In Daily Annoyance on November 5, 2007 at 5:08 pm

And while we’re at it, I just want to scream something out loud to all non-Indonesians out there:

Our language is the BAHASA INDONESIA, people! NOT just BAHASA!

I couldn’t help but feel very irritated whenever I come across this common mistake. Bahasa is Indonesian for “Language”. It’s pretty annoying to hear somebody say: “Yeah I don’t speak Bahasa.” Bahasa WHAT, exactly? It’s like saying “Yeah I don’t speak Language.” Stupid, isn’t it? The safer way is to say “No, I don’t speak Indonesian.” Because we are Indonesian and we have a language called the Indonesian language or Bahasa Indonesia.

Should you decide to refer to our language using the Bahasa term, you might as well add ‘Indonesia‘ at the end. It makes more sense and it’s the right way to say it.


  1. maybe there is a language called “bahasa”… just “bahasa” hehehe

  2. well, it’s my experience that most indonesians when speaking to westerners, say Bahasa Indonesia!!

    me myself, I just say “Indonesian” ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. sorry — i meant most indoensians, say “bahasa” when referring to their language…

  4. i read about this in Intisari some years ago and have been using “Bahasa Indonesia” ever since. not only because it is the right thing to say, but also to educate ppl out there who still use that “Bahasa” term. especially the ones who use that for ‘kerenkerenan’.

    great to know that great minds think alike.. i mean, not only in silly stuff.. haha! ๐Ÿ˜›

  5. bebe: and maybe that language came from a country named ‘negara’ ๐Ÿ˜›

    John: yeah, the uber stupid ones and the ones who expect expats to see how SMART they are. you’re saying it right! ๐Ÿ˜€

    PoppieS: great minds think alike indeed! HAHAHAHHAHAAHKAKAKKK! eh, when are you going to Bali? why are you still around lurking on people’s sites? go have your holiday! ๐Ÿ˜€

  6. Thank you for the post!!! hihihihihi….

    John is right though. I’ve seen this “bahasa” nonsense being used by fellow Indonesians as well when speaking to their foreign counterparts. I almost always got this sudden urge buat nempeleng everytime I hear the word “bahasa” spoken incorrectly and in a “chincha lowra” accent.


  7. lotsa foreigners here in NL just so proud when they understood which language I spoke. “AH you’re Indonesian. You speak Bahasa”. and i tell you it ain’t once or twice or thrice, it was like thousand times :p

  8. one of my pet peeves too… grrrr..

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