You arrive in a new city and you don’t know the way to your hotel or a specific restaurant. How do you ask for directions? And if you are in a bus, how do you ask where to get off?
- Permisi, Pak. Di mana Hotel Garuda?
Excuse me, Sir. Where is the Garuda Hotel?
- Numpang tanya, Bu. Kalau ke Rumah Makan Sederhana saya bisa naik apa?
Excuse me, Ma’am. If [I go] to the Sederhana Restaurant what [means of transport] can I take?
- Permisi, Bu. Saya mau ke Kantor Imigrasi. Di mana saya harus turun?
Excuse me, Ma’am. I want [to go] to the Immigration Office. Where do I have to get off?
In order to say, pardon me, or excuse me, you can use both the more formal permisi or the more colloquial numpang tanya. Numpang tanya literally means “May I ask you something?”. You can combine strong>permisi with numpang tanya:
Excuse me, Ma’am, may I ask you a question. I want [to go] to the Post Office. Do you know in what street the post office is?