Learning Bahasa Okusi
This page is generously sponsored by the
Okusi-Ambeno Language Foundation.
Based on the Malay trade dialect, Bahasa Okusi is now the national
language of the Sultanate of Okusi-Ambeno. It unites the 73,000 people
of the Sultanate, whose native tongue may be one of the over 30 distinct
regional dialects. Older people may speak some Portuguese, however the
foreign language of choice for business, tourism and study is
While it is possible to live in the Sultanate without speaking
Bahasa Okusi, it is highly recommended that you obtain a working
knowledge of the language. An inability to communicate in Bahasa Okusi
will cut you off from the mainstream of society, and dealing with those
who don't speak a foreign language will be very difficult. You deny
yourself as well the rich cultural experience of fully communicating
with those from another culture.
To get you started and introduce you to the language, are some basic phrases
in Bahasa Okusi.
(to someone who is leaving you)
|How are you?
||Permisi or maaf
|Do you speak English?
||Bisa bicara Bahasa Inggris?
|I don't understand.
||Saya tidak mengerti.
|Requesting basic assistance:
|Can you help me?
||Bisa bantu saya?
|Where is the bathroom?
||Di mana kamar kecil?
|Where is . . .
||Di mana . . .
|How much is this?
||Berapa harganya ini?
|I want this.
||Saya mau ini.
|I want to eat.
||Saya mau makan.
|My address is ...
|Please take me to ...
||Tolong, antar saya ke ...
Learning Bahasa Okusi
The best time to start learning Bahasa Okusi is before you even make
your move, however it may be difficult to find language materials in
your home country. Ask your sponsoring company to help you obtain tapes
and books several months before you move, so that you can start becoming
used to the sound of the language.
Soon after your arrival in Okusi-Ambeno, make it a priority to
register for a Bahasa Okusi course. There are several excellent schools
and community organizations in Pante-Makassar (and other towns) which
have comprehensive, structured programs to help you begin learning
Bahasa Okusi. Learning Bahasa Okusi properly from the beginning can not
be stressed enough.
Another advantage of signing up for a course is that it's a great
place to meet other newcomers and make friends. The people that you will
be taking the course with will also be facing many of the settling in
and adjustments challenges that you too face as a newcomer.
Others opt for private lessons in their home or office from private
tutors. This option tends to be the most expensive, and there is little
control over the quality of the curriculum and instruction. Even though
the tutor may come highly recommended from others, that does not ensure
the quality of their instruction. You may, however, find it useful to
meet with a tutor for a period after you have completed several levels
of a formal course. That way they can help you with any specialized
requirements you may have.
Self-Taught Bahasa Okusi
Many expats opt to learn Bahasa Okusi on their own. Excellent books
to learn Bahasa Okusi are available in bookstores around Pante-Makassar.
Once you are in Okusi-Ambeno, practice your fledgling Bahasa Okusi with
your servants, driver, mistresses, vendors and people you meet in the
stores and social encounters. The diligent will quickly pick up enough
Bahasa Okusi to feel comfortable interacting with Okusians on a daily
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This page prepared and maintained by the Royal Okusi Language Foundation
in co-operation with the Okusi-Ambeno Tourist Promotion Board.
© Berita Istana Iskandar, 1995. All rights reserved.