Learn 500 Useful Indonesian Words in 5 Minutes

Beside Indonesian Grammar Rules,  learning Indonesian vocabulary is a very important in expressing ourselves in a conversation. Therefore, this time, let’s learn Indonesian 500 Useful Indonesian Words and Its Meaning. To make it more organize, it will divided to several themes.

1. Useful Indonesian Words related to ‘Family’

  • keluarga = family
  • orangtua = parent(s)
  • ayah = father
    *other synonyms: bapak, papa
  • ibu = mother
    *other synonyms: bunda, mama
  • saudara = siblings
    *other synonym: kakak adik
  • kakak = older brother/sister
  • kakak laki-laki = older brother
    *other synonyms: abang, mas, koko
  • kakak perempuan = older sister
    *other synonyms: mbak, cici
  • adik = younger brother/sister
    *other form: dedek
  • adik laki-laki = younger brother
  • adik perempuan = younger sister
  • kakek = grandfather
  • nenek = grandmother
  • kakek nenek = grandparents
    *other synonyms: eyang, mbah
  • buyut = great-grandparent(s)
    *other synonyms: eyang buyut, mbah buyut
  • kakek buyut = great-grandfather
  • nenek buyut = great-grandmother
  • anak = child/kid
  • anak laki-laki = son
    *other synonym: putra
  • anak perempuan = daughter
    *other synonym: putri
  • cucu = grandchild
  • cucu laki-laki = grandson
  • cucu perempuan = granddaughter
  • canggah = great-great-grandchild(ren)
  • paman = uncle
    *other synonym: om
  • bibi = aunt
    *other synonym: tante
  • sepupu = cousin(s)
  • keponakan = nephew(s)/niece(s)
  • keponakan laki-laki = nephew(s)
  • keponakan perempuan = (niece)
  • mertua = in-law(s) (parents)
  • menantu = law(s)
  • (saudara) ipar = in-laws (siblings)
  • ayah mertua = father-in-law
  • ibu mertua = mother-in-law
  • kakak ipar = (older) brother/sister-in-law
  • adik ipar = (younger) brother/sister-in-law
  • anak tiri = stepchild(ren)/stepson/stepdaughter
  • ayah tiri = stepfather
  • ibu tiri = stepmother
  • orangtua baptis = godparent(s)
  • ayah baptis = godfather
  • ibu baptis = godmother
  • anak baptis = godson/goddaughter
  • bayi = baby
  • remaja = teenager
  • Indonesian Words for Family Members

Further reading: Indonesian Pronouns

2. Useful Words Related to ‘House’

  • rumah = house/home
  • ruang(an)/kamar = room
  • kamar tidur = bedroom
  • kamar mandi = bathroom
  • ruang tamu = living room
    *other synonym: ruang keluarga, ruang tengah
  • ruang makan = dining room
  • dapur = kitchen
  • halaman = backyard
  • gudang = warehouse
  • loteng = attic
  • ruang bawah tanah = basement
  • teras = terrace
  • atap = roof
  • pintu = door(s)
  • jendela = window(s)
  • lantai = floor
  • meja = table
  • kursi = chair
  • lampu = lamp
  • ranjang = bed
    *other synonyms: tempattidur, kasur

Further reading : Indonesian Nouns

 3. Useful Words related to ‘Daily Activities’

  • bangun (tidur) = wake up
  • mandi = take a bath/shower
  • menggosok gigi = brush teeth
    *other synonym = menyikat gigi
  • keramas = wash hair
  • buang air kecil = pee/urinate
    *other synonym = pipis
  • buang air besar = poop
  • membersihkan kamar = clean the room
  • merapikan kamar = tidy the room
  • berangkat = go
  • bersekolah = study
  • bekerja = work
  • berjalan = walk
  • berlari = run
  • duduk = sit
  • berdiri = stand
  • berlutut = kneel
  • memasak = cook
  • makan = eat
  • minum = drink
  • sarapan = have breakfast
    *other synonym: makan pagi
  • makan siang = have lunch
  • makan malam = have dinner
  • mencuci = wash
  • bermain = play
  • mengerjakan PR = do homework
  • pulang = go home
  • berbelanja = shop
  • belajar = study
  • tidur siang = take a nap
  • tidur = sleep
  • bermimpi = dream (v)

