Monday, 4 February 2008


A diphthong is a compound vowel made by pronouncing 2 vowels quickly one after the other. For example, the vowel sound in my is a diphthong, and is written with the diphthong [aI]. In Indonesian words the diphthongs are easily recognized because they are written as the diphthong themselves, in contrast to English or other languages where a vowel may sound as a diphthong (e.g. I, my, by, die, now, note, etc.). Some common diphthongs in Indonesian words are listed below.
Full            Separated         Meaning
ramai         ra-mai               crowded, busy, noisy, loud
damai        da-mai               peace (adj)
bagai         ba-gai                like, as if
sungai        su-ngai              river (n)
bangau      ba-ngau             flamingo, heron, etc. (n)
kacau         ka-cau               in disorder, chaotic, disorganized, confused
kicau          ki-cau                birdling
tembakau  tem-ba-kau       tobacco (n)
silau           si-lau                 dazzled (adj)
pisau          pi-sau                knive (n)
sepoi           se-poi                balmy (of air or weather)
koboi          ko-boi                cowboy

Other words containing diphthongs will follow. Please try memorizing the above words first,
before continue.

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