Useful Indonesian words and phrases for tourists


Bali is blessed with abundant natural beauty. It is clear why the island attracts millions of travelers from across the globe annually – making tourism a core backbone of its economic growth. Countless of island-goers visit the paradise for a mini getaway and end up falling in love with its culture and lifestyle that many decide to reside for the long run.

While locals are known for their friendliness and openness towards foreigners, conversing with them in Bahasa Indonesian can be a great way to connect with them more. For this reason, lots of expats based in Bali have picked up basic words and phrases in Bahasa Indonesian or Balinese. You would be surprised to know how simple their language is as past or future tense, masculine or feminine nouns, singular or plural terms don’t exist in their dictionary. This means verbs are all used in present tense.

We have compiled a list of words you can incorporate in your daily dialogues to ease communication with locals while traveling in Bali and staff during your stay at The Colony Hotel Bali, boutique hotel in Seminyak.

Bali Beach - local language Indonesian and balinese


How are you?: Apa kabar (up-ah kah-barr)

I’m fine/good: Baik baik (bike-bike)

Good morning: Selamat pagi (s’lah-mawt pag-ee)

Good afternoon: Selamat siang (s’lah-mawt see-ung)

Good evening: Selamat sore (s’lah-mawt sore-ray)

Good night: Selamat malam (s’lah-mawt maw-lahm)

Goodbye (if you are leaving): Selamat tinggal (s’lah-mawt ting-gahl)

Goodbye (if you the person is leaving): Selamat jalan (s’lah-mawt jah-lahn)

Balinese people - with local language


Who?: Siapa (see-up-ah)

What?= Apa (up-ah)

When?: Kapan (kah-pahn)

Where?: Kemana (k’mah-nah)

Why?: Kenapa (k’nahp-ah)

How?: Bagaimana (bug-eye-mah-nah)

How many?: Berapa (burr-ah-pah)

How much is this?: Berapa ini (burr-ah-pah in-ee)

How much is that?: Berapa itu (burr-ah-pah ee-too)

How long? (time): Berapa lama (burr-ah-pah lah-mah)

How far?: Berapa jauh (burr-ah-pah jow-ooh)

How old?: Berapa umur? (burr-ah-pah oo-more)

Beach in Seminyak Bali with local people


I: Saya (sigh-ah), or colloquially Aku (ah-koo)

You: Anda (awn-da), or colloquially Kamu (come-oo)

You (sir, to adult man): Pak (puck)

You (madam, to adult women): Ibu (ee-boo)

He/she: Dia (dee-ah)

We: Kita (kee-tah)

Them/they: Mereka (ma-reck-ah)

Balinese people with children of indonesian


Please (help): Tolong (toe-long)

Please (asking for something): Minta (min-tah)

Thank you: Terima Kasih (teh-ree-mah kah-see)

You’re welcome: Sama Sama (saw-ma saw-ma)

I’m sorry: Maaf (mah-uff)

Useful Indonesian Words

Yes: Ya (yaw)

No: Tidak (tee-duck)

Good: Bagus (bah-goos)

Very good: Bagus sekali (bah-goos s’kahlee)

Not good: Tidak bagus (tee-duck bah-goos)

Fine: Baik (bike)

Like: Suka (soo-kah)
Don’t like: Tidak suka (tee-duck soo-kah)

I want: Mau (maw-oo)

Don’t want: Tidak mau (tee-duck maw-oo)

Balinese phrases

Sir (to an older man): Pa (Paw)

Ma’am (to an older woman): Me (May)

Older brother (term of endearment): Beli (b’lee)

Older sister (term of endearment):  m’Bok (m’bok)

Younger brother: Gus (goos)

Younger sister: Geg (gek)

Thank you: Sukseme (sook-sah-Moor)

You’re welcome: Mowowli (moh-ow-lee)

Yes: Nggih (ny’gee)

No problem: Sing Ken Ken (sin ken ken)

Here at The Colony Hotel Bali, boutique hotel in Seminyak, we train our staff to an international standard. Book a room with us to experience first-hand the friendliness of Balinese locals and put your Indonesian to a test! Learn more about our stunning rooms here.