Basic Balinese language

The Balinese alphabet or Carakan descended ultimately from the from Brahmi script of ancient India by way of the Pallava and Old Kawi scripts. The oldest known inscriptions in the Balinese alphabet date from the 11th century AD, but they are thought to be reproductions of texts originally written on palm leaves at an earlier date.

The Balinese alphabet is still used to this day, although very few people are familiar with it and it is mainly used for religious works. Generally a version of the Latin alphabet is used instead, though what little Balinese printed material exists in the Latin alphabet consists mainly of school books, religious works and a few books of stories. Balinese children are taught to read and write Balinese in the Latin alphabet at primary school, though few read or write it in later life.

Balinese language is pretty much related to the caste system which still exist among Balinese society. The way you speak Balinese language is depending to whom you are talking to. There are 4 castes in Bali and they are Brahmana (the highest), Ksatria, Waisya and Sudra. You can not speak the same Balinese language when you talk to me (Sudra) and then talk to a Brahmana one. It is a taboo. In general there are three levels of Balinese language and they are Bali Alus (the highest level), Bali Madya (middle level) and Bali Sor (the lowest level). Bali Madya and Bali Sor are well spoken in Balinese daily life and can be used amongst friends. Here is one example of the difference between the three:

1. BaliAlus      : Sampun ngrayunang? (have you had your lunch/dinner?)

2. Bali Madya : Sampun Ngajeng? (same meaning)

3. Bali Sor       : Sube medaar? (same meaning)

Don’t worry about those three kinds of Balinese language. All you need is some basic expression in Balinese language which are commonly accepted Bali wide.



a.GoodMorning : Rahajeng Semeng

b.Good Evening : Rahajeng Wengi

c. Thank you : Suksma

d. Excuse me! : Sugra nggih!

e. My name is John : Wastan tiang John

f. How are you? : Punapi gatra?

g. I am fine : Tiang becik-becik

h. Good Bye : Pamit Nggih


Mad/angry/worries expression:

a. Damn! : Ndas bedag!

b. F*ck You! : Ndas Keleng Ci!

c. Oh my God! : Dewa ratu!

Basics daily expression.

a. Where have you been? : Dija mara?

b. Where are you going? : Kal kija?

c. I am from United States : Tiang uling Amerika

d. What time is it? : Jam kuda niki?

e. How much? : Aji kuda niki?