Meaning: Informal word for easy, simple
Synonym : mudah(formal)
Application: gampang, gampangan, menggampangkan, gampang-gampang susah

‘Menggampangkan’ has similar meaning with ‘memudahkan’ which is to facilitate or to smooth the way. But ‘menggampangkan’ can also mean to take lightly, or to consider something easy which is hard. In this case you can not say ‘memudahkan’.

Ujian kemaren ternyata gampang-gampang susah.
Bikin sate itu gampang.
Jangan menggampangkan masalah pajak.
Untuk menggampangkan urusan kamu …
Orang bilang Susi itu wanita gampangan.
Kalo mau ke rumah saya gampangan lewat jalan Diponegoro.
Yesterday’s exam turned out to be OK(not too difficult yet not too easy).
Making satay is easy.
Don’t take tax problem lightly.
To make things easier for you …
People say Susi is not a good girl.
To get to my house is easier if you take Diponegoro street.


Meaning: because, fuss, chaos, problem
Synonym : sebab, masalah
Application: ‘Gara-gara’ is an informal form of ’sebab’ or ‘problem’. You might find it in the newspaper but it’s not appropriate to be used in formal situation or in a formal written letter.

Dia selalu cari gara-gara.
Gara-gara dia, saya terlambat.
Gara-garanya kenapa?
He always create problem.
I am late because of him.
What’s causing it?


Meaning: dangerous, acute, critical, crucial, desperate
Synonym: kritis
Application: gawat

Ruang Gawat Darurat
Masalah sekolah anaknya sangat gawat.
Oh no!
Emergency Room
His son’s school problem is very critical.


Meaning: colloquial(slang) word for big, grand, grown
Synonym: besar(formal)
Application: gedé, penggedé. ‘Gedé’ is never used in any formal situation.

Gedé banget rumahnya.
Ayo makan yang banyak biar cepet gedé.
Anakmu sudah gedé yaa …
Didi sudah jadi penggedé sekarang.
The house is very big.
Come on, eat more and you will grow fast.
Your child is grown, isn’t he?
Didi is a bigshot now.


Meaning: dignity, prestige, respect
Synonym: kehormatan dan pengaruh; harga diri; martabat
Application: géngsi, bergengsi, géngsi-an

Cowok itu umumnya géngsian.
Saya harus jaga géngsi.
Dia beli mobil itu demi gengsi.
Mobil BMW adalah mobil bergengsi.
Generally men are full of pride.
I have to maintain my image/status/dignity.
He bought that car for the sake of pride and prestige.
BMW cars are prestige cars.


Meaning: how, in what way, what (is it) like.
Synonym: Bagaimana
Application: ‘gimana’ is the colloquial form og ‘bagaimana’. Sometimes it is combined with the word ‘kayak‘.
It can also be used as follows:

  1. instead of listing a number of items, meaning ‘and the like; or whatever’
  2. as a stalling device
  3. as the speaker collects their thoughts
Menurut kamu cewek-cewek Bandung itu gimana?
Gimana sih caranya ngebagi waktu antara kerja dan keluarga?
Nyokap gue pulang, gimana nih?
Waktu gue ketemu cowok gue rasanya gimana gitu ..
Untuk membantu dia lebih baik kita cari dana atau gimana.
In your opinion what are Bandung girls like?
How do you divide time between your work and family?
My mom’s home, what should I do?
When I saw my boyfriend I feel so … (indescribable).
In order to help her we’d better do some fund raising or else.

Gini and Gitu*

Meaning: ‘like this’ and ‘like that’
Synonym: ‘gini’ and ‘gitu’ are colloquial form which is the short form of ‘begini’ and ‘begitu’ which are adverbs of manner in formal Indonesian.
Application: It usually occurs at the end of an intonation unit, affirming that what has been said is true. It also has the strength of ‘you see; that’s how it is; I tell you’.
Gitu is frequently follow by loh/lho for emphasis in youth conversation.

Nggak bisa gini dong.
Pokoknya aku berusaha baik sama dia, gitu.
Dia anaknya pemalu gitu lho.
Udah gitu, gue musti ke kantor.
Terus gue bilang gini sama dia,”Jangan gitu dong”.
Maksud gue gini loh.
Gue nggak percaya gitu-gituan.
You can’t act like this.
The thing is i tried to be nice with her, you see.
She is a shy kid, you know.
After that, I have to go to the office.
Then I said this to her,”Please don’t do that“.
This is what I meant.
I don’t believe in that sort of thing.


Meaning: free, complimentary
Synonym: cuma-cuma
Application: gratis, gratisan

Kalo mau nyari barang gratisan bisa lewat internet.
Beli satu gratis satu.
If you’re looking for free items you can search it on the internet.
Buy one get one free.


Meaning: ‘gue’ or ‘gua’ is colloquial word for I, me, my, mine
Synonym: saya, aku(formal)
Application: People would use ’saya’ (I) to address himself/herself to a new friend, stranger or respected people. After a while, once both parties feel comfortable with each other she/he would use ‘gué’ (I) to indicate friendship. ‘Gué’ or ‘gua’ is the most frequently used pronouns in communication with peers. It is never used when speaking to older people as it is considered rude.

The choice between ‘gue’ and ‘gua’ is random. Most people favor one or the other. Sometimes they use both in one sentence.

Ini buku gue.
Ini punya gue.
Bukan gue.
Gue harus pulang.
This is my book.
This is mine.
Not me.
I have to go home.

*) Reference: Colloquial Jakartan Indonesian by James Neil Sneddon, 2006

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