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Letter "J" in Indonesian?

Could someone please set me straight!

I was under some impression that "j" in Indonesian is pronounced like English "y" (as, for example, in Northern European languages' writing). I guess I supposed that had something to do with Dutch influence.

However, I am seeing in the Duo course that "j" is pronounced more or less like English j in "job."

I am just crazy?

And isn't there some other, maybe colloquial, mix-up between j and y sounds?


August 18, 2018



Before the switch towards Republic Spelling System (in 1947), "j" is read as "y", meanwhile "dj" is read as "j".

In the Republic Spelling System (1947-today), "j" is read as "j".

However, some brands and names still use "dj", like in Djarum, a brand of Indonesian cigarettes. But in everyday life, "j" is accepted.

Notes: If you are interested, here are the original spelling of some alphabets

U is written as Oe

C is written as Tj

J is written as Dj

Y is written as J


Thanks. So, in other words, those are all Dutch spellings.

I think this is the way you'll still see words spelled in the Netherlands. I saw some of that when I was visiting recently.

On the other hand, maybe that is Surinamese spelling?


Yes, it is used by the Dutch to transliterate Indonesian, so that the Dutch know how to read it correctly.

I don't know about Surinamese spelling though. Probably, you're right.


Under the old spelling the letter 'j' was pronounced as a 'y' sound. However, nowadays, the letter j' is used to represent the 'j' sound in English.


Oh, I don't like most of those changes. :/


Terima kasih!

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