#EngTalk: Indonesian English

Good evening, fellas… How are you? Having a special occasion this Sat night? Whether you are or not, how about an #EngTalk session? :)

Our #EngTalk topic today is “Indonesian English”. Have you ever been in a situation where you don’t know how to translate Indonesian words?

One example.. One of the most difficult Indonesian terms to be translated into English is “masuk angin“. What is it in English?

Sometimes words can’t be translated literally and we have to find the equivalent. So “masuk angin” IS NOT “enter wind”. Hehehe… Here’s what our fellas have to say about “masuk angin”:

  • @frissfross: in English “masuk angin” is “catching a cold”
  • @Jeffitalie: Common cold?
  • @asihsri: imho, biasanya ni..jurnal2yg sering saya baca, masuk angin itu “common cold” krn masuk angin bukan istilah medis :D
  • @nengambar: they hv the term ‘to have wind’,it’s in the stomach and digestion system,similar to indigestion. not the exact same way as masuk angin,but at least it has the same problem in the stomach,not somewhere in the nasal system
  • @dayshines: English/Western world don’t recognize masuk angin cos medical term-wise there’s no such thing. Usually they’ll go w/ ‘cold’.

So far “masuk angin” can be considered the same as “catch a cold”. Read (with ‘galau’ also on the list): #EngTrivia: the most asked questions (2).

Now, let’s discuss these confusing words & let me know what you think about their best translation in English. It should be fun! :)


  1. Q1. “@cheffekaa5: min pedagang asongan apa in english?”
  2. Q2. “@jhwa15: what is “kos-kosan” in english?”
  3. Q3. “@aisyahkamaliaa: how to say “ngabuburit” in english?”
  4. Q4. “@asma_fadhila: ‘cetar membahana badai‘ bahasa inggrisnya ap??”
  5. Q5. “@nta_claudia: what is “ojek” in english?”
  6. Q6. “@iismail21: what is ‘sok tau‘ in English?”
  7. Q7. “@mollybtsm: min, is that true if “rahasia umum” is “public secret” in English?”
  8. Q8. “@anessyo: what about ‘polisi tidur‘?”
  9. Q9. “@ichsanputra: how to say “duduk selonjoran” in english?”
  10. Q10. “@zOellula: kalo ‘alay‘ apa b.inggris nya?”
  11. Q11. “@Jamie_Jeremiah: Could you please tell me an English for Lelaki Hidung Belang?”
  12. Q12. “@shabrina_tasya: min what is sendal jepit in English?”
  13. Q13. “@farahadrn: What is “kebelet” in English?”
  14. Q14. “@i2szarbina: kelilipan??”
  15. Q15. “@rianairmayanti: how abt with “lebay“?”
  16. Q16. “@andrw_nathaniel: what is “becak” then”
  17. Q17. “@ReginaSukindar: how do you say “kepo” in english?”
  18. Q18. “@farahadrn : How about “sariawan“?”
  19. Q19. “@TOMSHELNUTT: how about “kondangan” in english?”
  20. Q20. “@Pritaysr: keselek?”


  1. @BadaIsSea: Street vendor? | @triranaagung: Hawkers
  2. @nikibrilian: lodging house | @5_krp: flat :) | @kurniawanfkhua: kos-kosan = boarding house :) | @Miss_Qiak: Boarding, rented room, boarding house.
  3. @khariesaa: Hangout | @jellirahmawati: Kill the time | @GiboSinatra: hang out..or sight seeing maybe.
  4. @indraoo: Awesome | @putrifayanaaa: Super mega ultra | @jellirahmawatiIncredible | @iamderi: stormly gorgeous | @GiboSinatra: BLOODY AWESOME, exquisite!! bomb!!! spectacular..
  5. @Derpamoto: Pedicab | @dianhsafitri: motorcycle taxi | @trimaritaniai think we can say “ojek” with ojek also. Because it’s a public transport from Indo. Isn’t it?
  6. @didahlm: a know it all person, maybe. | @anakserui: sok tau = smart ass | @Miss_Qiak: Smart arse | @iamderi: pompous or pretentious? | @rinnnniiiiiiiii: It’s smarty or cocky |
     ‏@rhapsodicx: smartypants
  7. @triranaagung: Open secret. | @dersjahranie: common secret kali ya
  8. @AryFebriyadi: Speed bump or sleeping policeman (inf.) | @dianhsafitri: road bump/speed bump | @triranaagung: either “bumps” or “street bumps”.
  9. @rhapsodicx: sit with straightened legs | @Miss_Qiak: To slouch
  10. @subhansazly2: Corny | @Selvieyantii: Unknown style or fashion | @Silves_sylves: over the top | @adhedopz: Tacky | @TLugina: Swag!! | @j__nny: alay = norak. cheesy/ tacky
  11. @rerenew: lelaki hidung belang = jerk or douche bag? | @hanaysf: Womanizer | @oyieNW: Womanizer or lady killer | @iamderi: player | @j__nny: ladies-man |
  12. @GiboSinatra: they likely called as sandals,slippers, flip-flops (USA) thongs (Aussie) |
    @Selvieyantii: Open-toe slipper
  13. @nindaytoday: Bladder | @_kimcha_have the need | @Selvieyantii: Have an urgent need to do esp (urinate) | @straycatrenate: nature calls | @dheviz: need to pee | @pitaemas: In a rush to pee
  14. @rhapsodicx: get something in the eye | @palescfab: Having dust in eyes :D
  15. @HasnahReycha: lebay is redundant…. | @YuliaaWN: Lebay is ‘exaggerating’ in English. | @august_serenade: overreact? | @KharlyaUlfiyani: Over acting? | @opipii: overrated | @rezaezer: Excessive | @EndyLaw93: Over the top. | @tamindya: lebay (situasi)= exaggerated. Lebay (orangnya)= drama queen
  16. @fitriiawe: becak: rickshaws | @najibatulabibah: trishaw or pedicab | @dianhsafitri: cycle rickshaw
  17. @BadaIsSea: Curious | @AryFebriyadi: ‘nosy’ or also ‘nosey’ | @dheviz: freaking curious | @SarahHart88: kepo itu penasaran kn? -> curious. Klo yg mau tau aj urusn org-> nosy| @ramadhanughi: KEPO is actually acronym for Knowing Every Particular Object, n it’s adapted from Chin.lang.”Kay poh” | @__phy: KEPO stands for Knowing Every Particular Object. it’s mean Really Curious, maybe? | @tikarawuri: Noseyparker | @pinksmoothies: Stick your nose on someone’s business maybe? | @nduddandud: my Canadian friend told me that it’s called busy body
  18. @niawuz: ulcer | @dianhsafitri: oral ulcer | @Selvieyantii: Sprue or oral ulceration | @Khaineecha: Mouth ulcer
  19. @incindyary: wedding reception | @Miss_Qiak: Wedding party, wedding reception. Pergi kondangan: going to a wedding party/reception. | @jellirahmawati: Attending wedding party
  20. @TLugina: To choke | @trimaritania: “keselek” is Javanese  In Indonesian is “tersedak”. Tersedak is choke. Isn’t it?
Compiled and written by @NenoNeno at @EnglishTips4U on April 6, 2013

4 thoughts on “#EngTalk: Indonesian English”

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