On my list of “Things To Do” when I travel is learning the local language. I’m not looking to be fluent but rather know some common phrases that I can exchange and MAYBE get the opportunity to learn something else. I dream big folks. How do you say it in Indonesian is the beginning of learning the basics. Here are a few examples of what to say in Indonesian while in Bali.
For example, we had a driver who learned how to speak English by being a taxi/Gojek driver over the past 30 years. Okay, 30 years to learn a second language is a really long time…but what an achievement! Anyways, I exchanged the few words I knew in Indonesian and what followed was a 15-minute conversational lesson in Indonesian. “How do you say it in Indonesian” goes a long way!
Are you staying in Bali long? How many times have you been to Bali? Where are you from? Each question spoken slow enough so I could understand but also translated to English and then repeated for retaining purposes.
We have loads of other instances (like getting a better discount on goods, learning of a local restaurant, or even being taken for a night out on the town!) and each time these interactions happen we collect them in the box of memories called “cool things we learned when we travelled.”
So, when you travel to Indonesia next, and you want to exchange a few niceties with the locals, here’s a few phrases to get you started.
Selamat pagi! – Good morning!
Apa kabar? – How are you?
Baik-baik saja. – I’m good.
Berapa ini? – How much is this?
Saya tanya tahu sedakit. – I only know a bit. (When they ask if you speak Indonesian.)
How do you say it in Indonesian? – bagaimana cara mengucapkannya dalam bahasa indonesia
I don’t promise anything more than an awkward conversation with a stranger. However, in the off chance that you do get through the language barrier, you may find a kindred spirit. After living here for three weeks, these little exchanges have gotten me extra smiles and food I didn’t realize I ordered.
Apps to help you learn Indonesian
Google Translate, although you need the internet to run the app, it has proven to be very helpful when you want to convey what you need.
Duolingo, really fun and easy way to learn; however, the skills and phrases you typically need for traveling will be further along in the course.
Babbel, I found this to work the best if you truly want to learn conversational skills. They only hitch is you have to pay for the app and languages you want to learn.