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Arriving in Indonesia can be a little scary, but don’t panic! Most Balinese speak English. Adapting to the culture also involves learning a few words of the local language. With this in mind, here are 6 situations in which specific words might come in handy:

Social interactions

Balinese people use a form of greeting called “Balinese Namaste,” which resembles the traditional Indian greeting “Namaste.” During this greeting, Balinese people bring their palms together in front of their chest, as in prayer, and slightly bow their heads to show respect. This practice is commonly used in formal or religious contexts.

      Hello (Halo)

      How are you? (Apa kabar?)

      What’s your name? (Siapa nama Anda?)

      How old are you? (Berapa umur kamu? or Berapa usia Anda?)

      I live in Canggu (Saya tinggal di Canggu)

      And you? (Dan kamu?)

      Excuse me/ Sorry (Maaf)

      Yes (Ya)

      No (Tidak)

      Where are you from? (Dari mana kamu berasal?)

      Goodbye! (Selamat tinggal!)

      See you later! (Sampai jumpa lagi!)

Food and Drinks


      Please (Silakan or Tolonglah)

      The menu (menu)

      Food (makanan)

      Water (Air)

      Coffee (Kopi)

      Tea (Teh)

      Rice (Nasi)

      Vegetables (Sayur-sayuran)

      Meat (Daging)

      Fish (Ikan)

      Delicious (Enak)

      Thank you (Terima kasih)

      I’m going to order … (Saya akan memesan …)

      The bill (Tagihan)

      Cash/Card? (Tunai/Kartu)

Direction and travel

Don’t hesitate to ask the Balinese for directions. They’ll be happy to show you the way !

      I am lost (Aku ento malu)

      Where is the …? (Di mana …?)

      Left (Kiri)

      Right (Kanan)

      Straight ahead (Lurus jalan)

      Turn (Belok)

      Street/Road (Jalan)

      Airport (Bandara)

      Taxi (Taksi)

      Hotel (Hotel)

      Beach (Pantai)

      To search for (Mencari)

      Gas station (Pom bensin)


It is common practice in Indonesia to negotiate prices BUT it depends on the context: in local markets and small shops, you are generally expected to negotiate prices. Sellers often set higher starting prices, and negotiation is an integral part of the buying experience. In restaurants, cabs and other activities, on the other hand, prices are generally fixed.

      How much does this cost? (Ini berapa harganya?)

      Expensive (Mahal)

      Cheap (Murah)

      Discount (Diskon)

      I want to buy… (Saya ingin membeli…)

      Bag (Tas)

      Clothes (Pakaian)

      Souvenir (Suvenir)


      Help (Tolong)

      Doctor (Dokter)

      Hospital (Rumah sakit)

      Pharmacy (Apotek)

      I need a doctor (Saya butuh dokter)

      I’m not feeling well (Saya tidak enak badan)

      Medicine (Obat)

      Allergy (Alergi)


      Help! (Tolong!)

      Police (Polisi)

      Fire (Api)

      Accident (Kecelakaan)

      Emergency (Darurat)

      Call an ambulance (Panggil ambulans)

If anything should happen to you, it is advisable to call the Balinese emergency numbers, which are as follows

Police: 110

Fire Department: 113

Ambulance / Emergency Medical Services: 118

Maritime Search and Rescue: 151

Road Assistance (for road accidents): 108