Learn The Balinese Phrases and Pronunciation – Brief Examples

Om Swastyastu. In Indonesia, Bali is the biggest international tourist destination because its beach (and scenery) as well as it beautiful culture and people. Even the local language found Bali to be their main destination in Indonesia. Of course, beside learning Bahasa Indonesia, you should also get familiar with some Balinese phrases and pronunciation.

Therefore, let’s learn some useful Balinese phrases right now. Learn from how to say hello and also how to say thank you with local language. You would be considered more friendly. On the other side, you could also learn new knowledge about Indonesian.

Learn the Basic Balinese Phrases 

Before step forward to another advanced level of Balinese, we should learn more about the pronunciation of the basic words. Balinese (as a dialect too in Indonesia) has a very unique way of pronouncing words. Do you know instead of pronounce the usual ‘t’, the Balinese usually pronounce ‘t’ as [], which arch you tongue to inside part, if it is placed at the front or middle of a word? It has some similarities with some words in Javanese too. In addition, the letter ‘a’ is pronounce as [ə] if it placed at the end of a word.

Furthermore, here is some very useful Balinese phrases and pronunciation. These are the list of  basicBalinese sentences that would help you. Take a look!

  • Yes = nggih [ŋgih/əŋgih]
  • No = sing [siŋ]/ten [tən]
  • Hello (greeting) = Om Swastyastu [om swasti’astu]
    *It literally means ‘May the peace be with you’
  • Thank you = suksma [suksmə]
  • You are welcome = (suksma) mewali [suksmə məwali]
  • I am sorry = ampura [ampurə]
  • How are you = punapi gatrane [punapi gatrane]
  • good = becik [bəciʔ]
  • good morning = rahajeng semeng [rahajəŋ səməŋ]
  • good afternoon/good evening [rahajəŋ wə’ŋi]
  • good night = rahajeng mekolem [rahajəŋ mekoləm]
  • what’s up = kenken kabare [kənkən kabare]
  • exist/there = ada [adə]
  • walk = jalan [jalan]
  • My name is Susi/ I am Susi = Titiyang Susi [titiyaŋ Susi]

You could see that instead of pronounce e as [e], most of Balinese words is pronounced e as [ə], as well as ‘a’ at the end of a word. It is also become the characteristic of Bali dialect in Indonesia.

Instead of pronouncing ‘a’ in the word Kuta (the most popular and the main beach as well as region in Bali), you would always heard is as [Kutə]. Furthermore, make sure also you have master about Indonesian alphabets and Indonesian phonemes. It would help you to master the pronunciation quicker. 

Balinese Phrases  – Numbers high and low (usual)

In Balinese or Basa Bali, there are three level of language (like the Javanese). Therefore, you would find three different version for a same words that are completely different like learning three new languages. Make sure you know the communication etiquette so you would not be considered disrespectful because language barrier and cultural differences.

One of the different could be seen in terms of numbers. These are Balinese phrases and pronunciation for numbers. The first list of group is the Bali alus (or high Bali). If you see, it has big influence from Sanskrit words (which had tremendous influence at past).

  • one = eka [ækə]
  • two = dwi [dwi]
  • three = tri [tri]
  • four = catur [cʌtʊr]
  • five = panca [pancə]
  • six = sad [sʌd]
  • seven = sapta [saptə]
  • eight = asta [astə]
  • nine = sanga [sʌŋə]
  • ten = dasa [dasə]

Those high language (like Javanese too) recently are rarely spoken by the youngster. But, it is useful to talk to the elderly/older people with that language. Try to talk and practice it by yourself! 

Furthermore, there are also the low version in Basa Bali. It similar with the Javanese. It is used with your peer, but will be considered rude if you spoke to older people (especially conventional people). But, let’s learn the Indonesian numbers in Balinese. Here are the list.

  • Besik [besiʔ]
  • dua [duwə]
  • telu [təlu]
  • papat [papat]
  • lima [limə]
  • nenem [nənəm]
  • pitu [pitu]
  • kutus [kuus]
  • sia [siyə]
  • dasa [dasə]

Those are the simple Balinese phrases and pronunciation that you should know if you have a plan to go to Bali. Even though they speak really good Bahasa Indonesia, English and many foreign language (especially for tourism-related), you could always show you politeness with the local language and of course you would get bigger chance to cheaper price for the souvenirs.

Make sure you also learn some Balinese swear words, not to swear someone when you get angry, but learn the taboo words that may offend the Balinese. Make sure you also backup yourself with the easy phrases in Bahasa Indonesia too, which also useful in Bali.