In Bali, you’ll find that most people speak THREE different languages. Balinese, Bahasa Indonesian and English. Since Bali is just a small part of the large country of Indonesia, many people predominantly speak Bahasa Indonesian.
If you want to learn a few words before travelling to Bali, learning them in Bahasa Indonesian is your best bet. Not only will you be fully understood by the natives in Bali, but you can also travel to the other islands of Indonesia with the same words and phrases in your new toolkit.
Learning a few simple words and easy phrases in Bahasa Indonesian is a very respectful thing to do, and will also help to immerse you further into the beautiful culture of Bali. Even if you mispronounce words the locals in Bali will be very grateful that you are attempting to communicate in their language.
Basic Indonesian Phrases
Thank you – Terima Kasih
You’re welcome – Sama Sama
Good Morning – Selamat Pagi
Good Afternoon – Selamat Siang
Good Evening – Selamat Malam
How are you? – Apa Kabar
Excuse Me – Permisi
Basic Indonesian Words
Yes – Iya
Fine – Baik
Welcome – Selamat Datang
Hello – Halo
Goodbye – Selamat Tinggal
Cheers – Santi
Help – Tolong
Stop – Berhenti
Food in Indonesian
Chicken – Ayam
Pork – Babi
Fish – Ikan
Fried – Goreng
Grilled – Bakar
Water – Air
Rice – Nasi
Beer – Bir
Coffee – Kopi
Sugar – Gula
Milk – Susu
Egg – Telur
Spicy – Pedas
I’m Vegetarian – Saya Vegetarian
I am Vegan – Saya Seorang Vegan
Tips for using Bahasa Indonesian on trip to Bali
No one expects you to remember all the words and phrases, plus the correct pronunciation, so here are some super helpful tips to use your new skills on the fly.
Download Google Translate:
You can use Google translate to interpret almost anything for you. A Balinese person can simply speak out loud near the app and it will translate it into English on the spot for you. You can also take pictures of street signs or menus and let the app do its magic on translating them for you.
Look Up Words/Phrases on Youtube:
If you are unsure of how to pronounce something, look up “How to say ‘x’ in Bahasa Indonesian” on Youtube and you’ll find short clips on exactly how to say it.
Only Learn What’s Important To YOU:
Only learn the 1 or 2 words you need to get the point across. No need to learn complex sentences and grammar.
If you have an allergy to a certain food, learn that food in Bahasa Indonesian so you can communicate easily with the waiter.
Also, let’s say the only meat you eat is chicken, just learn the word for chicken (“Ayam”) that way you easily understand if you can eat that dish. Instead of learning something more advanced like “Can you please tell me if that meat is chicken?” you can just point and say “Ayam?”
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