What is Masuk Angin?

Your Indonesian friends might talk about masuk angin, but Google Translate-ing it will give you a literal translation that makes no sense!

Masuk angin actually means ‘catching a cold’. 

When you masuk angin, you can expect common cold symptoms like fever, upset stomach, bloating, nausea, reduced appetite, and sometimes also dizziness and a sore throat.

This is how you may use masuk angin in a sentence:

  1. Duh *nggak enak badan, nih. Kayaknya aku masuk angin. (I’m feeling unwell. Seems like I’m catching a cold)
  2. Kamu *gapapa? Masuk angin, ya? (Are you okay? Are you catching a cold?)
  3. *Mending masuk angin daripada mabuk laut. (It is better to catch a cold than to be seasick.)
  4. Saya masuk angin, Pak. Boleh libur dulu? (I’m catching a cold, sir. Can I get a day off?)
  5. Kamu flu atau cuma masuk angin? (Do you have the flu or did you just catch a cold?)

In real-life conversation, when you mention masuk angin, it is likely that people will want to know what symptoms you have. Here is some vocabulary related to being sick:

Feeling unwell : *nggak enak badan

Upset stomach: sakit perut

Bloating : kembung

Nauseous : mual

Low appetite : *nggak selera makan

Dizziness : pusing

Headache : sakit kepala

Sore throat : sakit tenggorokan

Cough : batuk

Diarrhea : diare

Body ache : pegel / pegal

Fever : panas / demam

Increased body temperature: meriang

Here’s a bonus real-life dialogue including some of the above words:

Dokter : Sakit apa, Bu? (How are you feeling?)

Pasien : Badan saya *pegel-pegel, Dok. Meriang sama kembung juga. Mual terus, jadi *nggak selera makan. (My body is aching. I am very nauseous, and I have lost my appetite)

Dokter : Ada pusing sama batuk, Bu? (Do you have a cough or dizziness, ma’am?)

Pasien : Iya, Dok, *dikit. Bikin susah tidur. (Yes, a little. Makes it hard to sleep)

Dokter : Sepertinya ibu masuk angin. Saya ukur dulu ya, Bu, *pake termometer. (It seems that you have caught a cold. Let me use a thermometer)

Words with a star are colloquial and below are their formal counterparts

Nggak = tidak (no)

Gapapa = tidak apa – apa (no problem) 

Pegel-pegel = pegal-pegal (aching) 
That’s all you need to know about masuk angin. Try and practice it in real life conversation next time you or someone you know is sick!