Indonesian/Important Phrases

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These are some of the most commonly used words and phrases.

Common phrases[edit]

Translation Phrase IPA Pronunciation
Indonesian bahasa Indonesia /bahasa indoˈnesia/ Ba-Ha-Sa In-Do-Ne-Sia
hello halo (both in casual speech and on the telephone) /ˈhalo/ Ha-Lo
welcome selamat datang /səˈlamat ˈdatang/ Se-La-Mat Da-Tang
good morning selamat pagi /səˈlamat ˈpagi/ Se-La-Mat Pa-Gi
good afternoon selamat siang (from 12 o'clock in the afternoon) /səˈlamat ˈsiaŋ/ Se-La-Mat Si-Al
good evening selamat sore (from 3 p.m.) /səˈlamat ˈsore/ Se-La-Mat So-Re
good night selamat malam (from 6 p.m.) /səˈlamat ˈmalam/ Se-La-Mat Ma-Lam
good-bye dadah (commonly-used, informal) /ˈdadah/ DAH-dahh
good-bye selamat tinggal (said by the person leaving) /səˈlamat ˈtiŋgal/ Se-La-Mat TING-gahl
good-bye selamat jalan (said by the person staying) /səˈlamat ˈʥalan/ Se-La-Mat JAH-lahn
please tolong /ˈtoloŋ/ To-Long
thank you terima kasih /təˈrima ˈkasih/ Te-Ri-Ma Ka-sih
you're welcome terima kasih kembali /təˈrima ˈkasih kəmˈbali/ Te-Ri-ma Ka-sih Kem-ba-li
this ini /ˈini/ ini
that itu /ˈitu/ itu
How much? Berapa? /bəˈrapa/ Be-Ra-Pa ?
yes ya /ja/ Ya
no tidak /ˈtidaʔ/ Ti-Dak
generic toast (when drinking) selamat minum /səˈlamat ˈminum/ Se-La-Mat Mi-Num
Sorry maaf /maˈʔaf/ Ma-Af
I don't understand. Saya tidak mengerti. /ˈsaja ˈtidaʔ məŋərˈti/ Sa-Ye Ti-dak Me-nger-ti
I don't know. Saya tidak tahu. /ˈsaja ˈtidaʔ ˈtahu/ Sa-Ya Ti-Dak Ta-hu
the English language bahasa Inggris /baˈhasa ˈiŋgris/ Ba-Ha-Ha-Ha-Sa Ing-rris
Do you speak English? Bisa bahasa Inggris? /ˈbisa baˈhasa ˈiŋgris/ Bi-Sa Ber-Baha-sa Ing-rris?
I cannot speak Indonesian. Saya tidak bisa berbicara bahasa Indonesia. /ˈsaja ˈtidaʔ ˈbisa bərbiˈʨara baˈhasa indoˈnesia/ Sa-Ya Ti-Dak Bi-Sa Ber-Baha-Sa In-Do-Ne-Sia
I want to go to... Saya mau pergi ke... /ˈsaja mau̯ pərˈgi kə/ Sa-Ya Mau Per-gi Ke...
Where is the restroom? Di mana toilet? /di ˈmana ˈtoilet/ Di-Ma-Ne Ru-mah Sa-kit?
Happy birthday! Selamat ulang tahun! /səˈlamat ˈulaŋ ˈtahun/ Se-La-Mat Ulang Ta-hun

Helpful vocabulary for asking about words[edit]

When you're trying to find the right word, these can help you ask for suggestions:

  • same → sama
  • almost the same → hampir sama / mirip
  • antonym → lawan kata

If you forget these, you can fall back on:

  • sinonim → synonym
  • antonim → antonym

Sinonim and antonim are not common words, but they are easy to remember, many Indonesian speakers understand them, and they can be helpful in your early stages of trying to communicate.

Kata-kata Penting (Important Phrases)[edit]

Lost traveller's guide for important phrases.

  • Thank you → Terima kasih
  • Yes → Ya
  • No, not → Tidak (used to negate anything but nouns)
  • No, Not a X → Bukan X (where X is a noun)
  • Sorry → Maaf
  • Excuse me → Permisi
  • Never mind / It's okay → Tidak apa-apa
  • Okay → Baik
  • Please (to let other people pass) → Silahkan
  • Please (to order something) → Tolong
  • Please give me X → Tolong berikan saya X
  • My name is X → Nama saya X
  • I am from Y → Saya dari Y
  • Where is Z? → Di mana Z?
  • Where is X embassy? → Di mana kedutaan X?
  • I lost my passport → Paspor saya hilang (Literally, my passport is lost)
  • Taxi → Taksi (almost the same pronunciation)
  • Where are you going? → Ke mana? (Literally = to where?)
  • To X? → Ke X
  • Turn left → Belok kiri
  • Turn right → Belok kanan
  • Go straight ahead → Lurus (Terus)
  • There / Over there → Di situ
  • What's this/that? → Apa ini/itu? (pointing to something)
  • I want to see it. → Saya mau lihat itu
  • How much? → Berapa?
  • How much is this/that? → Berapa ini/itu?
  • Too expensive → Kemahalan
  • Give me a lower price → Kurang sedikit harganya
  • Cannot → Tidak bisa

Time[edit]

  • sudah (already)
  • belum (not yet)

These are the words used to deal with almost any situation involving past or future. If neither word is used, it likely means that the action is happening around now.