10 Basic Balinese Words to Know
With over 1600 languages used all over Indonesia, Bali itself has its own language spoken. Most of the 3 million people living in Bali speak Bahasa (means ‘language’) Bali, Bahasa Indonesia and English. And while Bahasa Indonesia is the most common spoken language on the Island and the official Indonesian language, you can still hear the local Balinese speak their own language in the streets.
Unlike Bahasa Indonesia, Bahasa Bali is a very tough language for foreigners to master. For example there are unusual sounds as words start with ‘ng’. There are also different ways how to communicate between the casts and clan members.
In Bali there are four casts : Brahmana, Ksatria, Waisya and Sudra and the Balinese language is used in a different form depending to whom you are talking to. There are three levels of language which are Bali Alus (highest level), Bali Madya (middle level) and Bali Sor (lowest level) but in daily life and amongst friends Bali Madya and Bali Sor are spoken.
While you don’t actually need to learn the Balinese language (because almost every inhabitant speaks Indonesian as well) it will certainly please the locals if you know the basic words to say. So here are 10 basic words you can learn before you come to Bali!
1. Good Morning – Rahajeng Semeng
2. Good Evening – Rahajeng Wengi
3. Thank you – Suksma
4. My name is Lisa – Wastan tiang Lisa
5. How are you? – Punapi gatra?
6. I am fine – Tiang becik-becik
7. Where are you going? – Kal kija?
8. I am from Australia – Tiang uling Australia
9. What time is it? – Jam kuda niki?
10. How much? – Aji kuda niki?
Got any other Balinese words you’ve learnt and would like to share? Leave them in the comments section so we can know too!