99+ Indonesian Words in Malay – Meaning – Examples

Selamat datang!

Have you ever confused to distinguish Bahasa Indonesia with Malay (Malaysian Language). Believe me, you are not alone because both languages derived from same root, so basically they were same. However, their development have come to different direction. Beside Malay, many of Bahasa Indonesia words absorbed many languages from local languages (Javanese, Balinese and many more), Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch, English, Sanskrit, Arabic and others (French, Spanish and so on).

The local languages and Dutch loanwords are the main aspects that differ Bahasa Indonesia and Malay. Therefore, while the Bahasa Indonesia has many influences by Dutch in their language system (and English in recent words), the situation does not implied in Malay  which influenced mostly by English. Therefore, some of the words might has different meaning for same words and vice versa. Let’s take a look of Indonesian Words in Malay!

Further reading: Main Differences Between Bahasa Indonesia and Malaysian Language

Different Words in Bahasa Indonesia and Malay

These are the lists of Bahasa Indonesia and its Malay equivalent. This group of words refer same reference, but the words do not exist in the other one language (because there are group of words that exist in both language, but have different meaning). This might happened because different loanwords, language system and translaton rules or pronunciation (because Indonesian tend to Dutch, while Malay to English alphabet pronunciation).

  • March
    – Maret (Bahasa Indonesia)
    – Mac (Malay)
  • Monday
    – Senin (Bahasa Indonesia)
    – Isnin (Malay)
  • Apple
    – Apel (Bahasa Indonesia)
    – Epal (Malay)
  • Because
    – Karena (Bahasa Indonesia)
    – Kerana (Malay)
  • Ticket
    – Karcis, tiket (Bahasa Indonesia)
    – Tiket (Malay)
  • University
    – Universitas (Bahasa Indonesia)
    – Universiti (Malay)
  • Faculty
    Fakultas (Bahasa Indonesia)
    – Fakulti (Malay)
  • Chair
    – Kursi (Bahasa Indonesia)
    – Kerusi (Malay)
  • Chairman
    – Ketua (Bahasa Indonesia)
    – Pengerusi (Malay)
  • Television
    – Televisi (Bahasa Indonesia)
    – Televisyen (Malay)
  • Orange (fruit)
    – Jeruk (Bahasa Indonesia)
    – Oren (Malay)
  • Meaning
    – Arti (Bahasa Indonesia)
    – Erti (Malay)
  • Different
    Beda (Bahasa Indonesia)
    – Beza (Malay)
  • Broken
    – Rusak (Bahasa Indonesia)
    – Rosak (Malay)
  • Business
    – Bisnis (Bahasa Indonesia)
    – Bisnes (Malay)
  • Bus
    Bus (Bahasa Indonesia)
    – Bas (Malay)
  • Civil
    – Sipil (Bahasa Indonesia)
    – Sivil (Malay)
  • Taxi
    – Taksi (Bahasa Indonesia)
    – Teksi (Malay)
  • E-mail
    e-mail (post), pos-el (pos electronik/electronic post)
    – emel (Malay)
    *pos-el is Indonization od e-mail to Bahasa Indonesia language system
  • i.e.
    – Yaitu (Bahasa Indonesia)
    – Iaitu (Malay)
  • Poison
    – bisa (viper), racun (Bahasa Indonesia)
    – racun (Malay)
    *there is no specific posion like ‘bisa’ in Malay
  • Animal
    – Hewan, binatang, satwa (Bahasa Indonesia)
    – Binatang, haiwan (Malay) 
  • Hospital
    Rumah sakit (Bahasa Indonesia) from the word rumah (house) and sakit (ill/sick)
    – Hospital (Malay)
    *Malay also known ‘rumah sakit’, but it is used in pra-Independence era
  • Zoo
    – Kebun binatang, taman safari
    – Zoo (Malay), taman haiwan
    **Malay also known ‘kebun binatang’, but it is used in pra-Independence era

Check also :

Words Existed in Bahasa Indonesia and Malay with Different Meaning

Here are the examples of words that translated differently to both language, but the word also exist in the other language despite might have very different meaning. Here are more examples of Indonesian Words in Malay!

  • Child(ren)
    Anak-anak (Bahasa Indonesia)
    – Budak (Malay)
    *Budak in Bahasa Indonesia means ‘slave’
  • You
    – Kamu, Anda (Bahasa Indonesia)
    – Anda, Awak (Malay)
    *Awak in Bahasa Indonesia means ‘crew’ (mostly in ship/airplane)
  • Can
    – Bisa, dapat (Bahasa Indonesia)
    – Boleh (Malay)
    *Boleh in Bahasa Indonesia means ‘may (implied given permission)’
  • Saving
    – Hemat (Bahasa Indonesia)
    – Jimat (Malay)
    *Jimat in Bahasa Indonesia means ‘amulet’
  • Free
    – Gratis (Bahasa Indonesia)
    – Percuma (Malay)
    * Percuma in Bahasa Indonesia means ‘useless’
  • Head Office
    – Kantor pusat (Bahasa Indonesia)
    – Ibu pejabat (Malay)
    *Ibu pejabat usually refer to female politician or politician wife
  • Refrigerator
    Kulkas (Bahasa Indonesia)
    – Peti sejuk (Malay)
    *There is no peti sejuk in Bahasa Indonesia. It literal meaning is cool box [peti (box) and sejuk (cool)] which refer to cooler box (not refrigerator)
  • Car
    – Mobil (Bahasa Indonesia)
    – Kereta (Malay) *also in Sumatra, Indonesia
    *Kereta in Bahasa Indonesia means ‘train’
  • Census
    Sensus (Bahasa Indonesia)
    – Banci (Malay)
    *Banci in Bahasa Indonesia means ‘shemale, drag queen, or feminine man’ (very abusive word)
  • B*stard
    Anak haram (Bahasa Indonesia)
    – Gampang (Malay)
    *Gampang in Bahasa Indonesia means ‘easy, effortless’
  • Turn
    Berputar (Bahasa Indonesia)
    – Pusing (Malay)
    *Pusing in Bahasa Indonesia means ‘dizzy’
  • Policy
    – Polis (Bahasa Indonesia)
    – Polisi (Malay)
    *Polisi in Bahasa Indonesia means ‘police’, while polis means ‘spy’ and similar to ‘police’ in Malay
  • Toilet
    – Toilet, kamar mandi, kamar kecil, ke belakang, WC, tandas, peturasan (Bahasa Indonesia)
    – Tandas (Malay)
    *Tandas in Bahasa Indonesia also means ’emphasize’
  • Office
    – Kantor (Bahasa Indonesia)
    – Pejabat (Malay)
    *Pejabat means ‘official’ in Bahasa Indonesia, but sometimes refer to politicians  
  • Study, Education
    – Pendidikan (Bahasa Indonesia)
    – Pengajian (Malay)
    *Pengajian has specific meaning of ‘Quran learning’
  • Natural
    – Natural, alami (Bahasa Indonesia)
    – Semula jadi (Malay)
    *Semula means ‘originally’ and jadi means ‘become’. There word is odd in Bahasa Indonesia.

Before we end this lesson, please try to find and compare the meaning of these words in Bahasa Indonesia and Malay. Good luck!

  • bercinta =
  • butuh =
  • sulit =
  • buntut =
  • kerajaan

That’s a wrap in Indonesian Words in Malay. Now I hope you also determine to know more about Indonesian vocabulary! Here are the examples that might help: