Language

sign in bahasa

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.”

Bahasa Indonesian

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