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Learn the Indonesian Alphabet from A to Z!

Learning to speak a new language is exciting; learning to write a new language is even more exciting! It will open new worlds for you. So, dig into these tips and advice for learning how to master the Indonesian alphabet easily - at IndonesianPod101 we make it easy, fun and relevant for you!

Starting anything from scratch can be challenging, especially if you learn how to write in a language completely different from your own. It is really like navigating through a territory that is completely unknown to you.

However, this need not be a big hurdle or a problem! At IndonesianPod101, we introduce you to Indonesian writing in simple, easy-to-follow steps, and you can ask for advice or help anywhere along the way. It is important to master the Indonesian alphabet completely from the start.

Download Your FREE Guide to Beginner Indonesian!

If you want to master the Indonesian language and become fluent, get this Indonesian eBook!
You need physical worksheets to practice on.

This eBook is a MUST-HAVE for all Indonesian learning beginners!

FREE Indonesian eBook

Download your FREE Indonesian practice sheets PDF today and learn the Indonesian language in no time!
This is a must-have guide for absolute beginners

Introduction to Indonesian Writing

Introduction

We use the Roman alphabet to write in Indonesian, which makes the language more accessible to those who speak European languages in general. However, the history of orthography (or spelling) in Indonesian is not a straightforward one. The system has gone through at least four different structures, with the last one being the one in use today.

Although the majority of public signs are rendered in the most current orthographic system, there may be older signs or names that reflect previous systems. This document lists and explains the most frequent alterations.

Consonants

I. The [ʧ] sound (like the “ch” in “check”), formerly spelled tj, is now spelled c.

For Example: betjak, becak (”pedicab”)

II. The [ʤ] sound (like the “j” in “jump”), formerly spelled dj, is now spelled j.

For Example: Djakarta, Jakarta (the Indonesian capital)

III. The [j] sound (like the “y” in “yellow”), formerly spelled j, is now spelled y.

For Example: jang, yang (marker of a relative clause)

IV. The [x] sound (like the “ch” in “Bach”), formerly spelled ch, is now spelled kh. (NB: This consonant is infrequent.)

For Example: achir, akhir (”last, final”)

Vowels

I. The [u] sound (like the “oo” in “boot”), formerly spelled oe, is now spelled u.

For Example: Soekarno Sukarno (the first president of Indonesia)

II. The [e] sound (like the “e” as in “bet”), formerly spelled è, is now spelled e.

For Example: ènak, enak (”delicious”)

Indonesian Alphabet Chart

Alphabet

The people of Indonesia are good at keeping things relaxed. The Indonesian alphabet is no exception to this. The Indonesian alphabet, contains the same letters as the English alphabet. The Indonesian alphabet is very simple to learn, and words are easy to spell once you learn a few language rules. The Indonesian language is derived from Malay, which has been a common language throughout the region for centuries. Many words are borrowed from outside languages, making Indonesian even easier to speak.

Capital Letter Small Letter
A a
B b
C c
D d
E e
F f
G g
H h
I i
J j
K k
L l
M m
N n
O o
P p
Q q
R r
S s
T t
U u
V v
W w
X x
Y y
Z z

For centuries, there was no standard Indonesian language. It was only after Dutch colonization that the Indonesian alphabet was standardized, and even then, many elements of Dutch were used, particularly in names. During the 1930’s, the entire language was streamlined, making use only of the letters in the English alphabet.

Because the Indonesian alphabet was standardized as part of Indonesia’s independence movement, it is seen as a source of national pride and as a symbol of national unity.

Students who decide to learn to speak Indonesian as a second language are almost always pleased when they discover that Indonesian is a phonetic language that has only a few rules to learn. What this means is that Indonesian words are read and sound exactly the way they are spelled. This makes pronunciation, as well as spelling, much easier to learn than they are with some other popular languages. Those who learn Indonesian by listening to people speaking find learning Indonesian writing later on a breeze.

Like in the English language, when two letters appear at the same time, they indicate a change in pronunciation. Examples of this are “kh” and “bh.” In your Indonesian lessons you will learn that there are really no variants of this occurrence, and most learners have no problems picking up on these irregularities.

