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Based on the Malay trade dialect, Bahasa Indonesia is the national language of the Republic of Indonesia. It has been developed to unite the over 250 million people of Indonesia, whose native tongue may be one of the over 300 distinct languages or regional dialects. When it comes to the priority rule in Indonesia, believe it or not, it is about being polite.

While it may be technically possible for you to successfully complete your internship program, it is highly recommended that you obtain a basic to intermediate knowledge of the Indonesian national language prior or during your stay. An inability to communicate in Bahasa Indonesia, just like elsewhere in the world, will cut you off from the mainstream of society. By not learning the language, you also deny yourself the rich cultural experience of fully communicating with those from another culture. It might also lose you some money as Indonesian people love to bargain.

Indonesians are appreciative of foreigners that make the effort to learn Bahasa Indonesian and build relationships with them. Both business and personal relationships with Indonesians will improve because of the effort made to learn their language.

How to catch some Bahasa Indonesia before your arrival?

Well, the best would be start with a great offer!*

Cinta Bahasa is an Indonesian and Balinese Language School in Bali founded by Stephen & Ochie DeMeulenaere. Stephen is from Canada and came to Indonesia in 2000 to volunteer with an Indonesian NGO in central Java, and Ochie is from Padang, Sumatra. Both Stephen and Ochie taught language in public schools and universities, and both understood that a new methodology was needed for teaching Indonesian language to help improve relations between foreigners and Indonesians.

Unlike other schools in Indonesia, instead of overwhelming you in the beginning with grammar and awkward formal speech, at Cinta Bahasa you will learn the language that you will hear wherever you go in Indonesia. Of course we do teach formal language if and when it is needed. The results have been fantastic, with many students learning online from overseas and coming to learn with Cinta Bahasa at their main school located in Bali.

If you are interested in taking few Skype classes before you arrive, please visit the main website www.cintabahasa.com, and the online learning website www.speakingindonesian.com


Useful phrases

There are several great things about Indonesian language. Firstly, it is written in roman letters, like many western languages. Secondly, words are spelled as they sound, so there is no confusing spellings. Thirdly, all verbs are in the present tense; past and future are described using the same verb tense. For example, in Eglish we would say: "Yesterday I went to the store, now I go to the store and tomorrow I will go to the store." In Indonesian, you would say: "Yesterday I go to store, now I go to store and tomorrow I go to store." This simplicity allows for much more interesting uses for the language, which the Indonesians do very well.

How much/many - Berapa [ber-ra-pa]

I want to go... - Saya mau ke [sigh-yah mow (as in cow) ke] 

I want ..... - Saya mau [sigh-yah mow]

I don’t want... - Saya tidak mau [sigh-yah ti-duck mow]

No - Tidak [ti-duck]  

No, thank you - Tidak, terima kasih [ti-duck, ter-ri-mah ka-see] 

Please (when asking for help/bargaining) - Tolong [toh-long]

Thank You - Terima Kasih [ter-ree-mar ka-see] 

Two people - Dua orang [do-ah or-rung]

Where is ... - Di mana [dee mah-nah] 

You’re welcome - Kembali [kem-bali] 

Berapa harganya? = what does it cost/how much is it? 

Jam berapa? = what time is it?

Di mana? = where?

How to get there? = Bagaimana caranya kesana?

What is it? = Apa ini?

bantu/membantu = help/helping (others)

tolong = help!  

mau ke.... = want to go to....

di mana Jalan (Jl.)... ? = Where is Jalan...?

Jalan = street or walk

Hati hati = be careful / go carefully

cepat cepat (che-pat) = Hurry

dari = come from....

mau... = want to ...

Chemist/Pharmacy = Apotik [ah-pot-tick] / Apotek [ah-pot-take]

Excuse = Permisi [per-m e-see] 

Expensive = Mahal [mah-hahl]

Good morning (until 11am)  - Selamat pagi [se-lah-mutt pa-ghee]

Good afternoon (until 3pm) - Selamat siang [se-la-mutt see-ahng]

Good evening (until 6pm)  - Selamat sore [se-la-mutt sore-ray]

Good night (at night from 6pm ish) -  Selamat malam [se-la-mutt mah-lahm]

Good night (before going to bed) - Selamat tidur [se-la-mutt ti-dur]


1 - Satu [sah-too]

2 - Dua [doo-ah)

3- Tiga [ti-gah]

4- Empat [em-patt)

5- Lima [lee-ma)]

6- Enam [e-nam]

7- Tujuh [too-joo]

8- Delapan [del ah-pahn]

9- Sembilan [sem-bi-lahn]

10 - Sepuluh [se poo-loo]

*Enroll now and enjoy the 15% discount granted to all Internship-Indonesia program participants for both Skype and in-house classes!


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