Bahasa Indonesia is the national and official language of Indonesia and is used in the entire country. It is the language of official communication, taught in schools and used for broadcast in electronic and digital media. Most Indonesians also have their own ethnic language and dialect, with the most widely spoken being Javanese and Sundanese. Some ethnic Chinese communities continue to speak various Chinese dialects, most notably Hokkien in Medan and Teochew in Pontianak.

While generally is not widely spoken, an acceptable level of English can be understood in a number of major cities and tourists’ destinations including Bali, Batam, Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, and Yogyakarta. Moreover, most hotel and airlines staff can also communicate in English on a basic to moderate level.

Common Phrases

Indonesian pronunciation is relatively easy to master. Each letter always represents the same sound and most letters are pronounced the same as their English counterparts. The following are examples of some of the common phrases in Bahasa Indonesia that can be useful in conversation:

Good morning = Selamat pagi

Good day = Selamat siang

Good afternoon = Selamat sore

Good evening/Good night = Selamat malam

Goodbye = Sampai jumpa

How are you? =  Apa kabar

I’m Fine/Good/Great = Baik-baik (as an answer to ”Apa kabar”)

Excuse me = Permisi

Sorry = Maaf

Please = Silahkan

Help! = Tolong!

Thank You = Terima Kasih

You’re Welcome = Sama-sama

Yes = Iya/Ya

No = Tidak

Mr/Sir = Bapak/Pak

Ms/Ms/Madam = Ibu/Bu

Miss = Nona

How much/many = Berapa

How much is it (price)? = Berapa harganya?

Where is… = Di mana…

How to get there = bagaimana caranya kesana?

I want… = Saya mau…

I don’t want… = Saya tidak mau…