List of loanwords in Indonesian

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from List of loan words in Indonesian)
Jump to: navigation, search

The Indonesian language has absorbed many loanwords from other languages, including Sanskrit, Arabic, Persian, Portuguese, Dutch, Chinese and other Austronesian languages.

Indonesian differs from the Malaysian language in a number of respects, primarily due to the different influences both languages experienced and also due to the fact that majority of Indonesians speaks their native language as their first. Bahasa Indonesia function as lingua franca that unites 200 various languages over the archipelago.

Vice versa, words of Malay-Indonesian origin also has been borrowed into English. Words borrowed into English (e.g., bamboo, orangutan, dugong, amok) generally entered through Malay language by way of British colonial presence in Malaysia and Singapore, similar to the way the Dutch have been borrowing words from the various native Indonesian languages. One exception is "bantam", derived from the name of the Indonesian province Banten in Western Java (see Oxford American Dictionary, 2005 edition). Another is "lahar" which is Javanese for a volcanic mudflow. Still other words taken into modern English from Malay/Indonesian probably have other origins (e.g., "satay" from Tamil, or "ketchup" from Chinese).

At its development stage, various native terms (mostly Javanese) from all over the archipelago made its way to the language. The Dutch adaptation of the Malay language during colonial period had resulted significant amount of Dutch loanwords and vocabulary. The event significantly impacted the original Malay language which gradually developed into the modern Indonesian language.


The study on Indonesian etymology and loan words reflected its historical and social context. Examples are the early Sanskrit borrowings probably in the Srivijaya period, the borrowings from Arabic and Persian during the time of the establishment of Islam in particular, and the ones from Dutch during the colonial period. Linguistic history and cultural history are clearly linked.[1]

  • Early Hindu and Buddhist influence from India results in many Sanskrit words in Indonesian (and especially adopted through Javanese influence). Indian traders may have contributed words as well, in Tamil and Sanskrit-related languages.
  • Indonesian has involved in trade with Chinese since ancient times and also significant of Chinese immigrants began to migrate to Indonesia, as the result some of Chinese language, especially Hokkien dialect being absorbed into Indonesian.
  • Muslim influence, which came at first through Arabic and Persian traders, over a number of centuries results in an extensive Arabic influence and also Persian.
  • Portuguese contact, trade and colonization in the 16th century was the first contact between Indonesia and European culture, and had an influence that remains today, in spite of the relatively short time period of that influence.
  • Dutch colonization and administration, lasting from the 17th century to the 20th, had an extensive impact on the vocabulary. As Dutch-trained linguists determined the rules for the official Indonesian language, Dutch thus had an impact on the structure of the language as well. For example, suffixes such as "-as" (e.g., kwalitas = quality), "-asi" (e.g., administrasi = administration), and "-if" (e.g., fiktif = fictive) were applied with consistency. Some loan words are still intensively used today, although there are genuine Indonesian language.
  • Modern Indonesian regularly adapts new words from other languages, particularly English. In contrast to the large number of mechanical terms borrowed from Dutch (e.g., automotive parts), hitech words are typically taken from English (e.g., internet).

But the processes may also be ‘out of period’; for example, Indonesian words are still being concocted from Sanskrit, and the influence of the Dutch language certainly continued after the Dutch themselves left.[1]

Indonesian has also generalized brand names into common (lower-case) nouns as generic name. For example, "sanyo" refers to any electrical well pump, regardless of manufacturer or "odol" as all of toothpastes. This is similar to the type of generalization that occurs in English words like "xerox" or "tampax" or "polaroid".

List of loanwords[edit]

From Austronesian languages[edit]

From Minangkabau[edit]

Most of Indonesian languages vocabulary are natively derived from Malay, but some might be ultimately loanwords from Minang language. Yet it is unclear, since Malay and Minang are closely related, and some might consider that Minang language was precursor or old dialect of Malay language.[2]

Word Meaning Original word
acuh careful acuah
anjungan pavilion anjuang
awak you (regional), crew, member awak
bantah denies bantah
baruh lowland baruah
bernas spirited boneh
bunda mother bundo
buyung sonny buyuang
cabul lewd cabua
cakak fight cakak
campin skilled campin
cegak vigorous cegak
celoteh babble ciloteh
cemeeh jeer cemeeh
cengang amazed cangang
dara girl, virgin, dove daro
dadih buttermilk dadiah
dendang sing dendang
gadang large gadang
gadis girl, virgin gadih
gaek aged gaek
galau confusion galau
gelimang mixed galimang
gengsi prestige gengsi
heboh commotion, fuss heboh: noisy
himbau call imbau
jangat skin jangek
jenjang ladder janjang
jerang boiled jarang
jinjing pick-up jinjiang
junjung respectful junjuang
kelok meanders kelok
lamban slow lamban
lancang sassy lancang
nan which, who (connecting word) nan
ngarai canyon ngarai
nian very, really, trully nian
pencak art (martial art) pancak
penghulu chief of family panghulu
ranah realm, domain ranah: land
rancak beautiful rancak
rantau foreign country rantau
rendang rendang randang
sanak family sanak
semarak splendor semarak
silat silat (martial art) silek
surau mosque surau
tandas demolished tandeh
teroka open up new areas taruko
terompah sandals tarompah
tuah good luck tuah
tungkai leg tungkai
usang obsolete usang

From Javanese[edit]

Compared to Malay language spoken as the native regional language in Sumatra and Malay peninsula, or standardized version of Malaysian language, Indonesian language differ profoundly by large amount of Javanese loanwords incorporated into their already rich vocabulary. This is mostly contributed by Java's position as the center of Indonesian politics, education and culture, since the capital is located in Jakarta on Java island, and large numbers of Javanese reside in capital area. Also large numbers of Javanese as the majority, began to use Indonesian language in their daily conversation, at least in official, formal and educational settings. As the result Javanese began to pour their own vocabularies into Indonesian to describes terms and words that does not have exact counterparts in Malay language. It is important to note that most of Indonesian Sanskrit loanwords are derived and conducted through Old Javanese and Javanese intermediary.

