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A dictionary with the roots of Indonesian words?

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  • A dictionary with the roots of Indonesian words?

    Hi all-

    Anyone know an online English-Indonesian dictionary that includes word roots? I don't just want to know that 'badan' and 'tubuh' both mean 'body'; I want to know that badan comes from Arabic and tubuh Malay; I want to know that 'rintis' means 'path' in Javanese as well as Indonesian, because it deepens my understanding of the Indonesian 'merintis', which means 'pioneer'. There used to be a great free dictionary on the Northern Illinois University Indonesia program website, but it's not there anymore.

    I've been using this one (, but it's not really adequate.


    Last edited by philjaco; 31-01-14, 12:07.

  • #2
    Very good question. Have you checked out Kamus Poerwadarminta? (sorry if the spelling is off, I'm writing from memory). My copy is in Hawaii so I can't check for you. But AFAIK that's the best "real" (as in, Indonesian dictionary, not a bilingual dictionary) dictionary around. I don't recall if it has etymology. I don't think it does, but it's definitely worth checking. Gramedia and similar places should have it.


    • #3
      Hi Philjaco,

      Interesting question, but I'm not sure if there's any.

      I asked a friend of mine who works for Language Center, she said that there is no online Indonesian-Indonesian dictionary or online English-Indonesian dictionary with word root. But KBBI (Great Dictionary of the Indonesian Language, Indonesian-Indonesian) has it. Not online KBBI but the real / book type dictionary KBBI.
      Last edited by whatever; 05-02-14, 16:53.


      • #4
        yes i am agree with whatever. KBBI is what you need, the written one not the online version. but to look for the root word in KBBI you have to now the root word it self,, without the suffix or prefix.. for example "Merintis" you have to know that the root word is "Rintis", if that root word you talking about.

        but if you want to know deeper about the word .. i mean the original place where the word came from like badan we take from arab, and jendela (window) from portugese, anggur (grape) from persia,, KBBI doesnt provide that.. im sure of this coz i just check it from mine before i tell you this.


        • #5
          Maybe that Poerwadarminta dictionary will help you.. i will look for that ditionary too,, because it is new for me too


          • #6
            Thanks guys, maybe I'll go check out Gramedia.


            • #7
              Great news - I found the dictionary! Apparently I'd sent it to a friend, and she still had the pdf.

              Here it is for anyone who wants to download:

              Another thing I'm looking for: more complete etymologies. The dictionary I've posted here tells you what language a word came from, but it doesn't provide as much as, say,, with a more detailed breakdown of a word's origin. The above dictionary will tell you rintis comes from Javanese, for example, but, for the word 'egregious', says:

              1525–35; < Latin [FONT=Arial Unicode MS]ēgregius [/FONT] preeminent, equivalent to [FONT=Arial Unicode MS]ē- [/FONT]e-1 + [FONT=Arial Unicode MS]greg-, [/FONT] stem of [FONT=Arial Unicode MS]grēx [/FONT] flock + [FONT=Arial Unicode MS]-ius [/FONT] adj.suffix; see -ous

              I did find this, though, from Jennifer Lindsay's Word Watch column in this week's Tempo English (anyone familiar with the sources she mentions?):

              [COLOR=#111111][FONT=Arial]Word chasing is not for everyone, but I find it fascinating. As I said when I began writing these columns, I am no linguist, but I love reading the work of those who are. For synonym-hunting in Indonesian, Eko Endarmoko's thesaurus (Tesaurus Bahasa Indonesia, published by Gramedia) is a treasure. It is amazing that it took so long for an Indonesian thesaurus to appear-the first edition was 2006. A earlier guide was Harimurti Kridalaksana's synonym dictionary, first published in 1977 (Kamus Sinonim Bahasa Indonesia), but the thesaurus has superceded this. Unfortunately, though, neither the thesaurus nor Indonesia's official Indonesian-Indonesian dictionary (Kamus Besar Bahasa Indonesia) published by the Dewan Bahasa shows etymology. This is a great pity. To trace where synonyms came from, the best source is Russell Jones' edited work Loan Words in Indonesian and Malay (KITLV, 2008). Alan M. Stevens' and A. Ed. Schmidgall-Tellings' wonderful Indonesian-English dictionary (Ohio University Press, 2nd ed. 2010) also shows etymology, and is a tremendously helpful resource. Happy hunting!



              • #8
                This is a nice resource. Bit technical, still trying to figure out how to use it:


                • #9

                  Thank you, and sorry I can't help much
                  I'm gonna download it too, for more reference ^^
                  And, you seem to be interested in languages, or in Bahasa Indonesia more specifically?
                  Do you study language(s)?