Indonesian Spelling System

The Indonesian Spelling System (Indonesian: Ejaan Bahasa Indonesia, EBI), often referred to as the Indonesian Spelling System General Guidelines (Indonesian: Pedoman Umum Ejaan Bahasa Indonesia, PUEBI) is the spelling system used for the Indonesian language. It was formerly known as the Enhanced Spelling System (Indonesian: Ejaan yang Disempurnakan, EYD). The system is an orthography released in 1972 was to replace the Republican Spelling System (RSS, also called the Soewandi Spelling System, SSS). The aim of the change in 1972 was introduce greater harmonization of the Indonesian and Malay-language orthographies.

The adoption of the new EYD system, to begin on the 27th anniversary of Indonesia's independence on 17 August 1972, was announced by President Suharto on 16 August 1972.[1] Government departments were instructed to begin using the EYD system on 1 January 1973. On 27 August 1975, the Minister of Education and Culture issued a decree which provided a detailed explanation of the changes proposed in the new system and marked the official use of EYD system.[2]


Various minor changes were announced after 1975:

  • On 9 September 1987, the Minister of Education and Culture issued a ministerial decree[3] which updated the previous spelling system and which remained valid for 22 years.
  • On 31 July 2009, the Minister of National Education issued a decree outlining further changes.[4]
  • The most recent update to the spelling system was issued on 26 November 2015.[5] For the first time the term "Indonesian spelling system" was used; previously the term used was "Enhanced Indonesian spelling system". There were only minor changes compared to previous updates including the addition of a new diphthong of "ei" (previously there were only 3 diphthongs, "ai", "au" and "oi") and new rules on the usage of bold letters.

Republican-to-EYD letter changesEdit

Changes Republican EYD English meaning
//: tj becomes c tjuma, katjang cuma, kacang only, peanuts
//: dj becomes j djual, edjaan jual, ejaan sell, spelling
/j/: j becomes y ajam, pajung ayam, payung chicken, umbrella
/ɲ/: nj becomes ny njonja, banjak nyonya, banyak madam, many
/ʃ/: sj becomes sy sjair, masjarakat syair, masyarakat poem, people
/x/: ch becomes kh tarich, achir tarikh, akhir era, end

Foreign loan lettersEdit

Letters that had previously been included in the Republican Spelling as foreign loan letters are officially used in the EYD Spelling.[6]

Letters Example English meaning
f maaf, fakir (I am) sorry, poor
v valuta, universitas currency, university
z zeni, lezat engineer, delicious

Q and XEdit

The letters Q and X are used in scientific subjects.[6] Examples:

  • Sinar-X (X-ray)

The letter Q is also used as needed for Islamic subjects.[7][8] Examples:

  • Quran
  • Al-Furqan
  • Al-Baqarah

Affixes and prepositionsEdit

The writing of di- and ke- (affixes) can be distinguished from di and ke (prepositions), where di- and ke- are written together with the words that follow it, for example diambil, kehendak (is being taken, desire), while di and ke are written separately with the words that follow it, for example di rumah, ke pasar (at home, to the market). This is different from the former Republican Spelling, where both di- and di are written together with the words following it.[6]


Reduplication, mostly used in plural form of words, has to be fully written with letters, so the use of the number "2" as used in the Republican Spelling is no longer valid.[6] (The practice remains common in informal usage such as in text messaging.)

Republican EYD English meaning
anak² anak-anak children
ber-main² bermain-main to play around
ke-barat²-an kebarat-baratan westernized

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Keputusan Presiden No. 57 Tahun 1972 tentang Peresmian Berlakunya "Ejaan Bahasa Indonesia yang Disempurnakan"". Presidential Decree No. 57 of 1972 (PDF) (in Indonesian). President of Indonesia.
  2. ^ "Surat Keputusan Menteri Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan RI Nomor: 0196/U/1975 tentang Peresmian Berlakunya "Pedoman Umum Ejaan Bahasa Indonesia yang Disempurnakan" dan "Pedoman Umum Pembentukan Istilah" di Seluruh Indonesia" [General Guidelines for the Enhanced Indonesian Spelling System]. Ministerial Decree No. 0196/U/1975 of 1975 (in Indonesian). Minister of Education and Culture.
  3. ^ "Kepmendikbud RI No. 0543a/u/1987 Tentang Penyempurnaan Pedoman Umum Ejaan Bahasa Indonesia yang Disempurnakan". Ministerial Decree No. 0543a/U/1987 of 1987 (in Indonesian). Minister of Education and Culture.
  4. ^ "Permendiknas No. 46 Tahun 2009 Tentang Pedoman Umum Ejaan Bahasa Indonesia yang Disempurnakan". Ministerial Decree No. 46 of 2009 (PDF) (in Indonesian). Minister of National Education.
  5. ^ "Permendikbud Nomor 50 Tahun 2015 Tentang Pedoman Umum Ejaan Bahasa Indonesia". Ministerial Decree No. 50 of 2015 (PDF) (in Indonesian). Minister of Education and Culture.
  6. ^ a b c d Tasai, S Amran and E. Zaenal Arifin (2000). Cermat Berbahasa Indonesia: Untuk Perguruan Tinggi.
  7. ^ "2. QS. Al-Baqarah (Sapi Betina)". Sindonews. Retrieved 22 September 2021.
  8. ^ "25. QS. Al-Furqan (Pembeda)". Sindonews. Retrieved 22 September 2021.