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smart tips
It might be
worth speaking
a bit of Bahasa…


Bahasa means language, and Bahasa Indonesia is the lingua franca of the archipelago. With over 350 native languages currently in use throughout the country, a good lingua franca is clearly necessary… When pronounced or spoken, sentences in Bahasa Indonesia (Bahasa) are usually not as lively as English, and like Deutsche (German), words in Bahasa are pronounced pretty much as they are written. In comparison to European languages, the grammar is very simple.

It's good to speak a bit of the language of a country you are visiting, or at least understand commonly used expression or greetings - this will allow you to get better involved with the people and culture. It also helps to speak a bit of the language when bargaining for souvenirs in the tourism areas, as a little knowledge goes a long way to getting a better price!

Linda of the United Kingdom told us of her funny experience with Bahasa… She wanted to buy a young coconut somewhere in Kuta and knew what a young coconut was in Bahasa. However, what she said surprised the vendor. "What did you say?" asked the vendor… it was then that Linda realized what she'd said. Instead of asking for kelapa muda - a young coconut -- she asked for kepala muda - a young head. Interesting request… easily done, but it all adds to the fun of an out-of-country experience. So give it a go - you never know where a bit of Bahasa might lead!


Here are some common expressions you are bound to hear / see / be able to use:

Selamat datang
Apa kabar?

Selamat pagi
Selamat siang
Selamat sore
Selamat malam
Selamat makan
Selamat bertamasya
Selamat jalan

Selamat tinggal

Terima kasih
Sama sama
Tidak terimah kasih

Berapa harganya?
Mahal!
Murah!
Boleh tawar?
Harga pas
Welcome
How are you?
Good morning
Good may
Good afternoon
Good evening
Have a nice meal
Have a nice trip / holiday
Have a nice trip / goodbye (if someone is leaving)
Goodbye (if you are leaving)
Thank you
Don't mention it
No thank you

How much does it cost / what's the price?
Expensive!
Cheap
Can I bargain?
Fixed price



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