Do you speak bahasa?

Excuse me, do you speak bahasa?

Humm.. I often hear non-indonesians refer to indonesian language as bahasa. “do you speak bahasa?” foreigners in Indonesia ask each other, in Russia and some europe country, I found out that some indonesian refer their own language as bahasa as well. And very sadly, some indonesian also do the same thing! :( Come on, you are the expert there, you should know so well that’s it’s wrong ;)

Oke, now I tell you this, In english bahasa is translated as “language”(refers to Indonesian-English dictionary by John M Echols 3rd edition p.41)

for example, I speak bahasa inggris(English), bahasa indonesia(Indonesian), and bahasa rusia(Russian). All languages are bahasa, everybody in the world speak bahasa, of course their own bahasa.

The word bahasa doesn’t mean anything but “language“. If you want to use Indonesian word for “Indonesian”(language) then use the complete term “Bahasa Indonesia

So, asking

“Do you speak Indonesian?”

is much much better than

“Do you speak bahasa


23 thoughts on “Do you speak bahasa?”

  1. Pertamax diamankan! :P
    Bener juga ya *baru sadar*, mungkin emang gak “srek” kalau kedengeran sama anak sastra, “Do you speak bahasa?” eheuheu.. :D Btw tukeran link donk Gie :P

  2. yes … I notice that most of the expatriate use that sentence … I don’t know why … :-o

    btw … if you have time, please fill couple question in my questioner …

  3. blaagh!! [-( I always use this “Do u speak Indonesian” kind of question if I met someone that seemed cannot speak Indonesian. BUT, why do many people use “do u speak bahasa?” for asking the other?? weird! l-)

  4. ya…, i also found the word “do you speak bahasa?” when my expert teacher speak with me. I don’t know why she asking the word BAHASA, not Indonesian Languange.

    But, BAHASA is commonly used word than people who said “Indonesian Languange” word.

    BTW, this is a very nice article and i like it so much…
    i’am enjoying to read this one

    from your blogger friend

  5. Hmmm… akhirnya ada yang tulis tentang hal ini. Sudah lama pertanyaan ini cukup menggelitik rasa ingin tahu saya. Apa benar kata “Bahasa” itu? Sy pernah menonton pembawa acara TV One dan Metro TV bertanya kepada narsum bule dgn kalimat ini. Oh iya, salam kenal!

  6. hahaha…but in my office, excactly in the place where i took an english course…our instructors, native speakers usually ask that were we speak bahasa, not were we speak Indonesian and sometimes they said :”because of you aren’t understand what we has spoken then i will speak in bahasa!”
    hahaha :)

  7. Udah familiar dengan “do you speak bahasa?” mba, walaupun secara arti ngaco, tapi yang penting maknanya dah :D

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