Some handy words or phrases in Bahasa Indonesia are:
Berapa harganya? = what does it cost/how much is it?
Jam berapa? = what time is it?
Di mana? = where?
How to get there? = Bagaimana caranya kesana?
What is it? = Apa ini?
Is there money changer around here? = Di mana tempat penukaran uang di sekitar sini?
bantu/membantu = help/helping (others)
tolong = help!
mau ke…. = want to go to….
di mana Jalan (Jl.)… ? = Where is Jalan…?
Jalan = street or walk
Hati hati = be careful / go carefully
cepat cepat (che-pat) = Hurry
dari = come from….
mau… = want to …
Chemist/Pharmacy = Apotik [ah-pot-tick] / Apotek [ah-pot-take] (Some pharmacies have also adopted the word “farma” as in Bali Farma in Denpasar or Farmasari in Sanur).
Excuse = Permisi [per-m e-see]
Expensive = Mahal [mah-hahl]
Good morning (until 11am) – Selamat pagi [se-lah-mutt par-ghee]
Good afternoon (until 3pm) – Selamat siang [se-la-mutt see-ahng]
Good evening (until 6pm) – Selamat sore [se-la-mutt sore-ray]
Good night (at night from 6pm ish) – Selamat malam [se-la-mutt mah-lahm]
Good night (before going to bed) – Selamat tidur [se-la-mutt ti-dur]
How much/many – Berapa [ber-ra-pa]
I want to go… – Saya mau pergi ke [sigh-yah mow (as in cow) purr-ghee ker]
I want ….. – Saya mau [sigh-yah mow]
I don’t want… – Saya tidak mau [sigh-yah ti-duck mow]
No – Tidak [ti-duck]
No, thank you – Tidak, terima kasih [ti-duck, ter-ri-mah car-see]
Please (when asking for help/bargaining) – Tolong [toh-long]
Thank You – Terima Kasih [ter-ree-mar car-see]
Two people – Dua orang [do-ah or-rung]
Where is … – Di mana [dee mah-nah]
You’re welcome – Kembali [kem-bali]
1 – Satu [sah-too]
2 – Dua [doo-ah)
3- Tiga [ti-gah]
4- Empat [em-putt)
5- Lima [lee-ma)]
6- Enam [e-num]
7- Tujuh [too-joo]
8- Delapan [del ah-pahn]
9- Sembilan [sem-bi-lahn]
10 – Sepuluh [se poo-loo]
Firstly, as in all languages, we must understand the grammar. For the Bahasa Indonesia ( i.e. Indonesian language):
Adjectives always follow the noun, e.g. beautiful car – mobil cantik.
Word order is usually subject-verb-object (e.g. Saya(I) mau(want) makan(to eat) nasi(rice) – means I want to eat nice; and the personal pronoun goes after the noun (mobil saya is “my car”)
Respect is shown when addressing, so the custom is to address an older man as “bapak” or “pak”, an equal/younger man as “mas”, an older woman as “ibu” or “bu”, younger woman as “nona”, married woman as “nyonya”.
As most visitors will be in Bali for eating and shopping, below are some key words for food and drink and shopping.
More info on pronunciation:
“a” as in father
“e” as in souffle (short) or leg (long) or buffer (yes, 3 kinds of pronounciation of “e” depending on the word)
“i” as in see or pit (closed syllable) or see (open syllable)
“o” as in over
“u” as in book or food
“ai” as in like
“au” as in cow
“c” as in chair
“g” as in get
“j” as in jump
“ng” as in sing
“ny” as in canyon
“w” as in wish
Food and Drink
fork – garpu
spoon – sendok
knife – pisau
chopstick – sumpit
cup – cangkir
plate – piring
glass – gelas
restaurant – restoran/resto, rumah makan
food – makanan
beverage – minuman
breakfast – makan pagi ; lunch – makan siang; dinner – makan malam
mineral water – air putih
iced water – air es
hot water – air panas
warm water – air hangat
tea – teh ; coffee – kopi
milk – susu ; rice – nasi
noodles – mie
fish – ikan
poultry – lauk
chicken – ayam
beef – sapi
pork – babi
lamb – kambing, domba
crab – kepiting
mussel (and the like) – kerang
prawn/shrimp – udang
vegetables – sayur
fruit – buah
egg – telur
sugar – gula
salt – garam
pepper – merica, lada
black pepper – merica hitam, lada hitam
chilli pepper – cabe, lombok
chili sauce – saus sambal
And below are key words when shopping:
shop/store – toko
How much is it? – Berapa? / Berapa harganya?
fixed price – harga pas
cheap – murah ; expensive – mahal
price – harga
to buy – membeli
money changer – penukar uang
change(of money) – uang kembali
money – uang
And finally, for directions and transport
toilet – kamar kecil
office – kantor (so, e.g. post office – kantor pos)
tourist office – kantor pariwisata
embassy – kedutaan besar
I want to go to – Saya mau ke
car – mobil
motorcycle – sepeda motor
pedicab – becak (so do not get confused if someone ask if you want a pedicab, and you think it is a taxi and you get a trishaw)
petrol station – pomp bensin
stop here – berhenti disini, stop disini
turn – belok
left – kiri ; right – kanan ; near – dekat ; far – jauh ; from – dari ; to – ke
e.g. I want to go to Ubud, how far is it from Kuta? – Saya mau ke Ubud, berapa jauh dari Kuta?