Daily Bahasa Indonesia

Who says learning Bahasa Indonesia is boring and exhausting? Flag icon: Icons made by https://www.f

Operating as usual


8 March marks International Women’s Day every year and in today’s post, we would like to celebrate the special day by sharing different ways of saying the word woman in Bahasa Indonesia.

1. Perempuan itu berjalan sendirian
2. Siapakah wanita yang berbicara dengan kamu pagi ini?
3. Tiga anak perempuan sedang bermain bersama di taman
4. Putri kami berumur 9 tahun
5. Gadis itu cantik sekali

1. That lady is walking alone
2. Who was the woman who talked with you earlier this morning?
3. Three girls are playing together in the park
4. Our daughter is 9 years old
5. That girl is very pretty

Women's icon pack:


In Indonesian food culture, we eat fried eggs with nasi goreng, mie goreng or simply with white rice and kecap manis (sweet soy sauce). We say telur mata sapi or cow’s eye egg in literal translation. We also have another word for this which is telur ceplok (Bahasa Jawa).

Pronunciation note: most people pronounce with an ‘o’ instead of ‘u’ (Telor instead of Telur)

Share with us on the comment below how to say sunny-side up egg in your mother tongue?

Sunny-side up egg icon:


S**abumi is a city located in the province of West Java and it's not that far from the capital, about 100 kilometers from Jakarta. If you like rafting, you can take a day trip from Jakarta to have their water sport adventures. Apakah kamu pernah ke S**abumi? Have you ever been to **abumi?

S**a: admire; like
Bumi: earth

1. Saya s**a makan nasi
2. Bumi itu bulat

1. I like eating rice
2. The earth is round

For more information about the city: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S**abumi


Halo, semua! On today’s post, we will learn two expressions at once. The first word express activity or process that has been done: Sudah, and if we put one particle –lah, it become an expression which means “so be it”. We also have other expression with the same meaning but instead of using sudah, we use biar. If you say biar without particle –lah, it means “in order to be”

1. Sudah: already
2. Biar: In order to be
3. -lah: particle
4. Sudahlah, Biarlah: So be it

1. Saya sudah makan siang
2. Kami belajar biar pintar
3. Sudahlah, itu semua sudah terjadi

1. I have already had my lunch
2. We study in order to be smart
3. So be it, it happened already


Selamat pagi, semuanya! Today's post shows you again another Indonesian word that has a similar sound with the same meaning in Dutch. Bioskop is the Indonesian word for cinema. However, We also have another word for this, but we rarely use it in the daily conversation. That word is Layar Lebar or widescreen in English.

The following link tells us more how the Dutch use this word instead of cinema:

Ke bioskop, yuk!

Let’s go to the cinema!


Expressions in Bahasa Indonesia (or any other languages) sometimes don't make any sense or exaggerated in a way that can make you grin. Today, we learn one expression that has the meaning of working very hard: banting tulang. We believe some of you work very hard for your family, so perhaps this expression might be useful one day. You will also learn two different words with this expression: slam and bone in .

1. Jangan membanting pintu
2. Anjingku s**a tulang
3. Ayah dan ibu membanting tulang demi menghidupi keluarga kami

1. Don’t slam the door
2. My dog really likes bones
3. Mom and dad work very hard to make a living for our family


Do you like staying up late? If yes, then Bahasa Indonesia has a specific word for it: begadang. It’s a verb and quite popular for daily conversation.
One of the most famous Indonesian singers sings about this habit.
The song is called begadang jangan begadang, sang by Rhoma Irama. Check it out on youtube:

1. Pergi tidur sana, jangan begadang
2. Kamu sering begadang?

1. Go to sleep, don’t stay up late
2. Do you often stay up late?


When you want to tell someone about time, make sure you know exactly how people say it in Bahasa Indonesia. The big difference we would like to cover this time is the use of ‘setengah’.

In English, the after-number used when you want to tell someone half past something. But in Bahasa Indonesia, you use the number before the following hour.

We also know that Dutch and Hungarian speakers use the same rule as in Bahasa Indonesia. How about in your mother tongue?


Today, August 17th is the anniversary of Indonesia's Proclamation of Independence on 17 August 1945. For sure, we can say "Selamat ulang tahun, Indonesia" or Happy Birthday, Indonesia. However, we also have the specific word for anniversary greetings addressed to a country: Dirgahayu.

Click the link below to know more about several expressions on the anniversary of Indonesia’s independence: https://www.instagram.com/p/CDdfo-kBaio

Indonesian flag icon: https://www.clipartmax.com/middle/m2H7H7i8i8m2N4Z5_illustration-of-flag-of-monaco-waving-indonesia-flag-png/


Let’s learn some new words from a good yet funny proverb: Guru kencing berdiri murid kencing berlari. This proverb means always set a good example for everyone. Literal translation: teacher urinates while standing, student urinates while running.

