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Bali has long been renowned as one of Southeast Asia’s go-to tourist destinations, attracting beachgoers from all over the world. The pristine beaches and gorgeous weather of the island are what attract tourists, but more than 4 million people call Bali their home year-round, most of whom are ethnically Balinese. While Indonesian is the official language on the island, as in all of Indonesia, Balinese is the native language of Bali.


Balinese has roughly 3.3 million speakers, but the Bali Cultural Agency has estimated that only around 1 million people on the island use Balinese in their daily lives. This is due to a language shift to Indonesian, which is much more prestigious and used throughout the entire country. Some parents even prefer to teach their children English instead of Balinese. This puts Balinese at risk, as fewer and fewer children develop proficiency in the language. But Balinese is an important cultural asset of the Balinese people, and we at TranslationServices.com are determined to do what we can to help them preserve their language. That’s how our Balinese translation team was born.


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Balinese: discover the language of Indonesia’s tourism hotspot

Balinese is native to the island of Bali and is also spoken in neighboring areas such as Nusa Penida, Lombok, and Java. The language is split into three main dialects: Highland Bali, Lowland Bali, and Nusa Penida. Balinese resembles most other languages in Indonesia in that it’s written in the Latin alphabet, but historically, it was written in a native Balinese script that is almost identical to the Javanese script. Today, few people know the Balinese script. Regarding Balinese’s language family, it comes from the Malayo–Polynesian branch of the Austronesian family.


An important feature of Balinese, and one it shares with many other Malayic languages, is its different registers, requiring different vocabulary depending on the relationship and status of the interlocutors. There are three registers—low, medium, and high—with the high register incorporating numerous loanwords from Sanskrit and Javanese. Balinese word order is flexible, with the ability to “raise” different sentence elements to the beginning of the sentence for extra focus. Agentive and patientive markers on verbs indicate what the subject and object of a sentence are.


Balinese’s various grammatical features make it a difficult language to master, but our native-speaking Balinese translators are passionate about providing translation services for their unique language.


Balinese translation services: in both directions!

Balinese-to-English translation services or English-to-Balinese translation services—which one are you looking for? We’re pleased to announce that we can accommodate your needs regardless of the direction of translation. Our team is capable of translating nearly any type of document from Balinese—whether it’s a historical document that uses the traditional Balinese script or Balinese literature that illustrates the rich culture of the island, we can translate it into flowing English. Similarly, we can translate just about anything into Balinese, whether it’s research surveys, educational materials, or entertainment content like poems, books, games, websites, and more. Producing interesting content in Balinese can help induce a stronger sense of pride in the language and encourage youth to use their ancestral language more often.


Want to jump into your first Balinese translation project? Send us a message with the details now!

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Professional human translation for any language, any topic