Native toIndonesia
Native speakers
890,000 (2003)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3nij
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Ngaju (also Ngaju Dayak or Dayak Ngaju) is an Austronesian language spoken along the Kapuas, Kahayan, Katingan, and Mentaya Rivers in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. It is closely related to the Bakumpai language. There are three dialects—Pulopetak, Ba'amang, and Mantangai.[2]



Ngaju has the following consonants.

Ngaju consonants[3]
Biabial Coronal Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ
Stop p b t d c ɟ k g
Fricative s h
j w
Trill r


Ngaju has the following vowels. All vowels except ə can be long.[3]

Ngaju vowels[3]
Front Central Back
High i u
Mid e ə o
Low a


Vowels and diphthongs



Vocabulary comparison between Bakumpai, Ngaju, Indonesian and English languages.

Bakumpai Ngaju Indonesian English
Jida Dia Tidak No
Beken Beken Bukan Not
Pai Pai Kaki Foot/Leg
Kueh Kueh Mana Which/Where
Si-kueh Bara-kueh Dari mana Where from
Hituh Hetuh Sini Here
Si-hituh Intu-hetuh Di sini Here
Bara Bara Dari From
Kejaw Kejaw Jauh Far
Tukep/Parak Tukep Dekat Near
Kuman Kuman Makan Eat
Mihup Mihop Minum Drink
Lebu Lewu Kampung Village
Batatapas Bapukan Mencuci pakaian To wash clothes


  1. ^ Ngaju at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ Gordon, Raymond G. Jr. (2005). Ethnologue: Languages of the World (15th ed.). Dallas: Summer Institute of Linguistics.
  3. ^ a b c Mihing & Stokhof (1977)
  4. ^ "Ngaju language". Omniglot. Retrieved 30 August 2021.


  • Ashn E. Johannes (1971). An Introduction to Dayak Ngaju Morphology (MA thesis). Malang.
  • Mihing, T. W. J.; Stokhof, W. A. L. (1977). "On the Ngaju Dayak sound system (Pulau Petak dialect)" (PDF). In Soepomo Poedjosoedarmo (ed.). Miscellaneous Studies in Indonesian and Languages in Indonesia, Part III. NUSA 4. Jakarta: Universitas Katolik Indonesia Atma Jaya. pp. 49–59.