Hello everyone. Time for more lessons to improve your Bahasa Indonesia.
When being in a conversation with someone, Indonesians tend to address people based on their status and age. Titles such as Mr, Mrs, and Ms are used in everyday life in Bahasa Indonesia. For today, let’s focus on one title first. Today, that title is Mr. or Mister.
When you are someone from outside of Indonesia or most commonly known as “bule” by the locals, you will hear the word “mister” a lot when engaging in a conversation in Indonesia especially when you are a guy. Whether you are in a market, a restaurant, an office, or even on the street, they will address you as Mister.
How to Say Mister in Indonesian?
How to Say It
Mr. or Mister in Indonesian means ‘bapak’ or ‘pak’. So when you are asking for Mr. Brian, you will have to say ‘Bapak Brian’ or ‘Pak Brian’. Here are a few examples on using the word ‘bapak’ or ‘pak’:
Good afternoon Mr. Brian: Selamat siang Bapak/Pak Brian
Right this way Mr. Brian: Silahkan Bapak/Pak Brian
The word ‘bapak’ or ‘pak’ can be used in any time of the day. But usually it is commonly used to address people who have a higher status or who are older than us. Below are few examples on to who we can use it:
‘Bapak’ or ‘pak’ is a title we commonly use in Indonesian as a sign of respect to those who are older or have a higher social status than us. But it does not always mean that the older people or higher status people do not use the word ‘bapak’ or ‘pak’ to their inferiors. Even a CEO of a company will address their managers or even employees using the word ‘bapak’ or ‘pak. For example:
CEO : Please summon our manager, Mr. James to my office (tolong panggilkan Bapak/Pak James ke kantor saya)
CEO : Send Mr. James to negotiate with our suppliers (kirim Bapak/Pak James untuk negosiasi dengan penyuplai
CEO : Call Mr. James to clean my office (panggil Bapak/Pak James untuk bersihkan kantor saya)
It is very common in Indonesia to address someone using their title when having a conversation. It is seen as a sign of respect to one another regardless of their position and age.
When Not To Say It
Addressing someone using ‘bapak’ or ‘pak’ is generally used in a formal conversation or during a transaction. But it is rarely used between peers and colleagues and even sometimes when a superior addressing their inferiors. They just call each other by name no matter the status or age between them. For example:
From one student to an older student
From one employee to an older employee
From a CEO to an older cleaning employee
From a master to a servant
Not using ‘bapak’ or ‘pak’ when talking to someone you are close with or have a higher degree from does not mean you do not respect that person. It just means than you have an understanding between each other and so there is no need to use the word ‘bapak’ or ‘pak’.
From this, you now may have a better understanding on how or when to use the word ‘bapak’ or ‘pak’ in Indonesian. Keep practicing by talking with locals to better understand the language and your Indonesian will be better in no time. So, that how to say Mister in Indonesian.