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"You" in professional and casual Indonesian!

The 'Language' that we study in Duolingo is far different from our daily-life usage! This is our "Professional" language, the one we use in schools and exams.

Our "Talking" language consists of mostly slang, especially with friends.

Example: "You"

In the professional terms, it is: "Engkau" it is used when talking to elders or people you respect. Less professional is "Kamu" but it isn't rude.

Now, if you are talking to friends, you can use "Lu"

DON'T SAY SLANG TO PEOPLE YOU RESPECT! Don't say "Lu" to your mother or anyone else, because if us Indonesians say that to our mothers, we get slapped or lectured. (I'm kidding, it's just a lecture.)

This is just a fun fact and a learning thing for those who want to speak to your friends, have a good day!! ^_^

May 9, 2019



Engkau is not a profesionnal term. I don't think I've ever heard anyone address other people with engkau. It's usually used more in songs or poetry. It's also usually used when you're praying to God.


Hello, We Indonesians say "you" in many ways. There are:

  1. Kamu (Formal/Non-formal) used to say you to your friends, your colleague, your teacher, etc.

  2. Anda (Formal) used to say you to stranger in same age, don't say it to someone older than you.

  3. Kau (Non-formal) its an abreviation from word "engkau". Used to say you to your friends, don't say it to someone older than you.

  4. Lu (Very non-formal) and only used in Jakarta Region (our capital).


Addition: because of the spread of Jakarta-based media, young people from all over the country also tend to use "lu"/"lo" every once in a while, mostly to seem cool.

Source: personal experience, including my cousins from Gorontalo.


Yes, I live in Sumatra island, but using "lu" or "gue" outside Jakarta in my personal experience is considered "rude" by most people.


Indeed it is. It's more commonly found in chatspeak than in real life outside of Jakarta.


Fun fact. Just when you think you have learned something new and useful, a netive will whisper into your ear "we actually use this slang word for that, no one uses that word anymore"

Best of luck in your learnings!!


In formal settings, you can use "Anda" or the honorific "Bapak" or "Ibu" (or other honorifics as appropriate) to refer to the second person.


  • I'd like to invite you to my wedding.

  • Saya ingin mengundang Anda ke acara pernikahan saya.

  • Saya ingin mengundang Bapak ke acara pernikahan saya.

  • Saya ingin mengundang Ibu ke acara pernikahan saya.

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