Click below link on Youtube to watch how this proverb are literally translated into a video: https://youtu.be/zoGIHRyAaL0

Guru: teacher
Kencing: to urinate
Berdiri: stand up
Murid: student
Berlari: to run

Do you have a similar proverb in your mother tongue?


A language borrows or adopts words from another language. For this post, we show you another example of a word in Bahasa Indonesia that has a similar sound with the same meaning with a word in Arabic and Turkish: Musim. Which season do you prefer when you live in Indonesia?

Indonesia hanya memiliki dua musim yaitu musim kemarau dan musim hujan

Indonesia has only two seasons and they are dry and rainy seasons.

Icons are downloaded from:


We think it will also be cool to share some phrases that Indonesian use in everyday communication. Today, we share the useful phrase to break the ice: Sedang apa? or lagi apa?

1. Sedang; lagi: to indicate that an action is in progress
2. Apa: what (question word)
3. Sedang apa?; lagi apa?: what are you doing? (Short vers.)

1. Saya sedang bekerja / Saya lagi kerja
2. (Kamu) sedang apa? (Saya) sedang makan siang

1. I am working
2. What are you doing? I am eating lunch


In Bahasa Indonesia, there is no particular word for parents but the word itself is built from two words which are person and old. Literally it translates a person who is old. See? you learn two words, but in the end, you understand three words.

1. Orang tua: parent; an old person
2. Orang: person
3. Tua: old

Orang tuaku tinggal di Bandung
Orang tua itu tinggal sendiri

My parents live in Bandung
That old person lives alone


Tahu is a part of popular food culture in Indonesia. Its main ingredient is soy milk and originated from China. Most of the time, Indonesian use deep-fried method while cooking tahu. But apart from this delicious cuisine, tahu also means know; understand or be familiar with. Kamu s**a tahu?

1. Saya tahu bahwa kamu s**a makan tahu
2. Kamu tahu Pak Jokowi?

1. I know that you like eating tofu
2. Do you know Pak Jokowi?

Meme English translation:
Top left: Among them, nothing is tofu (literally) / Among them, no one knows
Top right: It’s tofu unaccompanied (literally) / He/she knows by himself/herself
Bottom left: They are both tofu (literally) / They both know
Bottom right: They are all tofu (literally) / They all know


Bahasa Indonesia and Bahasa Malaysia are quite similar and they are considered in the same language group Malayo-Polynesian. This is the first post of exploring the difference between Bahasa Indonesia and other Malayo-Polynesian languages, and the first language would be no other than Bahasa Malaysia. Greetings to all Malaysian speakers out there! :)

1. Hari ini hari Senin
2. Kemarin hari Minggu
3. Kemarin dulu hari Sabtu
4. Besok hari Selasa
5. Lusa hari Rabu

1. Today is Monday
2. Yesterday was Sunday
3. The day before yesterday was Saturday
4. Tomorrow will be Tuesday
5. The day after tomorrow will be Wednesday


Ayo is an interjection word that often used to persuade or urge someone to do something

Sudah malam, ayo pulang
Aku sangat lapar, ayo makan sate
Ayo diminum obatnya, biar cepat sembuh.

It’s dark already, please go home / let’s go home
I am so hungry, let’s eat satay
Please take the medicine to get better soon


D**g is an interjection word that often used in an informal situation. The word ‘d**g’ means an emphasis and persuasion expression.

For more information:
(In English)

1. Kamu kesini d**g! (persuasion expression)
2. Aku mau juga d**g (emphasis)

1. Please come here!
2. I want it too


When we want to tell about time or duration of time (in hour), there are two different words which Indonesians often use incorrectly.

1. Jam: the period or duration of time.
2. Pukul: o’clock (literal translation); hour

For more information: http://badanbahasa.kemdikbud.go.id/lamanbahasa/petunjuk_praktis/393
(In Bahasa Indonesia)

1. Sekarang pukul delapan lewat tiga puluh menit
2. Pukul berapa kamu akan tiba di rumah?
3. Saya bekerja enam jam setiap hari
4. Perjalanan dari Jakarta ke Bali ditempuh sekitar satu jam empat puluh menit
5. Jam tangan kamu bagus sekali

1. It’s eight thirty now
2. What time will you arrive home?
3. I work six hours every day.
4. Trip from Jakarta to Bali takes around one hour and forty minutes.
5. Your wristwatch is really nice


Indonesian housewives usually join social gatherings with their acquaintances with some money collection in it. They will have the winner on each occasion by drawing name(s) and the winner can take all the money. Nowadays, this gathering happens among young people and men as well. We have a special word for this activity, arisan. Nowadays, an arisan can be in any circle of acquaintances, for example a group of housewives in a specific area or group of people who used to go to the same school. Does anyone here join arisan? :)

For more information about this social gathering: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arisan

Bu Hasan, arisan bulan ini akan diadakan di rumah siapa?

