In Bali, there are 3 main languages spoken, each with a slightly different role or purpose.
Because Bali is a major tourist destination both for Indonesians and people all over the world, you are likely to hear different languages depending on where you go.
Read on to find out what languages are spoken in Bali, Indonesia!
The Balinese Language
The Balinese language is spoken on the island and is different from the national language of Indonesian.
It is much older than ‘Bahasa Indonesia’ and is related to the different castes involved in Balinese and Hindu culture.
The main point about the caste system is that Balinese people use different forms of address for people depending on their level in Balinese society, or caste.
For example, one person might be considered to be at a low level (or caste) in society and so would be referred to as simply ‘you’, while someone much higher up might be referred to as a more formal ‘one’ i.e. ‘Would one like some orange juice?’.
Although it sounds funny to English speakers, it isn’t that different to how things were in the English language not so long ago!
Indonesian or Bahasa Indonesia
The next most common language spoken in Bali is, unsurprisingly, Indonesian.
The Indonesian language, or bahasa indonesia, as it is known in the native tongue, is a relatively new language.
It was invented to unite the new nation of Indonesia back in the mid 20th century and is a relatively simple language.
In fact, just about anyone you speak to will tell you that all of the other languages of Indonesia are much harder to learn than “bahasa”.
This language is most often used by people from different islands talking to each other as a common language, or lingua franca.
Many younger Indonesians do not speak the language of their island, for a variety of reasons, and prefer to learn English instead.
However, just about every Indonesian can speak bahasa, even though it is not as deeply rooted in the culture as many might assume.
English is Widely Spoken in Bali
Unsurprisingly, English is widely spoken in Bali, Indonesia.
Bali’s tourism industry dates back to the 1930s, when the first major hotels were built on Kuta Beach.
The locals are also keen to speak English as they see the opportunity it provides in terms of business and lifestyle.
In modern-day Bali, speaking English is also considered to be a sign of good education and is something which many aspire to do.
In short, if you are going to Bali with only English – you will be absolutely fine as the locals will do their best to accomodate!
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Other Languages Spoken in Bali, Indonesia
There are many other languages spoken in Bali, from all over Indonesia to all over the world.
You can find tour guides in Bali speaking many different languages, such as Japanese, French, Russian, German and so on.
You will not have difficulty finding just about any language you need!