Day 2: Indonesian words you know, but don’t know you know

We’ll pretend for the sake of this blog that our hero’s location is one of the thousands of Indonesian island (a small one, clearly, and one without people). So if he discovers anyone, these words may be useful. Sorta. (‘C’ is pronounced ‘ch’ and ‘r’ is slightly rolled, and voila! You speak Indonesian.)


apel – apple

stroberi – strawberry

tomat – tomato

es krim – ice cream

es – ice

kecap – any kind of sauce

mi goreng – fried noodles (mi is noodles, goreng is fried) – it’s an Indonesian product.

teh – tea

kopi – coffee

rambutan/rambut – hairy fruit/hair

durian/duri – thorny fruit/thorn

Getting around:

taksi – taxi (possibly my favourite example of Indonesian spelling)

bis/bus – bus

passpor – passport


Islam – Islam/a Muslim

Kristen – Christianity/a Christian

Protestan – Protestantism/a Protestant

Katolik – Catholicism/a Catholic

Budha – Buddhism/a Buddhist

Hindu – Hinduism/a Hindu

Other useful words:

buku – book

marbel – marble (also a yummy lollie; the lovechild of mentos and skittles)

demokrasi – democracy

guru – teacher (at school)

oranghutan – oranghutan (orang – person, hutan – forest)

Timor Timur – East Timor (ie Timur is East)

Botol – bottle

See? You’re practically fluent.

Published by Felicity Banks Books

I write books (mainly adventure fantasy for kids and young adults), real-time twittertales, and a blog of Daily Awesomeness. @Louise_Curtis_ and My fantasy ebook is on sale at

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