How to Say Condolences in Indonesian – Expression and Meaning

Hi, guys. I’m back again! We’re gonna learn something new again today? What is it about? So, today we’re gonna learn about how to say condolences or express your sympathy to someone’s sadness. It’s actually the same with English, but there something that make it more polite.

It’s normal, in Indonesia we need to be polite to the person that we still don’t know or someone older.

So, this is the common things on how to say condolences in Indonesian:

  • Sorry, ya : I’m sorry
  • Sorry banget ya : I’m so sorry
  • Maaf, ya : I’m sorry to hear that
  • Turut Berduka Cita: Deep condolences
  • Belasungkawa : Condolences

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Example of Condolences Conversation

See? There’s just a little bit different. Most of them use the first one to express their feelings. They just say “Sorry, ya”. Usually, they say it when the accidentally make someone talk about their bad memories. For example,

Nia : “Gimana kabar ayah kamu?” (how’s your father?)

Lia : “Ayahku udah meninggal, Nia” (My father is passed away already)

Nia : “Oh, sorry banget ya, Lia” (Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that, Lia)

Yeah, so that was the example. But then, it also used for when someone got a bad thing happened in their life at that time. For example,

Nia         : “Tin, kamu dimana sekarang? Kenapa kamu gak masuk sekolah?” (Tin, where are you? Why aren’t you here at school?)

Tina        : “Sepedaku rusak tiba-tiba, aku mau pulang aja” (My bikes are broken very sudden. I’m just gonna get home now)

Nia         : “Ya ampun, maaf ya” (Oh My God, I’m sorry)

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And for the informal way we just say

How to say condolences in Indonesian:

  • Turut berduka atas …..(something that happened)…. : I’m sorry for ……

The formal way, can be said directly to the person or by sending them flowers bouquet. But, mostly they just say it directly, just a few people that say it through sending flowers bouquet, such as company’s owner.

Commonly, it’s just can be said when someone passed away or when someone had pass a very very bad thing, like disaster or something like that. It will be less polite if you say it when people just had not really bad thing happened in their life, such as surgery. It’s just related with loss feeling.

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Interesting fact about Indonesian Culture 

In Indonesian culture, usually someone need to bring something when they want to meet someone who had a bad thing happened. It’s because they need to show them that they really care and want to help them. Sometimes, they will bring rice, sugar, or even money.

But, if it’s just about surgery or something like that, they will just bring some fruits. It’s not necessary to bring something, but it’s just to show that you really care and want to help them. They won’t mad if you don’t bring anything, they will still accept your Sorry. Well, that’s how to say condolences in Indonesian language!