Further reading: Most Common Indonesian Verbs

4. Useful Words related to ‘Hobbies’

  • membaca = read
  • menulis = write
  • melukis = paint
  • menggambar = draw/sketch
    *other synonym= mensketsa
  • menyanyi = sing
    *other synonym= bernyanyi
  • menari = dance
    *other synonym= berdansa
  • berolahraga = do sport(s)
  • menonton = watch
    *other synonyms = melihat, menyaksikan
  • berfoto = take self-picture(s)/group pictures
  • memotret = do photography/ take pictures
  • memancing = fishing
  • mendengarkan musik = listen music
  • mengoleksi = collect
  • menunggang kuda = ride a horse
  • berkebun = gardening
  • berpergian = travel
    *other synonym = terbang (fly) because usually berpergian refers to somewhere far

Further reading : Indonesian Verbs

5. Useful Words related to ‘Sport’

  • olahraga = sport(s)
  • atlet = athlete (s)
    *other synonyms = olahragawan (male), olahragawati (female)
  • pusat olahraga = sport center
  • sehat = healthy
  • bugar = fit
  • sepak bola = football/soccer
  • basket = basketball
  • voli = volleyball
  • tenis = tennis
  • tenis meja = table tennis
    *other synonym: pingpong
  • balap sepeda = cycling
  • balapan = racing
  • memanah = archery
  • berenang = swimming
  • selam = diving
  • hoki = hockey
  • melompat = jump
  • menyepak = kick
    *other synonym = menendang
  • memukul = hit
  • lari = run/sprint
  • pemain = player
  • pebalap = racer
  • wasit = referee
  • kiper = goalkeeper
  • pinalti = penalty
  • menang = win
  • kalah = lose
  • seri = draw
  • juara = winner
  • pecundang = loser
  • curang = unfair/cheat
  • lapangan = yard/field
  • stadion = stadium
  • pertandingan = match
  • pendukung = supporter/fans
    *other synonym: suporter, fans

6. Indonesian Question Words

  • apa = what
  • siapa = who/whom/whose (asking name)
  • kapan = when
    *other synonym = bilamana
  • di mana = where
  • ke mana = where (to)
  • darimana = where (from)
  • mengapa = why
    *other synonym = kenapa
  • bagaimana = how
  • berapa = how many/how much
  • yang mana – which
  • jam berapa = what time

Further readings :

7. Useful Indonesian Words related to ‘Time’

  • jam = clock/alarm
  • jam dinding = clock
  • weker = alarm
    *other synonyms = jam weker, alarm
  • jarum jam = clockwise
  • jam/pukul = time (interrogative) – word before mention ‘the time’
  • jam kerja = working time
  • jam = hour
  • menit = minute
  • detik = second
  • ketika = when
    *other synonyms = saat, pada saat, waktu, pada waktu
  • lama = long (for time)
  • lama = length
  • sebentar = a second
    *other synonyms = sekilas, sesaat
  • terlambat = late
    *other synonym = telat
  • tepat waktu = on time
  • subuh = dawn
  • pagi = morning
  • siang = afternoon
  • sore = afternoon
  • petang = afternoon
  • senja = daylight
  • malam = evening
  • malam = night
  • hari = day
  • minggu = week
  • bulan = month
  • tahun = year
  • windu = 8-year period
  • dasawarsa = decade
    *other synonym = dekade
  • abad = century
  • milenium = millenial
  • Senin = Monday
  • Selasa = Tuesday
  • Rabu = Wednesday
  • Kamis = Thursday
  • Jumat = Friday
  • Sabtu = Saturday
  • Minggu = Sunday
  • hari kerja = weekday
  • akhir pekan = weekend
  • tahunan = annual
  • Masehi = after century (A.D.)
  • Sebelum masehi = before century (D.C.)
  • sejarah = history

