Some people seem to believe that “bahasa” is the name of the language, or at least part of the language so that strange combinations are coined such as “bahasa Indonesian”. Bahasa is not the name of any language, it simply means ‘language’. In Malay, the Malay (or better: Malaysian) language is called “bahasa Melayu” (or “bahasa Malaysia”). The same is true in Indonesia. In Indonesian, the name of the language is “bahasa Indonesia” (literally: Indonesian language). As you can see, “bahasa” is written with a small b. This is because it is not part of the name. The correct translation of bahasa Indonesia is ‘Indonesian’ or ‘the Indonesian language’. Note that the use of bahasa is not restricted to Indonesian or Malay. In Indonesian, and also in Malay, English is called bahasa Inggris.

So, please, if you ask for a quote, don’t ask “Can you translate that into bahasa?” but instead specify what target language you need.

If you want to learn more about the relationship between Malaysian and Indonesian, you may wish to read Dr. Quinn’s short essay on the history of Malay and Indonesian.

At Bahasa.Net we can offer translations for the following language combinations: