A-Z Sanskrit Words in Indonesian Language (Loanwords)

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Indonesia is a country rich in history and culture. Our history dates back to thousands of years ago. This country has always been popular as the home of exotic spices, so this attracted colonizers and traders from all over the world. So, many aspects of Indonesian culture today, including language, is heavily influenced from other nations! For example, now we have Indonesian words derived from Arabic and Dutch.

Sanskrit Words in Indonesian Language

One of them is the Sanskrit language where we got many loanwords from. We learned this from Indians who came to Indonesia to trade or spread Hinduism and Buddhism.

Here are some of the Sanskrit words in Indonesian Language:

Word Meaning Example
agama religion Di Indonesia terdapat 5 agama utama (In Indonesia, there are 5 major religions)
aksara letter Ia mengumpulkan aksara dari tahun 1920 (He collects letters from year 1920)
bahasa language Ia menguasai 6 bahasa (He masters 6 languages)
bakti, bhakti homage, devotion, service etc. Kita perlu menunjukkan bakti kita kepada negara (We need to show devotion to our country)
berita news Berita sore ini begitu mengagetkan (The news this evening is so shocking)
budi reason Ia bertindak tanpa budi (He acted out without reason)
bumi earth Satelit itu membantu memotret bumi dari jauh (The satellite helps taking a picture of the earth from afar)
cahaya light Anak kecil itu tersenyum ketika melihat cahaya matahari (The child smiles looking at the light of the sun)
cakram, cakra disk, sphere etc. Aku harus membeli beberapa kertas cakram (I need to buy some paper disks)
cakrawala horizon Ia mengambil foto cakrawala yang sangat indah (He takes a very beautiful picture of the horizon)
dana donation, funds Kami mengumpulkan dana untuk amal (We collect donation for charity)
dharma, darma duty, good deeds (i.e. charity), truth etc. Anak-anak harus diajarkan dharma sejak kecil (Children need to be taught of good deeds since childhood)
desa village Petani itu pergi dari desa ke kota untuk menjual hasil panennya (The farmer goes from the village to the town to sell his harvest)
gajah elephant Kami melihat gajah di kebun binatang (We saw an elephant at the zoo)
genta bell Suara genta menandakan sudah tengah malam (The sound of the bell tells it’s midnight)
guna utilize, use, purpose Ia menimba ilmu guna melanjutkan usaha keluarganya (He gains knowledge to continue his family’s business)
guru teacher, guru Guru adalah pahlawan tanpa tanda jasa (Teachers are heroes with no service prize)
jasa merit, service etc. Kami tidak akan melupakan jasa para pahlawan (We won’t forget the service of our heroes)
karma karma (Hindu origin) Guru kami tidak percaya karma (Our teacher doesn’t believe in karma)
karya work, oeuvre Profesor itu memamerkan karyanya di pameran ilmiah (The professor showcases his work in the science fair)
kepala head Ia bekerja keras untuk menjadi kepala keluarga (He works hard to be the head of his family)
kerja work Ia bekerja tanpa lelah (He works without getting weary)
mantra mantra Tidak ada mantra untuk sukses (There is no mantra for success)
menteri minister Menteri pendidikan berkunjung ke sekolah kami hari ini (The minister of education visited our school today)
nama name Nama saya… (My name is…)
negara country Saya merindukan negara asli saya (I miss my home country)
negeri more literary form of country Ia berkelana ke negeri orang sejak kecil (She travelled to foreign countries since she was young)
pahala merit, reward (for moral conduct) Ibu memberikan yang terbaik tanpa mencari pahala  (Moms give their best without seeking merit)
paksa to force Kerja paksa sangat umum di masa penjajahan (Forced work is so common during colonialism)
pustaka book Anda bisa menemukan pustaka kuno di sini (You can find ancient books here)
rasa emotion, feeling, taste Sup itu memiliki rasa yang terlalu asin (The soup’s taste is too salty)
sastra literature Putri saya ingin belajar sastra (My daughter wants to study literature)
seteru enemy Kedua tetangga itu sudah berseteru sejak dulu (The two neighbors have been enemies for a long time)
topi hat Kami membeli selusin topi untuk oleh-oleh (We bought a dozen hats for gifts)
utara north Kota ini lebih dingin di utara  (This town is colder in the north)
warna colour Terdapat tujuh warna pelangi (There are seven rainbow colours)
warta news Ia membawa warta yang tidak terduga (He brings unexpected news)
warta berita news broadcast Adik saya menjadi pembawa warta berita sore ini (My younger sibling is the news broadcast anchor this evening)

There are many new words to learn, aren’t they? Don’t forget to check out the strategies to learn Indonesian language through English to make it easier for you, also learn basic Indonesian language with the experts! Good luck!

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