55 basic and easy Indonesian phrases for travelers in Bali

These are 55 Indonesian phrases and words you will definitely need for your visit to Bali, Indonesia.

Scared to visit Bali in Indonesia because you don’t speak the language? Well, no worries because pretty much everyone speaks English. 

But if you want a better experience where the locals respect and appreciate you, master these easy and basic Indonesian phrases – with pronunciation help – to help you create a more meaningful travel experience.

What language is spoken in Bali?

Please note that Balinese and Bahasa Indonesian are two completely different languages, but most people in Bali are familiar with both. In this article, I will be providing phrases and pronunciations in Bahasa Indonesian only.

The list of useful Indonesian phrases includes:

Speaking to local Balinese using Indonesian phrases and words
Blend in with the locals by speaking Indonesian

Greetings 

Hello – Halo (Ha-loh) 

Goodbye – Selamat tinggal (se-lah-mutt teen-gal) 

Good morning, afternoon, evening – Selamat pagi, siang, sore (se-lah-mutt pa-gee, see-yang, so-reh)

My name is – Nama saya (nah-ma sai-ya) 

I am from – Berasal dari (bur-ah-sahl dar-ee) 

Good manners

Balinese people are very polite, make sure to use these phrases to ensure you are being respectful.

Thank you – Terima Kasih (te-ree-ma ka-seeh)

Excuse me – Permisi (per-mee-see)

Nice to meet you – Salam kenal (saa-laam ke-nal) 

How are you? – Apa kabar? (ah-pah ka-bar) 

Good – Baik (bay-eek)

Bad – Tidak baik (tee-dak bay-eek) 

Please help – Mohon tolong (mo-hon toh-long) 

Yes – Ya (ya)

No – Tidak (tee-dak) 

Sorry – Maaf (mah-af)

*Getting someone’s attention* – Please note that this depends on the age/status of the person you are referring to:

Someone older than you who is still young – ka (kah)

Someone who is younger than you and is very young – Ade (ah-deh) 

Adult woman – Ibu (ee-buh) 

Adult man – Bapak/Pak (bah-pak) 

Directions 

Left – Kiri (kee-ree)

Right – Kanan (kaa-naan) 

Forward – Maju (mah-joo)  

Backward – Belakang (bel-ah-kang) 

Stop – Berhenti (ber-hun-tee) 

Where? – Di mana (dee mana)

Complaints 

Traffic! – Machet! (mah-chet) 

I do not want – Saya tiddak mau (sa-yah tee-dak mah-oo)

Not too spicy – Jangan terlalu pedas (jaa-ngan ter-laa-luw pe-dash) 

Haggling

It is common knowledge that most places in Bali have two prices: one for locals and one for foreigners. 

Try to sway them by confidently using Bahasa Indonesian and bag yourself a better price – even if you butcher the pronunciation they will appreciate the effort! 

How much? – Berapa? (ber-ra-pa) 

Expensive! – Mahal! (mah-hahl) 

Too much – Terlalu mahal (ter-lah-loo ma-hal) 

Is there a discount? – Ada diskon? (Ah-daa disk-on)

Basic food items

Water – Air (eye-er)

Chicken – Ayam (eye-yum) 

I am vegetarian/vegan – Saya vegetarian/vegan (sah-yah veh-geh-tah-ree-ahn / veh-gan) 

Essentials you might need 

Here are some random but essential Indonesian expressions that may come in handy during your visit.

Can you speak English? – Bisa berbicara Bahasa Inggris? (bee-sah bur-bee-chara ba-hasa ing-riss) 

Can I top-up data? – Bisa top-up pulsa? (bee-sah top-up pool-sah) 

Can I get a helmet please – Mohon minta helem (moh-hon meen-ta hell-um)

Can I have the bill – Minta bon (meen-tah bon)  

Where is the bathroom? – Di mana kamar kecil? (dee mana ka-mar keh-chil) 

I have an allergy – Saya memiliki alergi (sah-yah meh-mee-lee-kee al-er-gee) 

I need medical help – Saya butuh bantuan medis (sah-ya boo-tooh bahn-too-ahn meh-dis)

Numbers 

One – Satu (sah-too)

Two – Dua (doo-ah)

Three – Tiga (ti-gah)

Four – Empat (em-putt)

Five – Lima (lee-ma)

Six – Enam (e-num)

Seven – Tujuh (too-joo)

Eight – Delapan (de-lah-pahn)

Nine – Sembilan (sem-bi-lahn)

Ten – Sepuluh (se-poo-loo) 

Hundred – Ratus (rah-toos)

Thousand – Ribu (ree-boo) 

Excluding one hundred and one thousand, when using hundred and thousand, simply pick a number followed by ratus or ribu. For example, two hundred is dua ratus and two thousand is dua ribu.

For one hundred and one thousand it is shortened to, seratus (one hundred) and seribu (one thousand). 

Indonesian phrases for your travels to Bali 

For short phrases such as di mana (where), you can use any English word for what you are describing, and more often than not, your message will be received clearly. 

Many Indonesian words are similar to English or they simply just use English words instead, for example, toilet or restaurant. 

Bahasa Indonesian is a relatively easy language to pick up in terms of the basics and locals will really appreciate your attempts at speaking it. It is a simple way to make good connections with them and start up conversations during your travels. 

I hope this guide to Indonesian phrases comes in handy on your next visit to Bali. If you are lost on where to go and what to see in Bali, check out Bali Link. Visit this online community and marketplace to get in-depth guides and tips for traveling around Bali. 

Good luck and enjoy your visit!  

Ayisha Jose

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