How do I Learn Bahasa Indonesia?


Bahasa Indonesia is the official language of Indonesia. So if you’re planning to go to or work in Singapore, committing to learn Bahasa Indonesia is a brilliant idea. 

It is derived from Malay, an Austronesian language spoken in Malaysia, Singapore, and parts of Thailand. It uses the Latin alphabet with minor diacritical marks to denote certain sounds that are distinctively not present in European languages.

Bahasa Indonesia will be important to learn because you will have the opportunity to meet many kind people who speak it while traveling through Indonesia—Ethnologue estimates that around 198 million people in Indonesia speak Indonesian. Since 2002, Bahasa Indonesian has had its own UN language status following Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. As a result of this recognition, it will become increasingly popular as more people learn it. The Indonesian government is also likely to invest more in the language’s teaching and promotion.

Is it Easy to Learn Bahasa Indonesia?

Now, when it comes to learning new languages, it is easy to be misled that a particular language is difficult to learn. What makes one language seem difficult compared to another is the lack of exposure to certain words, grammar structures, or sounds that are not present in their native language.

What also contributes to how easy it is to learn a language is whether or not you already know any similar languages to make learning the new language easier. For example, if you already know Spanish, then the process of learning Italian will be much easier since they have many similarities. On the other hand, if you know French, you might consider Turkish more difficult because even though Turkish has very many loanwords from French, Turkish has a very different vocabulary and specific pronunciation rules due to influences from neighboring countries such as Persian.

Bahasa Indonesian does have some similarities with Bahasa Malaysia, which is the national language of Malaysia. If you have some knowledge of Bahasa Malaysia, then it will be easier for you to learn Bahasa Indonesian. However, even if you don’t know any Malay languages, don’t let that discourage you from attempting to learn Bahasa Indonesia because it is still manageable to do so with a bit of effort. So if you’re wondering whether learning Bahasa Indonesia is easy, the answer is simple;

Yes, it is relatively easy to learn Bahasa Indonesia, especially when compared to languages like Arabic or Mandarin Chinese. There are a number of reasons for this: first, the grammar is relatively simple; second, there are very few verb tenses (only two, past and present), which makes learning verb conjugations much easier; third, most words are written with the Latin alphabet, so there is very little need to learn new symbols; fourth, pronunciation is straightforward as most letters represent the same sound as in English. However, one important thing to note is that Bahasa Indonesian uses a lot of slang and contractions, so it might be a bit more difficult to understand than other languages.

How do I Start to Learn Bahasa Indonesia?

As mentioned before, learning Bahasa Indonesia shouldn’t be difficult. However, we can’t overrule the fact that there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. With that said, if you wish to learn Bahasa Indonesia, here are a few general tips that might help:

  • Find a teacher

One of the best ways to learn a new language is to have a personal tutor who can help guide you and correct your mistakes. If you’re in Indonesia, there are plenty of teachers available who can give private lessons; alternatively, if you’re not in Indonesia, there are many online resources such as websites like Lingo and even YouTube channels that offer free or paid Bahasa Indonesian lessons.

  • Get a textbook and/or online lessons

In addition to having a personal tutor, it’s also important to have some supplementary learning materials, such as textbooks or online lessons. Again, websites like Lingo provides structured online lessons that will help you build up your vocabulary.

  • Practice every day; make it fun

Learning languages can be very time-consuming and difficult initially; however, if you constantly practice the language every day, eventually, you’ll find yourself speaking more fluently than before. To do so, try to watch Indonesian movies or ask for help from an Indonesian friend who might want to teach you Bahasa Indonesia; also, take advantage of free online resources like Duolingo, where you can learn new words daily in a gamified environment (i.e., points/leveling system).

  • Watch movies in Bahasa Indonesia, to learn more about the culture

If you’re learning any language, it’s important to understand how people use the language and what they’re talking about. And what better way to learn about a country’s culture than by watching its movies? Not only will you be able to hear the language spoken in natural conversation, but you’ll also learn about Indonesians’ culture and customs.

  • Learn basic phrases before you go to Indonesia so you can interact with the locals

One of the best things about learning Bahasa Indonesia is that it gives you a head start when traveling to Indonesia; not only will locals appreciate your effort in trying to speak their language, but you’ll also find it much easier to get around and order food at restaurants. There are plenty of websites and online resources which provide basic phrases for travelers, such as TripAdvisor.

  • Read books written in Bahasa Indonesian – they are easier than newspaper articles or textbooks

Finally, one of the best ways to improve your language skills is to read books written in the language you’re trying to learn. This is because books are usually written in a simpler, more straightforward style than articles or textbooks. Not only will this help improve your reading comprehension, but you’ll also learn new words and expressions that you won’t find in other learning materials.

So there you have it – a few general tips on how to learn Bahasa Indonesia. With a bit of hard work and dedication, we’re sure you’ll be speaking like a native in no time! Selamat belajar! (Happy learning!)

We are a Singapore-based company that provides private Bahasa Indonesia tuition to students of all ages and levels. You can find out more about our services or get in touch with us at You can also call: +65 62533320.


Lingo School of Knowledge – Thai | Korean | Spanish | French Language School

87 Beach Rd, 03-01 Chye Sing Building, Singapore 189695

+65 6253 3320


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