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Indonesian language translation services

By Hilary Picken | February 26, 2019 | Languages

Indonesian translation

All of our Indonesian translators specialise exclusively in translation into their native language. They all have a minimum of five years’ experience in their chosen specialist sector and hold a diploma, BA or MA in translation too.

Whether you need to translate legal or medical texts, or marketing copy or other business documents, The Language Factory’s Indonesian translators will demonstrate clear understanding of terminology and nuance in their translations.


What to expect from your Indonesian translation

Indonesian is a well-developed and standardised form of Riau Malay, a lingua franca throughout the Austronesian world for centuries. It has borrowed many words from European and Asian languages, though all have been slightly modified, so as you read the translated piece you will see some words jump out at you as nearly familiar, but not quite.

Words borrowed from European languages like Dutch, English, German, etc. will be visible, with a twist. Words that end –ty in English, like university, develop a -tas ending instead; -phy, as in geography, becomes -fi, and -nt becomes -n, among many others.

You may also see words you recognise from a number of other languages, due to Indonesia’s high population and pride of place as a trading centre for much of the world. In all cases they are modified according to a codified set of spelling rules first laid down in 1972 and revised twice since, most recently in 2009.

Interesting facts about the Indonesian language

  1. Over seven hundred languages are spoken in Indonesia, and when Indonesian (formerly Old, or Classical, Malay) was chosen to be the national language, it came as something of a surprise to most observers, as only around five per cent of the population were native speakers.
  2. Since its second adoption as the official language in 1945 (when Indonesia became independent), that percentage has risen, but even with government encouragement it has risen only slowly. Still, because of its adoption as a second language by many Indonesians and the population size involved, it remains one of the most widely spoken languages in the nation.
  3. Indonesian is also one of the official ‘working’ languages of East Timor alongside English, though both are considered a step down from the national languages, Tetum and Portuguese.
  4. You may also hear Indonesian referred to as Malay-Indonesian or as Bahasa Indonesia, with the second of these simply meaning ‘the language of Indonesia’.
  5. The form of Malay which forms the basis of Indonesian may have been chosen despite a small native speaker base due to its simplicity relative to other languages in the region, especially Javanese, and for its perception as being egalitarian.
  6. In informal spoken use, many Indonesians blend their national language with the Betawi language, perhaps due to Betawi’s original ties to Jakarta, the capital. While other blends exist, this one is common in television and other media, giving it the edge. This helps ensure that they can be understood easily by speakers with an unknown level of fluency with either major tongue.
  7. Bahasa Indonesia has recently begun to be taught in the Philippines with the backing of both governments. It is expected that this will help the two nations forge closer bonds.