Acehnese (Bahsa Acèh)

Acehnese is a member of the Chamic branch of the Malayo-Polynesian language family. It is spoken in Indonesia, mainly in the provinces of Aceh and North Sumatra, and in Tapanuli Tengah regency. According to the census of 2000 there are about 3.5 million speakers of Acehnese, which is also known as Aceh, Achehnese, Achinese or Atjehnese.

Acehnese is used in homes, work and schools by adults and some young people, however people prefer to read in Indonesian, and there is a shift to speaking Indonesian in urban areas.

Acehnese is closely related to other Chamic language such as Jarai and Cham, which are spoken in Cambodia and Vietnam, and also to Minangkabau, Gayo and Batak.

Acehnese was formerly written with the Arabic script (Jawoë / Jawi). The Latin alphabet was adopted after the Dutch colonized Indonesia during the 17th century. However, the Arabic script continued to be used to some extent until recently.

Acehnese alphabet and pronunciation

Acehnese alphabet and pronunciation

The Acehnese alphabet also contains f [f], q [q/k], v [v], x [ks], and z [z], although they are only used in loanwords and are often replaced by ph, k, bh, ks, and dh.

Download an alphabet chart for Acehnese (Excel)

Sample text in Acehnese (Latin alphabet)

Bandum ureuëng lahé deungon meurdéhka, dan deungon martabat dan hak njang saban. Ngon akai euseumiké, ngon haté geumeurasa, bandum geutanjoë lagèë sjèëdara. Hak dan keumuliaan.

A recording of this text by Dr Husseini Hassan


Another recording of this text


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)

Sample videos

Information about Acehnese | Numbers | Tower of Babel


Information about Acehnese

Acehnese language learning blog

Acehnese text-to-speech engine

Chamic languages

Acehnese, Cham, Chru, Haroi, Jarai, Rade

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page last modified: 16.09.22


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