10 Basic Useful Indonesian Phrases

What is the most interesting moment when you’re going abroad ?


Do you think it’s shopping or sight-seeing ?


YES !! Obviously, you’re right, both are really interesting, but there’s one thing that also precious, what’s it ?


The picture below is the answer !

basic useful indonesian

Make friends!


Friend-making has always been a very special opportunity to have, you will never feel lonely since you have someone to talk to, partner to travel, together is happier, right ?


If you want to get a new friend from another country, the easiest way to do is learn their country simple sentences, because they would be feel honoured and amazed when foreigner speaks in their native language.


Let me ask, do you have a plan to go to Indonesia ? or looking for Indonesian friend?


Hustt… I have a secret to tell…


Indonesian people are known for their hospitality. They are very friendly even to strangers, but, unfortunately, most of the Indonesians you will encounter will speak a little English, but don’t worry the locals will be much more open if you make an effort and learn the basics of Indonesian.


So, greet the people in Indonesian language would be a great start to get close to them.

This article provides you Indonesian ten basic useful phrases in casual setting to learn.

What are they ? Let’s find out !!!

1. Halo!

First impression would be the most memorable thing. The way you greet them will determine it. There are many ways to say hello/greet in Indonesian since we have a very diverse culture, and the word Halo!” is commonly used in Indonesia.


However, if you meet Muslims, it would be great to say “Assalamualaikum” (since Indonesia is the world’s biggest Muslim-majority country). In English it can be translated as “peace be upon you”, and they will answer it with Wa’alaikumussalam” , For instance :


You     : Assalamu’alaikum

              (peace be upon you)

Me      : Wa’alaikumussalam

              (peace be upon you,too)


You may wonder how to say good morning/night in Indonesia because it’s part of greetings, right?

The table below will show you.

2. Nama saya ...... Siapa nama kamu?

After greeting, now’s a great time to share your name and learn theirs.“Nama saya + (your name) is used to tell your name, in English it means “My name is + (your name)”.


After introduce your name, you would ask their name .Siapa nama kamuor in English means “What’s your name?”  Saya and Kamu in the sentence acts as singular possessive adjective.  

Let’s try by using your name.


You     : Halo! Nama saya (Your name), Siapa nama kamu?

             (Hello! My name is (Your name)), What’s your name?

Me      : Halo! Nama saya (Their names)

             (Hello! My name is (Their names)

3. Senang bertemu denganmu !

In English to express that we’re pleased when meeting new person we say “Nice to meet you /Glad to meet you”.


In Indonesia it can be translated to ‘Senang bertemu denganmu’. Let’s break it down !

Actually in Indonesia
‘To’ means ‘Untuk’
‘Denganmu (Dengan + Kamu) means ‘With you”
Senang bertemu denganmu = Glad meet with you
but, of course it doesn’t exist in English

4. Maaf / Permisi

‘Maaf’ means Sorry, is a good words to use when you want to ask someone, apologize for something or even reject someone’s request


  • Maaf, Saya tidak bisa

(Sorry, I can’t)


‘Permisi’ means Excuse me used when you want to walk pass someone


Practically, people use both when to ask something like it’s interchangable :


  • Permisi, dimana saya bisa menemukan halte bus?

(Excuse me, Where can I find a Bus station?)


  • Maaf, bisakah anda menunjukan alamatnya?

(Sorry, Can you please show me the address?)

5. Tolong !

When you find difficulties or problems you can’t fix this word will help you a lot.


Why? because ‘Tolong’ is used to ask for a help just like the function of the word.


Just imagine that you’re in a grocery store and you have no idea about the label of the product, that’s a perfect time to go with this magic word


  • Maaf, tolong saya untuk artikan ini

(Sorry, Please help me to translate this)


            Another word for ‘Tolong’ is ‘Please’


  • Tolong, berikan pulpen ini padanya

(Give the pen to him/her, please!)

6. Bisakah anda mengulanginya?

‘Can you repeat it please?’ . Exactly, that’s how we say it in English. By using this phrase means we ask for a repetation when we didn’t get someone’s explanation.

7. Saya tidak bisa berbahasa Indonesia, bisakah kamu berbahasa......?

Since not all of tourist that come to Indonesia can speak Indonesian, to help you survive in this diverse country, this phrase will help you out to find someone or people who understand your language. For example :


(You’re fluent in English but don’t know how to reply or ask someone in Indonesian)


You     : Saya tidak bisa berbahasa Indonesia, bisakah kamu berbahasa Inggris?


(I can’t speak Indonesian, can you speak English?)

8. Dimana letak.......?

You run out of cash since in Indonesia there are still some restaurants which don’t serve cashless payment, so you’re walking around to find a bank / ATM but you got nothing.


You can ask someone around you to show you where the bank is


You     : Maaf, dimana letak ATM terdekat dari sini?


(Sorry, where is the closest ATM from here?)

9. Berapa harga.....?

Travelling, speaking of travelling we like to buy souvernirs, some people buy it to reminds them later, some others to be given to family and friends.


But before we own them we must buy and know the price right? How to ask about price in Indonesia?


Ok I have a situation, you want to buy Batik and here’s how to say it


Berapa harga batik ini?

(How much does this batik cost?)

10. Sampai Jumpa ! / Selamat Tinggal !

Even though farewell sometimes is the saddest thing, but that’s how life works, every hello has its goodbye. ‘Goodbye’ is ‘Selamat tinggal’ and ‘See you’ is ‘Sampai Jumpa’


Just like the last phrase, this is the end of the article, We’re going to say See you to you all G’Youths on the next our extraordinary posts. Remember this the more you practice, the better you will be. Sampai Jumpa !