are). To be means adalah in Indonesian. Even, in written the function of it is just to emphasize the noun, sometimes it is also omitted.

For example: My name is Jon = Name saya Jon

No in Indonesian Edit

Indonesian has some ways to express “no” (bukantidakjangan and belum). Bukan is used to negate nouns and adverbs, Tidak is used to negate verbs and adjectives, Jangan is to tell somebody not to do something and Belum means not yet or event may happen in the future.

For example:

Indonesian English
Saya bukan James I am not James
Kamu tidak suka jeruk You do not like oranges
Jangan pergi! Don't go!
Dia belum pergi She has not gone yet

More info about negation words "Tidak, bukan, jangan, belum":

Basics 2Edit

Let’s step up the game. Welcome to Basics 2! Edit

You have learned some personal pronouns in Basics 1 (aku, kamu, dia), and you are going to find the rest of them here. There are some highlights that should be put as a reminder:

  • Indonesian has formal and informal pronouns which you should pay attention the most when you are going to talk about “you” and “I” (Aww). Use “Anda” (You) and “Saya” (I) only in formal situation. 
  • Indonesian differentiates between singular “you” and plural “you”. The use of “Kamu”/”Anda” signalizes the person to be only one, whereas “Kalian” means there are multiple people.
  • Indonesian has an inclusive and exclusive “we”. For example, if you (A) and your friend (B) are talking to someone (C), and the conversation goes like this:

A: “Kami makan ikan.” (We eat fish). This means that A and B ate fish, but C might or did not. But if it is like this:  A: “Kita makan ikan.” (We eat fish). This means that all of them ate fish. The first example uses “Kami” which implies exclusivity, whereas the second example uses “Kita” to include C, which implies inclusiveness.

  • Indonesian does not have non-personal subject pronouns, hence use “itu” (that) or “ini” (this) instead.

Here is the table to summarize the rules of pronoun uses:

English Indonesian Formal/Informal
I Saya Formal
I Aku Informal
You (Singular) Anda Formal
You (Singular) Kamu Informal
You (Plural) Kalian Formal & Informal
We (Inclusive) Kita Formal & Informal
We (Exclusive) Kami Formal & Informal
He/She Dia Formal & Informal
They Mereka Formal & Informal

Additional info Edit

Please have a look here for more info : Click here: "ia" & "dia" , the differences :

Please have a look here for more info:  'ini' , 'itu', Tips & Notes, Addendum.

Kosakata (Vocabulary) : Edit

aku, kita, menulis, buku, surat, mereka, membaca, menu, koran, ini, anda, kami, kalian, besar, gaun, kaya, ia

Greetings Edit

Greetings Edit

Indonesian uses the word selamat to greet people. Selamat is actually derived from Arabic word salam which means peace. You just need to add selamat before the time or condition in greeting.

Indonesian English
Selamat pagi Good morning
Selamat siang Good afternoon
Selamat sore Good afternoon
Selamat malam Good evening
Selamat tidur (lit. Good sleep) Good night
Selamat tinggal (lit. Good leaving) Goodbye
Selamat datang (lit. Good coming) Welcome

Note that the concept of time of the day in Indonesian is slightly different from that in English, so use the greetings accordingly!

Position of the sun Time of the day
The sun is going up, from dawn to around 10am Pagi
The sun is right up your head, from around 10am to 3pm Siang
The sun is going down, from around 3pm to dusk Sore
The sun is not visible in the sky Malam

Indonesian also uses Assalamu ’alaikum to greet someone and responds with Wa 'alaikumsalam as Islam majority country.

The word selamat is also used to congratulate other people.

Indonesian English
Selamat ulang tahun Happy Birthday
Selamat Idul Fitri Eid Mubarak
Selamat tahun baru Happy New Year
Selamat natal Merry Christmas

Terima kasih Edit

Terima kasih means "thank you" is Indonesian phrase to express gratitude. If you want to express greater sense of gratitude, you can say terima kasih banyak.

In informal situations, you can just shorten terima kasih become makasih just like "thanks" in English.

Sama-sama or Terima kasih kembali is used to respond thanking, “You are welcome” in English.

Additional info Edit


Kosakata (Vocabulary) : Edit

tidak, ya, terima kasih, maaf, selamat pagi, silakan, sama-sama, sampai jumpa, selamat datang, selamat jalan, assalamualaikum, selamat siang, waalaikumsalam, selamat tinggal, permisi, selamat malam, terima kasih banyak, selamat sore, sampai jumpa lagi, salam, selamat idul fitri

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