Word Meaning Original word
adem cool temperature adhem
adiluhung/adiluhur refined, highly sophisticated taste adiluhung
amblas vanish amblas
ambruk collapse ambruk
among nurture among
ampuh potent ampuh
anggun graceful anggun
angker haunted angker
anjlok dropped anjlok
antek stooge antek
anyar new anyar
apik neat, nice apik
asri beautiful (scenery/nature), neat, clean, nice asri
ayu beautiful (women), pretty, gorgeous, graceful, elegant ayu
ayom give shade, foster, protect ayom, hangayomi
baluwarti palace fortified wall baluwerti
bangsal hall bangsal, ultimately from Sanskrit: sala (room)
batik batik mbatik, from: amba-nitik
bejat depraved bejat
beres completed beres
betot pull suddenly betot
bopong carry bopong
brandal thugs brandalan
bromocorah criminal bromocorah
buron/buronan runaway or fugitive buron: from buru-an (to be hunted)
candi temple candhi
canggih sophisticated canggih
cebol midget cebol
celingukan look around celingukan
ceplas ceplos speak out frankly ceplas ceplos
copet pick pocket copet
dengkul knee dengkul
doyan be fond doyan
edan crazy edhan
empu maestro, master craftsman mpu
ganteng handsome ngganteng
gebrakan blow gebrakan
gede big gede
gembok padlock gembok
gendong pickaback gendong
gerebek raid grebeg: traditional ceremony involving mass competing to grab sacred objects
gilas run over giles
gosong scorched gosong
irit frugal irit
jagal butcher jagal
jago skillful, expert jago: rooster
jagoan tough guy, hero jago: rooster
jajan snack jajan
kedut twitching kedutan
kemben torso wrap kembhen
kesurupan possessed surup: fit, enter
konde bulbous hairdo or hair extension on the back of the head kondhe
lara sadness (poetic) lara: sickness
larung intentionally swept or send away through water (river/sea) larung
lapik base lapik
luhur noble, high dhuwur, luhur
manut obedient manut
melengos looked away melengos
minggat flee minggat
mumpuni accomplished mumpuni
nusantara Indonesian archipelago, archipelago nusantara
nganggur idle, jobless nganggur
pagar langkan balustrade pagar langkan
pamrih intention pamrih
pemirsa viewers pemirsa
pendopo roofed front open hall pendhopo, ultimately from Sanskrit: mandapa (front hall as part of temple)
pilek flu pilek
resik clean, well maintained resik
sedot suck sedot
selaras harmonious slaras
selingkuh affair selingkuh
semberono careless sembrono
semrawut complicated mess, out of order semrawut
sungkan shy sungkan
tentram peaceful tentrem
tembang song tembang
titisan reincarnated nitis
tuntas complete tuntas
undakan stages undhak
unduh download unduh
unggah upload munggah
umpak base umpak

From Sundanese[edit]

Word Meaning Original word
aci tapioca flour aci sampeu
amburadul mess, something out of order amburadul
anjangsana high official visiting anjangsana
balairung hall bale riung: traditional building for meeting
bloon (spelled blo-'on) stupid blo'on/o'on
getol active getol
hatur to express, to send (polite) haturkeun
jangkung tall jangkung
juara champion, winner jawara: tough guy, fighter, hero
kedap proof as in "kedap air" (waterproof) kedap
kesima awe, amaze kesima
kesohor famous kasohor
kolot old fashioned kolot: old
lalap raw vegetable, consumed lalab
majikan boss majikan
menyaru pretending, camouflaging verbal form of saru: undistinguishable
risih uneasy, uncomfortable risih
patungan chip in, joint-venture, collecting money to buy something for common use patungan
pengaruh influence pangaruh
pemulung waste picker noun of the verb pulung: pick
pepes cooking method using banana leaf wrapping papais: plural form of pais
siksa torture siksa: education
uwa uncle or aunty older than parent uwa

From Betawi[edit]

Word Meaning Original word
abal-abal fake, false abal-abal
bangkotan aged bangkotan
begah replete begah
butut old fashioned butut
cebur splash cebur
entot copulate entot
gelandang football midfielder, bringer gelandang
gelandangan homeless gelandangan
gelandang football midfielder, bringer gelandang
mampus dead mampus
ngamen street performance ngamen
ribet complicated, hard, not easy ribet
rombeng rags rombeng
timpuk throw timpuk
udak chase udak

From Nias[edit]

Word Meaning Original word
anda you (respectful) anda

From Batak[edit]

Word Meaning Original word
molek voluptuous molek

From Maluku[edit]

Word Meaning Original word
beta I, me, myself béta

From Manado[edit]

Word Meaning Original word
pasti surely so pasti

From Indian languages[edit]

From Sanskrit[edit]

Although Hinduism and Buddhism are no longer the major religions of Indonesia, Sanskrit which was the language vehicle for these religions, is still held in high esteem and is comparable with the status of Latin in English and other Western European languages. Sanskrit is also the main source for neologisms, these are usually formed from Sanskrit roots. For example, the name of Jayapura city (former Hollandia) and Jayawijaya Mountains (former Orange Range) in Indonesian province of Papua were coined in the 1960s, both are Sanskrit origin name to replace its Dutch colonial names. Some Indonesian contemporary medals of honor and awards; such as Bintang Mahaputra medal, Kalpataru award and Adipura award, are also Sanskrit derived names.

The loanwords from Sanskrit cover many aspects of religion, art and everyday life. The Sanskrit influence came from contacts with India long ago before the 1st century. The words are either directly borrowed from India or with the intermediary of the Old Javanese language.[citation needed] In the classical language of Java, Old Javanese, the number of Sanskrit loanwords is far greater. The Old Javanese — English dictionary by prof. P.J. Zoetmulder, S.J. (1982) contains no fewer than 25,500 entries.[citation needed] Almost half are Sanskrit loanwords. Sanskrit loanwords, unlike those from other languages, have entered the basic vocabulary of Indonesian to such an extent that, for many, they are no longer perceived to be foreign.

