Useful words and phrases for your trip to Bali

When Chris and I went to Bali we had no idea what words will be most helpful to know during our trip. Of course there are classics like “Thank you”, “Hello” and “Where is xy” but there’s so much more that provides to be quiet useful. This is why I thought it would be great to add a short article to our travel section about the most useful words and phrases for your trip to Bali, Indonesia. After all even as a tourist it’s nice to adapt to the country and at least try to speak the language. It not only shows respect for the Indonesian culture but it is also very nice. Most locals do like it when tourists use Indonesian.

What languages do they speak in Bali? Most people in the big cities like Seminyak or Ubud will speak English. Not fluent but still good enough to communicate with tourists but if you are outside of those bigger cities it will provide quiet helpful to know a couple of words in Balinese. You can basically speak it as it’s written. It will not be the perfect pronunciation but still good enough to be understood. Balinese and Indonesian are the two most common languages on the island with bahasa Indonesia is the national language.

Indonesia: Simple Indonesian words

I wrote down some of the most useful Indonesian words and phrases that helped us to navigate around the Island. They are quite simple and easy but will do the job. Let me know in the comments if you’re missing something or if you used any of those words while visiting Bali. Also please correct me if I made grammatically mistakes as it’s not my mother tongue. But I’m trying my best to provide you the correct helpful words and phrases.

How do you say thank you in Balinese?

The polite way of saying thank you in Balinese is  “Terima Kasih”. You should also know these words:

  • Excuse me Permisi
  • Sorry Ma’af
  • Please (help) Tolong
  • You’re welcome SamaSama
  • Yes Ya
  • No Tidak

What is hello in Balinese?

“Om Suastiastu” is how you say hello in Balinese. Also good to know are the following greetings:

  • Good morning (before 10am) Selamat Pagi
  • Good morning (10am — 2 pm) Selamat Siang
  • Good afternoon (2pm — 6pm) Selamat Sore
  • Good night (after 6pm) Selamat Malam
  • Goodbye (you are leaving) Selamat Tinggal
  • Goodbye (other person leaving) Selamat Jalan

If you have a guide/driver  or you meet a local you can use the following phrases to start a conversation:

  • What is your name? Siapa Namamu
  • My name is … Nama Saya
  • How are you? Apa Kabar
  • I’m good Kabar Baik
  • Nice to meet you Senang Bertemu Anda
  • How do I get to …? Bagaimana Cara Pergi Ke …
  • I am lost Saya Teresat
  • Please write it down Tolong Dituliskan
  • Do you speak English? Anda Bisa Bicara Bahassa Inggris?

Talking about drivers. If you are in a taxi or if you have a private driver you might find these phrases helpful:

  • I want to go to … Saya Mau Pergi Ke …
  • Turn right Belok Kanan
  • Turn left Belok Kiri
  • Go straight Jalan Terus
  • Stop here Berhenti Disini
  • I stay at … Saya Tinggal Di …
  • I’m just walking Jalan Jalan

Words for shopping in Bali

Most importantly: Thinking about shopping? Of course you do! Just think of all the beautiful fabrics, the great glass work and jewelry. Bali has great craftsmanship in various areas. And don’t forget to haggle. It’s a big part of buying things at the markets. To go prepared to the markets or a store you want to know the following words:

  • Open Buka
  • Closed Tutup
  • Yesterday Kemarin
  • Today Hari Ini
  • Tomorrow Besok
  • Monday Senin
  • Tuesday Selasa
  • Wednesday Rabu
  • Thursday Kamis
  • Friday Jumat
  • Saturday Sabtu
  • Sunday Minggu

For price negotiations you will find these questions and sentences helpful:

  • How much does it cost? Berapa Harganya
  • Expensive Mahal
  • Cheap Murah
  • It’s too expensive Harganya Terlau Mahal
  • Can you give it cheaper? Bisa Lebih Murah

Now we reached the last part of useful words and phrases in Bali. When you visit a restaurant you should consider knowing the following:

  • To eat Makan
  • To drink Minum
  • Food Makanan
  • drinks Minuman
  • I want to order Saya Mau Pesan
  • Not spicy Tidak Pedas
  • Delicious Enak

We hope you find this guide with words and phrases for your trip to Bali helpful.

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