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Intermediate Indonesian Words to Help You Level Up

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Assuming you’re on the verge of leveling up in your Indonesian studies, it’s time that you step up and learn some of the most useful intermediate Indonesian words. But before we dive in, some context: 

Many language experts consider Indonesian to be the easiest spoken language for English speakers to learn. It’s a simplified language, and learning it is more fun than it is a chore.

La coca-cola is feminine in Spanish.

Le café is masculine in French.

Das Bier is neuter in German.

But in Indonesian, it’s all the same.

So whether you’re ordering a coca-cola, kopi, or a bira, it all falls under the same blanket.

Surprised? 

You might be even more surprised to learn that there is no plural in Indonesian. For example, one woman is satu wanita and two women are dua wanita. As you can see, the word wanita (“woman”) does not change regardless of whether we’re talking about a single woman or multiple women. 

Moreover, there is no conjugation in Indonesian. This means the verb stays constant, and only the pronouns preceding it change to indicate person and number. 

That’s Indonesian for you. Extremely simple rules and no new script to learn (like there would be if you were learning almost any other Asian language). In other words, you won’t have to spend months learning new characters or sounds.

All of these reasons and more make starting out with Indonesian very easy. This means that you’ll be ready to move into the intermediate phase much faster than you would when learning most other languages.

But just like with any other language, vocabulary is paramount for getting from one level to another. 

That’s where this article comes in.

We’ve compiled the most important intermediate Indonesian words in different categories, covering everything from nouns and verbs to conjunctions, auxiliary verbs, and particles. In addition, we’ve included parallel English translations for each word.

Without further ado, let’s get right into it.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Indonesian Table of Contents
  1. Large Numbers
  2. Nouns
  3. Verbs
  4. Adjectives
  5. Adverbs
  6. Prepositions
  7. Conjunctions
  8. Auxiliary Verbs and Particles
  9. Conclusion

1. Large Numbers


Number 28 Raised Up

English TranslationIndonesian Number
TenSepuluh10
ElevenSebelas11
TwelveDuabelas12
ThirteenTigabelas13
FourteenEmpat belas14
FifteenLimabelas15
SixteenEnambelas16
SeventeenTujuh belas17
EighteenDelapan belas18
NineteenSembilan belas19
TwentyDua puluh20
ThirtyTigapuluh30
FortyEmpat puluh40
FiftyLima puluh50
SixtyEnam puluh60
SeventyTujuh puluh70
EightyDelapan puluh80
NinetySembilan puluh90
A hundredSeratus100
A thousandSeribu1,000
Ten thousandSepuluh ribu10,000
A hundred thousandSeratus ribu100,000
A millionSatu juta1,000,000

2. Nouns


Words in Dictionary: Hospitable, Hospital, Hospitality

Because nouns make up such a huge chunk of any language, picking up more nouns should be a priority for language learners at any level. To get you started, we’ve listed for you the most practical intermediate Indonesian nouns in a variety of categories. You can begin practicing these words right away to immediately open up new conversation opportunities! 

Time 


English TranslationIndonesian 
CenturyAbad
MorningPagi
EveningMalam
QuarterPerempat
SemesterSemester

Places 


English TranslationIndonesian 
RegionWilayah
Department Departemen
VillageDesa
ParkTaman
BankBank
PharmacyFarmasi
HospitalRumah Sakit
BakeryToko roti
CliffJurang
BeachPantai
IslandPulau
HillBukit

Technology 


English TranslationIndonesian 
ScreenLayar
KeyboardPapan ketik
MouseMouse
TabletTablet
TVTelevisi
ConsoleKonsol
ChargerPengisi daya
WebsiteSitus web
AccountAkun
PasswordKata sandi
FileBerkas
FolderMap
SoftwarePerangkat lunak
TechnologyTeknologi

Home


English TranslationIndonesian 
RoomKamar
FloorLantai
Living roomRuang keluarga
BathroomKamar mandi
FridgeLemari es
WardrobeLemari pakaian

City & Transportation


English TranslationIndonesian 
SuburbsPinggiran kota
NeighborhoodLingkungan
HighwayJalan raya
AlleyGang
RoundaboutBundaran
CrossroadPersimpangan jalan

People 


English TranslationIndonesian 
UnclePaman
AuntBibi
GrandsonCucu laki-laki
GranddaughterCucu perempuan
ChildAnak
GrandfatherKakek
GrandmotherNenek

Body Parts 


English TranslationIndonesian 
FingerJari
BackPunggung
BellyPerut
BreastPayudara
ShoulderBahu
LegKaki
ThighPaha
ButtPantat
FootKaki
CheekPipi
ChinDagu
ForeheadDahi

Food


English TranslationIndonesian 
KnifePisau
ForkGarpu
SpoonSendok
WineAnggur
DishHidangan
AppetizerHidangan pembuka
DessertPencuci mulut
DrinkMinum
CoffeeKopi

Work & Studies 


English TranslationIndonesian 
NursePerawat
LawyerPengacara
WaiterPelayan
SalesmanPedagang 
LecturerDosen 
JudgeHakim 
TeacherGuru 

Clothes


English TranslationIndonesian 
PantsCelana
SweaterSweater
T-shirtKaos
ShirtKemeja
CoatMantel
SockKaus kaki
ShoeSepatu
DressGaun
HatTopi

3. Verbs


List of Verbs

At the beginner stage, you learned a number of basic Indonesian verbs to get your point across. Now, you’ll want to focus on picking up some more advanced verbs that can help you better express yourself and add flavor to your conversations. 

Indonesian English Translation
MelayaniTo serve
PergiTo leave
MemperbolehkanTo allow
MengirimTo send
MenerimaTo receive
HidupTo live
MeneleponTo call (via phone)
MengingatkanTo remind
MemperkenalkanTo introduce
MenerimaTo accept
MenolakTo refuse
BertindakTo act
BermainTo play
MengenaliTo recognize
MemilihTo choose
MenyentuhTo touch
MenjelaskanTo explain
BangunTo get up
MembukaTo open
Menutup  To close
MenangTo win
KalahTo lose
AdaTo exist
BerhasilTo succeed
MenggantiTo change
BekerjaTo work
BelajarTo study
TidurTo sleep
BerjalanTo walk
MencobaTo try
BerhentiTo stop
MelanjutkanTo continue
MemasakTo cook
TergolongTo belong
Mengambil risikoTo risk
MempelajariTo learn
BertemuTo meet
Membuat  To create
MendapatkanTo get
MemasukiTo enter
Untuk keluarTo exit
MenawarkanTo offer
MembawaTo bring
MenggunakanTo use
MencapaiTo reach
MempersiapkanTo prepare
Menambahkan  To add
MembayarTo pay
MempertimbangkanTo consider
Untuk membeliTo buy
Untuk mendorong To push
Untuk berbelanjaTo shop
Untuk bepergianTo travel

4. Adjectives


Woman Sitting by the Sea

Our next set of intermediate Indonesian words is adjectives, or words that describe nouns. Keep in mind that the words listed below are only equivalents of English adjectives; some of them may be translated in Indonesian as adverbs or nouns. 

Indonesian English Translation
MengagumkanAwesome
MengerikanHorrible
AnehWeird
RumitComplicated
TebalThick
TipisThin
DekatNear
JauhFar
SempitNarrow
LebarWide
LembutSoft
KerasHard
PenuhFull
KosongEmpty
CahayaLight
BeratHeavy
UnikUnique
KhususSpecial
BaruNew
LamaOld
MiskinPoor
KayaRich
BersihClean
KotorDirty
LemahWeak
KuatStrong
RampingSlim
LemakFat
ImutCute
KejamMean
LucuFunny
BagusNice
SenangHappy
SedihSad
DiamQuiet
BergairahExcited
BerbahayaDangerous
MembosankanBoring
PedasSpicy
SelanjutnyaNext
SebelumnyaPrevious
Kedua dari terakhirSecond-to-last
JerukOrange
Merah JambuPink
Abu-abuGray
UnguPurple
MagentaMagenta
PirusTurquoise

5. Adverbs 

Adverbs are words that provide us with additional information about a verb, an adjective, or even another adverb. You might not have used these very often at the beginner level, but you’ll find them useful as you approach the intermediate level in Indonesian. Below, you’ll find several adverbs you should become familiar with at this point in your language learning journey.