Word Meaning Original word
acara event, item in a programme acara: by activities, behavior
acar pickles achaar
adakala sometimes kata kāla: for some time
adi ultimate (poetic) adhi
agama religion āgama — Vedic principles
aneka multifarious, varied, all sorts aneka: many, various
anekaragam variety show aneka-rāgam: various color
anekawarna multi-coloured aneka-varṇa: variety of color
anggota limb, member ańga-jāḥ: born from the body, limbs, member
angkara insolence, cruel aham-kara: ego, pride-maker
aksara letter aksara
alpa negligent alpa: for a slight reason
angka numerical figure anka: numerical constant
angkasa sky akasa
angkasawan astronaut ākāśa-vān: the sky + having; possessing
angsa goose haṃsa: swan
angsana Pterocarpus Indica (tree) asana: Terminalia Tomen Indica (tree)
aniaya maltreatment, abuse, injustice, tyranny anyayā: sinful activities, mischief
antara among, (in) between antarā: between, in the meantime
anugerah award, honour, grace anugraha: to bestow blessings, compassion
angsana Pterocarpus Indica (tree) asana: Terminalia Tomen Indica (tree)
asa hope asha
asmara love, passion smara
asrama dormitory ashram
atau or athavā: alternatively, or, either
ayah father arya, ayya (same in Tamil and Telugu)
baca read vācā: words, with a voice
bagai as if, like bhagā: whose good fortune
bagi for, give bhāga: "(to) divide"
baginda majesty bhāgya: part, good fortune + -nda: Austronesian suffix
bahagia blissful, lucky, blessed, happy bhāgya: of the good fortune
bahasa language bhāsā
bahaya danger bhaya
bahu shoulder bāhu: arms
bahwa that (conj.) bhava: become, state of being
bahtera ship vahitra: a boat, ship
baiduri opal (gem) vaidårya: cat's eye (gem
bakti, bhakti homage, devotion, service etc. bhakti
bala disaster, calamity; also means help, assist bala: by the strength
bangsa nation, race vamça: lineage, dynasty
bangsawan noble vaṃśa-vān: of the dynasty + having, possessing
barat west bharat: India, located west from Indonesia
bayu wind (poetic) vayu: Hindu god of wind
basmi eliminate, destroy bhasmã: reduce to ashes
bela defend velà: time, death
belaka merely bàlaka: young
belantara jungle vanàntara: (interior of a) forest
belia youth ba-lya: childhood age
belanja shopping, expense valanja: that which is spent
bencana disaster, calamity vàncana: deception
berahi passionate love virahin: separated from one's beloved
berhala idol, image of a god bhaññàra: lord
berita news varta
bestari clever vistàrin: extending
biara monastery vihara
biasa habitual, usual, ordinary abhya-sa: of the accumulated practice
biaya expense vyaya: loss, expense
bicara speak vicàra: discussion
bidadari apsara, nymph, lesser female deities vidyadhari: bearer of knowledge
bidan midwife vidvàn: nom. masc. of vidvant: wise
bijak clever, wise vicakùaõna: clever
bijaksana clever, wise vicakùaõna: clever
biji seed bīja: seed
bina to build bhinna: different, fresh, new
binaraga bodybuilding from combined words bina: to build and raga: body
binasa die, death, destroyed vinàsa: destruction
bisa venom, malice; but also means can, able, potent visha: poisonous
budi reason, virtue boddhi, related to buddhism
bijaksana wise, wisdom vicakshana
bila when vela (time)
buana world (poetic) bhuvana
budaya culture combination of boddhi: virtue and dhaya: power
budi kindness, good deed buddhi: of intelligence
budiman kind, wise buddhiman: nom. of buddhi
bujangga scholar bhujanga: snake
bukti proof bhukti: enjoyment
bumi earth bhumi
bupati the title of regency/regional leader bhupati: lord of the earth
busana clothing bhusana
cahaya light chāyā
cakram, cakra disk, sphere etc. chakra
candi temple candika: another manifestation of Durga as goddess of death
cangkang shell çangkha: winged shell attribute of Vishnu
cakrawala horizon chakravala
cerita story charita: narration, e.g. Buddhacarita
chandra moon (poetic), lunar chandra: Hindu moon god
citra image chitra: means "picture" in Hindi and Sanskrit
dana donation, funds dhana
dasawarsa decade combined word from dasa: ten and varsa: rain, year
daya power dhaya
denda fine, punishment danda
dewa god deva
dewi goddess devi
desa village desh
dharma, darma duty, good deeds (i.e. charity), truth etc. dharmma
derma alms giving same origin with dharmma
dirgahayu long live dīrgha (long) and āyu (age); āyuṣā = with a life span
duka sadness dukkha
durjana evil, wicked, malicious durjana
gajah elephant gajha
gapura gate gopuram
gaya stylish, fashionable gaya: wealth, worth going to
gerhana eclipse grahana: seizure
gita song (poetic) gita
genta bell genta
guna utilize, use, purpose ghuna
guru teacher, guru guru
hina lowly, inferior hinna: small, lesser, petty
istri wife sttri
jaga awake, guard jagarti: be awake
jagat universe jhagad
jala net, casting net jala
jambu tree (Eugenia) jambu
jampi incantation japa
janda widow raõóa
jasa merit, service, etc. vyàsa: service also yasah: wonderful activities, glories
jati tree (Tectonia grandis) jàti: tree (Jasminum grandiflorum)
jawa Java, Javanese yava: barley, grain
jaya glorious jaya
jelata common people janata
jelita lovely lalita
jelma incarnation, to become, to turn into janma: birth
jentera spinning, wheel yantra: instrument
jiwa life, soul, sanity jiva: (personal) soul
juta million ayuta: thousand (not million)
jutawan very rich ayuta+vān: ten thousand + having, possessing
kaca glass kàca: glass
kacamata glasses, spectacles kàca: glass
kala time kàla: time
kalau if kàla: time
kali time(s), in mathematics kàla: time
kanta lens kànta: sun-crystal
kapas cotton karpàsa
karena because kàraña: cause
karma karma karma: Hindu-Buddhist concept
karsa initiative, will karsha
kartika star (poetic) kartika
karunia blessing karuña: compassion
karya work, oeuvre karya
kasturi musk, musk flower (k.o. hibiscus) kastårã: musk
kata word kathà: story
kati a hundred thousand koñi: ten million
kelahi quarrel, fight kalaha
keling Indian, black-skinned kàlinga: inhabitant of Kalinga, south Orissa, India
keluarga family kula-varga
kemboja flowering tree (Plumeria Acuminata) kamboja
kendi water-pitcher kuñďa
kepala head kaphala
keranda coffin karañďa: basket, box
kerja work karya: the work, the manifest products
kencana gold, golden, grand, glorious kanchana: gold
ksatria warrior, knight kùatriya
ketika moment, when ghañikà: hour (24 minutes)
kian become more, as much (many) as kiyan: how much
kosakata vocabulary kosa
kota , city, town koña: stronghold
kuasa power vasa
kuda horse kudda
kumala jade, gemstone komala: gracious
kumba pot kumbha
kunci key kucikà
kungkuma saffron kuïkuma
kurnia mercy kàruõya: compassion
kusta leprosy kuùñha
labu gourd alabå
laksa ten thousand lakça
laksamana admiral lakçmaña: name of Rama's younger brother
lawang door, cinnamon lavanga: clove
lela graceful movement, elegant lãlà: play
lena sleep soundly lãna: lying
lencana seal, emblem, badge lanchana
lingga lingga (symbol of Shiva), phallic liņga
loba greedy lobha: greed
loka world, place, realm, abode loka
madu honey, co-wife madhu: honey
maha great, super, hyper, very maha
mahadewa supreme god mahà+deva: supreme god
mahadewi supreme goddess mahà+devi: supreme goddess
maha esa all-mighty mahà+īśa: supreme lord
mahaguru professor mahà+guru: great teacher
maharaja king mahà+ràja: great king
maharani queen mahàrani
mahasiswa (male) college/university student mahà-śiṣyā: great-student
mahasiswi (female) college/university student mahà-śiṣyā: great-student
mahkota crown makuta
mala stain, dirt mala: dirty things
malapetaka calamity, disaster mahā-pātaka: the resultant actions of greatly sinful activities
manakala when māna-kàla: in honor of time
mani sperm mani: pearls, gemlike, jewel
manik bead, sequin, jewel mani: pearls, gemlike, jewel
mantera mantra mantra
menteri minister (head of a government department) mantri
merajalela rage, raging, at large, spread widely and wildly maharaja-lãlà: king + play
merdeka freedom, liberty mahardhikka
mitra partner mitra: friend
muka face mukkha
mula to start, to begin mula: origin
naga dragon naga: serpent deities
nama name naam
negara country nagara
negeri city (lit.) nagarī
neraka hell naraka
nirwana an ideal condition of harmony or joy nirvana
nusa island (poetic) nusa
pahala merit, reward (for moral conduct) phala (of fruits, of results)
paksa to force paksha
pendeta priest, today used for Christian priest pandhita
pendopo hall mandhapa, through Javanese: pendhapa
pekerti understanding krti: understanding
perkasa powerful, forceful, manly prakasha
perkosa rape prakasha (same origin as perkasa)
perwira high-ranked military official vira: brave or eminent man, hero, chief
pria man/men priya: beloved, dear
puasa fasting upawasa: get near to god (wisdom)
puja worship, adore puja
punya have, possessive verb punia: merit, deserving
pura Hindu temple, city pura: city/walled enclosure
purba ancient purva
puri palace pura: city/walled enclosure
pustaka book pushtaka
puspa flower (poetic) pushpa
putera, putra son putra: prince
puteri, putri daughter, princess putri: princess
raga body raga: to please, to colour
rahasia secret rahasya
raja king raja
raksasa giant, monster rakshasa: demon
rani queen rani
rasa emotion, feeling, taste rasha
ratna jewel, gemstone (poetic) ratna
resmi official rashmi: ray of light
rupa look, appearance rupa
sabda to proclaim (poetic) sabda
samudra ocean samudra
sasana training hall sasana: teaching
sastra literature sashtra
sakti powerful shakti
satwa fauna sattva
semadi meditation, contemplation samadhi
sempurna perfect sampurna: entirely, complete
sengsara suffering samsara: continuous flow of reincarnation
senopati general, military leader (archaic) senapati
seteru enemy satru
setia loyal, truthful satya: truth, correct
serba all, everyhing, complete sarva: all or everything
singa lion singha
singgasana throne singha-sana: the lion throne
suami husband svami
suara sound svara
sukma soul suksma: subtle
sunyi quiet (situation) śūnya: zero, nothing
surga heaven svarga-loka
surya sun (poetic), solar surya: Hindu sun god
suka like, happy sukkha
susila modesty, appropriate sushila
swa- do something by oneself sva: self, own
tata order, to arrange tatha
tali rope, string talli
topi hat topi
unta camel ushtra
upacara ceremony uppakara: religious ritual
usaha effort utsaha
usia age yuṣa
utama ultimate, the most important, foremost uttama
utara north uttara
wahana ride, vehicle vahana
wana forest (poetic) vana
wangsa dynasty, royal house vamça: lineage
warna colour varna
warta news varta (same origin as berita)
warta berita news broadcast varta
wihara Buddhist Temple vihara
yudha war, battle (poetic) yuddha

