Bahasa Indonesian

Although there are over 500 languages in Indonesia, and Bali has many of its own dialects, Bahasa is the national Indonesian language and is widely spoken.  Most Balinese in the tourist areas, however, will speak some sort of broken English.  You can get by without knowing a word of Bahasa and be fine, but I always thing it is nice to try and learn a little bit of the language in order to get some respect or acknowledgement that I am trying.  Here are a few common phrases and words that you can use in Bali when around the town to impress your English speaking buddies.

Note:  People speak Bahasa in a very short, sloppy, and slang way in Bali.  For instance, “Selemat Siang” gets shorted to “slemat sian” and then just to “sian.”  I will give you the full phrase and then how to pronounce it in slang if I know how. But, the Balinese will not really care if you pronounce something wrong, they will just be happy you are trying to speak their language.  Another thing to note is that the letter “c” is pronounced like “ch” in the English language, and “k” is generally used for all pronunciations like “c” and “k.”

Word                                             Meaning                               Pronunciation

Selemat Siang                               Good Day                                Sle-mott  see-awn

Selemat Soreh                          Good Afternoon                           Sle-mott  so-ray

Selemat Datang                            Welcome                              Sle-mott dah-tahng

Apa kabar                                  How are you?                              Ah-pah kah-bar

Bagus                                        Awesome/Great                                 Ba-goose

Bicik-Bicik (Balinese)                    Good                                   Bih-cheek bih-cheek

Terima Kasih                               Thank you                                    Ma Kah-see

Sama-Sama                               Your welcome                           Saw-mah saw-mah

Tidat/Tanpa                               No/Without                             Tea-dot/Than-Paw

Ayam                                          Chicken                                          Ah-yahm

Bebek                                           Duck                                               Beh-beck

Ikan                                              Fish                                                Ee-kahn

Cumi-Cumi                               Calamari/Squid                          Choo-mee Choo-mee

Tahu                                            Tofu                                                Tah-hoo

Daging                                         Meat                                                Dah-ging

Hati-Hati                                      Caution                                    Haw-tea haw-tea

Jalan-Jalan                              Im walking                                Jaw-lahn jaw-lahn

Ma-af                                             Im sorry                                             Mah-awf

Kecap asin                                  Soy Sauce                                    Kay-chap ah-seen

Kecap manis                       Sweet/Teriyaki Sauce                     Kay-chap mahn-is

Kecap sambal                            Spicy Sauce                                        Sahm-bahl

Air minum                              Drinking Water                                Air mee-numb

Warung                                       Restaurant                                           War-ung

Buka                                             Open                                                Boo-kah

Tutup                                          Closed                                              Tuh-tuhp