Guide and Common Phrases of Balinese Language

Guide and Common Phrases of Balinese Language

So far, maybe most of us who have come to Bali just see its natural beauty. Without realizing it, our ears often hear words that are common Balinese phrases and languages when we visit there. It could also be because we usually hear these words that we don’t even notice that they are common phrases in Balinese.

Indeed, quite a number of phrases in Balinese are commonly used. If we want to be more friendly with the locals, apart from getting to know the beautiful natural scenery of Bali, we also need to know in general the terms and common phrases in Balinese language that are often used in everyday conversation.

One of the goals is for the Balinese people to feel that they are valued, not just being explored by tourist attractions. Humans, in this case the Balinese people, are also part of the “tour package” in Bali. So that we can be closer to the local community when visiting Bali tours, it’s good to start getting to know their language.

Things You Need to Know About Balinese Language

History of Balinese Language

History of Balinese Language - Guide and Common Phrases of Balinese Language

Balinese language is part of the Austronesian language which is a branch of Sundicese, or more specifically Balinese-Sasak. It should be noted that the Austronesian language is not only used in the daily conversation of the Balinese people but also applies in the Lombok region, especially in the western part.

Besides that, it is also used as the language of the Javanese people in the far east, for example Banyuwangi. So don’t be surprised if you hear people speaking Balinese even though you are not in Bali.

Influence of Javanese Language

Influence of Javanese Language -  Guide and Common Phrases of Balinese Language

In a lot of literature, we can see and find that quite a number of phrases in Balinese are very similar to Javanese. This shows that the Balinese language has a lot of influence from the Javanese language. This is indeed a common thing considering that geographically Bali Island is very close to Java Island.

In addition, according to history, Bali Island was once one of the areas conquered by Gadjah Mada (Governor of Majapahit Kingdom) who also brought Javanese there. Although in fact many of the vocabulary in Balinese is more similar to Malay, the influence of the conquest by Gadjah Mada has made Balinese pronunciation similar to Javanese.


Also read: An Ultimate Guide to The Beautiful Balinese Traditional House


Common Terms in Balinese Language

Naming

Naming - Guide and Common Phrases of Balinese Language

You must have heard the terms Made, Kadek, Ketut, and other names from Balinese too often. Those of us who don’t know, will think that it is just a greeting or an ordinary term for Balinese people.

In fact, it’s not like that. In Bali, children are named using birth order such as Eko, Dwi, Tri, and others in Java. Plus, the names are still differentiated for boys and girls.

Boys Names

Boys Name - Guide and Common Phrases of Balinese Language
  • Names for the first child usually use Gede, Wayan, Putu
  • The second child‘s name uses Made or Nengah
  • The third child‘s name uses Nyoman or Komang
  • The name of the fourth child uses Ketut

Girls Names

Girls Name - Guide and Common Phrases of Balinese Language
  • The name for the first child usually uses the addition “Luh” before Gede, Wayan, Putu
  • The second child‘s name uses Kadek
  • The third child‘s name uses Nyoman or Komang
  • The name of the fourth child uses Ketut

After the fourth child will repeat again like the first child for the fifth child and so on.

Name of Person by Social Class

Name of  Person by Social Class - Guide and Common Phrases of Balinese Language

In Balinese society, the term caste is recognized due to the influence of Hinduism which is adhered to by the majority of the people there. Included in the naming of offspring.

  • The Brahman class which is the highest caste usually uses the name Ida Bagus or Ida Ayu
  • The Knights class who are descendants of officials (priyayi) usually have names with the prefix Anak Agung, Cokorda, Gusti, or Desak.
  • The Vesya class which is the descendant of merchants usually uses the prefix Ngakan, Kompyang, Si, or Sang
  • The Sudra class which is the lowest level in the social order does not add any names but usually goes directly to the names according to the birth order such as Made, Putu, Kadek and others.

Also read: Immerse Yourself in Bali with Balinese Greetings and Phrases


Common Phrases in Balinese Language

Common Phrases in Balinese Language - Guide and Common Phrases of Balinese Language

Learning daily conversation in a Balinese language ​​can be a great way to mingle more with Balinese people.

1. Rahajeng Semeng

Rahajeng Semeng is a Balinese greeting. It means ‘Good Morning’. For daytime, the stay is changed to ‘Rahajeng Siang’ or night and evening, ‘Rahajeng Malam’ and ‘Rahajeng Sore’.

2. Kenken Kabare

This phrase has the meaning of ‘How are you?’. So if you want to ask how are people doing, just say this phrase.

3. Matur Suksma

In Balinese, ‘Matur Suksma’ means ‘Thank You’. You can also abbreviate it as ‘Suksma’. Don’t forget to say this after getting help in Bali!

4. Pole Tresna Ajak Adi

So, if you fall in love with a woman in Bali, you can try this sentence. These are Balinese words for boyfriend, meaning “I love you (sister)”.

Guide and Common Phrases of Balinese Language

5. Aji Kuda Niki

The Balinese language is very useful when shopping. ‘Aji Kuda Niki’ means ‘How much is this’ or you can abbreviate it as ‘Kuda Niki’.

6. Ngudiang

If you want to make small talk with friends, you can ask ‘What are you doing?’ or in Balinese ‘Ngudiang’. When a friend is going for a walk he will definitely answer ‘melali’ which means ‘traveling’.

7. Dija

Want to ask the location of your friend in Balinese? Try asking with the word ‘Dija?’ which means ‘where’. Guaranteed he will answer the location right away.

Guide and Common Phrases of Balinese Language

Also read: 6 Must-Visit Balinese Traditional Villages for Authentic Experience

8. Om Swastiastu

Last but not least, Om Swastiastu is a very common phrase in the Balinese language; it literally means ‘hello’. Thus, if you want to greet Balinese you should say this phrase the first time before you say anything.


So, those are all the common knowledge and common phrases of the Balinese language that you may find on a daily basis. If you are in Bali and you want to be more friendly with the locals, may this could help you understand more and improve your Balinese language! Always have respect for the locals and their culture, or as they say – when in Bali, do as the Balinese do! See you in Bali, Flokqers!

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