Common Indonesian Questions and How to Answer Them

Indonesians love to ask questions to foreigners as a form of ice-breaker and to show friendliness. Learning Indonesian questions not only allows you to connect with locals, but also exposes you to the structure of the language and culture of the people. For example, when Indonesians ask you “Mau ke mana?” = Where are you going? (literally: Want to where?), they do not actually want to know where you are heading; but rather it is a common small talk to open up a conversation. 

Indonesian Question Words

Before we jump into common questions and how to answer them, let’s learn question words in Indonesian. 

No.Question WordMeaningExample
1ApaWhatApa ini? (What’s this?)
2SiapaWhoSiapa dia? (Who is he?)
Siapa nama Anda? (What’s your name)
3BerapaHow much, how many, (questions about numbers)Berapa harganya? (How much is the price?)Berapa orang? (How many people?)Berapa nomer HPnya? (What is your phone number?)
4KapanWhenKapan mau pulang? (When do you want to go home?)
5KenapaWhyKenapa suka Bali? (Why do you like Bali?)
6Gimana (informal) bagaimana (formal)HowGimana akhir pekannya? (How was your weekend?)Bagaimana liburannya? (How was your holiday?)
7Di manaWhere (in)Tinggal di mana? (Where do you live?)
8Dari manaFrom whereKamu dari mana? (Where are you from?)
9Ke manaTo whereMau ke mana? (Where do you want to go?)
10Yang manaWhich oneMau yang mana? (Which one do you want?)
11Apakah (formal)Apa (informal, short form)yes/no questionsApakah Anda kerja di sini? (Do you work here?)Apa dia guru? (Is he/she a teacher?)
Question words in Indonesian

Position of Question Words 

As you notice from the examples above, some question words are put in the beginning, and others at the end of the sentence. This was deliberately done as the word positions above are natural for Indonesian ears and simpler in structure. It is therefore recommended to follow the structures above for now.

Common Questions in Indonesian

Once you familiarize yourself with Indonesian question words, let’s get to the juicy part: common questions asked by the locals and how you should respond to them. Our list below is made up of casual questions you hear in daily conversations among Indonesians. 

From strangers or people you just met

No.QuestionPossible Answers
1Apa kabar? (How are you?) Baik-baik (Fine)Lumayan (not too bad/so-so)
2Tinggal di mana? (Where do you live? Di Canggu (in Canggu)
3Dari mana? / Asalnya dari mana? (where are you from?/ Where are you from originally?)Dari Australia (from Australia)Saya berasal dari Amerika (I’m originally from the United States of America)
4Mau ke mana? (Where are you going?) literally = want to whereJalan-jalan saja (just going for a walk)
Cari angin (just wandering around) literally = looking for the wind
5Sudah berapa lama di Indonesia? (How long have you been in Indonesia?)Sudah dua tahun (It’s been two years)
Sudah lama (It’s been a while)
6Sudah berkeluarga? (Have you married? Literally: Already have a family?)
Sudah nikah? (Are you married? Literally: Already married?)
Sudah (already)
Belum (not yet)
7Kerja di mana? (Where do you work?) Di Jakarta (in Jakarta)
Kerja online (work online) 
8Suka Indonesia? (Do you like Indonesia? Literally: Like Indonesia?)Suka sekali (Like it very much)
Biasa saja (so-so)
Tidak suka (don’t like) 
9Sudah punya anak? (Have you got a child?)Anaknya sudah berapa? (How many kids do you have? Literally: Your kids already how many?)Sudah (already) Belum (not yet)
Baru satu (Just one) 
10Keluarga di sini semua? (Is your family here?)Ya, mereka tinggal sama saya (yes, they live with me)
Tidak, mereka di Australia (No, they are in Australia)
Common Indonesian questions when you meet new people

In a restaurant or warung (diner/smaller restaurant)

No.QuestionPossible Answer 
1Berapa orang? (how many people?)Tiga orang (three people)
2Bungkus atau makan di sini? (takeway or dine in? Literally: wrap or eat here?)Makan di sini (eat here)
3Mau pesan apa? (What do you want to order? Literally: Want to order what?)Saya mau pesan nasi goreng (I want to order friend rice) 
4Lauknya apa? (what side dishes do you want?)Ayam, telur, dan sayur (chicken, eggs, and vegetables)
5Mau bayar pake apa? (How do you want to pay? Literally: want to pay using what?)Cash saja (just cash) Pake kartu kredit (using a credit card)
6Ada toilet? (Any toilet?)Ada Pak, di sebelah sana (Yes sir, there is, over there)
7Berapa totalnya? (How much is the total?)200,000/dua ratus ribu rupiah
Questions during ordering food

While shopping 

No.QuestionPossible Answer 
1Ada yang bisa dibantu? (Anything we can help with?) Saya cari celana (I’m looking for pants) 
2Ada baju warna merah? (Any red top?)Ada Bu/Pak (Yes, there is, ma’am/sir)Maaf, tidak ada (Sorry, not available)
3Ada ukuran L? (Any L size?) Same as above
4Berapa harganya? (how much is the price?) Rp150,000/seratus lima puluh ribu rupiah
Questions when shopping for clothes

That’s it for common Indonesian questions. Familiarize yourself with the examples above, and you will be ready to make small talk and hold a basic conversation in Indonesian. If you want to put your skill into practice, our private online classes are always available for you.

By Jembatan Bahasa

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