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Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia)

Indonesian, an Austronesian language, is a standardized form of Malay and is spoken throughout Indonesia. About 30 million people speak Indonesian as their first language and a further 140 million speak it as a second language. Indonesia is a linguistically diverse region where the Indonesian language acts as a lingua franca, even though there are more native speakers of Javanese - about 75 million.

During the time Indonesia was a Dutch colony, the Latin alphabet was introduced to write Indonesian and a number of Dutch spellings were used. This alphabet was called ejaan lama (Old Script) in Indonesian.

In the 1930s, as part of the independence movement, the Indonesian language was standardised and the term Bahasa Indonesia was adopted as the name of the language.

In 1947 the spelling of oe was changed to u. Then in 1972 a set of official changes to the Indonesian spelling system were introduced by former president Soeharto. The major changes included changing ch to kh, dj to j, j to y, nj to ny, sj to sy, and tj to c.

Indonesian alphabet

A a B b C c D d E e F f G g H h I i J j K k L l M m
a be ce de e ef ge ha i je ka el em
N n O o P p Q q R r S s T t U u V v W w X x Y y Z z
en o pe ki er es te u fe we eks ye zet

A recording of the Indonesian alphabet by Pangus Ho

Indonesian pronunciation (Cara Pengucapan)

Indonesian pronunciation

Download an Indonesian (and Malay) pronunciation chart (Excel)



Sample text

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.

A recording of this text by Ali Aulia Ghozali


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.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Indonesian pages

Information about Indonesian | Phrases | Numbers | Tower of Babel | Articles | Learning materials


Information about Indonesian

Online Indonesian lessons

Indonesian phrases

Online Indonesian dictionaries

Indonesian Electronic talking dictionaries

Kursus Bahasa: Sistem Penyelenggaraan Kelas

Online Indonesian translation

Malayo-Polynesian languages

Other languages written with the Latin alphabet

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