Bu Hasan, where will this month’s arisan be held?


Bukittinggi is a city located in West Sumatra. In the period of Dutch colonization, the city was known as Fort de K**k and used to be called as Parijs van Sumatra. If you visit Bukittinggi, don't miss Ngarai Sianok, the breathtaking canyon, and famous landmarks such as Jam Gadang and Istano Basa Pagaruyuang.

Bukit: hill
Tinggi: tall; high
Bukittinggi: high hill

For more information about the city: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bukittinggi

Original photo: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jam_Gadang #/media/File:Jam_Gadang,_Bukittinggi,_2016-02-12_01.jpg


In Bahasa Indonesia, we don’t have a specific word for 'sock'; instead, the word sock in Bahasa Indonesia is a combination word of Kaus and Kaki.

Kaus (most people pronounce 'Kaos') means t-shirt while kaki means foot. Also, no duplication needed, as we consider the word plural form. See? You learn two words, but in the end, you understand three words. ;)

Dimana kaus kaki merah saya?

Where are my red socks?


When it comes to duplication in Bahasa Indonesia, it simply means the plural form (for noun).

But some words that are not nouns but we duplicate it too. This time, we share one of them: Jangan-jangan.

On previous post, we shared a list of negation words in Bahasa Indonesia. Jangan, the negation in imperative form, can be duplicated too in Bahasa Indonesia. Jangan-jangan can be used when we assume something.

Macet sekali hari ini, jangan-jangan ada kecelakaan.

The traffic is really bad today, probably there’s an accident.


Bahasa Indonesia is one of the languages categorized as genderless-language. For example, the third person singular form, dia or ia, represents both male and female.

Dia adalah seorang guru

He is a teacher
She is a teacher


In Bahasa Indonesia, there are four negative words:
1. Tidak: negation for all types of predicates other than noun
2. Bukan: negation for noun
3. Belum: not yet (literal translation)
4. Jangan: negation only in imperative form

1. Hari ini saya tidak datang ke kantor
2. Ini bukan buku saya
3. Saya belum mandi sejak dua hari lalu
4. Jangan buang sampah sembarangan!

1. I am not coming to the office today
2. This is not my book
3. I haven’t taken a shower for two days
4. Don’t litter


We all know that Indonesia has a long history with the dutch. No wonder, we have some words originated from them like wastafel for example. And yes, we still use this word until this day.

Cucilah tanganmu di wastafel!

Wash your hand in the sink!


There are some strange but funny compound words in Bahasa Indonesia. One of them is Tahi Lalat. If you know what does tahi and lalat mean, you might wonder how these words become mole in English. See? You learn two words, but in the end, you understand three words 😉

Ada dua tahi lalat di wajah saya.

There are two moles on my face.


One of the famous proverbs in Bahasa Indonesia is ‘nasi sudah menjadi bubur’. Same with the English version (what’s done is done), we often say this proverb when something has already happened and we can’t change it.

Nasi: Rice
Sudah: Already
Menjadi: become
Bubur: Porridge

Do you know why this proverb contains rice and porridge?


We take the Daily Bahasa Indonesia project seriously. Do you know that the word serious in Bahasa Indonesia sounds similar with Dutch, Norwegian, Swedish, Romanian, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and French?

Istri: Mas, aku hamil.
Suami: Kamu serius?

Wife: Mas, I’m pregnant
Husband: Are you serious?


Well, we hope it is not too early to share one of the swear words in Bahasa Indonesia. One of them is Anjing!

Anjing Lo!
ENG: You dog! (literal translation)
*Lo = you (slang)

This swear word is often used by someone when involved in a quarrel. But occasionally used when people annoyed because of something or casually used between bros.

Any other language has the same swear words meaning dog?


One word with two different forms but three different meanings.

Otak-otak is a typical traditional Indonesian snack. We strip off the banana leaves, then we eat the fish cake with the hot sauce (sometimes the sauce contains peanuts too).

Apakah kamu pernah mencoba otak-otak?

ENG: Have you tried otak-otak?
the fish cake not the brains! ;p


Words in Bahasa Indonesia has similarities with other languages too. Today, we learned that the word pregnant in Bahasa Indonesia sounds similar with Arabic, Persian, Urdu, Uzbek, Tajik and Turkish.

Istriku sedang hamil tiga bulan
ENG: My wife is three months pregnant

How do you say pregnant in your mother tongue?


In Bahasa Indonesia, there are two different words for personal pronoun first-person plural:
1. 𝗞𝗮𝗺𝗶: we without you (the listener)
2. 𝗞𝗶𝘁𝗮: we with you (the listener)

Please leave a comment below if your mother tongue has a similar way of saying the first-person plural.

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