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Boost your brand value in Indonesia by delivering engaging and relevant customer experiences across all media channels

Indonesian Localization

With a population of over 260 million, political stability, and some of the most impressive economic growth figures in the region, Indonesia presents major opportunities for companies investing in ASEAN. However, in order to connect most effectively with the Indonesian market, it’s highly recommended that you communicate with your audience in their native tongue. After all, in recent surveys over 70 percent of participants said that they would be far more likely to purchase products and engage with brands when information is presented in their own language.

Now the good news – Indonesian or ‘Bahasa Indonesia’ isn’t considered to be a challenging language in localization terms. Indonesian uses the Latin alphabet; therefore font selection isn’t a challenge like in other emerging Asian languages, so the language is supported across virtually all programs and platforms. Nonetheless, choosing an experienced Indonesian localization partner with demonstrated experience in your industry vertical is important. As with any language, translators must carefully select vocabulary and terminology that is appropriate to the target audience and industry, and ensure that local-specific grammar and colloquial language is considered. However, provided that the right grade of Indonesian translator with appropriate subject-matter expertise is assigned to projects, Indonesian localization does not usually pose a challenge.


  • Editing
  • Proofreading
  • Machine Translation engine building
  • Machine Translation post-editing
  • Desktop publishing
  • Voiceover & dubbing
  • Subtitling & closed captions
  • Flash & multimedia localization
  • Linguistic testing
  • Functional testing
  • Interpretation


  • Documentation
  • Technical manuals
  • Marketing materials
  • Brochures & flyers
  • Packaging & labeling
  • Magazines & newsletters
  • Websites
  • Mobile applications
  • Software applications
  • Training & eLearning
  • Voiceover & multimedia
  • Video content

About Indonesian

The Indonesian language, known as Bahasa Indonesia, is a member of the Austronesian language family and a standardized register of Malay (Bahasa Melayu).

There is often confusion regarding the meaning of the names Bahasa Indonesia, Bahasa Malaysia, and Bahasa Melayu. In Indonesia, clear distinctions are made among the three: Bahasa Indonesia means the standardized register of Malay which is the national language of Indonesia; Bahasa Malaysia means the standardized register of Malay which is the national language of Malaysia; and Bahasa Melayu is considered to be the indigenous language of the Malay ethnic group in Indonesia and one of Indonesia’s principal regional languages, along with Javanese, Sundanese, Balinese, and others. In Malaysia, however, there is no clear distinction between Bahasa Malaysia and Bahasa Melayu; in fact, Bahasa Melayu was used as the official name for Malaysian until 2007. Also note that the Language and Literature Bureaus of Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei collaborate with regard to the standardization of the respective registers of Malay used as their national languages.

Indonesian vocabulary and pronunciation have been heavily influenced by Dutch, and to a lesser extent, by Javanese, Sanskrit, Arabic, Persian, Portuguese, Chinese, and most recently, English. Interestingly, Sanskrit roots are used the primary source for Indonesian neologisms.

The writing system, as last revised in 1972, uses the 26 letters of the English alphabet: A a through Z z. In addition, there are 3 vowel digraphs – ai au oi – and 5 consonant digraphs – gh kh ng ny sy – which are not considered to be separate letters of the alphabet. The Jawi script, a variant of Arabic, was never in common use in Indonesia, whereas it is one of the official scripts of Brunei and still widely used as an alternate script in Malaysia.

Indonesian Translation & Localization Challenges

  • With regard to text translation into Indonesian, due to the large number of loan words, many of which have near-synonyms from multiple sources, the primary localization issue is to ensure that the chosen vocabulary, and to lesser extent, the grammar, is appropriate for the both the subject matter and the target readership. Colloquial language can differ greatly from standard Indonesian in both regards.
  • With regard to audio localization, due to the large number of regional dialects, voice talents must be chosen in accordance with the target audience


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For more information on how EQHO can assist you with your Indonesian translation & localization requirements, please don’t hesitate to contact us through our website.

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