Indonesian speakers speak in a number of different regional Indonesian accents, and while this can seem complicated at first, once you have begun to listen to people speaking on a regular basis, the language is very easy to understand. In addition, Indonesian grammar is much easier than English grammar. Most students pick it up in a surprisingly short amount of time.

Why is Learning the Indonesian Alphabet Important?

AlphabetA language’s alphabet is its building blocks. Trying to learn how to write in Indonesian without first learning its alphabet is a bit like trying to build a brick house without touching the individual bricks! It is impossible to do a good job that way. So don’t believe language schools and methods that try to teach you otherwise. You will regret it later.

Also, once you start recognizing symbols and words, you will be encouraged by your own progress and motivated to learn even faster. Even just learning the basics of the alphabet will allow you to start recognizing simple Indonesian words, and it will feel great!

Furthermore, knowing the alphabet even helps with pronunciation, as learning the individual letters of any language will start uncovering nuances and intricacies that are not always apparent when you’re simply listening to the words.

Completely mastering the Indonesian alphabet, no matter how long it takes, will give you an excellent head start in learning how to write and read the language. It will offer you a solid foundation on which to build the other language skills, so set a goal to learn the alphabet so well that you’re able to recite it in your sleep!

Read on for helpful tips and secrets to learning the Indonesian alphabet quickly and effectively.

How to Download Your Free Guide to Beginner Indonesian

Download Your FREE Guide to Beginner Indonesian!

If you want to master the Indonesian language and become fluent, get this Indonesian eBook!
You need physical worksheets to practice on.

This eBook is a MUST-HAVE for all Indonesian learning beginners!

FREE Indonesian eBook

Download your FREE Indonesian practice sheets PDF today and learn the Indonesian language in no time!
This is a must-have guide for absolute beginners

Log in with Your Free Lifetime Account and we’ll give you a bundle of PDF cheat sheet including Survival Phrases, Romantic Lines, Learning Tips… — absolutely FREE!

3 Reasons to Learn Indonesian Through PDF Lessons

Let’s now take a closer look at how studying Indonesian lessons in PDF format can help you reach your dream in up to half the time of normal video or audio lessons!

① Saves Minutes on Your Data Plan

Learning Indonesian through PDF lessons can dramatically reduce your data use. Once a lesson or tool is downloaded, you can then access it offline via your computer or smartphone any time or place regardless of Internet access. And once you’ve download the Indonesian lessons in PDF format, you can actually access them faster than logging in and trying to do so via a live site. So not only will learning Indonesian using PDF lessons save minutes on your data plan—it will save you some significant time as well as the lessons add up!

② Print and Take All Indonesian Lessons and PDF Tools With You Anywhere

Sometimes, a tiny smartphone screen just isn’t adequate, especially when you are trying to learn something new. The great thing about PDF lessons, tools or files is that they can be quickly printed and taken anywhere after you download them. In fact, printing out Indonesian lessons in PDF format can actually save you time when compared to going through the material on a smartphone with a small screen—even with the extra printing time!

③ Great Study Tool to Boost Retention and Mastery

Studying video or audio lessons online is a great way to learn a language because students can play and rewind sections as many times as needed until the lesson is mastered. But when you review the same Indonesian lessons again in PDF format, an incredible thing happens: your retention dramatically improves! Thanks to Time Spaced Repetition, seeing the information again in written format helps reinforce the information in your mind and improves both retention and recall. The benefits of learning Indonesian using PDF lessons quickly add up to significant time savings for you, your data plan, and your dream of learning a new language!

Why are we giving it away?

Learning to read and write is a must for all beginners. Although you get video lessons on how to write in Indonesian at IndonesianPod101, you’ll still need physical worksheets to practice on. That’s why you’re getting this printable tutorial PDFs as a gift.

Secrets to Learning the Indonesian Alphabet Fast

SecretWith a language, like with anything you have to learn from scratch, having a few mnemonic devices handy are key to learning it fast. A mnemonic device is basically any method or technique that helps you to retain or commit something to memory more easily.

Here are a few mnemonic devices to memorize the Indonesian alphabet so you can speed up learning how to write in Indonesian.

