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Identical Words in Indonesian and Finnish Languages

So I'm almost done with my Indonesian tree. I hadn't studied Indonesian before, but when I started it I was surprised how easy the words are to pronounce and all the words seemed like they could also mean something in my mother tongue Finnish. I actually bumped into tens of identical words here in Duolingo and Memrise that are pronounced a bit differently, but some are even pronounced almost in the same way. I gathered a list of the words and now I made a video about them. Note that I mainly pronounce in the Finnish way these words, because one friend tries to guess what that word means in Indonesian.

Here's the link to the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a9kr5DsOkX8&t=294s

Here's my list of the words, about half of these appear in the video:

  1. Aku Indonesian: I, me, my Finnish: male name (Donal Duck is Aku Ankka)

  2. Sini Indonesian: here (or actually di sini is here) Finnish: female name

  3. Mari Indonesian: hey, bi, oh, ouch (according to some sources) Finnish: female name

  4. Satu Indonesian: one Finnish: female name

  5. Kamu Indonesian: you (informal, singular) Finnish: friend (slang word)

  6. Isi Indonesian: contents, to fill in Finnish: father, dad (colloquial word)

  7. Silakan Indonesian: please Finnish: Baltic herring's (genitive of "silakka")

  8. Kiri Indonesian: left Finnish: spurt

  9. Kanan Indonesian: right Finnish: chicken's (genitive of "kana")

  10. Turun Indonesian: down, go down, descend Finnish: Turku's (genitive form of the city "Turku")

  11. Pimpin Indonesian: to lead Finnish: vagina's (genitive form of "pimppi")

  12. Sama Indonesian: same Finnish: same

  13. Lima Indonesian: five Finnish: mucus, goo

  14. Kita Indonesian: we Finnish: mouth (colloquial word)

  15. Lihat Indonesian: to see Finnish: meats (plural of "liha")

  16. Surut Indonesian: recede Finnish: griefs (plural of "suru")

  17. Takut Indonesian: afraid Finnish: tangles (in hair)

  18. Lupa Indonesian: to forget, to fail, lost Finnish: permission

  19. Paha Indonesian: thigh Finnish: bad

  20. Paku Indonesian: nail Finnish: van (slang word)

  21. Rata Indonesian: flat/evenly Finnish: track (like in Formula 1 or athletics)

  22. Rata-rata Indonesian: average Finnish: track track

  23. Menit Indonesian: minute Finnish: you went (in singular)

  24. Halus Indonesian: smooth/fine Finnish: he/she wanted (colloquial version of "halusi")

  25. Tulis Indonesian: to write, written Finnish: he/she would come (colloquial version of "tulisi")

  26. Mau Indonesian: to want Finnish: *the sound that cats do, when written somewhere

  27. Lama Indonesian: long Finnish: recession

  28. Kata Indonesian: word Finnish: nickname for Katariina

  29. Akan Indonesian: will Finnish: female's (genitive for of a derogatory word "akka" meaning a woman)

  30. Jalan Indonesian: way/road Finnish: by foot ("j" in Finnish is pronounced like "y" in Indonesian)

  31. Lain Indonesian: other Finnish: of the law (genitive form of "laki")

  32. Kain Indonesian: cloth/fabric Finnish: Kai's (Finnish male name)

  33. Open Indonesian: oven Finnish: teacher's (genitive form of "ope", a colloquial word for teacher "opettaja")

  34. Tali Indonesian: rope, cord Finnish: tallow, sebum

  35. Sepupu Indonesian: cousin Finnish: "se pupu" with a space means "that bunny"

  36. Alat Indonesian: tool Finnish: industries or fields (plural for the word "ala")

  37. Saat Indonesian: time Finnish: you get (singular)

December 3, 2018



In your list above, I can see two words which are also French...

3- Mari means husband.

27- Lama is an animal you find in South America.

I haven't studied Indonesian a lot, but I already noticed "roti" and "air".

Roti means bread in Indonesian, and roast in French.

Air means water in Indonesian, and air in French.

And I think I saw more, but I forgot them at the moment.


True ! I also found two words that are also Estonian. Kena in Indonesian is "to get", "to hit" or "appropriate" according to one online dictionary and in Estonian it means pretty. The other one is "enam" which is the number 6 in Indonesian and in Estonian it's "no more" or "any more".


I find loanwords fascinating and when I come across certain new words in Indonesian that I think may have come from another country, I usually check their origin here. When you click on the country it tells you all the Indonesian words. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_loanwords_in_Indonesian


These aren't loanwords. Loanwords are foreign words that are adopted by the language with no or little change in spelling, pronunciations, or meanings.

These are "false friends", similar words in different languages that have completely different meanings.


I have noticed a few words that are either the same or similar with Swedish. Most names of the months are exactly the same in Swedish (at least written). Indonesian spells December as Desember though. I saw the other day that "sama-sama" means "you're welcome". It reminds me of "(det)samma" in Swedish which is usually used in the same way but means "the same [to you]."


Indonesian 'sama' (=same, equal) and Swedish 'samma' are actually related. Swedish 'samma' can be traced back all the way to Proto-Indoeuropean. Indonesian got 'sama' from Sanskrit and thus also ultimately from Proto-Indoeuropean.


Menarik sekali, ya.

Saya belum tahu kata 'mari' dalam Bahasa Indonesia. Di mana kamu belajar kata itu?


I don't know why duolingo deleted the spaces between the rows, it's kindy of messy now, but you can see the same list on the description of my youtube video.

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