What is The Indonesian Alphabet – Vowels and Pronunciation

Indonesian language or also known as Bahasa Indonesia is considered as Austronesian language.  It is a standardized form of Malay and spoken throughout the country. Is Indonesia an Easy Language to Learn? Many people considered Bahasa Indonesia is an easy language to learn because there is no complex Indonesian grammar rules.

Another reason why Bahasa Indonesia is easy to learn is because the language uses Latin alphabet. There is no symbolic alphabet to learn before starting to speak Bahasa Indonesia. Some of the alphabet in Indonesia has the same pronunciation of English alphabets like ‘x’ pronounce as ‘ex or eks’.

The spelling of alphabet in Indonesia is phonetically precise as how they sound. How you read the words is exactly the same as how you write it. This makes writing and reading Bahasa Indonesia relatively simple and easy. But what is the Indonesian alphabet? Below are Indonesian alphabet and pronunciation as well as how it sounds in English.

Alphabet Letter        Pronunciation    English like pronounce
A a a ah like in father
B b be bay
C c ce ch like in chair
D d de de like in day
E e e e like in bel
F f ef ef
G g ge gay
H h ha ha
I i i ee like in bee
J j je jay
K k ka ka like in come
L l el el
M m em em
N n en end
O o o oh
P p pe pay
Q q ki ki like in key
R r er er like in error (stronger and clearer ‘r’)
S s es es
T t te tay like in tail
U u u oo like in boot
V v ve ve like in fay
W w we way
X x eks ex
Y y ye yay
Z z zet zet

Indeed, now you know what is the Indonesian alphabet. Also, you need to learn about Morphology of Indonesia LanguageIndonesian Verbs and ,Indonesian Nouns

Compound consonants

Besides those alphabet as listed above, in Bahasa Indonesia, there is also compound consonants. Compound consonant or digraphs is a combination of two alphabet. The compound consonants are mostly found in words originated from Arabic.

Compound Pronunciation English-like sound
Ng eng eng like in English but softer
Ny nya nya like in Kenya
Sy sya sh like in ship or show
Kh kha kh like in catch

Compound Vowels or Diphthongs

The are some words in Bahasa Indonesia use compound vowels or diphthongs. Some of the compound vowels are quite different from English pronunciation.

Compound Pronunciation English-like sound
Ai ai like uy in buy, ie in tie. e.g pandai (smart)
Au au ow in how. e.g. Pulau (island), Kalau (if)
Oi oi oy in boy. e.g sepoi

The starting point to learn Bahasa Indonesia is the alphabet, diphthongs, and also compound consonants. The best thing is it uses the same 26 alphabets as in English. It should be easy to get a feel of the language because most words are phonetically pronounced.

Here is the useful guide to pronounce Indonesian Alphabets: