Indonesian phrasebook

Sourced from Wikivoyage. Text is available under the CC-by-SA 3.0 license.
Ingo Wölbern
Ichwan Palongengi
Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia) is the official language and lingua franca of Indonesia, in addition to East Timor and places with a significant Indonesian diaspora such as Southeast Asia and the Netherlands. With over 230 million speakers, there are a lot of people to talk to in Indonesian.
Indonesian is closely related to Malay, and speakers of both languages can generally understand each other. The main differences are in the loan words: Indonesian has been mainly influenced by Dutch, while Malay has been mainly influenced by English. Both languages have lots of loan words from Sanskrit and other Indian languages, Arabic and Javanese.
Malay speakers beware, as there are multiple words that spell the same but convey very different meanings. Among the most familiar are Malay budak (child) to Indonesian budak (slave), Malay percuma (free) to Indonesian percuma (useless), Malay butuh (male genitals) to Indonesian butuh (need) and Malay bisa (poison) to Indonesian bisa (can, able to).
Just like English, Indonesia uses the Latin alphabet system and Arabic numerals.


Pronunciation guide


Phrase list

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