More Indonesian Lessons

Lesson: The Indonesian Alphabet

Twenty six Latin characters are used to represent the modern Indonesian alphabet. Obviously, these are the same letters used in the English alphabet; however, a noticable difference between the two languages is how each letter is pronounced when reciting the alphabet. The table below gives the equivalent American-English sound for each Indonesian letter as each is spoken.

Aah     G     Mem     Ses     Y
B     Hha     Nen     T     Zset
Cché     Iee     Ooh     Uoo       
D     J     P     V       
Eé     Kka     Qki     W       
Fef     Lel     Rair     Xiks       

Here's your chance to listen to a native Indonesian speaker recite the letters of the alphabet. This application lets you hear how each letter is spoken as a standalone symbol, not how is should be pronounced when used in a word. We have other lessons and tools dedicated to Indonesian pronunciations.

There arenít many Q words. Most of them are pure Arabic words referring to the Islamic faith. V words are mostly borrowed from Western languages. X words are extremely rare. My largest dictionary had a single entry only. Y words are somewhat sparse although there are few that are critical to the language. Z words are rare and mostly borrowed as well.

Play around with the flash program above to learn new words. Click on a letter or press shuffle to view more words. If you don't have flash then you can download it for free here.