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The best way to learn proper pronunciation is to listen to native Indonesian speakers. After listening carefully, try to imitate their pronunciation as accurately as possible. It's easy to follow as Indonesian is consistently phonetic meaning that words and letters never veer from their assigned sounds. Unlike English, Indonesian is purely WYSIWYS, or "what you see is what you speak". Indonesian is pronounced as it is read. It incorporates a Roman alphabet (that's the alphabet you're reading right now), which is, for the most part, pronounced similarly to English with some notable.


Most consonants are pronounced the same in Indonesian and English.

b is like the "b" in bad
Example: baru (BAH-roo) = new

c is like the "ch" in chair
Example: cara (CAH-rah) = the way

d is like the "d" in day
Example: dari (DAH-ree) = from

f is like the "ff" in buff
Example: fakta (FAKH-tah) = fact

g is like the "g" in gender
Example: gadis (GAH-dees) = girl

h is like the "h" in hi
Example: hari (HAH-ree) = day

j is like the "j" in jazz
Example: jari (JAH-ree> = finger

k is like the "c" in the car
Example: kunci (KUHN-cee) = key

l is like the "l" in the let
Example: lari (LAH-ree) = to run

m is like the "m" in empty
Example: mata (MAH-tah) = eye

n is like the "n" in ant
Example: nama (NAH-mah) = name

p is like the "p" in the pet
Example: patah (PAH-tah) = break

q is like the "k" in kid
Example: Qur'an (QOOR-ahn) = Qur'an

r is like the "r" in roll (always stressed and rolled, as Italian and Spanish)
Example: rabu (RAH-boo) = wednesday

s is like the "ss" in guess
Example: salah (SAH-lah) = wrong, false

t is like the "t" in test
Example: tamu (TAH-moo) = guest, visitor

v is like the "v" in velvet
Example: villa (VEE-lah) = villa

w is like the "w" in west
Example: wajah (WAH-jah) = face

x is like the "x" in exist
Example: x (ex) = x

y is like the "y" in yesterday
Example: yakin (YAH-keen) = sure, certain

z is like the "z" in Zeus
Example: zebra (ZEH-brah) = zebra


Indonesian is similar to English in yet another way there are five vowels and two diphthongs (ai, au):

a is like the "a" in father
Example: api (AH-pee) = fire

e is like:
* the "e" in get
Example: tes (test) = tes
* the "e" in the
Example: emas (E-mash) = gold
* the "e" in empty
Example: edisi (E-dee-see) = edition

i is like the "i" in give
Example: ibu (EE-boo) = mother

o is like "o" in over
Example: obat (OH-bath) = medecine, remedy

u is like "u" in put
Example: umur (OO-moor) = age

au is like the "ow" in own
Example: mau (mow) = want

ai is like the word "eye"
Example: lantai (LAHN-tye) = floor

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