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Learn to Speak Indonesian

Indonesian language course introduction

Apa kabar?

Bahasa Indonesia is the main language of Indonesia – a huge country with a population of some 250,000,000.

Indonesian is very similar to Bahasa Melayu/Bahasa Malaysia, and if you speak Indonesian, you can also get by perfectly well in Malaysia and Brunei. It’s also spoken in East Timor.

Course features:

  • Taught by expert Indonesian native-speaker teachers.
  • Curriculum specially designed for New Zealanders.
  • Delivered in small classes with no more than 10 people.
  • All Indonesian course materials included.
Course timetables and enrolment

Why learn Indonesian?

  • While many people do speak English in business circles, you can’t rely on being able to find English speakers in everyday situations. Indonesian is very useful indeed!Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia) is one form of the Malay language; another form of this language is Malaysian (Bahasa Malaysia). Sometimes people refer to Indonesian or Malaysian as “Bahasa” – this word just means “language”. 
  • Some people regard the two forms, Indonesian and Malaysian, as separate languages, others as dialects. Although there are differences in pronunciation, about 80% of the language is effectively the same in both Indonesian and Malaysian, and a lot of the rest is either very similar or is at least understood by speakers of both variants.
  • In Malaysia, of course, English is widely spoken. This is not so much the case in Indonesia, where the former colonial power was the Netherlands, not Britain.
  • Indonesian is the national language of Indonesia. It was originally one particular variant of the Malay language, and it was chosen as the national tongue when Indonesia became independent after the Second World War.
  • Today, most newspapers and books are written in Indonesian, and it’s the language children learn at school. Most Indonesians are very familiar with it. However, only about 10% of the population use it as their natural spoken language. Various other languages and dialects are spoken around the country. You’re probably most likely to encounter Javanese or Balinese - both related languages, yet quite distinct.
  • Attempts to speak Indonesian will be widely appreciated by Indonesians. It’s expected that foreigners will learn Indonesian, not one of the local languages, and speakers of, say, Javanese or Balinese will generally be very pleased to talk to you in Indonesian.
  • Indonesia is the fourth most populous country in the world. It has a diverse and rapidly expanding economy and is the regional giant of South-East Asia. Comparatively few outsiders speak the language, and those that do will be at a significant advantage. Even a modest familiarity with the language can be really useful.
  • Bali is one of the world’s top tourist destinations, and an increasing number of travellers also visit Java, Borneo and other islands. A knowledge of the language will greatly enhance the experience of travel around Indonesia.
  • While many people do speak English in business circles, you can’t rely on being able to find English speakers in everyday situations. