Aceh has, besides Indonesian, many local languages. In the
dictionary below we have, besides Indonesian, also selected the Aceh
and the Gayo languages, the two most common local languages. More
languages will be added later when more areas are added to this
Other examples of languages in Aceh are as follows:
- Alas in the area of Kutacane. It is related to the Gayo
- Jame is spoken in the southwestern coastal parts of Aceh and
in Pulau Banyak. It is a mix of several languages, for example
Minangkabau of West Sumatra, Batak languages and Nias.
- In Simeulue are the three different local languages; Defayan,
Sigulai, and Lekon.
- Haloban is language spoken by only 1.000 persons in Pulau
Basic Indonesian is easy to learn. A few shortcuts to the perfect
Indonesian: Always stress the second last syllable, for example
"Tenggara". "Ng" is pronounced as in song. "Ngg" is pronounced like
"ng" plus a "g". For those of you that have tried to learn German
articles, French tenses, or Thai pronunciation; you will love
Indonesian. Many travelers manage to learn enough Indonesian to get
by in just a couple of months.
Acehnese is more difficult to learn, but everyone you meet will love
to help you along. Aceh was written with the Arabic alphabet until
the first half of the 20th century. There are at least two different
forms of spelling Acehnese, which can make it confusing at times.
Acehnese is also rich in diphthongs. A rough shortcut to
pronunciation is to pronounce the words as a Frenchman would do.
Acehnese has five vowels and each vowel has several variations.
A: a, à, ä.
E: e, é, è, eu. (é is pronounced as the French parlé, ê as in merci,
eu as in beau)
I: i, í, ie.
O: ó, ô, ö
U: u, ú, ue
The Gayo language has five major dialects that differ rather much
between themselves. Our examples are from Takengon. Gayo is
pronounced basically in the same way as Indonesian. The Gayo
language closely related to the Karo-language in Berastagi and
Kabanjahe in south of the Acehnese border.
The Karo language is spoken by the Karo people northwest of Lake
Toba and southeast of the Gayo. The Karo language is similar to the
Pak-Pak language, spoken in the area between Karo and Singkil. Karo
has a lot of influences from Malay, especially in the eastern