Our guide for translating Bahasa – Indonesian Language

As the largest economy in Southeast Asia, Indonesia is an attractive emerging market and a member of important organizations such as the G20 and APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation). This nation is also the leading producer of palm oil in the world.

I. The importance of Bahasa Indonesian translation

Indonesian Bahasa is the official language of Indonesia and a minority language in East Timor. It is also found spoken in 45 countries around the globe with around 250 million total speakers. It is a fact that in 2014 Bahasa Indonesia was the language that was most widely used in the world. 

Construction, textiles, and automobiles are some of Indonesia’s top sectors. Tourism is a thriving force. Indonesian Bahasa translation services can provide business with a precise translation of your content to target the local audience.

II. 4 problems when translating Bahasa Indonesian

1. Indonesian does not specify gender but…

There are almost no grammatical genders in Indonesian. This language rarely describes a thing as gendered. However, by ‘almost’, we mean that there are still some words, usually loanwords coming with their assigned gender.

For instance, there are no specific words for “girlfriend” or “boyfriend” in Indonesian but there are “steward” and “stewardess”.

2. Differences in culture 

Indonesian is known to be used more loosely than English when expressing ideas. This phenomenon happens often in the spoken form of many other languages. However, Indonesian people tend to use their language loosely in written form as well. Thus, an Indonesian text must be edited first before translated. 

3. Abbreviations or Singkatan (done)

Indonesians like to shorten words quite often and this has created a whole new lingo, especially among younger generations. Unfortunately, there is no official specific glossary of abbreviations or ‘singkatan’.

Singkatans exist in all walks of life, for any given word. For example, people can say ‘up’ (oop) instead of ‘cukup’ (chukoop) to mean ‘enough’ or instead of using ‘sedikit’, the original word for ‘little’, they may use ‘dikit’.

Besides, Indonesian usually indicate directions in Jakarta with singkatan terms like ‘Jaktim’, ‘Jakpus’, ‘Jaksel’, etc., are shortened versions of Jakarta Timur (East Jakarta), Jakarta Pusat (Central Jakarta), Jakarta Selatan (South Jakarta).

Singkatan can cause some confusing situations and sometimes you could not know whether a word is real or not. The only solution is to get exposed to the local language.

Our translation projects are delivered by professional translators who are not only experts in the language, but also in the commercial culture of Indonesia. If you need to translate into Bahasa Indo, give us a call today!

Facts about Bahasa Indonesian language

  • It is the third most used language in WordPress
  • Bahasa Indonesia is included in 55 languages ​​available in outer space
  • There is an Indonesian language study center in Egypt