Bahasa is a Malay word which literally means ‘language’.
Therefore, Bahasa Indonesia and Bahasa Melayu may be translated as ‘Indonesian Language’ and ‘Malay Language’, respectively.
I took a course on Bahasa Indonesia to comply with the language course of my Master’s Program in Asian Studies at the University of the Philippines. To supplement my language class and to enhance my proficiency in speaking the language, I enlisted at the Bahasa Indonesia Short Course offered by the Indonesian Embassy in Makati. Moreover, to also acquaint myself with Indonesian and Malayan culture, I did not only visit Jakarta and Singapore but also joined an international speech contest in Bahasa Melayu, “Pidato Antara Bangsa Melayu” in 2011 sponsored by the Malaysian Government. The competition was broadcasted live nationwide and in some Southeast Asian countries.
The Philippines is considered part of the Malay world and Filipinos had strong economic, cultural and political ties with Sumatra, Sabah, Kalimantan and Java centuries before the Spanish colonization. Most of the time, Filipinos are not aware that many local languages and dialects, including Tagalog, are Malay in origin. In fact, many words used in Philippine languages are the same both in spelling and in meaning in Bahasa Melayu. This is the reason why it is quite easy for Filipinos to learn Bahasa Indonesia/Bahasa Melayu. Here are some example of words and common phrases that one can you when traveling to Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, East Timur, Papua, and Singapore. They generally pronounced in the same way as they are read in Tagalog. The only exception is “C” is pronounced as “ch.”
Selamat – congratulations, be safe, be happy
Selamat datang – welcome
Sama-sama – you are welcome
Apa – what
Aku – me Bulan – month
Saya – me Tahun – year
Engkau – you Tanggal – date
Kamu – you Hari – day
Kami – we Pagi – morning
Itu – the, that, those, it Tenga hari – midday, noon
Ini – the, this, these Minggu- week
Dapat – could Sampai – until
Lagi – again
Alamat – address Satu – one
Mahal – expensive Dua – two
Mura – cheap Empat – four
Baru – new Lima – five
Sakit– sick Enam – six
Lembut – soft Sepuluh – ten
Kurang – less, lack Ribu – thousand
Hitam – black Laksa – ten thousands
Putih – white
Visit our portal regularly for more free Bahasa Indonesia lessons for Filipinos and other informative articles.