From Tamil[edit]

Word Meaning Original word
apam kind of cake apam
gulai kind of curry gulai
kapal boat kappal
kedai foodstall Kaddai
kuil temple koil
mangga mango manga
roti bread rotti
topi hat toppi
kata say katai

From Middle Eastern languages[edit]

From Arabic[edit]

The loanwords from Arabic are mainly concerned with religion, in particular with Islam. Words of Arabic origin include dunia (from Arabic دنيا dun-ya = the present world, as opposed to the after-life world), kabar (خبر = news), selamat/ salam (سلام salam = a greeting), senin (الإثنين al-Itnain = Monday), selasa (الثلاثاء at-Tulata = Tuesday), jumat (الجمعة al-Jum'at = Friday), hadiah (هدية hadiyyah = gift/present), mungkin (from ممكن mumkin = perhaps), maklum (معلوم ma'lum = understood), kitab (كتاب kitab = book), and kamus (قاموس qamus = dictionary).

Allah is the word for God even in Christian Bible translations. Many early Bible translators, when they came across some unusual Hebrew words or proper names, used the Arabic cognates. In the newer translations this practice is discontinued. They now turn to Greek names or use the original Hebrew Word. For example, the name Jesus was initially translated as 'Isa, but is now spelt as Yesus. Psalms used to be translated as Zabur, the Arabic name, but now it is called Mazmur which corresponds more with Hebrew.

