Indonesian Dictionary

Indonesian Dictionary: How to Choose a Good One


Having an Indonesian dictionary is totally a must if you really want to learn Indonesian language seriously. With a dictionary around, it will be much easier for you to understand many new vocabularies during your Indonesian learning process, therefore it speeds your learning, too. Even if you’ve got a personal Indonesian language teacher yourself, it is highly recommended that you have a good Indonesian dictionary. It is mainly because your teacher can’t be around you for twenty four hours a day, ready to answer all of your questions. Therefore a dictionary can serve as an emergency help when you need to know the meaning of certain words.However not all Indonesian dictionaries are good. I have seen many dictionaries which look good on the outside but very poor in quality. Always avoid these kinds of useless dictionaries which sometimes also give you improper translation. So, the question is now: What are the characters of a good Indonesian dictionary?

A good Indonesian dictionary should be intended to be a practical, comprehensive dictionary of modern Indonesian with English equivalents for the use of those who wish to read contemporary Indonesian materials. A large number of technical terms should be included as well, but it doesn’t need to be too exhaustive. The dictionary should also be useful to Indonesians who wish to learn the English equivalent of an Indonesian utterance.

Characteristics of a Good Indonesian Dictionary

A good Indonesian dictionary should also serve as primary tool for English speakers who need to know and learn Indonesian language and who deal with Indonesian writings. The aim thus has been to give comprehensive coverage to foreigners who might run across in Indonesian readings. As already mentioned above, a good Indonesian dictionary should also benefit the Indonesian speakers who wish to learn English equivalents of Indonesian words.

Being the official language of the Republic of Indonesia, and which is also spoken as a first or second language by a majority of the population throughout the republic, Indonesian language (or, Bahasa Indonesia) has some closely related dialects which are spoken in Malaysia, called Bahasa Malaysia, and in Brunei. However a good Indonesian dictionary, as the name suggests, should only lists words that are used in Indonesia. Words that are not used in Indonesia or meanings or words which are only found in Malaysia should be excluded from the dictionary’s lists of words.

Just like some English dictionaries, especially those from Oxford, some Indonesian dictionaries also include some descriptive illustrations. The inclusion of illustrations for a large number of entries and sub-entries may provide the English-speaking students with examples of usage in context, thereby giving some indication of the range of meaning of the items.

As mentioned in the previous article regarding ‘The History of Indonesian Language’, the Indonesian language is regarded as an open language which is always developing and therefore accepting and even blending new terms almost every day. Thus it is not surprising that the old Indonesian dictionaries list words which are not included in the modern dictionary, and vice versa.

That is why it is very important to buy only the latest Indonesian dictionary. You can check when it was first published. And be also very careful if it is a reprinted of an old version, which sometimes does not include some new terms.However for those who would prefer to have an electronic Indonesian dictionary, be careful of some incorrect translations. To check if your electronic dictionary is working well, check what the word ‘seronok’ means in English. And check if you also find the same meaning in a conventional Indonesian dictionary for the same wordJ. Other interesting related articles you might be interested in: