Room : Kamar and Ruang


Hi, readers and Indonesian learners alike! Today we’re going to be talking about Indonesian word for room… or words?

In Indonesian, the word room is translated as both kamar and ruang but we will mostly see room translated as kamar, and this is not without reason. However, we don’t say meeting room as kamar rapat.


This word originates from the Dutch word kammer. This word can be translated as chamber or room. We know that chamber of commerce in Indonesian is kamar dagang, and to show consistency of this explanation, I would like to point out that the Indonesian translation for Harry Potter’s Chamber of Secrets is kamar rahasia. This word is also used for rooms with more sense of privacy, such as bedroom and bathroom; kamar tidur and kamar mandi, respectively.


Ruang actually means space. So, time and space means ruang dan waktu and retrobulbar space is ruang retrobulbar (a medical term). However, ruang is also used as room. For rooms without a sense of privacy, such as waiting room or meeting room, we use ruang; ruang tunggu and ruang rapat, respectively.

Kamar or ruang?

What is a guest room in Indonesian? Interestingly, it can mean both kamar tamu and ruang tamu. It is ruang tamu if it refers to a room (space) in a common Indonesian house where you entertain your guests and talk with them. For some reason, you don’t take them to the living room unless they are close to you personally. It can also mean kamar tamu if it refers to a specific room where your guest is staying; a bedroom you might say, but for a guest.