6 essential Balinese phrases

posted in: Blog, travel | 2

Bali is one of the most popular places to visit, for adventurous backpackers or avid yoga enthusiasts as well as honeymooners or luxurious travelers. There is something for everyone on this island! The Balinese are known for being very friendly people and they do believe in a kind of karma, so if you meet someone who is scamming tourists on Bali, chances are that they are not originally from Bali.

Although Bali has a language of its own, Bahasa Indonesia is quite common on the island. But I do like to learn the language of the locals, so I compiled a few essential Balinese phrases for you! But don’t worry, even without those or any knowledge of Bahasa Indonesia, you will be able to get around the island with English.

Just in case though, I will add the phrases in Bahasa Indonesia as well! It will be quite useful if you are planning trips to the neighboring islands as well!

6 essential balinese phrases

1. Always say Thank you!

Actually, shouldn’t this be a no-brainer? I think some of the most important phrases that you need to know in the language of the country you’re visiting is Thank You and You’re Welcome.

Thank you – Suksma (Terima kasih)

You’re welcome – Suksma mewali (Sama-sama)


2. … or no!

Sometimes you just need to know how to say no!

No! or Don’t! – Sing (Tidak)!

karma beach bukit
Karma Beach on the Bukit Peninsula

3. Asking about their well-being

I know it’s just an empty phrase for most, but I think it’s good to know how to ask this.

How are you? – Punapi gatra? or Ken-ken kabare? (Apa kabar?)

I am fine! – Tiang becik-becik! (Aku baik-baik)


4. How to find something

Looking for the next restaurant or pharmacy? Use these phrases:

Where is … – Ring dija (Dimana ada … )


karma beach bukit bali
My favorite beach on Bali – Karma beach

5. If you’ve done something wrong

It’s always good to know how to say I’m sorry.

I’m sorry – Ampura (Maaf)


6. Greetings and Goodbyes

Hello – Swastiastu (Selamat)

Good morning – Rahajeng semeng (Selamat pagi)

Good afternoon – Rahajeng sanja (Selamat sore)

Good evening – Rahajeng peteng (Selamat malam)

Good night – Rahajeng wengi (Selamat tidur)

sonderbarmii Uluwatu Bali
That’s all folks!

This actually almost exhausts my own knowledge of Bahasa Indonesia (just kidding…). Although I really should polish my Bahasa, people look at me funny whenever I talk in my mother tongue. Another reason why I’ve chosen only the most essential phrases, because I know them well enough!

I hope you’ll find this post helpful if you’re traveling to Bali or the surrounding islands. If you want more essential phrases, let me know below in the comments!


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