Word Meaning Original word Transcription, notes
abdi servant عبد 'abd
adab civilize, proper أدب adab
ajaib wonders, curiosities عجائب 'ajaib
akal reason عقل 'aqlun
akhir end آخر akhirun
akhlak moral أخلاق akhlaqun
akhirat hereafter آخرة akhiratun
alam nature ، of the earth علم alam
aljabar algebra الجبر aljabbar
amal alms giving, good deed عمل aml
anda you (formal) انتة anta
asal origin أصل asl
asli real, original أصل asl
awal beginning أول awwalun
badan body بدن baddan
bahari maritime, naval بحري bahri: sea
berkah bless, barakah بركة baraka
daftar list دفتر daftar
dakwah sermon دعوة d'awah
dunia world دنيا dun-yaa`
fakir poor people, pauper فقير fakr
gaib unseen, other world غايب 'ghaib
halal religiously lawful حلال halal
haram religiously unlawful حرام haraam
hewan animal حيوان hayawan
hikmah (deeper) meaning حكمة hikma
ilmu knowledge, science علمي 'ilmi
ilmiah scientific علمية 'ilmiah
ijazah diploma إجازة ijazah
izin permission, to permit إذن izin jadwal schedule جدول jadwal
jahanam cursed, damned جهنم jahannam:hellfire
jail prank, practical joke جاهل jahil: ignorance
jilbab hijab head covering حجاب hijab
kabar news خبر khabar kafir infidel كافر kafir
kitab book كتاب kitabun
korban sacrifice قربان qurban
kurma date palm كرما qurma
kursi chair كرسي kursiyyun
kuliah قليلة college
laskar soldier عسكري 'askar
lisan mouthly, mouth لسان lisan
maaf sorry, to apologise ما أف ma af :no worries
makna meaning معنة ma'na
maksud meaning, purpose مقصود ma'sud
majelis assembly, majlis مجلس majlis
masalah problem, dilemma مسألة masalah
masjid mosque مسجد masjid
maut dead, deadly موط mawt
menara tower منارة manārah: lighthouse
miskin poor مسكين miskin
mubazir useless mubazir
muflis bankrupt مفلس muflis
mungkin maybe منكن mumkin
murtad apostate مرتد murtad
munafik hypocrite منافق munaffiq
musim season موسم musim
mustahil impossible, unlikely مستحيل mustahil
nafsu desire نفس nafs
najis disgusting, unclean نجس najis
nikah married نكات nikah
petuah lesson, advice فتوى fatwa
pikir to think فكر fikr
rahmat blessing رحمة rahmah
saat moment ساعة sa'at
sabar patience صبر sabr
sabun soap صابون sabuun
saleh pious صالح shalih
salju snow ثلج thalj
sebab cause, reason سبب sabab
sedekah gift, shodaqoh صدقة shadaqatun
sehat healthy صحة sihat
selamat safe, well-being سلماة salamah
shalat pray صلاة salah
shaum fasting صوم saum
siasat trick سياسة siasatun
surat letter صرت surah
sukur/syukur thankful شكر shukr
sunat circumcision صنة sunnat
syariah Islamic law شاريعة shari'a
senin Monday ثنان senin
selasa Tuesday ثلاثة tsalasa
rabu Wednesday رابع arba'a
kamis Thursday خميس khams
khitan circumcision ختان khitan
jumat Friday جمعة jum'ah
sabtu Saturday السبت as-Sabt
tertib orderly ترتيب tartib
wahid number one, the best وآحد wahid
wajah face وجه wajh
waktu time وقت waqtu
waris inherit وارث waris
wilayah region, area ولاية wilayah
yakin confidence, belief يقين yakin
yunani Greece yunnan: ionia
zaitun olive زيتون zaytun
zakat alms زكاة zakat
zakar penis and testicles ذكر zakar
zaman / jaman era زمن zaman
zinah adultery زناء zina

From Persian[edit]

Word Meaning Original word Transcription, notes
anggur grape انگور an-gur
bandar port بندر bandar
cadar veil چادر chādar
dewan assembly, meeting دیوان divan (administration)
firdaus eden, bountiful garden فردوس firdaus
gandum wheat گندم gandum
kismis raisin کشمش kishmish
pahlawan hero پ‍ﮩ‍لوان pahlwān
pasar market/bazaar بازار bāzār
pesona charm afsūn
piala cup, trophy پیاله pyāla (cup, bowl)
medan area, field, square میدان meidan
nakhoda captain of a ship ناخدا nākhodā
takhta throne تخت takht
sihir magic سِحْر sihr
syahbandar portmaster شاهِ بندر shah-e bandar (lit. "king of the port")
ustad teacher (religious, Islam) اُستَاذ ustad
zirah armor زره zirah

From East Asian languages[edit]

From Chinese[edit]

The Chinese loanwords are usually concerned with cuisine, trade or often just exclusively things Chinese. According to the 2000 census, the relative number of people of Chinese descent in Indonesia is almost 1%, although this may likely be an underestimate. Words of Chinese origin (presented here with accompanying Hokkien/ Mandarin pronunciation derivatives as well as traditional and simplified characters) include pisau (匕首 bǐshǒu – knife), mie (麵 > 面 Hokkien mī – noodles), lumpia (潤餅 (Hokkien = lūn-piáⁿ) – springroll), teko (茶壺 > 茶壶 = cháhú [Mandarin], teh-ko [Hokkien] = teapot), 苦力 kuli = 苦 khu (bitter) and 力 li (energy) and even the widely used slang terms gua and lu (from the Hokkien 'goa' 我 and 'lu/li' 你 – meaning 'I/ me' and 'you'). Almost all loan words in Indonesian with Chinese origin comes from Hokkien dialect. Loan words in Indonesian with Chinese origins.

