Indonesian Language Blog

Survival Phrases in Indonesian Posted by on Sep 5, 2017 in Uncategorized

Indonesia is a fascinating country with lots to offer travelers. You can relax on beautiful beaches, climb active volcanoes, explore world-class dive sites, see amazing temples, and so much more. While you may find English spoken in touristy areas such as Bali or the Gili Islands, you’ll have a much better trip if you learn some Indonesian.

Climbing Volcanoes in Indonesia

Mt. Bromo in Java.

We’re here to help you get started with some survival phrases in Indonesian. Copy the list and practice along with the video a few times and you’ll be well on your way to speaking Indonesian!


Please (request)

Please (formal)

Thank you
Terima kasih

Ma kasih/trims

You’re welcome





Excuse me

Tidak apa-apa
No problem

Bisa bicara bahasa Inggris?
Can you speak English?

Saya tidak bisa bicara bahasa Indonesia.
I can’t speak Indonesian.

Saya bisa bicara bahasa Indonesia sedikit-sedikit.
I can speak a little Indonesian.

Saya tidak mengerti.
I don’t understand.

Bisa biscara pelan-pelan?
Can you speak more slowly?

Ini apa?
What’s this?

Itu apa?
What’s that?

Berapa harganya?
How much is it? (a single item)

Berapa semuanya?
How much is it? (total/in a restaurant)

Berapa ongkosnya?
How much is it? (service i.e. a taxi)

Saya tersesat.
I’m lost.

Bisa tolong saya?
Can you help me, please?

Di mana kamar mandi?
Where is the bathroom?

People in Indonesia are super friendly and are always excited to hear a bule speaking their language. It’s fine if you have to use English and/or body language often in your travels, but at least having these survival phrases will go a long way.

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About the Author: sasha

Sasha is an English teacher, writer, photographer, and videographer from the great state of Michigan. Upon graduating from Michigan State University, he moved to China and spent 5+ years living, working, studying, and traveling there. He also studied Indonesian Language & Culture in Bali for a year. He and his wife run the travel blog Grateful Gypsies, and they're currently trying the digital nomad lifestyle across Latin America.