99+ Indonesian Words from Spanish and Meaning

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As you know, beside Netherlands, British, Japan, and Portuguese, Indonesia was also colonized by Spain (mostly in Eastern side of Indonesia in 16th century, alongside with Portuguese era). However, you might find lots of Indonesian Words Derived from Dutch or Portuguese Words in Indonesian Language, but there are not many words derived from Spanish.

It might be cause by the fact that the impacts of Spanish colonialism were not as global and deeply felt as Dutch or even colonialism. Instead, some of it derived from Latin culture or recent phenomena, while some came mostly from food. Moreover, although the words are included in Indonesian National Encyclopedia (Kamus Besar Bahasa Indonesia/KBBI), you might found it uncommon and unpopular for the native speakers. Okay, now let’s see Indonesian Words From Spanish.

Notes: FYI, instead of Spain, in Bahasa Indonesia Spain and Spanish are both translated as Spanyol [spañol], which more similar with Spanish pronunciation itself, because Indonesian has [ñ] sound, like in España (Spain) and Español (Spanish), as well as Catalunya [Cataluña] for Cataluña (Catalonia).

Before we start, check also these following articles:

List of Indonesian Words Derived from Spanish

Notes: These are the words that included in Indonesian Encyclopedia. Except for plaza, telenovela and pagoda, the words are rarely used!

  • detenidos (from détènidos) = people who are arrested because he/she broke the law
  • hailai (from jai alai) = sport from Spanish, involving a ball as big as tennis ball that bounced off a walled space by accelerating it to high speeds with a hand-held device.
  • kamisa (from camisa) = shirt (commonly and frequently used synonym in Bahasa Indonesia = kemeja)
  • pagoda (from pagoda) = pagoda, tiered tower with roof on each tier, build as temple mostly in South/East/Southeast Asia.
  • piko- (from pico) = 1/1 trillion (such as pikometer = picometer)
  • plaza (from plaza) = open urban public space (but in Indonesia it is used similar with the word ‘mall’ that means shopping center. Some of popular plaza is Plaza Indonesia, Plaza Senayan, Gajah Mada Plaza)
  • ponco (from poncho) = an outer garment to warm the body/very long raincoat. Recently it is called jas hujan Batman (Batman raincoat)
  • retenidos (from réténidos) = a person that temporary arrested before trial
  • sombrero (from sombréro) = Mexican hat
  • siesta (from siésta) = an afternoon rest or nap
  • telenovela (from télénovèla) = South American soap opera
    *before Turkey and Korean drama, Indonesia has certain period of uncountable Telenovela era such as Rosalinda, Amigos X Siempre, Carita de Angel and many more (it has very huge impact on Indonesian), as well as kids program like Dora the Explorer and Diego.

Read also: Indonesian Words with English Meaning and Untranslatable Indonesian Words with No English Equivalent

More Indonesian Words from Spanish!

Here are several words in Spanish which is familiar and mostly translated as it’s original form. Most of it is Spanish/Latin food or arts. However, some of Spanish word are originally translated first to English before they are absorbed to Bahasa Indonesia. Others, might also derived from Portuguese.

  • pinata (from piñata) = a container which is decorated and filled with small toys or candy, or both, and then broken as part of a ceremony or celebration by the blindfolded person.
  • fiesta = celebration (it commonly refers to food company in Indonesia)
  • diablo = (it is also used in several brand and restaurant)
  • matador (bullfighter).
    Also used for Spanish national football team nickname
  • nacos (from nachos) = usually become cinema’s snack beside popcorn
  • churros = it became really popular in Indonesia market, especially in big city
  • salsa (it is also used for sauce company in Indonesia)
  • zumba (very popular in Indonesia right now)
  • cha-cha (also used as Indonesian candy brand)
  • tango (it is also used as a wafer brand in Indonesia)

Other Indonesian words from Spanish:

  • paella
  • tortilla
  • burrito
  • taco
  • tequila
  • mojito
  • paso doble
  • rumba
  • samba

Further readings : English Words from Indonesian Origin and Sanskrit Words in Indonesian Language

Instead of Indonesian Words Derived from Spanish, you will more frequently find Spanish name in Indonesian people name (mostly in metropolitan city , such as Jakarta). You won’t be surprise if you met Indonesian people name or has Spanish surname even though do not come from Spanish/Latin heritage.

The usual names used by Indonesian are Fernando, Rafael, Paulina, Belinda, Juan, Rosa, Esperanza, Pedro, Pablo and so on. If the Spanish football and pop-culture (such as Despacito song) are still popular, there will be more Spanish name than Spanish word in Bahasa Indonesia.

Okay, it is all about Indonesian Words Derived from Spanish. There are not many, but do not mean less important than others. Now, here are several recommended articles for you to read. Take a look!

Good luck and see you soon!