How to Pronounce Indonesian Words – Types

So, you have learned how to pronounce Indonesian alphabets and now moving on to pronounce Indonesian words. You may be asking How to Pronounce Indonesian Names? In general, Indonesian words pronunciation is not very difficult because it is spoken exactly as it is written. However, because English and Indonesian alphabets have a different way of pronunciation, there are some Ways on How to Speak Indonesian Words Fast. How to Pronounce Indonesian Words? here is it!

Consonant with most pronunciation mistakes

  • C – ‘c’ in Bahasa Indonesia is pronounced like ‘ce’ in cello or sometimes ‘che’ like in chat, for example, Cinta (love). However, the ‘c’ never sounds like ‘c’ in the cat.
  • H – ‘h’ is pronounced as ‘ha’ in-house such as Bahasa (language) and hari (day). Sometimes it also appears at the ends such as Sekolah (school) and you pronounce it as ‘h’ in ah.
  • R – ‘r’ is pronounced in strong such as ‘er’ in aero. It is also usually a tap of the tongue in behinds the teeth. Sometimes it is also a string ‘rr’ like especially at the ends of the words such as ‘rr’ like in Spanish Arriba.

Consonant with different pronunciation from English

  • J – Pronounce like ‘ja’ in jack such as saja (only) and jumpa (meet).
  • K – Pronounce like ‘ka’ in skate for example es krim (ice cream) and kopi (coffee).
  • P – Pronounce like ‘p’ in a pet, for example, apa (what) and pagi (morning).
  • T – Pronounce like‘t’ in stop. For example itu (that) and tas (bag).

Note: some words with K, P, and T do not have the characteristic of pull of air like words in English such as put, kill, and tap. Learn more about What is The Indonesian Alphabet

Combination of consonants

  • Ng – the combination of ‘ng’ usually found in middle words such as dengan (with), mengerti (understand), mengingat (to remember), jangan (do not), and so on. This diphthong is pronounced as hard letter ‘g’ instead of ‘ng’ together. It sounds like the pronunciation of lung and sung with ‘g’ should not be heard in the next syllable. Sometimes ‘ng’ also followed with ‘g’ like in words sungguh (really), hingga (until), Inggris (English), and so on. For words like this, the second ‘g’ should be strong.
  • Ny – the combination of ‘ny’ is pronounced like ‘ny’ in canyon such as artinya (the meaning) and banyak (many).
  • Sy – the combination of ‘ny’ is pronounced like‘s’ and ‘y’ pass the plate. It closely pronounces like ‘sh’ show for example asyik (interesting) and syukur (gratitude). (Learn more: Indonesian (me-) and  Indonesian Verb Prefixes Phonology )

Double vowels

Some words in Bahasa Indonesia also consist of double vowels with no consonant in between such as Maaf (sorry). When pronouncing the words with double vowels, you put glottal stop between the vowels like when you say “uh-oh”. So, now you know how to pronounce Indonesian Words.

In general, Indonesian words are spelled as the writings. Even though there is some exception to some words, there should be no actual problems for you to learn pronouncing Indonesian words. So, Is Indonesia an Easy Language to Learn?