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Lesson 1  Greetings

 Bahasa Indonesia is a very interesting and fun language to learn. Even the slightest effort will bring out smiles from the locals. Usually, they will comment, “Waah, sudah bisa bahasa Indonesia!” Literally means, “already can bahasa Indonesia”. Therefore, the first thing to learn is friendly greetings. Jadi, yang pertama dipelajari adalah ucapan selamat yang ramah.


Below the greetings in Indonesian and the time you may want to use it:

·      Halo! Hello! Kids like to say, “Halo, Mister”, and often for men and women alike.

·      Selamat pagi. Good morning (before 11 a.m.)

·      Selamat siang. Good day/noon

(after 11 a.m up to 3 p.m.)

·      Selamat sore. Good afternoon.

(after 3 p.m. up to 6 p.m)

·      Selamat malam. Good night. (after 6 p.m.)

·      We say “Apa kabar?” (“How are you?”), only to greet people that we already knew.

Q    :   Apa  kabar? (How are you?)

A    :   Baik-baik saja, terimakasih. 

           (Fine, thank you.)

            Baik sekali! (Very good!)

            Lumayan. (I’m okay.)

            Kurang baik. (Not really good.)

            Saya sakit. (I’m sick.)


Conversation/ percakapan

Sinta    :   Selamat pagi, Rama!

Rama  :   Hai, Sinta! Selamat pagi.  Apa kabar?

Sinta    :   Baik-baik saja. Bagaimana denganmu?

Rama  :   Aku juga baik-baik saja.


In daily conversation, people in Indonesia are happy to greet people. The greeting words are mostly form in question words.


For example, if Sinta see her neighbor passes her house, she will greet her/him by asking: “Mau kemana, Bu/Pak?” (Where are you going, Mam/Sir?) or 

“Dari mana, Bu/Pak?”(Where were you, Mam/Sir?) .

It‘s common and polite. It is also a form of hospitality.

In fact, sometimes it is all right to greet stranger like in the bus, train etc with “Mau kemana?” or “Dari mana?”.


Selamat is an extremely useful word in Indonesian. You can use it in association with many words to form greetings and to wish someone “ a happy...”something.


1.    Practice the conversation above.

2.    Make another similar conversation in Bahasa Indonesia with your partner.

General Indonesian Greeting Phrases



Hi! Hello!

Hai! Halo!


Selamat datang!

Good morning

Selamat pagi

Good day

Selamat siang

Good afternoon

Selamat siang

Good evening

Selamat sore

Good night

Selamat malam

Peace be upon you

Salam sejahtera (general)

Assalamu’alaikum (moslem)

Hello my friend!

Halo temanku!

How are you?

Apa kabar? (informal)

Bagaimana kabar Anda? (formal)

I’m fine, thank you

Baik-baik saja, terima kasih

And you?

Bagaimana denganmu? (informal)

Bagaimana dengan Anda? (formal)



Not so good

Tidak begitu baik

What’s new?

Ada kabar baru?

Nothing’s new

Tidak ada yang baru

Long time no see

Lama tidak berjumpa/bertemu

Come in! (inviting to enter a room/house)

Mari masuk/Silahkan masuk

Make yourself at home

Anggap saja rumah anda sendiri.









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