How To Talk About Family In Indonesian

Bonus perk: You’ll also learn good manners.
How To Talk About Family In Indonesian

If you’re studying the language in any capacity, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to learn how to talk about family in Indonesian. Family is an essential topic in any culture, but in Indonesian, there are certain etiquette rules you’ll learn along the way that are intertwined with basic vocabulary terms for family.

For instance, ibu, the word for “mother,” is actually a respectful term for a woman in general — sort of similar to how we would say “Ma’am” in English or Madame in French. The same goes for bapak, the word for “father,” and men.

It’s also generally considered more polite to refer to older family members according to their status in the family tree (versus by their first name), but someone doesn’t have to be directly related to you for this to apply. You might even refer to someone who appears to be just a couple of years older than you as “brother” or “sister.”

Below, you’ll find all of the basic terms you’ll need to have a conversation about family in Indonesian. Click the play button to hear how each word is voiced by a native speaker.

Essential Vocab For Family In Indonesian

family — keluarga

relatives — sanak saudara

extended family — saudara jauh

ancestor — leluhur

descendant — keturunan

parents — orangtua

mother — ibu

father — bapak

children — anak-anak

daughter — anak perempuan

son — anak laki-laki

siblings — saudara

brother — saudara laki-laki

sister — saudara perempuan

stepchild — anak tiri

half-brother — saudara tiri

foster parents — orangtua asuh

guardian — wali

grandmother — nenek

grandfather — kakek

grandchild — cucu

aunt — bibi

uncle — paman

nephew/niece — anak saudara

cousin/second cousin — sepupu

parents-in-law — mertua

great-grandparents — buyut

Looking for more Indonesian lessons?
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Steph Koyfman
Steph is a writer, lindy hopper, and astrologer. She’s also a language enthusiast who grew up bilingual and had an early love affair with books. She has mostly proved herself as a New Yorker, and she can introduce herself in Swedish thanks to Babbel. She also speaks Russian and Spanish, but she’s a little rusty on those fronts.
Steph is a writer, lindy hopper, and astrologer. She’s also a language enthusiast who grew up bilingual and had an early love affair with books. She has mostly proved herself as a New Yorker, and she can introduce herself in Swedish thanks to Babbel. She also speaks Russian and Spanish, but she’s a little rusty on those fronts.

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