Indonesian Phrases

Here are a few Indonesian words and phrases.

1. Salutation/Greetings

Halo, apa kabar? = Hi, how are you?
Selamat pagi = Good morning (until about 11 am)
Selamat siang = Good (early) afternoon (until about 3 pm)
Selamat sore/petang = Good (late) afternoon
Good (early) evening
Selamat malam = Good evening
Good night
Selamat datang = Welcome
Mari (formal)
Ayo (informal)
= Good bye*
Sampai nanti = See you later  
Sampai jumpa = See you next time


  • 'Good bye' for long trips or when people will not see each other for a long time:
    1) Selamat tinggal ('good bye' by the one departing)
    2) Selamat jalan ('good bye' by the one staying)

2. Holidays

Selamat Tahun Baru = Happy New Year
Selamat Hari Raya Idul Fitri
Selamat Lebaran
= Happy Eid Al Fitr (Muslim holiday)
Selamat Hari Natal = Merry Christmas

3. Common Expressions

Terima kasih = Thank you      
Kembali, sama-sama = You're welcome
Selamat = Congratulations
Mau ke mana? = Where are you going? *
Dari mana?  = Where are you coming from? *  
Ya = Yes     
Tidak   = No*
Bukan  = No*


  • Indonesians who know each other will commonly greet each other with "Where are you going?" or "Where are you coming from?" Only when they have not seen each other for a long time they will use apa kabar (how are you)?
  • Tidak 'no' is used to negate adjective, verbal and prepositional phrases whereas bukan is used to negate noun phrases.

Source: George Quinn, The Indonesian Way. 2001

Published: Friday, July 23, 2010