Learning Bahasa

So you’ve booked your holiday to Bali and you’re worried that grabbing a Bali Lonely Planet Guide to read on the flight over in hopes of learning some basic Bahasa Indonesian words won’t be enough to show yourself friendly and be understood. No need to worry, we’ve listed some basic vocabulary of Bahasa Indonesia and some tips and tricks to help you learn the lingo. And the Indonesian people will really appreciate your effort.

Word of the Day

Canggu Chronicles have designed a bunch of super fun word of the day flashcards. You can use them as a screensaver for your smartphone, so you automatically look at it every time you pick up your phone.

Canggu Chronicles Word of the Day

Online classes and apps

IndonesianPod101.com have a series of 8 videos to learn the basics of Bahasa in 3 minutes and hundreds of other online lessons on their youtube channel for you to choose from depending on your level (beginner, intermediate, advanced)

They also have an app called WordPower. It’s a fun quiz game using flashcards. You get rated for your progress and won’t advance to higher levels until you answer all correctly.


Language school & private classes

Based in Ubud, Sanur, Kuta and Canggu, Cinta Bahasa offer a wide range of classes from basic to advanced, in private and group settings for visitors and expats. You’ll be able to communicate at a basic level and “get by” when meeting, greeting, shopping asking for directions and most importantly, asking for assistance and help. The course also introduces Indonesian culture and etiquette, the do’s and don’ts when travelling in Indonesia to help you and those around you to feel at ease while avoiding any unnecessary misunderstandings.

If all else fails, remember these…

  • Hello – Halo
  • Good bye – Selamat Tinggal (you are leaving)/
    Selamat Jalan (they are leaving)
  • Yes – Ya
  • No – Tidak
  • Please – Silakhan
  • Thank you – Terima Kasih
  • You’re welcome – Sama-sama
  • Good morning – Selamat pagi
  • Good afternoon – Selamat siang
  • Good Evening – Selamat sore
  • Good night – Selamat malam
  • Welcome – Selamat datang
  • How are you? – Apa Kabar?
  • I’m fine/good – Baik-baik
  • Have a nice day – Hari baik!
  • Enjoy your meal – Selamat makan
  • What is your name? – Siapa nama Anda?
  • My name is – Nama saya
  • Where are you from? – Anda berasal dari mana?
  • I am from – Saya dari
  • I want to go go – Saya mau pergi ke
  • Excuse me – Maaf/ Permisi (to get past)
  • I understand – Saya mengerti
  • I do not understand – Saya tidak mengerti
  • What is this/ that? – Apa ini/itu?
  • What is the time? – Jam Berapa?
  • How much/ many? – Berapa?
  • How much is this/ that? – Berapa ini/itu?
  • Expensive! – Mahal!
  • Cheap – Murah

But nothing beats a few sunsets swapping language sessions with locals on the stairs at the nearest beach. So get out there and make some friends!