Indonesian Language Blog

Expressing yourself with the word “tasty” or “delicious” in Indonesian Posted by on Feb 4, 2016 in Uncategorized

The very first thing you learn Indonesian is that the word ‘enak’ means ‘tasty’ or ‘delicious’. However, soon enough, you will find out that ‘enak’ can mean more than just that; with it, you can do a whole lot more such as to tell about your health or to express your feelings and emotions.

You could say that the word ‘enak’ in the Indonesian language serves as a multi-purpose Swiss Army knife; it is very flexible as it can be used in a variety of ways in many different contexts. You can use the word ‘tasty’ to express your feelings, to tell about your senses or your health, and to describe your physical and emotional comfort and discomfort. Guess! What are you going to say in Indonesian to say that you are under the weather or not feeling well? Let’s find out about it.

  1. To be used as is “tasty” or “delicious”

Tempat makan paling enak.

The most pleasant place to eat (The best place to eat).

Restoran itu enak or Restoran itu makanannya enak.

That restaurant is delicious or the foods in that restaurant are delicious.


image source: alpha/flickr/all creative commons

Makanannya enak.

The meals are delicious.

Restorannya tidak enak. (Literal translatin: The restaurant is delicious)

The restaurant is not good.

  1. To describe a level of comfort or discomfort

Tinggal di Indonesia ternyata enak lho.

It’s good to live in Indonesia (you know).

Lagu yang enak didengar.

A good song to listen to,

  1. To express physical comfort or discomfort

Baju yang mana yang lebih enak?

Which dress are you more comfortable wearing?

Kursinya enak.

The chair is comfortable to sit on.

Sepatunya enak.

The shoes are comfortable; it feels just right on my feet.

  1. To express your feelings

Saya (merasa) tidak enak untuk minta pulang lebih dulu.

I do not feel comfortable leaving early.

Saya (merasa) tidak enak pulang cepat dari pesta tadi malam.

I feel bad leaving the party early last night.

Enak ya kalau kita tidak usah pergi ke kantor besok.

How nice if we don’t have to go to work tomorrow.

Rumahnya enak sekali ya. (Literal translation: The house is very delicious).

The house is very comfortable.


image source: Antonio J de la Cerda/Flickr/All creative commons

The word ‘enak’ represents nuances of the house that describe a feeling of emotional comfort.  For example, a house that you feel comfortable being in, such as a roomy house; a house that gives you a peaceful feeling; homely.

Sepertinya fotonya tidak enak dilihat ya.

It seems like the placement of the photo doesn’t feel right.

Situation: You are decorating your new house, and you place decorative items in a certain place in a certain way with trial and error. So, when you find that a particular decoration does not look pleasing to you, you can’t always put your finger on what makes the difference. Then, you use this phrase.

  1. To express a hunch or intuition

Jangan pergi sekarang “perasaan saya tidak enak”.

Please don’t leave now, I have a bad  feeling about it (I have a hunch that something bad is going to happen to you if you go now).

  1. To express your health

Aduh, perut saya kok rasanya tidak enak ya.

Ouch, I feel like there is something wrong with my stomach.

Saya (merasa) tidak enak badan or Badan saya (rasanya) tidak enak (Literal translation: I am not delicious or My body is not delicious/tasty).

I am not feeling well; I feel a bit under the weather.


Image source: Melissa Baldwin/flickr/all creative commons

  1. To express a quality of life

Dia hidupnya enak sekarang.

He lives a comfortable life now.

Dia punya pekerjaan enak.

He/she has a good job.

Enak ya jadi orang kaya, uang tidak masalah.

It is nice to be a wealthy person as you don’t have to worry about money.

  1. To express your displeasure or lack of choices

Enak saja menyalahkan saya atas perbuatan kamu.

How dare you blame me for something you did.

Enak tidak enak saya harus terima kenyataan ini.

(Whether I) Like it or not, I have to accept this reality.      


image source: Philippe Leroyer/flickr/all creative commons


If you want to learn Indonesian, it might be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the phrases and to understand “how Indonesian say them.” Do not try to translate them from your language. Otherwise, you will be lost in translation.


image source: Markus Koljonen/flickr/all creative commons


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About the Author: asimonoff

I’m an Indonesian language instructor, instructional material developer, reading test developer, and interpreter. I have been teaching Indonesian to adult students for 15 years, and have been teaching students from many backgrounds, such as private, military and diplomatic service employees. I’m Indonesian, but am living in the US now; my exposure to different cultures in my home country and in the US has enriched my knowledge in teaching Indonesian as a second language. I approach the teaching of the Indonesian language by developing students’ critical cultural awareness and competence. This method of teaching has been proven to be a key to the success of my students. Students become conscious of the essential role culture plays in the language.