5 Javanese Words and Phrases for Your Trip to Jogja

Five javanese words and phrases for tourists to mingle with local people in jogja

If we talk about a vacation in a foreign country, we can’t separate it from cultural experiences someone will get during his or her vacation. Thus, visiting a foreign country and being able to speak its language will definitely open more opportunities to mingle with local people. This rule works in Jogja as well. It will surely enrich your social and cultural experiences if you are able to speak Javanese. 

Are you able to speak Javanese? No? Well, knowing a few words in Javanese will certainly color your interaction with local people. I often see how people get excited when they are talking or listening to a tourist who makes efforts to say a few words in the local language.  The local people will appreciate the effort the tourist has made.

As you probably have heard, Jogja is famous for its hospitality. People are warm and they like to greet one another. Some people do not hesitate to even say hi to foreigners although their English is probably limited. So, if you would like to get more interaction with the local ones, here are 5 words/phrases in Javanese to use during your visit in Jogja :

  1. Matur nuwunMatur nuwun means thank you in English.
  2. InggihInggih means yes in English.
  3. MbotenYou probably find this word difficult to pronounce. Mboten means no. You can refuse an offer by saying, “Mboten, matur nuwun.”  as a polite refusal.
  4. MonggoThe word monggo can be applied to more than one situation. You can use the word monggo to greet people but this word is not really a replacement for “hello” or “hi”. You can say monggo to the local people you know while passing them by as in monggo ….(fill in the blank with a name) to show generosity. This word is perfect as well to invite someone to do something as in monggo dahar (let’s eat), monggo ngunjuk (let’s drink), and monggo pinarak (let’s come in). You can say a short monggo as a statement to give permission as well. For example, somebody asks to borrow your newspaper and as an agreement, you say, “Monggo.”
  5.  Nyuwun pangapuntenWhen you make a mistake and you need to apologize for it, nyuwun pangapunten is the right word to speak it. Nyuwun pangapunten means "I am sorry/ I apologize.

You just got your 5 Javanese words and phrases. Maybe you find it difficult to say but don’t give up because there’s a famous saying that says practice makes perfect! Oh yeah! Wink! Hahaha…

What do you think about the Javanese words and phrases above? Do you think you can remember them all? What’s your favorite one among those five?  Please share in the comment section below.

I do hope what I share today is informative and useful for you who have a plan to visit Jogja. The Javanese words and phrases I mentioned above can be applied as well when you are in both East and Central Java. Oh, if you are in Central Java, you probably would like to visit Selo to enjoy nature’s beauty and chill there or go to Gua Maria Gantang in Muntilan

That’s all I have for now. Thank you for taking the time to read. I hope the COVID-19 pandemic will be over soon.  Stay healthy and stay positive.  Warm regards from Jogja and see ya next time!

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