Lesson 1

Aku Meaning In Indonesian

Halo, semuanya? Apa kabar? This time, we're gonna talk about the meaning of [aku] in the Indonesian language. As always, we're also going to watch a clip from an Indonesian movie where this word is being spoken.

Aku Meaning In Indonesian

If you have any questions regarding the Indonesian language, you can ask me directly. You can see how to do that on my About Me page. 

If you are a beginner in the Indonesian language, you can learn step by step with My Lesson Here.

Okay, without further ado, let's jump right in.

Aku In the Indonesian Language

Aku is the informal word for I. Where [saya] is the formal version of I in the Indonesian language, aku is the informal version of the word I.

How and When Do You Use Aku?

If you're close enough to someone, you can use this word. But if you're new with that person, I think it's safer if you're using [saya] instead of [aku]. If you feel that you're close enough to that person, then you can switch [saya] into [aku], as simple as that.

In Jakarta, there is another informal word that is being used a lot, which is [gue]. I have explained this in my article titled Gue Meaning in Indonesian.

     Read also: Gue Meaning In Indonesian

In Jakarta, it is more common to use the word [gue] than to use [aku]. In fact, from what I've seen in my daily lives in Jakarta, [aku] is used by women a lot than by men. But, only in Jakarta. Men in Jakarta usually use the word [gue] instead of [aku] for the informal word of I. But, once again, it's only in Jakarta. Outside of Jakarta, [aku] is used by men and women for the informal word of I in daily conversation.

Also, you will hear couples using these words [aku] and [kamu] when talking to each other. If they're not a couple, they usually use [gue] and [loe]. This happens in Jakarta and the surrounding cities, which are Depok, Tangerang, Bekasi, Bogor.

How to Pronounce Aku

Let's hear how to pronounce the word aku in this video.

Next, we will watch a scene from an Indonesian movie where this word aku is spoken.

Aku In a Movie Clip

This movie clip is from a movie titled Perahu Kertas 1. Let's watch the scene down below.

The conversation in the scene with English translations is as follows.

Keenan: Berarti kamu berubah jadi orang lain dulu baru balik lagi jadi diri kamu lagi. Gitu? (It means that first, you become another person, and then you come back and become you again. Is that what you mean?)

Kugy: Aku ngga tahu ya selama ini kamu tinggal di gua mana. Tapi cita-cita jadi pendongeng itu ngga realistis. Dikit banget yang bisa survive cuma nulis doang. (I don't know where you live in the cave all this time. But, having a dream as a writer is really not realistic. Only a few who can survive and live as a writer.)

In this scene, they are friends. So, they are using the informal word [aku] and [kamu] to speak to each other.

Okay, I think that's all for now. If I find another clip where this word [aku] is being spoken, Insya Allah, I will update this article. Thanks a lot, and bye now.

Update #1 (August 15th, 2020)
I just found a clip from BRI's channel web series. Let's watch the clip down below.

There are two characters in this clip. The man named Bagas. He is from Jakarta. The woman named Indah. She is from Jogja. In Jogja, they never use [gue] and [loe]. For the informal version of I, they use [aku]. In Jakarta, most men would use [gue] instead of [aku] in their daily conversation.

The conversation in the scene with English translations is as follows.

Indah: Halo, mas. Mas Bagas, ya? (Hello. You are Bagas, aren't you?)

Bagas: Iya. (Yes, I am.)

Indah: Halo, saya Indah. Mantri BRI unit Sewon. Kebetulan saya ditugaskan kantor cabang untuk nemenin mas Bagas di sini. (Hello, I'm Indah. I'm a banking associate of BRI unit Sewon. I happened to be assigned by the branch office to accompany you in this city.)

Bagas: Iya, panggil Bagas aja. Ngga usah pake mas. (Just call me Bagas. You don't need to use mas.)

Indah: Oh gitu? Oke. Oke, Bagas. (Is that so? Okay then. Okay, Bagas.)

Bagas: Sekarang? Yuk! (Now? Let's go!)

Indah: Ke pak Dimas langsung? (Are we headed to Mr. Dimas right away?)

Bagas: Eh, kita keliling-keliling dulu aja kali ya? Ngelihat pengrajin setempat. (How about if we just take a look around first? I want to see the local craftsmen here.)

Indah: Oh. (Okay.)

Bagas: Masih ada waktu, kan? (We still have time for it, right?)

Indah: Masih bisa sih, mas. Tapi naik motor, ngga papa? (Yes, I think so. But is it okay with you if we go by motorcycle?)

Bagas: Ngga papa. (It's okay.)

Indah: Biar saya aja yang bonceng ya, mas? (Let me ride the motorcyle.)

Bagas: Eh, jangan! Gue aja. (No, no, no! Let me!)

Indah: Ha? Ngga papa? (What? Is it okay with you?)

Bagas: Ngga papa lah. Gue aja yang bawa. Yah? (Yeah, it's okay with me. Let me ride the motorcycle.)

Indah: Oh gitu? Ini mas helmnya. (Is that so? Here's your helmet.)

Bagas: Iya. (Okay.)

Indah: Bu, mari ya. (Ma'am, I'm leaving.)

Ibu: Iya. (Okay.)

Indah: Monggo. (Take care.)

Ibu: Enggih. Makasih. (Yeah. Thank you.)

Bagas: Loe udah kaya orang sini, ya? (You're just like the locals.)

Indah: Ngga juga sih, mas. Ibuku yang asli Jogja. Almarhum bapak yang asli Jepara. Makanya aku apal banget lah tentang industri kayu. (Not really actually. My mom was from this place, Jogja. My late father was from Jepara. That's why I know a lot about the wood industries.)

As you can see, first Indah used the formal word for I, which is [saya], and then when Bagas started using [gue] then Indah started switching from using [saya] to using [aku]. She didn't use [gue] like Bagas did, because she was from Jogja, and in Jogja, as far as I know, they never use [gue], [loe] in their daily conversation.

As you can see, Bagas did not use the word [aku] and using [gue] instead, because as I've said to you, [aku] in Jakarta (and only in Jakarta), is commonly used by women, and not by men. This is from my own observation because I've lived in Jakarta for almost 30 years.

From what I've seen in Jakarta, [aku] is used mostly by women, shemale, or by people outside Jakarta. But if a man talks to a woman and then the woman uses [aku] [kamu] and then the man usually will follow using the word [aku] [kamu]. 

Also, for a couple in love, they use [aku] [kamu] when talking to each other. This [aku] that mostly used by women only happens in Jakarta, not in other cities.

     Read also: Halu Meaning In Indonesian

You can also see in this clip that I embed down below. Watch in minute 3:00 when the woman started talking. She uses the word [aku] instead of [gue] or [saya].

Watch in the minute 4:23 when the host (Desta) asked the guest, who is a man, he used the word [gue] [loe] instead of [aku] [kamu]. And the guest (Andika) in minute 5:05 he used the word [gue] instead of [aku]. Once again, it is only applied in Jakarta.

Here is another clip. In this clip, the two of them doesn't know each other's name. They just met. Actually, the woman who happened to have a cafe watch the man outside her cafe. At the moment, he was drawing something. And then the woman brought tea to him and gave him tea. And just like that, they know each other but they still don't know each other's names.

 Let's watch it and then I'll explain more.

The conversation in the scene with English translation is as follows.

Dira: Ya udah. Aku duluan ya. Aku ke arah sana. (Okay. I'm leaving now. I'm headed this way.)

Adinata: Gue ke sana. (Me, that way.)

Dira: Dah. (Bye.)

Adinata: Aa, eit! Tunggu, tunggu, tunggu, tunggu. (Hey! Wait up.)

Dira: Ini kafe aku? (Is this my cafe?)

Adinata: Gue punya kebiasaan kalau kaya ada momen sama tempat yang menarik gue langsung fast sketch. Itu hasilnya. (I have a habit. When I found an interesting moment or a fascinating place, I would make a rough sketch. And this is the result of that.)

Dira: Aku juga gitu sih biasanya. (So do I.)

As you can see, the woman uses [aku] whilst the man uses [gue] and not [aku]. 

Okay, that's all for the updates. If I find another clip that's interesting to discuss, Insya Allah, I will update again this article. Bye now.