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There were bip sounds when you were calling someone abroad for an appointment. You might say “aduh, pulsa gua mau abis“. Then, you thought about translation of pulsa in English. But you had no more time to think, because the pulsa was running out.

In panic, you said: “Oh, my God! My pulse is running out!”. Suddenly, the phone broke up. Someone abroad remain shocked, and thought you were dying because out of pulse.

This awkward moment might happen to you. Because, most Indonesian often translates the word pulsa to ‘pulse’. Meanwhile, ‘pulse’ is denyut nadi in Bahasa Indonesia.

What is pulsa in English?

My friends abroad confirmed, that pulsa in Bahasa Indonesia might be one of these words:




Most English-speaker countries use ‘credit’ as pulsa. Example:

  • My phone credit is running out. Pulsa saya sudah hampir habis.
  • I still have credit in my phone. Pulsa saya masih ada.
  • I’m out of credit. Pulsa saya habis.

Even in Malaysia, pulsa is kredit as in Malay Wikipedia article Telefon bimbit prabayar.

(Bingung dengan perbedaan kata-kata dalam bahasa Melayu? Cari tahu padanan katanya dalam bahasa Indonesia di sini!)

Some countries use ‘minutes’ as pulsa, referring talk time used. Example:

  • I’m running out of minutes. Pulsa saya sudah hampir habis.
  • I’d like to add minutes to my cellphone. Saya mau mengisi pulsa di telepon saya.

In Hongkong, people use ‘load’ as pulsa.

So, you would see no announcement as ‘di sini jual pulsa‘ in a phone credit shop. Also, never translate it to ‘sell phone credit here’. Don’t laugh, you might do it. 😉

Where I could find a selling credit shop?

Relax! Just find this out:

Top up here

(include name of credit provider)

‘Top up’ is a common phrase of ‘pulsa isi ulang‘.

For your convenience chat, these phrases below might useful for you:

  • Credit balance. Sisa pulsa.
  • Query the balance. Cek pulsa.
  • Electronic reloading. Mengisi pulsa elektrik.
  • Credit time limit. Masa tenggang pulsa.
  • Credit expiry date. Masa habis pulsa.

So, please! Never translate pulsa to ‘pulse’ anymore!

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