How to say Hello in Indonesian – Greetings – Vocabulary

There are many ways you can learn Bahasa Indonesia fast and easy. You can even know the best way to learn Indonesian online for free. It is best to quickly master this new language if you speak with native Indonesians in regular conversations so you’ll get used to the new words and pronunciations.

How to say Hello in Indonesian

To start a friendly, polite conversation, you need to know how to greet Indonesians properly. There are many ways to say hello! For Indonesians, mostly the greeting phrase depends on the time of day. Let’s check out the phrases below.

  • Hello: Halo
  • Hai: Hi/Hei
  • Assalamualalaikum: To say hey to people, to Muslim people
  • Selamat Pagi: Good morning
  • Selamat Siang: Good afternoon
  • Selamat sore: Good evening
  • Selamat malam: Good night
  • Lama tidak berjumpa: Long time no see
  • Lama tidak ketemu: Long time no see (informal)
  • Senang bertemu denganmu: Nice to meet you
  • Apa kabar?: How are you? – (Usual reply: Kabar baik: I’m good)

Learn to say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year in Indonesia too!

Selamat actually means safe, but it is used to say good morning/afternoon/evening/night in Indonesian, at the same time to wish the person we’re talking to a good or safe day.

Note that the ‘e’ in ‘Selamat’ is not really pronounced, so to pronounce the word you can simply say ‘slamat’. It is also fine to omit the ‘selamat’ completely and just say ‘pagi’. This is similar to English language where Good Morning is abbreviated into just ‘Morning’. Pretty easy right? If you are confused on how to say the phrases just remember that Bahasa Indonesia is usually read and pronounced phonetically.

Say it the way you see it. Rarely will anyone laugh if you accidentally slip. Just continue on speaking in your usual accent and you’ll eventually get it right.

How to Address People in Indonesian

To address the person we are saying hello to, Indonesians usually use the honorifics ‘Mas’ or ‘Pak’ or ‘Bu’ or ‘Mba’ before a person’s name. ‘Mas’ and ‘Mba’ are for young men and women respectively while ‘Pak’ and ‘Bu’ are for older men and women respectively. If you are friends and you have roughly the same age, don’t be offended if an Indonesian addresses you by your first name.

Indonesian people use first name basis in daily life, with whomever they meet. The exceptions are married women, nobles and royalty which you will rarely meet, so stick with first names when saying hello to Indonesians!.

Another tip when saying hello is to smile when you speak. Indonesians are sociable, open and friendly people. Smiles will greatly affect your social interactions with them. A slight nod/bow is also a common practice. The bowing for Indonesians is not a sign of submissiveness, but with extreme politeness, so don’t be surprised if you see this gesture!

Indonesian Gesture to Call People 

Another common gesture for Indonesians when saying hello to each other is the right hand rule. You can say hello with a handshake especially in a business environment. Indonesians always, always use their right hand when handshaking whoever they’re meeting. Indonesians are pretty serious about their etiquette so be sure to know the Indonesian greeting etiquette and manners to start your conversation properly! 

How to say Hello in Indonesian – Dialogue Example 

Now, here’s a dialogue example of a conversation involving greeting words in Indonesian. How to say Hello in Indonesian? You can practice it with a friend or by yourself so you get more familiar with the different ways to say hello in Indonesian. If you are confused on the meaning, you can always see the section below it to help you translate the words.

  • Budi:Selamat pagi, Bu!
    Wati: Selamat pagi, Pak!
    Budi: Apa kabar?
    Wati:  Anda?
    Budi: Baik-baik juga.
    Wati: Kamu sedang apa?
    Budi: Aku sedang membaca novel.
    Wati: Novel apa yang kamu baca?
    Budi: Aku sedang membaca novel semua tentang Islam!
    Wati: Boleh aku meminjamnya?
    Budi: Tentu saja.
    Wati: Sudah waktunya aku harus pulang. Sampai berjumpa, dan jangan lupa besok aku akan meminjam novelmu
    Budi: Tentu aku tidak akan lupa. Sampai jumpa kembali.
    Wati: Selamat jalan.
  • English Translation :
  • Budi:Good morning, Ma’am!
    Wati: Good morning, Sir!
    Budi: How are you?
    Wati:  You?
    Budi: Also good.
    Wati: What are you doing?
    Budi: I am reading a novel.
    Wati: What novel are you reading?
    Budi: I am reading a novel about everything about Islam!
    Wati: May I borrow it?
    Budi: Of course.
    Wati: It is already time for me to go home. Goodbye, and don’t forget I’ll borrow your book tomorrow
    Budi: Of course I won’t forget. Goodbye too.
    Wati: Good bye.

Hope this post is helpful to you. That’s how to say Hello in Indonesian. Keep practicing your Indonesian with. Terima Kasih! Thank You!