Saturday, May 19, 2012

Bahasa Indonesia

Greetings/Getting Started

First thing to remember about Bahasa Indonesia is that it is a phonetic language. I'm sure there are exceptions - when aren't there exceptions? - but the overwhelming majority of the time if you see the way a word is spelled you know how to pronounce it.  Please refer to the alphabet in an earlier post.  Also remember I am an American from California and bring that to my English. I'm also not fluent in Indonesian and am using these language threads to improve my own skills as well as anyone who wants to look in.  Please feel free to comment to correct or clarify my mistakes in English and/or Bahasa Indonesia.  However many Indonesians have told me I speak very good English...

Indonesians in general and Orang Bali in particular are very friendly people, they love to speak with you, many of them can speak some, to very good, English and almost all of them love to hear you speak their language so let me teach you some greetings.

I'll start off with the easiest of all..  

For 'hello' you simply say 'halo'.  The pronunciation is slightly different but very close.

Besides a simple hello there are a several common greeting expressions in Indonesia.  Just like in English you might say 'what's happening?', 'how are you?', 'good morning', etc...

Apa Kabar? - How are you?
Apa Kabar is literally 'What news?'  Apa meaning what and kabar meaning news but it is used very much like the American expression 'how are you?'  You may respond back by simply saying 'apa kabar' back to the person, much as the English, 'I'm fine how are you?'

Selamat pagi - Good morning.

Selamat siang - Good afternoon.
(about 10am to 3pm)

Selamat sore - Good evening.
(about 3pm to dusk)

Selamat malam - Good night
Same with all these expressions, you may repeat them back to the person who greets you, you may also shorten them by simply dropping the 'selamat', making it quicker and a little less formal, but perfectly acceptable at the same time.

As you can see 'selamat' is used quite a bit.   Selamat is an Arabic word that literally means 'safe'.

Other ways that 'selamat' is commonly used:

Selamat datang - Welcome.

Selamat minum - Cheers.
minum = drink

Selamat makan - Bon Appetite.
makan = food

Selamat tidor - Good night.
tidor = sleep

This post is getting quite long for so I'll close here with one more expression - thank you.

Terima kasih = thank you.
Terima kasih is literally 'given with love' but is used in Indonesian for 'thank you'.  You may respond back with terima kasih for 'you're welcome' as well.

Terima kasih from Pak Dan.

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