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Indonesia - Greetings

A brief start to prepare for your arrival in Indonesia

With more than 300 languages and dialects spoken in Indonesian, it is difficult to decide where to start learning! However, since Independence took place, the Indonesians have adopted Bahasa Indonesia as the national language. This allows expats a common ground on where to begin and you will be much respected in using the local greetings as follows. There are many parts of Indonesia where English is not spoken, so learning the language gives you a great advantage. In the business world, English is widely spoken.

Selamat datang    Welcome
Salamat pagi   Good morning
Selamat siang   Good day (11am until 2pm)
Selamat sore   Good day (3pm until dark)
Selamat malam   Good evening (after dark)
Selamat tidur    Good night  - it means sleep good, so only use if someone is going to bed
Selamat jalan    Good bye - it means go safely so use to someone who is going)
Selamat tinggal    Good bye - it means stay safely so use to a person when you are leaving

The language, although extensive in terms of vocabulary, is great to learn as it does not use tenses, so once you have mastered the grammar; it is just a case of learning vocabulary and understanding people, as the general consensus is that people speak very fast, merging many words.