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The Indonesian Language.

Bahasa Indonesia

Indonesia is united more than anything else, by its common language. The millions of people who live on the nations many thousands of islands, each with its own local language or dialect are able to communicate effectively using their national Bahasa. As a traveller, being able to speak a few words of Indonesian will assist you in your endevours to get around, and will certainly endear you to the local people you meet.
Most Balinese people speak Bahasa Indonesia, but it is not the only language of the people of this island. Part of the rich cultural history of the Balinese included the development of a complex language system that emulated the Hindu caste system. Several books on Balinese languages are available in shops and bookstores Bali - anyone with a true interest in the culture and history of the island would be advised to seek a copy.

Of course you will want to say hello. The Indonesian  language has no specific equivalent to  our "hello", but instead uses greetings specific to the time of day; "Selamat Pagi" for morning, "Selamat Siang" for afternoon, "Selamat Sore" for evening and "Selamat Malam" for night.

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Often, the greeting "Apa kabar?" (What's news?) will be used as well. The normal response would be "Baik baik saja, terima kasih" (I'm just fine, thank-you).

Take a look at our lists of words and phrases to get started (carry a phrase book while you travel). You will find it relatively easy, as words and letters in the Indonesian language (Bahasa Indonesia) are written using the same Roman characters as English.

Our guide lists translations for some common words and phrases that may be useful to the visitor in Indonesia.


English to Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia)

(Bahasa Indonesia) Indonesian to English


Note: The phrases listed below are arranged in context, so that a question you might ask is typically listed as English - Bahasa Indonesia, while an answer or a question that may be asked of you is typically listed as Bahasa Indonesia - English.

Greetings and civilities

  • Good morning - Selamat Pagi
  • Good afternoon - Selamat Siang.
  • Good evening - Selamat Sore.
  • Good night - Selamat Malam.
  • Goodbye - Selamat Tinggal.
  • How are you? - Apa Kabar?
  • I am fine - Kabar Baik.
  • What is your name? - Siapa nama anda?
  • My name is... - Nama saya...
  • Nice to meet you - Senang berkenalan dengan anda.
  • See you later - Sampai jumpa lagi.
  • Goodbye (said to people leaving) - Selamat jalan.
  • Goodbye (said to people staying) - Selamat tinggal.
  • I do not understand - Saya tidak mengerti.
  • I do not speak Indonesian - Saya tidak mengerti bahasa.


  • Yes - Ya / Tentu.
  • O.K. - Beres.
  • No / not - Tidak / bukan.
  • Thank you - Terima kasih.
  • You're welcome - Kembali.
  • Please - Tolong / Silakan.
  • Please help me - Tolonglah saya.
  • Excuse me - Permisi.
  • Sorry - Ma'af.
  • What time is it? - Jam berapa?
  • This - Ini.
  • That - Itu.
  • Dari mana? - Where have you just come from?
  • Tuan asal dari mana? - What country are you from?.
  • Mau ke mana? - Where are you going?
  • Be careful / attention - Hati Hati


  • Only looking - Lihat saja.
  • I want to buy this - Saya mau beli.
  • How much? - Berapa?
  • How much is it? - Berapa Harganya?
  • Expensive - Mahal.
  • It's too expensive - Harganya terlalu mahal.
  • Can you make it cheaper? - Boleh kurang harganya?
  • What is your fixed price? - Harga pas berapa?
  • Will you please leave me alone? - Sudikah anda membiarkan saya sendiri?


  • I want the menu please - Saya mau daftar makanan minta.
  • Tuan mau minum apa? - What would you like to drink?
  • I would like to drink water / beer - Mau minum air / bir.
  • Drinking water - Air minum.
  • (Hot) Tea / coffee - Teh (panas) / kopi.
  • Without sugar / milk - Tanpa gula / susu.
  • With a little sugar / milk - Sedikit gula / susu.
  • Tuan mau makan apa? - What would you like to eat?
  • I would like to eat (spicy) chicken fried rice / spring rolls  - Mau makan (pedas) nasi goreng ayam / lumpia.
  • I would like to eat banana pancakes please - Mau makan kue dadar minta.
  • How do you say it in English? - Apa bahasa Inggrisnya (pointing to strange item on menu)?
  • I want the bill (check), thank you - Saya mau rekening, terima kasih.
  • The bill (check) please - Tolong bonnya.


  • Simple accommodations in Bali are advertised as losmen, penginapan and wisma. Accommodations advertised as resorts and hotels are typically very similar to what would be expected in western countries. A new option for accommodation is villa's, which are becoming more common - and popular.
  • The best hotel - Hotel paling baik.
  • The cheapest hotel - Hotel paling murah.
  • Mid-priced - Tidak mahal, tidak murah.
  • Clean - Bersih.
  • Are there rooms available? - Ada Kamar?
  • Do you have a room? - Masih ada kamar kosong disini?
  • Do you have any air-conditioned rooms? - Ada kamar dengan AC?
  • A.C. - Air-conditioned
  • Do you have fan-cooled rooms? - Ada kamar dengan kipas?
  • Kipas - fan.
  • What is the cost of the room? - Berapa ongkos kamar?
  • What is the cost of this room? - Berapa harga untuk kamar ini?
  • Two people - Dua orang.
  • Including meals? - Termasuk makanan?
  • Is there a toilet, bathroom? - Ada WC, tempat mandi? 
  • Bedsheet - Sprei
  • Blanket - Selimut
  • Towel - Handuk
  • Soap - Sabun
  • Can you wash clothes? - Bisa cuci pakaian?