Word Meaning Original word (in Hakka or Hokkien/客家,福建)
amoi Chinese girl 阿妹 amei: sister
angciu cooking wine used for food flavour enhancer 紅酒 ang ciu: red wine
angpao gift money for Chinese New Year 紅包 ang pao
bakcang glutinous rice dumpling filled with meat 肉粽 bak cang
bakmie meat noodle 肉麵 bak mie
bakso meatball (肉球?) bak so
bakpau meatbun 肉包 bak pao
bihun rice vermicelli 米粉 bee hoon
cap cai stir fried vegetable dish 杂菜 cha̍p-chhài
cawan cup 茶碗 chawan
cukong tycoon 主公 cu kong
dacin balance scale (抬輕?) dacin
gua me (slang) 我 gua/wa
hoki luck, fortune 福氣 hok khi
kakak older sibling/addressing someone slightly older 哥哥 ko—ko
kecap soybean sauce (ketchup is 'saus tomat', not kecap) 茄汁 Keng Cio
kerangkeng cage 間 -keng: room in Hokkien
kue cake, pastries 粿 kwe
kuli slave, labourer 苦力 kuli
kwetiau kway teow (flat noodle) 粿條 kway teow
lihai skillful 厲害 li hai
lobak daikon, radish 蘿蔔 lo ba
loténg 2nd storey of a house, attic 樓頂 lao teng
lumpia spring roll 潤餅 lun pia
mak comblang matchmaker 媒紅娘(?)
mesiu gunpowder (not clear whether of Chinese descent or not)
mi / mie noodle 麵 mie
micin / pécin MSG (flavouring for cooking) 味精 vetsin
sempoa abacus, suanpan 算盤 sui poa, suanpan
singkék Chinese newcomer (derogative), pure blooded Chinese, i.e. not of mixed ancestry 新客 Shin Khek
siomay shumai (wrapped and steamed with fillings) 燒賣 sio mai
tahu tofu 豆腐 toufu/tauhu
teh tea 茶 te
teko tea pot 茶壺 te ko
Tionghoa Chinese 中華 chung hwa/tiong hwa
Tiongkok China 中國 chung kuo/tiongkok

From Japanese[edit]

Word Meaning Original word
dakocan black cartoon character tako-chan (タコちゃん): octopus character
harakiri suicide hara-kiri (腹切り): cutting one's stomach
kamikaze suicidal soldier kamikaze (神風): the wind of god
kempeitai military police of the Japanese Army (World War II) kenpeitai (憲兵隊)
jibaku struggle jibaku (自爆)
romusha enslaved worker (during Japanese occupation) romusha
taiso calisthenics taisou (体操)
tsunami tsunami tsunami (津波)

From European languages[edit]

European influence over Indonesian language is significantly influenced through European intervention and colonialism, the most significant evident is the usage of Latin alphabet instead of various local scripts. Portuguese had first arrived in the archipelago and influenced the original Malay language after their conquest of Malacca. The Portuguese dominance over trade in the region and control of the spice island of Moluccas had significantly increase Portuguese influence in trade and also through the introduction of Christianity over the region. The Dutch however shows the most influence in the language, being in control of Indonesia for 300 years after eliminating the Portuguese as a player over control of the archipelago. Dutch language itself wasn't properly introduced over the archipelago before 1799 when the Netherlands' crown took over the colony from the already bankrupt VOC (Dutch East India company), previously the Malay language was adapted by VOC due to its trade and diplomatic benefit which led to mass loanword over the language. English to an extend also have influence over the archipelago's language, being the third most favored foreign language by the educated in the colonial days. English however plays more role over the nation's official language through recent globalization.

From Portuguese[edit]

Alongside Malay, Portuguese was the lingua franca for trade throughout the archipelago from the sixteenth century through to the early nineteenth century. The Portuguese were among the first westerners to sail east to the "Spice Islands". Loanwords from Portuguese were mainly connected with articles the early European traders and explorers brought to Southeast Asia.[citation needed] Indonesian words derived from Portuguese include sabun (from sabão = soap), meja (from mesa = table), boneka (from boneca = doll), jendela (from janela = window), gereja (from igreja = church), bola (from bola = ball), bendera (from bandeira = flag), roda (from roda = wheel), gagu (from gago = stutterer), sepatu (from sapato = shoe), kereta (from carreta = wagon), bangku (from banco = chair), keju (from queijo = cheese), garpu (from garfo = fork), terigu (from trigo = flour), mentega (from manteiga = butter), and Minggu (from domingo = Sunday).[3]

Word Meaning Original word
akta act (law) acta
algojo executioner algoz
armada fleet armada
bangku chair banco: sitting
baret barrette barrete
barikade barricade barricada
belanda Dutch, Holland, Holanda
bendéra flag bandeira
beranda verandah, porch varanda
biola violin viola
bola ball bola
(kué) bolu (a type of) cake bolo
cerutu cigar charuto
bonéka doll boneca
dansa dance (not including traditional dance) dança
dadu dice dado
ganco hook gancho
garpu fork garfo
geréja church igreja
gerilya guerrilla guerrilha
infanteri infantry infanteria (Dutch: infanterie)
jendéla window janela
kaldu broth caldo
kanal channel canal (Dutch: kanaal)
kavaleri cavalry cavaleria (Dutch: cavalerie)
kéju cheese queijo
keméja shirt camisa
keréta chariot/cart carreta
kertas paper cartas (papel)
kredo creed credo
lemari closet armário
lelang auction leilao
mebel furniture movel, (Dutch: meubel)
meja table mesa
mentéga butter manteiga
minggu Sunday domingo
misa mass missa
mitos myth mitos
nanas pineapple ananas
natal Christmas natal
noda stain nodoa
nona young woman dona
nyonya lady donha
pasta paste pasta
pesiar cruise, excursion passear
pesta party festa
pigura picture, figure figura
pita ribbon fita
pompa pump bomba hidráulica, (Dutch: pomp)
sabtu Saturday sabado
sabun soap sabão
santo saint santo
saku pocket, bag saco
sekolah school escola (Latin: schola)
sepatu shoe sapato
serdadu soldier soldado
tenda tent tenda
témpo time tempo
tinta ink tinta
terigu wheat trigo
tolol fool tolo
tomat tomato tomate
tukar exchange trocar
frambus raspberry framboesa (Dutch: framboos)
gardu to guard, watch post guarda (Dutch: garde)
gubernur governor governador (Dutch: gouverneur)
gratis free (not having to pay) grátis (Dutch: gratis)
topik topic tópico (Dutch: topic)

