Indonesian/Important Phrases

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

Common phrases[edit]

Translation Phrase IPA (Formal Modern Indonesian) Syllables
Indonesian Bahasa Indonesia [baˌhasa indoˈnesia] ba·ha·sa In·do·ne·sia
Hello! Halo! (both in casual speech and on the telephone) [ˈhalo↘] ha·lo
Welcome! Selamat datang! [səˌlamat ˈdatang↘] se·la·mat da·tang
Good morning. Selamat pagi. [səˌlamat ˈpagi↘] se·la·mat pa·gi
Good afternoon. Selamat siang. (from 12 o’clock in the afternoon) [səˌlamat ˈsiaŋ↘] se·la·mat si·ang
Good afternoon. Selamat sore. (from 3 p.m.) [səˌlamat ˈsore↘] se·la·mat so·re
Good evening. Selamat malam. (from 6 p.m.) [səˌlamat ˈmalam↘] se·la·mat ma·lam
Good night. Selamat beristirahat. [səˌlamat bəristiˈrahat↘] se·la·mat ber·is·ti·ra·hat
Goodbye! Dadah! (commonly-used, informal) [ˈdadah↘] da·dah
Goodbye. Selamat tinggal. (said by the person leaving) [səˌlamat ˈtiŋgal↘] se·la·mat ting·gal
Goodbye. Selamat jalan. (said by the person staying) [səˌlamat ˈdʒalan↘] se·la·mat ja·lan
Please. Tolong. [ˈtɔlɔŋ↘] to·long
Thank you. Terima kasih. [təˌrima ˈkasih↘] te·ri·ma ka·sih
You’re welcome. Terima kasih kembali. [təˌrima ˌkasih kəmˈbali↘] te·ri·ma ka·sih kem·ba·li
this ini [ˈini] i·ni
that itu [ˈitu] i·tu
How much? Berapa? [bəˈra↗pa] be·ra·pa
Yes. Ya. [ja] ya
No. Tidak. [ˈtidaʔ] ti·dak
generic toast (when drinking) Selamat minum! [səˌlamat ˈminʊm↘] se·la·mat mi·num
Let’s toast! Mari bersulang! [ˈmari bərˌsulang↘] ma·ri ber·su·lang
Sorry. Maaf. [maˈʔaf] ma·af
I don’t understand. Saya tidak mengerti. [ˈsaja ˌtidaʔ məŋərˈti↘] sa·ya ti·dak meng·er·ti
I don’t know. Saya tidak tahu. [ˈsaja ˌtidaʔ ˈta(h)u↘] sa·ya ti·dak ta·hu
I don’t know. Saya tidak paham. [ˈsaja ˌtidaʔ ˈpaham↘] sa·ya ti·dak pa·ham
The English language Bahasa Inggris [baˌhasa ˈiŋgrɪs] ba·ha·sa Ing·gris
Do you speak English? Bisa bahasa Inggris? [ˈbisa baˌhasa ˈiŋgrɪs↗] bi·sa ber·ba·ha·sa Ing·gris
I cannot speak Indonesian. Saya tidak bisa berbicara bahasa Indonesia. [ˈsaja ˌtidaʔ ˌbisa bərbiˈtʃara baˌhasa ˈindonesia↘] sa·ya ti·dak bi·sa ber·ba·ha·sa In·do·ne·sia
I want to go to… Saya mau pergi ke… [ˈsaja maʊ pərˈgi kə] sa·ya ma·u per·gi ke
Where is the restroom? Di mana toiletnya? [di ˈmana toilɛtˈɲa↗] di ma·na toi·let·nya
Happy birthday! Selamat ulang tahun! [səˈlamat ˌulaŋ ˈtahʊn↘] se·la·mat u·lang ta·hun

Click here for more information on Standard Indonesian phonology, how it differs from Standard Malay phonology. Vowel reduction is evident in modern Indonesian phonology due to the influence of Javanese.

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.