  • Where is the bus station? - Stasiun bis dimana?
  • When is there a bus to...? - Kapan ada bis ke...?
  • What time does it leave? - Berangkat jam berapa?
  • How many hours to...? - Beraoa jam sampai...?
  • Where is the airport? - Bandara dimana?
  • What is the cost of a ticket to...? - Karcis ke...berapa?
  • Can I have two tickets? - Saya minta dua karcis?


  • Where is the toilet? - Dimana kamar kecil?
  • Where is the beach? - Dimana pantai?
  • Where is there a hotel? - Mana ada hotel?
  • Where is there a restaurant? - Mana ada rumah makan?
  • Where is the path to the waterfall? - Dimana jalan ke air terjun?
  • Where is...? - Dimana...?
  • How far is it? - Berapa jauh dari sini?
  • Dekat - Near
  • Jauh - Far
  • What is the name of this street? - Apa nama jalan ini?
  • Utara - North
  • Selatan - South
  • Timur - East
  • Barat - West
  • Kanan - Right
  • Kiri - Left

Days of the week

  • Sunday - Minggu
  • Monday - Senin
  • Tuesday - Selasa
  • Wednesday - Rabu
  • Thursday - Kamis
  • Friday - Jum'at
  • Saturday - Sabtu

Time of day

  • Morning - Pagi
  • Noon - Siang
  • Evening / Night - Malam
  • Yesterday - Kemarin
  • Today - Hari ini
  • Tomorrow - Besok
  • Day after tomorrow - Lusa


  • Day - Hari
  • Week - Minggu
  • Month - Bulan
  • Year - Tahun

Months of the year

  • January - Januari
  • February - Februari
  • March - Maret
  • April - April
  • May - Mei
  • June - Juni
  • July - Juli
  • August - Agustus
  • September - September
  • October - Oktober
  • November - November
  • December - Desember


The alpahabet of Bahasa Indonesia is the same as English, but the pronunciation of most letters is usually different, as is the emphasis, which usually places stress on the second-last syllable.
Use the alphabet below as a guide to pronunciation...

A (ah) B (bay) C (ch) D (day)  E (eh) F (ef) 
G (gay) H (hah)  I (ee) J (jay) K (kah) L (ell)
M (em) N (en) O (oh) P (pay) Q (key) R (air-r)
S (ess) T (tay) U (oo) V (vay) W (way) X (ex)
Y (yay) Z (zet)


Numbers are not difficult to understand - the counting system is the same as in English, and the numbers are written using the same Arabic numerals. Numbers are of course encountered frequently, such as when dealing with money.
It is important to be able to count to ten. From there, the suffixes; "belas" (teens), "puluh" (tens), "ratus" (hundreds), "ribu" (thousands) and "juta" (millions) may be added to formulate larger numbers.

0 Nol
1 Satu 
2 Dua
3 Tiga
4 Empat
5 Lima
6 Enam
7 Tujuh
8 Delapan
9 Sembilan
10 Sepulah
11 Sebalas
12 Dua belas
13 Tiga belas
14 Empat belas
15 Lima belas
16 Enam belas
17 Tujuh belas
18 Delapan belas
19 Sembilan belas
20 Dua puluh
25 Dua puluh lima
30 Tiga puluh
40 Empat puluh
50 Lima puluh
60 Enam puluh
70 Tujuh puluh
80 Delapan puluh
90 Sembilan puluh
100 Seratus
200 Dua ratus
500 Lima ratus
1000 Seribu

10000 Sepuluh ribu

1000000 Sejuta


If you have difficulty with numbers, carry a notepad and pencil to write down prices when negotiating a deal, or carry a small calculator.

To assist in planning or booking ahead for accommodation, cary a small pocket diary.

Small pocket dictionaries and phrasebooks are readily available in your own country (wherever travel books are sold) and in Bali at most bookshops. A couple of Balinese language phrasebooks are also available for sale in Bali--the Balinese have their own language(s) which are closely tied to their Hindu origins and which reflect their caste heritage. This guide does not examine Balinese languages, but any traveller who is interested should consider buying one of these when they arrive.


Use our word translators to help you learn...

...English to Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia)

...(Bahasa Indonesia) Indonesian to English


1994-2000 Wayne Reid. Bali: The Online Travel Guide

Contributions, including corrections, updates, new information and suggestions are welcome.

Disclaimer: All of the information available within this site is believed to be correct, however the author accepts no responsibility or liability for any outcomes that may result in using this site's contents.