Learning Indonesian Language

I think, the best way to avoid lost and wasting time in new country, except doing the research about one place, we also need to learn their language. At least, the basic language, to avoid expensive price, scam and get lost. No matter how short we are in one country.

Learning-Indonesian-Language (4)Tourists played with monkeys in Uluwatu, Bali.


I had a funny experience while traveling to Chengdu, China. I went there with another two friends who are Muslim. For Muslim people, eating pork is prohibited. But China is a country with people who eat pork a lot. So it was a difficult thing to find restaurant which cook halal food. There was a really hard situation for us to explain we need food with chicken not pork to local people since they can speak and understand English. Really only few people who understand English in China. Their English understanding also so limited. Once we met people who even not understand 1, 2, 3 in English!

Learning-Indonesian-Language (7)So difficult to communicate to Chinese people when I was in Chengdu.


That time, in front of the restaurant, we pretend to be a chicken. Started to make a chicken dance with our hands, pretend we have wings. Useless. They still don’t understand. Since that time, I realized, it is important to understand the language of one country we visit. Especially if you are staying there for long time.

Learning-Indonesian-Language (2)My friend, Anna, having a fun pose in Taman Mini, Jakarta.


So now, here is some of Indonesian language that you that you need to know while you are traveling here :

Important Expression :

  1. Good morning! = Selamat pagi! (We never really saying “Good day/Good afternoon, but anyway it’s Selamat siang!)
  2. Good evening! = Selamat malam!
  3. How are you? = Apa kabar?
  4. I am good. = Saya baik-baik saja
  5. Thank you/No, thank you. = Terima kasih.
  6. You are welcome. = Sama-sama.
  7. I am sorry. = Saya minta maaf (or just simply ; sorry = maaf)
  8. Can you help me? = Dapatkah kamu menolong saya?
  9. Please = Tolong.
  10. Excuse me. = Permisi.
  11. I am.. My name is… = Saya…. Nama saya adalah….
  12. What is your name? = Siapa nama kamu?
  13. Upstairs/Downstairs. = Di atas/Di bawah.
  14. (Turn) Right/Left. = Belok kanan/kiri.
  15. Please stop here. = Mohon berhenti di sini.
  16. I am lost. = Saya tersasar
  17. Don’t touch me! = Jangan sentuh saya.
  18. I feel hurt/pain in my stomach = Saya merasa sakit di perut saya.
  19. I am happy. = Saya bahagia.
  20. I don’t like it. = Saya tidak suka ini.

Learning-Indonesian-Language (1)Me with some kids in Nusa Lembongan Island.


Tummy Stuff :

  1. No sugar, please. = Tolong tanpa gula.
  2. Spicy/Less spicy/Not spicy at all = Pedas/tidak terlalu pedas/Tidak pedas sama sekali.
  3. Can I have the bill? = Saya bisa minta bill?
  4. Do you accept credit card? = Apakah kamu terima kartu kredit?
  5. Do you have chicken/meat/fish/vegetable noodle? = Kamu punya mie ayam/daging/ikan/sayur?
  6. What is the best local beer? = Apa bar lokal terbaik disini?
  7. Where can I find restaurant? = Dimana saya dapat menemukan restaurant?
  8. I like fried rice = Saya suka nasi goreng.
  9. Mineral water, please = Tolong, air putih.
  10. Can I get another one? = Bisakah saya dapat satu lagi?
  11. I want white/brown rice, please = Saya ingin nasi putih/nasi merah


Activities :

  1. Thank you for tonight. = Terima kasih untuk malam ini.
  2. Do you have any plan tonight? = Apakah kamu punya rencana malam ini?
  3. Where do you live? = Dimana kamu tinggal?
  4. Where is the best night life place? = Dimana tempat hiburan malam terbaik?
  5. Do you have a room? = Apakah kamu punya kamar kosong?
  6. How much does the cost to go to the airport? = Berapa biayanya untuk ke bandara ?
  7. Where is the toilet/restroom? = Dimana kamar mandinya?
  8. How much is it? = Berapa harganya?
  9. It is too expensive. = Ini terlalu mahal.
  10. Can you give me a discount? = Dapatkah kamu memberi saya diskon?
  11. How much is the entry ticket? = Berapa harga tiket masuknya?
  12. What is the exchange rate here? = Berapa nilai tukarnya disini?

Learning-Indonesian-Language (3)Bundaran HI, Jakarta, Indonesia.


Slang words (usually only using in Jakarta) :

  1. Akurapopo = I am fine
  2. Alay = Teenager stuff
  3. Galau = I feel so melancholic/sad/broken heart
  4. Ember = Off course!
  5. Nongkrong = Hang out
  6. Kepo = Stalking
  7. Selow/Woles = Slow, easy
  8. . = Babe, Dear (also can use as a joke from male to male)
  9. Sotoy = A person who is thinking that he knows everything than the other
  10. Bingittss = Very much
  11. Yoi, Yowes = Alright, Okay
  12. Yuks mari = Okay, Let’s go
  13. Cepoi-cepoi = Nice breeze/wind
  14. Mantab = Very great
  15. Gaul = Updated person (Knows all the trend)
  16. Ya, Keleus = Yeah, of course (or ; Yes, not like that)
  17. Bule, mas bule = Foreigner/White people (Mas bule = White guy)
  18. Mager = Don’t want to go to anywhere (already comfort in one place).
  19. Jayus = Not funny but trying to be fun
  20. Jijay = Disgusting
  21. Manyun = Don’t have anything to do
  22. Ogah, Emoh = I don’t want to do it
  23. Dudul = Stupid, Silly
  24. Ajib = It is great/Incredible
  25. Gan = A slang calling to someone in internet (for man or woman)
  26. Ciyus = Seriously?
  27. Miapah? = Are you sure?
  28. Gelo = You are sick!
  29. Unyu = Too cute
  30. Ilfil = Lose the feeling
  31. Rempong = Too much things to do but some times she/he doesn’t get it right
  32. Cekidot = Check it out
  33. Maho = Gay
  34. PHP = Giving hope but not really wanna put an effort on it
  35. Bokap = Father/Dad
  36. Nyokap = Mother/Mom
  37. Sohib = Best Friend/BFF
  38. Gue, Gua, Gw, Guweh = I am/Me
  39. Elo, lo, lu = You
  40. Cincay = Acceptable, it’s ok
  41. Mehong = Expensive
  42. Plongo = Dunno what to do
  43. Jutek = Not friendly
  44. Jaim = Trying to keep the good image
  45. .. Yeeee… Booo… = Yeahhhh/Mannnnnn
  46. Memble = Don’t have anything to do/don’t really like something
  47. Bete = Bad mood


Now, I hope you are having more confidence while traveling to our country, Indonesia. If you have any further question or want to correct my translation above, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Learning-Indonesian-Language (6) Learning-Indonesian-Language (5)And… Welcome to Indonesia! Selamat datang di Indonesia!

Have a good time!


Dea Sihotang




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