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A quick quide to Bahasa Indonesia

Bahasa Indonesia is reasonably easy to pronounce, but there are a few tricks :

c is pronounced as ch (as in chop)

e at the start of a word is practically silent, i.e. empat (four) is nearly pronounced mpat

o is pronounced as you would aw (aw shucks)

ai is pronounced as in i in hike

au is pronounced as ow in sow

r has a slight trill

h is slightly sighed

k is almost silent when at the end of a word


Zero : nol

One : satu

Two : dua

Three : tiga

Four : empat

Five : lima

Six : enam

Seven : tujuh

Eight : delapan

Nine : sembilan

Ten : sepuluh

Eleven : sebelas

Twelve : duabelas

Thirteen : tigabelas

Fourteen : enambelas

Twenty : duapuluh

Twenty One : duapuluh satu

TwentyTwo : duapuluh dua

Thirty : tigapuluh

One Hundred : seratus

Two Hundred : duaratus

Three Hundred : tigaratus

One Thousand : seribu

Two Thousand : duaribu

Three Thousand : tigaribu

One Million : sejuta

Two Million : duajuta

Three Million : tigajuta


Good Morning : Selamat pagi

Good Afternoon : Selamat sore

Good Evening : Selamat malam

Good Night (when you go to bed) : Selamat tidur

Hello : Selamat siang

Goodbye (when you are leaving) Selamat tinggal

Goodbye : (when you are staying) Selamat jalan


Please : Tolong

Thank you : Terima kasih

Thank you very much : Terima kasih banyak

Excuse me : Permisi

I'm sorry : Ma'af

How are you? : Apa khabar? (to which you respond biak-biak which means good!)

What is your name? : Siapa nama anda?

My name is : Nama saya ......

Where are you from? (a very common question!) : Dari mana asal anda? (usually shortened to dari mana)

I am from ...... : Saya dari .......

Personal Information

How old are you? : Berapa umur anda?

What is your job? : Apa pekerjaan anda?

I am a ...... : Saya ahli ......

Are you married? : Sudah nikah?

I'm not married yet : Sudah belum nikah

Where are you going? : Mau kemana?

Can I take a photo of you? : Boleh saya potret kamu?

Can i take a photo of that? : Boleh saya potret itu?


How much is this? : Berapa harganya ini?

Please write that down for me : Tolong taliskan kata itu untuk saya

I want to buy ....... : Saya mau beli

That is too expensive! : Terlalu mahal!

Can you lower the price? : Boleh kurang?

I will pay : Saya bayar

Where is the market? : Dimana ada pasar? ( if you are looking for a night market it is pasar malam. If you are looking for a fish market it is pasar ikan.

Where is the supermarket? : Dimana ada toko makanan?

I don't have much money : Saya tidak ada banyak uang

I'd like to buy two tickets to : Saya mau beli dua tiket ke


Where is a hotel? : Simana ada hotel?

Is there a room available? : Ada kamar yang kosong?

I need a room for two people with a fan : Saya perlu satu kamar untuk dua orang dengan kipas angin

I'm going to stay for two days : Saya mau menginap untuk dua hari

How much is the room? (per day) : Berapa tarip hariannya?

Can I see the room : Boleh saya lihat kamarnya?

Please prepare my bill : Tolong siapkan nota saya


Breakfast : Makan pagi

Lunch : Makan siang

Dinner : Makan malam

Please bring the menu : Boleh minta daftar makanan

Where is the toilet : Dimana ada kamar kecil (another word for toilet is WC, pronounced Way-Say)

One for the road : Satu untuk jalan!!

Chicken : Ayam

Beef : Daging sapi

Pork : Babi

Duck : Daging bebek

Fish : Ikan

Crab : Kepiting

Prawn : Udang

Goat : Kambing

Squid : Cumi-cumi

Cheese : Keju

Rice : Nasi

Plain rice : Nasi putih

Noodle : Mie

Fried: Goreng

Hot (as in temperature) : Panas

Hot (as in spicy) : Padas

Cold : Dingin

Salty : Asin

Sweet : Manis

Sour : Asam

Chilli : Cabe / Lombok

Salt : Garam

Sugar : Gula

Soy Sauce : Kecap asin

Milk : Susu

Coffee : Kopi

Tea : Teh

Beer : Bir

Dodgy palm wine : Arak or moke or sape (depending on where you are.... sape and moke are best avoided. Arak from around Maumere is the best and is only about 80 proof. You should be able to buy 1 litre from a stall for about 10,000RP. It is best mixed with honey or arak campur madu)

Banana : Pisang

Potato : Kentang

Cabbage : Kol

Lemon : Jeruk nipis

(Iced tea is Es Teh, iced coffee is Es Kopi)

Food : Makanan

Drink : Minuman

Cigarettes : Rokok

Ashtray : Asbak

Lighter / matches : Permantik

Other useful words / phrases in no particular order

Big : Besar

Small : Kecil

Sick : Sakit

Where is a hospital : Dimana ada rumah sakit

Pharmacy : Apotik

Fly / mosquito spray : Anti nyamuk (baygon is also a generic name for any fly spray or mosquito coil)

Terminal : Stasiun

Tired : Lelah

Travel : Perjalanan

Undecided : Ragu ragu

Do you think i'm stupid (good when someone is blatantly trying to rip you off......like in Bangsal) : Yang boleh kamu sesatu saya bodoh

I don't want to buy today : Saya tidak mau beli hari ini

Day : Hari

Week : Mingu

Month : Bulan

Year : Tahun

Maybe tomorrow : Mungkin besok

What is the time : Jam berapa

I love you : Saya meneintaimu

Football : Bola kaki

Go away : Pergi

Yes : Ya

No : Tidak

No thanks : Tidak terima kasih

Crazy : Gila (pronounced gee-laa)

Unacceptable : Tak dapat diterima

Going for a walk : Jalan jalan (useful when being hassled by bemo / dokar / taxidrivers)

Beautiful : Cantik

Monkey : Monyet

Cat : Kucing

Dog : Anjing

Fly : Lalat

Pick pocket : Copet

Burglar : Pencuri

Police Station : Kantor polisi

Beach : Pantai

Island : Palau

Road : Jalan

Hill : Bukit

Alley : Gang

Dictionary : Kamus

Specific comments regarding this section should be directed to Matt Kemp . Comments or questions regarding any other part of the talesofasia.com website (except for sections noted as such) should be directed only to Gordon Sharpless.

Opinions expressed on this page do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the owner, publisher, editor, marketing manager, or coffee girl of the talesofasia website. So there.




The text appearing on this page is © 2005 Matt Kemp. For the rest of the website, unless otherwise noted, all text and photographs © 1998 - 2006 Gordon Sharpless. Commercial or editorial usage without written permission of the copyright holder(s) is prohibited.