How to Say “Akrab” in English: Formal and Informal Ways

“Akrab” is an Indonesian word that refers to being close or familiar with someone. It can be used to describe a close relationship or the act of being close to someone in terms of friendship, kinship, or familiarity. When translating “akrab” into English, there is no exact equivalent, but there are several options that can convey a similar meaning. In this guide, we will explore formal and informal ways of expressing the concept of “akrab” in English, providing tips, examples, and even touching upon any regional variations.

Formal Ways to Say “Akrab” in English

When it comes to conveying the idea of being close or familiar with someone formally, there are a few phrases you can use. These options are suitable for professional or formal settings where a more reserved tone is required:

1. Close Relationship

When discussing a close relationship in a formal context, you can use the following phrases:

  • Intimate acquaintance: This phrase refers to people who know each other well and have shared experiences.
  • Close associate: It emphasizes a relationship that goes beyond a casual acquaintance.

2. Family Kinship

To describe a close familial relationship, you may consider:

  • Kindred spirit: It conveys a deep emotional connection between family members.
  • Immediate family: This phrase refers to the closest family members, such as parents, siblings, and children.

Informal Ways to Say “Akrab” in English

On the other hand, informal expressions for “akrab” can be used in everyday conversations, friendly settings, or when a more casual tone is appropriate:

1. Close Relationship

When discussing a close relationship informally, you can opt for the following expressions:

  • Tight-knit: It describes a group or relationship that is closely united and strongly connected.
  • Buddy or pal: These terms denote a close friendship with someone.
  • Inseparable: It signifies a bond so strong that two individuals cannot be separated.

2. Family Kinship

To describe a close family kinship informally, consider using:

  • Like family: It expresses a relationship that is as close as being part of the same family.
  • Brother/sister from another mother: This colloquial phrase humorously highlights a deep bond that is not limited by blood relations.
  • Part of the tribe: It refers to a close-knit group or family unit.


Let’s take a look at some examples to illustrate the use of these phrases:

Formal: As CEO, I have developed an intimate acquaintance with our top clients, ensuring they receive personalized attention.

Informal: Martha and I are tight-knit friends. We’ve been through thick and thin together.

Formal: The immediate family of the deceased has asked for privacy during this difficult time.

Informal: Mark is like family to me. We grew up together and have always been there for each other.

Regional Variations

While “akrab” doesn’t have a direct equivalent in English, it is interesting to note that different regions may have their own colloquial expressions or phrases to describe similar relationships. However, in a global context, the aforementioned formal and informal options can be widely understood across English-speaking communities, transcending regional variations.


In conclusion, “akrab” does not have a direct translation in English. However, by using formal or informal alternatives, you can effectively convey the concept of being close or familiar with someone. In more formal contexts, phrases like “intimate acquaintance” and “close associate” can be used, while in informal situations, you may opt for expressions such as “tight-knit” or “buddy.” Remember, the choice of phrasing depends on the situation and your desired tone. By utilizing these suggestions and examples, you’ll be able to effectively express the essence of “akrab” in English conversations.

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