From Dutch[edit]

The former colonial power, the Netherlands, left an extensive vocabulary that can be seen in words such as polisi (from politie = police), kualitas (from kwaliteit = quality), wortel (from wortel = carrot), kamar (from kamer = room, chamber), rokok (from roken = smoking cigarettes), korupsi (from corruptie = corruption), persneling (from versnelling = gear), kantor (from kantoor = office), resleting (from ritssluiting = zipper), kelas (from klas = class), and gratis (from gratis = free). These Dutch loanwords, and also from other non Italo-Iberian, European languages loanwords which came via Dutch, cover all aspects of life. Some Dutch loanwords, having clusters of several consonants, pose difficulties to speakers of Indonesian. This problem is usually solved by insertion of the schwa. For example, Dutch schroef [ˈsxruf]sekrup [səˈkrup]. Many Indonesian vocabulary ending "-i" (i.e.:administras-i) also are known from the Dutch vocabulary influence "-ie" (i.e.:administrat-i.e.). All the months from January (Januari) to December (December) used in Indonesian are also derived from Dutch language. It is estimated that 10,000 words in Indonesian language can be traced to the Dutch language.[4]

Note: Word after slash means 'genuine' Indonesian language, although may be loans from other language too.

Word Meaning Original word
administrasi administration administratie
afdeling division, section afdeling
asbak ashtray asbak
agustus august augustus
aliansi/sekutu alliance alliantie
apartemen apartment appartement
aktual/kini current actueel
antik Antique antiek
April April April
apotek/apotik pharmacy apotheek
arde ground (electricity) aarde
arbéi/stroberi strawberry aardbei
arloji/jam tangan watch horloge
atret aback achteruit
ban tire band
baskom/waskom washbasin waskom
baterai battery batterij
baut & mur bolt & nut bout & moer
beha/kutang brassiere beha
beken famous, notorious bekend
béngkél workplace winkel: store, originally angle
bekleding chair lining bekleding
besuk/menjenguk visiting bezoeken
begel/sengkang bracket beugel
brankas safe deposit box brandkast
bioskop cinema bioscoop
buncis green beans boontjes
branwir/pemadam kebakaran firefighter squad brandweer
bruder Roman Catholic friar broeder = brother
buku book boek
cokelat chocolate chocolade
komentar comment commentaar
komandan commander commandant
kongres congress congres
komisaris commissioner commissaris
komersil commercial commercieel
kondisi condition conditie
kursus course cursus
korup corrupt corrupt
sertifikat certificate certificaat
dah/dadah/selamat tinggal good bye (Indonesian)/ good day (Dutch) dag
dak/atap roof dak
dasi necktie das(je)
debat debate debat
diskusi discussion discussie
December December December
departemen department departement
dokter medical doctor dokter
dosis dose dosis
duit money duit, a copper Dutch coin
émbér bucket emmer
egois selfish (Indonesian)/egoist egoïst
Eropa Europe Europa
éngsél hinges hengsel
fantastis fantastic fantastisch
faktur invoice factuur
febuari February februari
pabrik factory fabriek
gang alley gang
gaji wages gage
gorden curtain gordijn
gratis free gratis
halo hello hallo
handuk towel handdoek
hanger/penggantung hanger hanger
halte bus/pemberhentian bus bus stop bushalte
helm helmet helm
hipotek mortgage hypotheek
ide idea idee
identik identical identiek
ilusi ilussion ilusie
imun immune immuun
indehoy forbidden sexual intercourse (Indonesian)/ on the hay (Dutch) inhethooi[5]
intim intimate intiem
institut institute instituut
insinyur engineer ingenieur
jas coat jas
januari January januari
juni June juni
jus Juice jus
juli July juli
kabel cable kabel
karakter character karakter
kaisar emperor keizer
kakus/toilet toilet verb: kakken/noun: kakhuis
kalkun turkey kalkoen
kalem/tenang calm kalm
kamar room kamer
kantor office kantoor
karcis ticket kaartjes: plural for diminutive of kaart, card or ticket)
kartu card kaart
kastanye chestnut kastanje
katun cotton katoen
kelar/selesai ready, finished klaar
keran faucet, tap kraan
knalpot (or kenalpot) muffler (on a motor vehicle) knalpot
kol cabbages kool
kopi coffee koffie
kopor suitcase koffer
kopling clutch koppeling
kor/koor choir koor
korsleting/konslet short circuit kortsluiting
korting/diskon discount korting/disconteren
kos/indekos room rental (Indonesian)/ nourishment (Dutch) kost[5]
kuitansi/bon receipt kwitantie/bon
kulkas/lemari es ice box or refrigerator koelkast
kusén window frame kozijn
laci deskdrawer laatje: diminutive form of la(de)
lampu lamp lamp
listrik electric elektrisch
lisensi license licentie
limun lemonade (Indonesian)/ lemon (Dutch) limoen
loket pay box loket
maskapai airline (Indonesian)/ company (Dutch) maatschappij
makelar broker makelaar
mantel coat mantel
matras/kasur bed matras
maret march maart
massa mass (bulk, load) massa
mei may mei
merek brand merk
meubel furniture meubel
migrasi migration migratie
minder not confident (Indonesian)/ less (Dutch) minder
meises sprinkles muisjes
mobil car, automobile automobiel
motor motorcycle motorfiets
montir mechanic monteur
nanas pineapple ananas (Portuguese: Ananas, origin South America)
nomer number nummer
November November November
oktober October oktober
om/paman uncle oom
oma/nenek grandma oma
omzet/omset revenue omzet
onderdil components/spare parts onderdeel
ongkos/biaya cost & expenses onkosten
opa/kakek granddad opa
oranye orange (colour) oranje
orgel pipe organ orgel
otomatis automatic automatisch
parkir parking parkeer
pas/cocok fit past (third person singular of "passen")
pastor/pendeta pastor pastoor
paroki parish parochie
paviliun pavilion paviljoen
pénsil pencil penseel (brush)
pensiun retirement pensioen
peron platform (railway) perron
pers/media massa press/mass media pers/massamedia
persik peach perzik
persis precise, exactly the same, look alike precies
plafon ceiling plafond, from French
polisi police politie
potret portrait portret
potlot pencil potlood
prestasi performance prestatie
prinsip principle principe
proyek project project
rékening account rekening
reklame advertisement reclame
rem brake rem
resep recipe recept
résléting zipper ritssluiting
resiko risk risico
rok skirt rok
rokok cigarette roken: to smoke
sakelar switch schakelaar
saldo balance saldo
satelit satellite satelliet
saus sauce saus
sekop shovel schop
sekrup screw schroef
seks sex seks
seksi section sektie
selang water hose slang
sempak swim briefs zwempak
senewen jumpy zenuwachtig
sepur/kereta api train spoor
serius serious serieus
setrika clothes iron strijkijzer
setrum current (electricity) stroom
September September September
sinterklas Santa Claus sinterklaas
sirkulasi circulation circulatie
sipir warden cipier
solusi/kesimpulan solution solutie
spanduk commercial or information banner spandoeken
stasiun train station station
struktur structure structuur
stopkontak power socket stopcontact
tang pliers tang
tas bag tas
tégel/ubin floor tile tegel
teh tea thee
teknologi technology technologie
telat/terlambat late te laat (too late)
telefon telephone telefoon
televisi television televisie
tema theme thema
terompet trumpet trompet
teori theory theorie
tinta ink tint
tomat tomato tomaat (Portuguese: tomate, origin Central America)
traktir treat trakteer
tustel camera tools (Indonesian)/ device, appliances (Dutch) toestel
variabel variable variabel
vas vase vaas
versi version versie
visi vision visie
voorijder/pengawalan khusus outrider voorrijder
vulkan volcano vulkaan
permak alter, transform vermaken
pelopor frontrunner voorloper
perboden prohibit (mainly used in street signs in Indonesian) verboden
preman gangster (Indonesian)/freeman/outlaw vrijman
wastafel sink wastafel
wol wool wol
wortel carrot wortel
yustisi/kehakiman judiciary justitie
yuridis juridical juridisch
segel seal zegel
suster/perawat (wanita) nun, nurse, sister zuster

