Bahasa Indonesia is the national and official language of Indonesia and is used in the entire country. It is the language of official communication, taught in schools and used for broadcast in electronic and digital media. Most Indonesians also have their own ethnic language and dialect, with the most widely spoken being Javanese and Sundanese. Some ethnic Chinese communities continue to speak various Chinese dialects, most notably Hokkien in Medan and Teochew in Pontianak.
English is not widely spoken, however, an acceptable level of English can be understood in a number of major cities and tourists’ destinations including Bali, Batam, Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, and Yogyakarta. Moreover, most hotel and airline staff can also communicate in English on a basic to moderate level.
Indonesian pronunciation is relatively easy to master. Each letter always represents the same sound and most letters are pronounced the same as their English counterparts. The following are examples of some of the common phrases in Bahasa Indonesia that can be useful in conversation: