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Basic Phrases

Traveling to remote places in Indonesia without knowing basic Bahasa Indonesia phrases can be a little hassle, since most of Indonesian only speaks Bahasa Indonesia and a little English, except in Bali and Jakarta, where the use of English is increasing.

Bahasa Indonesia, the national language, is similar to Malay. The best way to learn Bahasa Indonesia is to listen to native Indonesian speakers and try to imitate their pronunciation as closely as possible.

It is fairly easy to learn Bahasa Indonesia because, unlike English and other latin based languages, there are no tenses, plurals or genders. Learning Bahasa Indonesia is guaranteed to give you a boost in your Indonesia travel experience. As a matter of fact, many Indonesians are excited when they meet a foreigner who can speak Bahasa Indonesia. This gives the advantage of building relationship with locals and bargaining can be a whole lot easier.

Do not be afraid if you can’t perfectly pronounce some words. We, Indonesians, are psyched when you can even only speak a little Bahasa Indonesia. We are going to cheer you up! And this is a proven fact.

Now, let’s start learning some Bahasa Indonesia!



Bahasa Indonesia English
Selamat [Pagi / Siang / Sore / Malam] Good [Morning / Afternoon / Evening / Night]
Saya ….(your name) I’m ….(your name)
Ya Yes
Tidak No
Apa kabar? How are you? What’s new?
Baik Good, Fine
Terima kasih Thank you
Kembali You’re welcome
Da-da / Bye Bye


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