From Greek[edit]

Word Meaning Original word
demokrasi democracy demokratia through Dutch: democratie
filsafat philosophy philasophia, through Arabic: falsafah
mitos myth mythos, through Portuguese: mitos
stadion stadium stadion through Dutch: stadion

From Latin[edit]

Word Meaning Original word
abolisi abolition abolitia, through Dutch: abolitie
ad interim temporarily ad interim
akta act (law) actus, through Portuguese: acta
aktivitas activity activitas, through Dutch: activiteit
amnesti amnesty, state-granted pardon amnestia, through Dutch: amnestie
almamater revered name for one's university almamater: wise and nurturing mother
fakultas faculty facultas, through Dutch: faculteit
forum forum forum, through Portuguese: forum
humaniora humanities humaniora
kantata song cantata, through Portuguese: cantada
kualitas quality kualitas, through Dutch: kwaliteit
misi mision misi, through Dutch: missie
nihil nil, nothing, zero nihil
nota bene actually, after look carefully, also nota bene: examine closely
oknum authority figure (police, soldier, prosecutor, judge) that perform unlawful or corrupted deed ocnum: name personal
status status status
universitas university universitas, through Dutch: universiteit

From French[edit]

Word Meaning Original word
akur agree, get along well accord, through Dutch: akkoord
antara entre between
arsip archives archives, through Dutch: archief
garnisun garrison garnison, through Dutch: garnisoen
intrik intrigue intrigue, through Dutch: intrige
kado gift cadeau, through Dutch: kado/cadeau
kampanye campaign campagne, through Dutch: campagne
karantina quarantine quarantine, through Dutch: quarantine
karoseri the body of vehicle, car, coach, or bus carrosserie, through Dutch: carrosserie
klise cliche cliché, through Dutch: cliché
kudeta coup coup d'état
legiun legion légion, through Dutch: legioen
letnan lieutenant lieutenant, through Dutch: lieutenant
manuver maneuver manœuvre, through Dutch: manoeuvre
mayones mayonnaise mayonnaise
sabotase sabotage sabotage, through Dutch: sabotage
sabun soap savon
sepeda bicycle vélocipède
supir driver chauffeur, through Dutch: chauffeur
tante/bibi aunt tante, through Dutch: tante
trotoar sidewalk trottoir, through Dutch: troittoir (also stoep, pronounced as "stoop")

From English[edit]

Many English words are adopted in Indonesian through globalization, due to this however many Indonesians mistaken words that were originally adopted from Dutch with English due to the similarity of Germanic traces in both language.

Word Meaning Original word
astronot astronaut astronaut
bisnis business business
diskon discount discount
elektronik electronic electronic
gosip gossip gossip
isu issue issue
katering catering service catering
komputer computer computer (Dutch: Computer)
komplit complete complete (Dutch: Compleet)
kondom condom condom
konter counter counter (Germans: konter)
modem modem modem
moderen modern modern (Dutch: moderne)
partner partner partner
pilot pilot pilot (Dutch: Piloot)
ponsel / HP read:Ha-Pé (shortened word from Hand Phone) cell phone hand phone (used in Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, and South Korea)
radar radar radar
roket rocket rocket
sistem system system (Dutch: Systeem)
stroberi strawberry strawberry
target target target

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b C. D. Grijns et al. (eds). "Loan-words in Indonesian and Malay" (PDF). KITLV. Retrieved 26 August 2012. 
  2. ^ Nurlela Adan, Ermitati, Rosnida M. Nur (2001). Kamus Bahasa Indonesia-Minangkabau. Jakarta: Balai Pustaka. 
  3. ^ Ricklefs, M.C. (1991). A History of Modern Indonesia Since c.1300, 2nd Edition. London: MacMillan. p. 26. ISBN 0-333-57689-6. 
  4. ^


  • de Vries, Jan W., Grijns, C.D. and Santa Maria, L. 1983 Indonesian : a check-list of words of European origin in Bahasa Indonesia and traditional Malay Leiden : Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde. ISBN 90-6718-004-1.
  • Badudu, J.S; Kamus Kata-kata Serapan Asing Dalam Bahasa Indonesia; Kompas, Jakarta, 2003

External links[edit]