Indonesian Language Blog

Interjections in Bahasa Indonesia Posted by on May 31, 2017 in Uncategorized

To express a sudden emotions while you communicate with others, you can use interjection. There is essentially a single word, phrase, or short clause words that you can insert into a sentence to convey your emotions.

Here are several common interjections in Bahasa Indonesia and examples of their use in conversations:

1. Wah!
To express surprise
Wah! Harga tiketnya mahal sekali. (The ticket is very expensive.)
Situation: You learned that the price of the tickets are unexpectedly high.

To express exultation or jubilation
Wah! Akhirnya saya dapat bonus besar.(Finally, I got a big bonus.)

To express admiration
Wah! Anak-anaknya pintar-pintar ya. (Wow! His children are very smart.)
Situation: You find out that all of your colleague’s children went to the Ivy League universities.

2. Aduh!
Basically, aduh is an expression you use when you feel a physical pain. However, it is also used to express regret, sorry, upset, and annoyance.

To express regret
Aduh! Saya harusnya bawa payung (I know it, I should have brought an umbrella with me.)
Situation: You were soaking wet because of the rain.

To express apology
Aduh! Maaf ya saya tidak bisa datang kemarin
Situation: You could not come for the invitation.

To express annoyance
Aduh! Pelayanannya lambat sekali (!!! The service is very slow.)
Situation: You see a long line at ticket window.

Aduh kenapa kamu banyak tanya sih! (ugh, why do you ask me too many questions)

3. Waduh!
Use ‘waduh’ when you realize that you missed or forgot something, or you are in the situation when you do not know what to do.

Waduh! Di mana yah kunci mobilnya? (Where are the car keys?).
Situation: You are so frustrated because you cannot find my car keys anywhere.

To express surprise
Waduh! Makanannya banyak sekali. (There are a lot of foods.)
– You realize that you ordered too much food or
– You are grateful that the food is plentiful.

To express desperation
Waduh! Bagaimana ya, uangnya tidak cukup. (I don’t have enough money now.)

Waduh! Saya harus bilang apa ya?
Situation: You are in conflicting feeling whether you tell the truth or tell lies.

4. Masa!
Use ‘masa’ when you feel like someone does not believe and does not trust, or about something that is against the odds.

To express disbelief
Masa sih kamu umurnya 50 tahun (Are you really 50 years old?.)
Situation: He looks youthful and much younger than his real age.

To express disappointment
Masa kamu tidak percaya dengan saya. (Why don’t you believe me?)
Situation: The fact is, he did not listen to you and ignored the information you give him.

Masa kamu tidak tahu (Don’t you know about it?)
Situation: You are surprised that he doesn’t know about things that have been in the news lately.)

To express your disbelief and disappointment
Masa begitu saja kamu tidak bisa! (Why can’t you do it!)
Situation: You stated the fact that someone doesn’t have the skills to do things that is expected of him. However, be mindful, if you want to use it, it is considered rude when you use it in professional environment.

5. Gila!
Literally it means crazy, however, as an interjection, it means to express surprise, and there is a sense of admiration.
Gila! rumahnya mewah betul. (Wow, his house is luxurious.)
Situation: You know that one is wealthy, but you don’t expect him to be that wealthy after seeing how luxurious one’s house is.

Gila! Makananya enak betul! (Wow. The foods tasted so good.)
Situation: You taste the food and it’s surprisingly delicious. It might even be the first time to taste food that good.

Gila! Karcisnya terjual habis dalam satu hari. (It is crazy, the tickets are sold out in a day)
Situation: You cannot get the ticket at the first day. It was unexpected.

Gilaorang itu nekad amat! (what that person doing was crazy.)
Situation: You see someone who did unthinkable or fearless actions.

6. Dasar!
Literally it means basic, base, and foundation, however, you use ‘dasar’ as an interjection to respond to tease, someone’s joke, unacceptable behaviors, and most of the time anger. The use of ‘dasar’ as an interjection is considered offensive when it is use with a negative word, such as bodoh (stupid), jelek (ugly).

To express tease
Dasar gila! (You are crazy.)
– Your college or friend told you about things that are funny or do not make sense.
– Someone was doing something that put you at a disadvantage.

To express praising
Dasar orangnya pintar sih ya. (He is indeed smart.)
Situation: It is a statement you make when you find that someone can find good jobs easily; being accepted in ivy league universities; being an innovator; having a good career.

To express playfulness
Dasar orang gila! (What a crazy person, he is)
Situation: You responded to someone who just told you a silly joke.

To express anger and dissatisfaction
Dasar bodoh! (What stupid thing he did; the person is stupid!). It is like you have been saying ‘stupid’ to someone.

7. Asyik!
Use ‘asyik’ to express excitement, satisfaction, or to tease

– Asyik, saya bisa ambil cuti 3 minggu. (Great! I can get three weeks of leave this year.)
Situation: It is a surprised that your company gave you three weeks paid leaves.

– Asyiknya yang punya mobil baru! (how delightful to have a new car.)
Situation: Your neighbor just bought a new car and he looked happy admiring his new car.

– Asyik ya kita bisa berlibur bareng! (It is great we go for a vacation together.)
Situation: You have planned to go for a vacation together for years, but it has been putting it on hold because either of you are busy or lack of money.

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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.