Ways to Say Thank You in Bahasa Indonesia

Dictionary can give you translation of any word in other languages. However, it does not cover the natural use of the language. This post explores the way we Indonesians express thank you in Bahasa Indonesia.

In my first English class for adult, my teacher taught me some expressions which later I found out that those expressions are not commonly spoken by native English speakers. I got nothing on the dictionary. But some websites, podcasts, and videos explained them well.

In saying thank you in Bahasa Indonesia, you got nothing to find in the dictionary except “terima kasih”. Nothing is wrong with that expression. But Indonesians got some ways in expressing that. It depends on the degree of formality of the situation, to whom thank you will be addressed, etc.

Terima Kasih Banyak - Formal Situation

This expression literally means “thank you very much” or “thank you so much”. This expression is commonly uttered in such formal situation. However, it also useable in both less-formal and non-formal situations. But the most common situation to say ‘terima kasih banyak’ is in formal situation. You can find this expression uttered in formal situations.

Terima Kasih - Formal & Casual Situation

This is the magic word that I suggest you to say in every opportunity. This magic word could not only be said when someone helps you or when someone answers your question or when someone responds you. It is even said when someone greets you or when someone just smiles to you.

Makasih - Less Formal & Non-formal

Makasih is simply the ‘slank’ form of ‘terima kasih’. But remember, you can only say this to thank someone or people when you are in less formal or non-formal situation. Makasih applies in all areas - cities or districts - in Indonesia. People you thank would understand it.

Hand Gesture - Non-Formal

If it is impossible for you to say any expression above (such as in situation where someone you would like to thank is across the street), using hand gesture would be the the last option. If  possible, do not apply this method. But sometimes you will need it.

The way to say thank you using hand gesture is simply by raising your hand and show your right thumb. Remember, left and right hand matter. Right hand is commonly associated with politeness while the left is commonly associated with rude.

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