How to Say Thank You in Balinese – Phrases and Examples

Indonesia is a country with thousands of islands. That’s why you will not only hear the Indonesian language when you go to this country. Whenever you move around across cities in each island, you might already find a whole different language and accent.

In this article, we’re going to talk a part of Balinese language. This Balinese language is used on Bali Island, one of the most favorite tourism destination in Indonesia. The Balinese language is still similar to the Javanese language, they sometimes have the same words and meanings. The Balinese language has been affected with Hinduism. If you notice, the structure is also similar to the Indonesian language. There are more to learn, such as: Basic Balinese Phrases and Examples

Balinese society is based on the Hindu caste system where 90% of the society are still accustomed to that system. Although it’s not applied in a complex form like in India, the culture and nuance are still reflecting Hinduism and the obedience to it. The castes are:

  • Brahmana (priest)
  • Ksatria (ruler/warrior)
  • Wesia (merchant/official)
  • Sudra (rice grower)

As there is a hierarchical structure/caste system within the society, there are methods of giving names/calling others according to their caste (title). A Balinese name will have three parts: a title, a birth order name, and a personal name. Balinese people do not use a family name. The title that you may find is I Putu, I Wayan, I Made, etc. But we’re not going to discuss about that now, perhaps later in other post!

But other than that, and most importantly, the Balinese language also has levels of use to address the caste. There are Bali Alus (Soft Balinese language), Bali Madya (Middle Balinese language), and Bali Kasar (Informal/impolite Balinese language). This happened because the influence of Javanese language spread to Bali from the Majapahit era, even to the Islamic Mataram era, although the Islamic Mataram kingdom never conquered Bali. Soft Balinese language is used for formal speaking, for example in meetings at the traditional village level, asking for women, or between low-caste people with higher castes. The middle one is used at the level of the middle-class society, for example, officials with subordinates. While the informal/impolite ones are spoken by low-class people, for example, the Sudras or between nobles and courtiers. The Balinese language is spoken by approximately 4 million people.

Today we’re going to talk about how to express gratitude to others in the Balinese language. There are more to learn, such as: Balinese Phrases and Pronunciation

It is important to remember that Balinese people highly respect elders (other people who are older by age or relation). The respect usually showed through gesture or body language, not to mention to the usage of language as well. Members of the four castes use various dialects of the Balinese language to address people of a different caste. However, Middle Balinese is generally used to speak to people whose caste is unknown, to avoid possible disrespect when we talk with new strangers. There are more to learn, such as: Useful Balinese Phrases

Luckily, the phrase “thank you” is generally used for everyone regardless of their background. It’s not impolite to say it in a different way to anyone. And it’s highly discouraged

The basic expression of gratitude:

How to Say Thank You in Balinese


Thank you       : Matur suksma or Suksma

Your welcome : Suksma mewali or Mewali 


Sometimes people don’t spell it literally the way it is written, into two syllables. Like this:

“Suks-ma” or “Suks-me”

But some people also spell it differently. We can divide the spelling into three syllables, like this:

“Suk-se-me” or “Suk-se-ma”


Example 1

How to Say Thank You in Balinese

A : Excuse me, may I ask something?

      Nunas lugra, tyang jagi metaken

B : Yes


A : May I pass through here?

      Dados tyang ngambahin meriki?

B : Yes, you may

      Nggih, dados

A : Thank you

      Matur suksma

B : Your welcome

      Suksma mewali

Example 2

A : Excuse me, how much is this?

      Nunas lugra, aji kuda niki?

B : 3000 rupiah

       Telung tali

A : May I have lower price?

       Dados kuang bu?

B : Yes you may

      Nggih, dados kuang

A : 1000 rupiah?

      Siu pak nggih?

A : Thank you. One piece please, this is the money

      Matur suksma. Siki manten pak, niki pes-ne pak

B : Your welcome

      Suksma mewali

However, you don’t have to be afraid of not understanding what they mean, because most of Balinese already understand the English language. If you notice, Balinese people have their own unique accent that is somehow similar with Indian. Even when they try to talk in English, they will still use that unique accent! If you’re going to Bali, we guarantee that you will find that uniqueness there! Have fun! There are more to learn, such as: Balinese Swear Words

Showing gratitude perhaps gives a good impression to new people around. I hope you can apply it and enjoyed the learning this time!