① Find and Learn an Alphabet Song or Poem in Indonesian

Can you still remember your childhood alphabet song in your own language? The best way to commit it to memory so you can recite it is still your mom or first teacher’s way - with music, a song and/or a poem! Find a recording and learn to sing the song, or recite the poem along as best as you can. Ask your IndonesianPod101 teacher to help you understand exactly what you are singing or saying, and soon you’ll have reciting the alphabet under your belt! Repeat it out loud as often as possible.

However, you still need to learn how to write it.

② Study a Few Letters At a Time

Remember when you were young and learning to write for the first time? You didn’t start with words or sentences; you started with letters, one at a time!

Decide on tackling only a few letters each week, and then don’t move on from these till you are completely familiar with them. Don’t take on too many at once, or you may become discouraged. Also, remember to ask your teacher at IndonesianPod101 if you have questions!

Learn to incidentally spot the letters in books, road signs (If you’re living in the country), magazines, on TV, anywhere you encounter written Indonesian. Remember to write them out!

③ Write Out the Letters of the Alphabet By Hand

Make it a goal to write out your week’s letters at least once a day, and commit to this goal. You can also do it every time you have a free moment. Get yourself a special notebook for this purpose that you can carry with you anywhere you go. Sitting on the train or bus? Waiting for someone somewhere? Whip out your notebook and write the Indonesian alphabet, or the letters you are learning. Aim for about 20 repetitions, while silently saying the letter in your head as you write it out. This way, you will soon be able to form and write words all by yourself! Exciting, isn’t it?

Writing something down with a pen also seems to engrave it in the brain in a way that nothing else does. As an added benefit, it gives you the satisfaction of seeing a new language in your own writing!

Once you’ve mastered the whole alphabet, commit to writing it out in its entirety at least once a day, for at least one month. More repetitions are obviously better.

④ Involve Your Whole Body

Research has shown that the more senses and actions we use to learn something, the quicker the new information sticks in the memory and becomes habitual. To apply this principle while learning the Indonesian alphabet, write out huge letters by tracing them in the soil, or with chalk on the floor. Now, while saying the letter out loud, walk on the lines you have just traced. In this way, you ‘write’ the letter by moving your whole body!

Having fun just makes it even easier to learn something, so why not ‘write’ the letters out with dance steps while moving to your favorite Indonesian music!

This is a simple trick that seems silly, but you’ll be surprised how quickly you will commit intricate letters to memory this way. It really works!

⑤ Use Associations To Memorize Letters

This technique would involve saying the Indonesian letter out loud, and then thinking of a word in your own language that sounds the same as the letter. That would then create a phonic association that should make it easier for you to remember the letter. Better even if the association is something you can draw or picture.

If the script of the new alphabet is very different from your own, look at it closely, and see if you can find an image that the letter reminds you of

⑥ Now Have Fun Trying To Write Words!

Try to write words from your own language in Indonesian, and ask your friendly IndonesianPod101 teachers for feedback! Or post them on the forum and see if anyone can read them. You will be so pleased with yourself when you start writing words that are readable and recognizable by native speakers.

Related Lessons

How to Say Hello in Indonesian
Do you know how to say hello in Indonesian? It’s the most basic phrase that you’ll need to say and hear in everyday life. If you don’t know yet, learn 15 ways to say hello and greet others in Indonesian. Why 15? The more variations you know, the more you can speak and the more fluent you become!
How to Introduce Yourself in Indonesian
Can you introduce yourself in Indonesian? Don’t worry! Check out the 10 Indonesian Lines You Need To Introduce Yourself with this free Review Sheet. From “My name is…“ and “I live in…” down to “My hobbies are…” Just review the 10 lines. It will only take you 2 minutes. Then, introduce yourself in the comment section below!
Top Indonesian Phrases
How good is your Indonesian? Care to put it to the test? Here’s the deal! We’ve come up with this must-know Indonesian Phrases List. Learn the top 25 Indonesian phrases, hear the native pronunciation and put your Indonesian to the test. Did you know them all? If not, review the list and master these easy phrases!
How to Say Thank You in Indonesian
Has anyone thanked you today? We will. Thank you for reading this article and learning with us! In fact, today, you’ll learn the many different ways to say “Thank You” in Indonesian. It’s one of the most important Indonesian phrases. Check it out and watch the video too to practice your pronunciation.

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