62 Common Indonesian Phrases Every Traveller Should Know

Indonesia is a country where various religions, languages and cultures exist within its beautiful beaches, jungles, and rice fields. You wouldn't want your holiday to go awry because of miscommunication, something that can happen if you don't know where the toilet is or how much that shiny trinket costs. Learning a few common Indonesian phrases will not only help you out in sticky situations but will also delight the locals. 

Indonesian or Bahasa Indonesia is the official language of Indonesia and known by almost everyone throughout the country. Although you'll hear Indonesian mixed with the region's native language often, it is your best option if you want to know a few words while travelling around the country. The official status of these common Indonesian phrases means that even outside the touristy areas of Bali, people will know the language. It's used for education, mass media, governance and all other administrative functions and learning these essential phrases will make your travels in the country that much easier.

Common Indonesian Phrases

1. Essential Indonesian Phrases

  • Hello, How are you? - Hai, apa kabar?
  • All Fine - Baik, Baik Saja
  • What's your name? - Siapa nama anda?
  • My name is.. - Nama Saya...
  • Good Morning! - Selamat Pagi!
  • Good Afternoon! - Selamat Siang!
  • Good Evening! - Selamat Sore!
  • Good Night! - Selamat Malam!
  • Long time no see - Lama Tidak bertemu!
  • Pleased to meet you - Senang bertemu dengan anda
  • No - Tidak
  • Yes - Ya
  • Thank you - Terima Kasih
  • How much/many - Berapa
  • Excuse me - Persmisi
  • I want... - Saya Mau...
  • I don't understand - saya tidak mengerti
  • Do you speak English? - Anda bisa bicara bahasa Inggris?
  • Do you speak Indonesian? - Anda bisa bicara bahasa Indonesia?
  • Yes, a little (in response) - Ya, sedikit
  • How do you say ... in Indonesian? - Bagaimana cara mengatakan ... dalam bahasa Indonesia?
Greeting Someone, Common Indonesian Phrases

2. Phrases in Case of Emergency:

  • Sorry - Maaf
  • I'm very sorry, I won't do it again -  Maaf sakali, saya tidak akan ulangi lagi
  • My wallet got stolen - Dompet Saya Di Curi
  • Help! - Tolong!
  • Fire! - Kebakaran!
  • Call the police- Panggil Polisi
  • Where's the toilet? - Dimanakah toilet?
Emergency, Police Car in Indonesia, Common Indonesian Phrases

3. Phrases For Ordering Food:

  • Excuse me Sir, is there a restaurant near here? - Permisi Pak, ada tempat makan di dekat sinin?
  • To eat - Makan
  • Spicy - Pedas (if don't want spicy, say Tidak pedas)
  • I would like one plate nasi goreng - Saya mau nasi goreng satu piring
  • I like spicy - Saya suka pedas
  • Oil - Minyak
  • Sugar - Gula
  • Drink - Minum
  • Rice - Nasi
  • Noodle - Mie
  • Delicious! - Enak!
  • Can I have the bill please? - Bisa Minta bon?
Indonesian Food, Common Indonesian Phrases

4. Phrases For Farewell:

  • See You! - Sampai Jumpa!
  • See You Again! (sense of meeting again in the future) - Sampai Bertemu!
  • Take Care/ Be Careful - Hati-hati
  • GoodBye - Selamat Tinggal
  • Don't Forget Me! - Jangan Lupakan Aku
Farewell, Common Indonesian Phrases

5. Phrases For Numbers:

  • 1 - Satu ; 2 - Dua ; 3 - Tiga ; 4 - Empat ; 5 - Lima ; 6 - Enam ; 7 - Tujuh ; 8 - Delapan ; 9 - Sembilan ; 10 - Sepuluh
  • 11 - Seblas
  • 12 - Dua belas
  • 13 - Tiga belas
  • 14 - Empat belas
  • 20 - Dua puluh ; 30 - Tiga puluh
  • 100 - Seratus ; 200 - Dua ratus
  • 1,000 - Seribu
  • 10,000 - Sepuluh Ribu
  • 1 million- Satu juta

6. Phrases For Asking a Question:

  • To young males - Permisi Mas
  • To young females - Permisi Adek
  • To older men - Permisi Pak
  • To older women - Permisi Ibu
  • I would like to ask - Saya May Tanya

7. Phrases to Explain Your Feelings:

  • I am pleased - Saya Senang
  • I am happy - Saya Gembira
  • I am sad - Saya Sedih
  • I am angry - Saya Marah
  • I am confused - Saya Bingung
  • I am satisfied - Saya Puas
  • I am sick - Saya Sedang Sakit
  • I am hungry - Saya Lapar
  • I am thirsty - Saya haus
  • I am feeling uncomfortable - Saya merasa tidak nyaman
Expressing Feelings, Common Indonesian Phrases

8. Phrases Asking the Time:

  • What time is it - Sekarang Jam Berapa
  • It is .. o'clock - Sekarang jam ...
Asking the Time, Common Indonesian Phrases

9. Miscellaneous Phrases:

  • No worries! - Tidak apa ana
  • Great! - Bagus!
  • There is/ there is not - Ada/ Tidak Ada
  • Open/ Close - Buka/ Tutup
  • What is this - Ini Apa
With these common Indonesian phrases at the tip of your tongue, you'll have a much easier time getting around the country. Who knows, you might even escape overpricing once shopkeepers realise you understand the local tongue! Learning the language is a fun exercise that will give you an insight into the Indonesian way of living, so that you come back with richer memories of your holiday.

This post was published by Rutvi Saxena

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