Indonesian Language Phrase Book – Meaning – Examples

Selamat datang!

To survive in another language, at least you must understand several common phrases or short pithy expression. Moreover, as part of phrase, you should also learn about popular idiomatic expression, its literal meaning and its actual meaning. So, let’s broaden your vocabulary with this mini Indonesian Language Phrase Book. Here take a look.

Indonesian Common Phrases

Here are several Indonesian Phrases that commonly used in daily life.

  • Hai = Hi
  • Halo = Hello
  • Selamat pagi = Good Morning
  • Selamat siang = Good Afternoon
  • Selamat petang = Good Afternoon
  • Selamat sore = Good Evening
  • Selamat malam = Good Evening/Goodnight
  • Selamat tidur = Goodnight
  • Selamat datang = Welcome
  • Selamat jalan = Goodbye
  • Terima kasih = Thank you
  • Sama-sama = You’re welcome
  • Sampai ketemu = See you
  • Saya baik-baik saja = I’m good/ I’m fine
  • Tidak apa-apa/ Gapapa (informal) = It’s okay/ Never mind
  • Maaf = (I’m) sorry
  • (Silakan) masuk = Get in(please)
  • (Silakan) keluar = Get out (please)
  • Pergi! = Go away!
  • Ngomong-ngomong/ btw [be te we] = By the way
    *Btw is abbreviatopn of by the way
  • Permisi = Excuse me!
  • Aku sayang kamu = I love you
  • Aku cinta kamu = I love you (more serious romantic relationship)
  • Tolong! = Help!/please

Check also: Indonesian Everyday Phrases and Indonesian Essential Phrases

Q&A Phrases in Indonesian Language

Here are the examples of important question phrases and its answer used in daily activities. Take a look!

  • Q: Siapa nama Anda?/Nama kamu siapa? = What is your name?
    A: Nama saya Jenna/ Saya Jenna = I’m Jenna
  • Q: Bagaimana kabarmu/Apa kabar? = How are you?
    A: Baik/Saya baik. Kamu? = I’m fine. And you?
  • Q: Jam berapa sekarang? = What time is it?
    A: Sekarang jam 11.00 = It is 11 a.m.
  • Q: Kamu mau ke mana? = Where are you going?
    A: Saya mau ke sekolah = I’m going to school
  • Q: Kamu bekerja di mana? = Where do you work?
    A: Saya bekerja di PT ABC = I work in PT ABC
  • Q: Kamu dari mana? = Where are you from?
    A: Saya dari Jakarta = I’m from Jakarta
    *this question could ask about your country/city/a place you visited right before you meet the addresser
  • Q: Kamu tinggal di mana? = Where do you live?
    A: I live at Jalan Diponegoro = I live at Diponegoro street. 
  • Q: Apakah kamu bisa berbahasa Indonesia? = Do you speak Indonesian?
    A: Saya tidak bisa Bahasa Indonesia = I can’t/don’t speak Indonesian
    A: Saya bisa Bahasa Indonesia sedikit-sedikit = I can speak Indonesian a little bit
  • Q: Kamu sudah makan? = Have you eat?
    A: Ya = Yes
    A: Belum = Not yet.
  • Q: Apa yang kamu lakukan? = What are you doing?
    A: Saya sedang memasak = I’m cooking
  • Q: Berapa harga ikan ini? = How much is this fish?
    A: Murah. Hanya 12 dollar = It is cheap, only USD 12.
  • Q: Apakah kamu butuh bantuan? = Do you need help?
    A: Tidak. Terima kasih. No, thanks.
  • Q: Kamu baik-baik saja? Are you okay?
    A: Ya. Aku baik-baik saja. Yes. I’m fine.

For more Indonesian Phrase Book Word List, check also:

More Indonesian Phrases to Learn!

Furthermore, another part of phrase is about idiom. It is a set of word that has very different meaning from its root word even though it is still a relation of meaning. In Bahasa Indonesia, there are many idiomatic-meaning phrase. It is very related to social-cultural aspects as well as Indonesian geographic condition. Here are the examples.

Phrase related to Animal

What to learn on Indonesian Language phrase book:

  • kelas (class) + kakap (snapper) = kelas kakap
    – higher class, powerful and/or rich people
  • kelas (class) + teri (anchovy) = kelas teri
    – lower class, worthless and/or poor people
  • kelas (class) + kambing (goat) = kelas kambing
    – cheapest/lowest class (such as in cinema/concert ticket)
  • telur (egg) + mata (eye) + sapi (cow) = telur mata sapi
    – sunny-side egg
  • kabar (news) + burung (bird) = kabar burung
    – rumor
  • kambing (goat) + hitam (black) = kambing hitam
    – scapegoat
  • kuda (horse) + hitam (black) = kuda hitam
    – dark horse
  • buaya (crocodile) + darat (land) = buaya darat
    – womanizer
  • lintah (bloodsucker) + darat (land) = lintah darat
    – loan sharks
  • akal (mind) + kancil (mouse deer) = akal kancil
    – cunning mind (related to Indonesian folklore about mouse deer that love to steal)
  • ayam (chicken) + kampus (campus) = ayam kampus
    – immoral female college student
  • mati (die) + ayam (chicken) = mati ayam
    – silly dead
  • tidur (sleep) + tidur (sleep) + ayam (chicken) = tidur-tidur ayam
    – unsound sleep
  • otak (brain) + udang (shrimp) = otak udang
    – very stupid
  • mengadu (contest) + domba (sheep) = mengadu domba
    – (to) provoke
  • lidah (tongue) + buaya (crocodile) = lidah buaya
    – aloe vera
  • kumis (mustache) + kucing (cat) = kumis kucing
    – a type of medicinal herb
  • membabi ((to) pig) + buta (blind) = membabi buta
    – doing something reckless 

Phrase related to Plant Parts

  • bunga (flower) + desa (village) = bunga desa
    – the most beautiful girl in the village
  • bunga (flower) + bangkai (corpse) = bunga bangkai
    Titan arum, Indonesian endemic flower which its odor smells like rotting corpse
  • daun (leaf) + pintu (door) = daun pintu
    – outer part of door
  • daun (leaf) + telinga (ear) = daun telinga
    – earlobe (outer part of ear)
  • naik (up) + daun (leaf) = naik daun
    – currently famous
  • buah (fruit) + tangan (hand) = buah tangan
    – souvenir
  • buah (fruit) + pena (pen) = buah pena
    – literary works
  • buah (fruit) + bibir (lips) = buah bibir
    – a person/ phenomena that become popular topic in people conversation
  • batang (stem) + hidung (nose) = batang hidung
    – an idiom to signify people as a whole (it is part of language style)
  • sebatang (a stem) + kara (a type of plant) sebatang kara
    – live alone
  • lidah (tounge) + bercabang (branches) = lidah bercabang
    – untrusworthy because he/she easily changes his/her words

There are still more to add in this mini Indonesian Language Phrase Book. I hope you will dig deeper! But, you can also check these very interesting and useful articles. It definitely will help!