When 


Indonesian English Translation
SudahAlready
Dahulu kalaA long time ago
SekarangNow
LagiAgain
AkhirnyaAt last
KemudianThen
Setelah ituThereafter

How Often


Indonesian English Translation
TerkadangSometimes
JarangRarely
BiasanyaUsually
UmumnyaGenerally
Sepanjang waktuAll the time

Where 


English TranslationIndonesian 
NowhereTidak di mana-mana
SomewhereDi suatu tempat
ElsewhereDi tempat lain
UpNaik
DownTurun
OverAtas
UnderDi bawah 
FarJauh
CloseDekat

How


English TranslationIndonesian 
SoftlyDengan lembut
SlowlyPerlahan
QuicklySegera
CalmlyDengan tenang
EasilyDengan mudah
LuckilyUntunglah
SimplySecara sederhana

How Much


Indonesian English Translation
CukupEnough
TerutamaEspecially
HampirAlmost
Berapa banyakHow much
Sangat banyakSo many
Sangat sedikitSo few
TentangAbout

6. Prepositions


Time


Quarter of an Hour on a Clock

English TranslationIndonesian 
BeforeSebelum
AfterSetelah

Space


English TranslationIndonesian 
Next toDi samping
To the rightKe kanan
To the leftKe kiri
AtDi
In front ofDi depan
BehindDi belakang
UnderDi bawah
OverAtas

Other 


Indonesian English Translation
AntaraBetween
Terima kasih kepadaThanks to
MeskipunDespite
TanpaWithout
DenganWith

7. Conjunctions

As you learn to write and speak Indonesian at a more intermediate level, having some practical conjunctions up your sleeve will come in handy. We introduced a few basic conjunctions in our beginner words article, so now we’ll show you a few more advanced ones. 

Indonesian English Translation
Baik…maupun…Neither…nor…
JadiSo
Jika tidakOtherwise
KarenaSince (as)
KetikaWhen
Karena ituTherefore

8. Auxiliary Verbs and Particles

If you want to sound more like a native Indonesian speaker, one of the best things you can do is learn the most common auxiliary verbs and particles. 

Auxiliary Verbs


Indonesian English Translation
Akan Will / Going to
Ingin Want
Mau Want (informal)
Telah Have / Had
Sudah Have / Had
Pernah Have
Masih Still
Bisa Can
Dapat Can
Boleh May
Harus Must
Seperti Like

Particles 

-kah

The Indonesian particle -kah is used in interrogative sentences.

Example:
Sepeda rumah atau mobilkah yang akan kamu jual? 
“Will you put the house or the car up for sale?”

As you can see in the example above, the word mobil (“car”) is followed by -kah, which is used to ask a question when a choice can be made between two options.

It’s worth mentioning that -kah can also be used as a suffix (as opposed to a particle). 

-lah

As opposed to -kah, -lah is used in declarative sentences. We use it to stress a certain word within a phrase.

Examples:

  1. Jelaslah kamu yang salah, dari apa yang kamu ceritakan. 
    “It is clear that you’re the one in the wrong, from your story.”
  1. Tempat itulah adalah tempat obat dijual. 
    “That place is where the drugs are sold.”

Just like with the previous particle, -lah can also be used as a suffix. 

-tah

Of all the particles on our list, -tah (derived from the old Malay language) is probably used the least often in daily life. 

The usage of -tah is similar to that of -kah, in the sense that it’s mostly used for interrogative sentences. It is used when the person asking the question doesn’t necessarily require a response or seek an answer. 

Example:
Apatah artinya makanan tanpa teman? 
“What is the meaning of food without company?”

-pun

The particle -pun is used to emphasize a certain word within a sentence. It’s mostly used to stress the word that follows it within a sentence. Please note that it could be written either separately or jointly with the word preceding it.

Example:
Aku pun akhirnya menyetujui keputusan tersebut. 
“I do finally agree with the decision.”

9. Conclusion

Congrats on getting this far. 

Feel like your Indonesian might need a bit more work? Try an effective learning program like IndonesianPod101.

Here, you can access parallel translated vocabulary for exactly your level, with the support of different features and optional access to an Indonesian language expert.

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Happy Indonesian learning!

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