Further readings = Time in Bahasa Indonesia

8. Indonesian Useful Words related to ‘Shopping’

  • belanja/berbelanja = shop (v)
  • menjual = sell
  • menjual = have sale value
  • membeli = buy
  • menawar = negotiate
    *other synonym = negosiasi
  • membayar = pay
  • tips = tip/insentive
    *other synonyms = insentif, uang rokok, uang lelah
  • uang = money
    *other synonym = duit
  • tunai = cash
  • kredit = credit
  • utang = debt
  • piutang = accounts receivable
  • transaksi = transaction
  • harga = cost
  • berapa = how much/how many
  • mahal = expensive
  • kemahalan = too expensive
  • murah = cheap
  • bagus = good
  • jelek = bad
  • kemurahan = too cheap
  • terjangkau = affordable
  • setimpal = worth it
  • untung = profit
  • rugi = loss
  • laku =saleable
  • pedagang = merchant
    *other synonym = penjual
  • pembeli = buyer
    *other synonym = pelanggan
  • kasir = cashier (person)
  • barang = goods
  • jasa = service
    *other synonym = pelayanan
  • toko = shop
  • pasar = market
  • pasar tradisional = traditional market
  • pasar swalayan = supermarket
  • pasar loak = flea market
  • bekas = old
    *other synonym = tua
  • baru = new
  • persediaan = stock
    *other synonym = stok
  • jauh = far
  • dekat = close

Further readings =

9. Useful Adjective Words

  • senang = happy
    *other synonyms = bahagia
  • sedih = sad
    *other synonyms = berduka, berkabung, murung
  • marah = angry
  • kesal = annoyed
  • terkejut= shock, surprised
  • berani = brave
  • takut = scare
  • menakutkan = scary, frightening
    *other synonym = menyeramkan
  • malu = ashamed
  • percaya diri = confident
  • rendah hati = humble
  • rendah diri = minder
  • sombong = cocky
    *other synonyms = congkak, tinggi hati
  • pintar = smart
    *other synonym = pandai
  • cerdas = clever
  • licik = slick
  • bodoh = stupid
  • malas = lazy
  • rajin = dilligent
  • kesepian = lonely
  • cantik = pretty/beautiful (mostly female)
    *other synonyms = jelita, rupawan
  • ganteng = handsome (must be male)
    *other synonyms = tampan, rupawan
  • buruk rupa = ugly (face)
    *other synonym = jelek
  • indah = beautiful, gorgeus (non-person)
    *other synonym = good
  • tinggi = high
  • rendah = short (height)
  • panjang = long
  • pendek = short
  • sedang = so so
    *other synonym = biasa
  • biasa = usual, normal
    *other synonym = normal
  • aneh = quirky, odd
  • unik = unique
  • lucu = funny
  • jayus = not funny (joke)
    *other synonym = garing
  • benar = right
    *other synonyms = betul, tepat
  • salah = wrong
  • kaya = rich
    *other synonym = mampu
  • miskin = poor
    *other synonym = tidak/kurang mampu
  • bersih = clean/clear
  • kotor = dirty
  • rapi = tidy
  • berantakan = messy
  • gampang = easy
    *other synonym = mudah
  • susah = difficult
    *other synonyms = sulit, sukar
  • atas  = above/high
  • bawah = under/low
  • matang = cook
  • mentah = raw
  • tua = old
  • sepuh = very old (person)
  • muda = young
  • gemuk = fat
    *other synonyms = gendut, besar
  • kurus = thin
  • mungil = petite
  • besar = big, huge
    *other synonym = gede
  • kecil = small, little
  • banyak = many/much
  • sedikit = few
  • kuno = ancient
  • terang = light, bright
  • silau = too bright
  • gelap = dark
  • remang = dimly lit.
  • sama = same
  • serupa = similar
  • beda = different
  • beragam = diverse
  • luas = wide
  • sempit = narrow

Further reading:  100 Lists of Indonesian Adjectives

Another Indonesian Useful Vocabulary !

10. Indonesian Color

  • merah = red
  • jingga = orange
    *other synonym = oranye
  • kuning = yellow
  • hijau = green
  • biru = blue
  • nila = indigo
  • ungu = purple/violet
  • hitam = black
  • putih = white
  • abu-abu = grey
  • merah muda = pink
    *other synonym = pink
  • muda (color) = light
  • tua (color) = dark
  • hijau muda = light green
  • biru tua = dark blue
  • biru dongker – navy blue
  •  Colours in Indonesian Language

11. Useful Words Related to ‘Education’

  • pendidikan = education
  • sekolah = school
  • Taman Kanak-Kanak (TK) = kindergarden
  • Sekolah Dasar (SD) = elementary school
  • sekolah menengah = secondary school
  • Sekolah Menengah Pertama (SMP) = junior high school
  • Sekolah Menengah Atas (SMA) = senior high school
  • Sekolah Menengah Kejuruan (SMK) = vocational high school
  • kuliah = go to college/higher education
  • universitas = university
  • kampus = campus
  • fakultas = faculty
  • jurusan = major
  • institut = institute
  • sekolah tinggi = higher education school
  • murid = student
  • murid laki-laki = schoolboy
  • murid perempuan = schoolgirl
  • guru = teacher
  • kepala sekolah = headmaster
  • dosen = lectur
  • dekan = dean
  • rektor = rector
  • teman = friend
  • sahabat = close friend/best friend
  • teman sekolah = schoolmate
  • teman sekelas = classmate
  • teman sebangku = chairmate
  • musuh = enemy
  • saingan = competitor
  • ketua kelas = headclass
  • sekretaris = secretary
  • bendahara = chamberlain
  • divisi = division
    *other synonym = seksi
  • gelar = degree
  • diploma = diploma
  • sarjana (S1) = bachelor
  • magister (S2) = master
  • ijazah = certificate
  • belajar = study
  • mengajar = teach
  • pekerjaan sekolah (PS) = school task
  • pekerjaan rumah (PR) = homework
  • ujian = test
    *other synonym = ulangan (for elementary until senior high school)
  • tugas = task
  • mata pelajaran = subject (for elementary until senior high school)
  • mata kuliah = subject (for higher education)
  • praktikum = practice
  • jam istirahat = breaktime
  • diskusi = discussion
  • silabus = syllabus
  • nilai = score
  • juara kelas = valedoctarian
  • naik kelas = go up a grade in school
  • tinggal kelas = do not go up a grade in school (fail)
  • hukuman = punishment
  • makalah = paper/thesis
  • kelas = class
  • ruang kelas = classroom
  • laboratorium =laboratorary
  • pensil = pencil
  • pen = pen
    *other synonyms = pena, bolpoin
  • penghapus = eraser
  • penggaris = ruler
  • rautan (pensil) = (pencil) sharpener
  • majalah dinding (mading) = wall magazine

More Indonesian Useful Words!

  • kanan = right
  • kiri = left
  • tengah = middle
  • depan = in front of
    *other synonym = muka
  • belakang = behind
  • samping = side
  • serong = cross
  • suka = like
  • cinta = love
  • benci = hate
  • rambut = hair
  • kepala = head
  • dahi = forehead
    *other synonym = jidat
  • alis = eyebrow(s)
  • mata = eye(s)
  • bulu mata = eyelash(es)
  • kelopak mata = eyelid(s)
  • bola mata = eyeball(s)
  • hidung = nose
  • pipi = cheek(s)
  • dagu = chin
  • rahang = cheekbone(s)
  • mulut = mouth
  • lidah = tongue
  • gigi = teeth
  • bibir = lip(s)
  • telinga = ear
    *other synonym = kuping
  • leher = neck
  • pundak = shoulder
    *other synonym = bahu
  • tangan = hand(s)
  • lengan= arm
  • pergelangan tangan = wrist
  • siku = elbow
  • jari = finger(s)
  • kelingking = little finger
  • jari manis = ring finger
  • jari tengah = middle finger
  • jari telunjuk = point finger
  • jempol = thumb
    *other synonym = ibu jari
  • dada = chest
  • punggung = back
  • perut = stomach
  • pinggang = waist
  • pinggul = hips
  • panggul = pelvis
  • kaki = leg(s)
  • paha = thigh
  • lutut = knee
  • betis = calf
  • tulang kering = tibia
  • pergelangan kaki = ankle
  • jari kaki = toes
  • jempol kaki = toe
  • tumit = heel

Beside these 500 Useful Indonesian Words, you could broaden vocabulary through these following articles: