Indonesian Slang is your travel phrase book of colloquial Indonesian, while in and around Indonesia. Use it for important communication, tell them what you are up to or having a laugh with the locals


Indonesia is a large, diverse and widely spread out country. It had in the past many different languages and dialects. When the new country was declared in 1945, the Riau dialect which was close to Malaysia was declared the official language of the country. It is a very easy language to learn, also because it is written in the same script as European languages so after a while you can start deciphering common words that you see. Verb conjugation doesn’t really exist, just use the verb and a preposition of time; before-sebelum or after-sesudah to denote time. Also plurals are anak- 1 child and anak anak- children, therefore doubling of the noun to get a plural.

These days the many varied islands use Bahasa Indonesia as a lingua franca, so that they can understand each other from Papua to Banda Aceh, and Saluwesi to Flores. While travelling in places like Bali you might learn words from local dialect like “Sing Ken Ken Blee”- no worries Bro, which is “Tidak apa apa” in Indonesian, highlighting the differences between islands.

Indonesian is very close to the Malaysian language but differs from heavy influences of Dutch language during their colonialsim as opposed to English in Malaysia, and also local dialects.

the Indonesian archipelago

Meeting,Greeting & Salutations

Senang bertemu denganmu
Pleased to meet you

Selamat makan!
Enjoy your meal

Ada kabar baru? Tidak banyak
What’s New? Nothing Much

Tolong bicara lebih lambat
please speak slower

Anda dari mana?   Saya dari……..
Where are you from?     I am from……………

Apa kebah?/ Baik, terima kasih/ Dan kamu? Baik / Biasa saja
How are you? I’m Fine, Thanks!/ And You? Good/ So-So.

Apakah nama mana?     Siapa nama anda?
What’s your name?


Benar! Really!

Berapa umurmu? Saya (dua puluh, tiga puluh) tahun.
How Old Are You? I’m (twenty, thirty…) Years Old.

Berapa harga?
How much does it cost?

Berikan pada saya
Give Me This!

Besar ombak hari ini blee
Big waves today bro

Cepat! Hurry Up!

Hati hati

Hei teman!
Hey! Friend!

Jangan kuatir
Don’t Worry!

Kembali-Terima kasih kembali
You’re Welcome!

Lihat! Look!

Makan pagimalamsiang

Muda pecah

Here You Go! (when giving something)

Pak Ayam
Mr. Chicken

Sampai jampai/besok
See you later/tomorrow

Satu lagi
One more time

Saya harus pergi Saya akan segera kembali
I Have To Go I Will Be Right Back!

Selamat datang

Selamat hari ulang tahun
Happy birthday

Selamat menikmati
Enjoy your meal

Selamat pagi malam
Good morning

Selamat tahun baru
Happy New Year!

Selamat tidur,  mimpi indah
Sleep well & Sweet Dreams

Semoga harimu menyenangkan
Have a nice day

Semoga sukses
Good Luck!

Senang bertemu denganmu
Nice To Meet You!

Balinese dancer as seen in Indonesian Slang by Street Talk Savvy

Balinese dancer

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