6 Ways on How to Speak Indonesian Words Fast

When diving into a new language like How to talk with Indonesian Like A Pro, you’ll definitely learn many new vocabularies. The pronunciation of these words might even sound strange at first as the sounds might be different from your mother tongue. In this article, we’ll take a look at some basic Indonesian words  for beginner as well as how to pronounce them correctly.

To start, you should get familiar with the sounds of vowels in Indonesian. Here’s a guide summarized in a table for you on how to speak Indonesian words:

Vowel Symbol Explanation
a ɑ like the a in father
1 ə like the a in about or ago.
2 ɛ like the e in bed or dress
i i like the ee in meet
1 o like the o in low.
2 ɔ like the o in stop.
u u like the oo in moon

For consonants, there’s not much difference between Indonesian and English consonant sounds. However, you need to keep in mind that the ‘r’ pronunciation in Indonesian is rough, and not soft like in the English language. You’re pronouncing the Indonesian ‘r’ correctly if it sounds like the rolled Spanish ‘r’.

Aside from consonants, there are also compound letters in Indonesian, which are basically made from the blend of two consonants and how to speak Indonesian words. Get familiar with them:

Compound Symbol Description Example
kh x like the ch in Loch ness akhir (end)
ng ŋ like the soft ng in singing kosong (empty)
ngg ŋg like the hard ng in mango mangga (mango)
ny nj like the ny in canyon nyanyi (sing)
sy ʃ like the sh in shop syal (scarf)

Let’s put the table above into practice as we learn some basic Indonesian words!

  1. Time of day

Here are Common Greetings In Indonesian for Beginner:

  • Pagi (Morning)
  • Siang (Afternoon) à pay attention to the ng sound like described in the table above.
  • Sore (Evening)
  • Malam (Night)

Tip: these words are especially useful for greetings. Depending on the time of day, a basic Indonesian greeting would be Selamat _____ (Good _____).

  1. Size

Here are Indonesian Vocabulary

  • Besar (Big)
  • Sedang (Medium)
  • Kecil (Small)
  1. Color

Here are Ways on How to Learn Bahasa Fast (Indonesian Language):

  • Merah (Red)
  • Jingga (Orange) à notice the ngg sound.
  • Kuning (Yellow)
  • Biru (Blue)
  • Hijau (Green)
  • Hitam (Black)
  • Putih (White) 
  1. Food
  • Roti (Bread)
  • Nasi (Rice)
  • Ayam (Chicken)
  • Sayur (Vegetable)
  • Buah (Fruit)
  1. Places
  • Kantor (Office)
  • Sekolah (School)
  • Kampus (University/Campus)
  • Toko (Store)
  • Bioskop (Cinema)
  • Rumah (House)

The interesting part about places vocab in Indonesian is that some place names are adapted from the commonly known English language, like mall, supermarket, and minimarket.

  1. Activities
  • Kerja (Work)
  • Belajar (Study)
  • Nyanyi (Sing) à notice the ny sound that appears twice here.
  • Nonton (Watch; for movie)
  • Pergi (Go)
  • Tulis (Write)
  • Baca (Read)

Here are the video on how to speak Indonesian fluently!


The more you speak Indonesian, the more new vocabularies you’ll discover. Don’t forget the basic pronounciation rules as you learn. Hope now you know how to speak Indonesian words.Good luck!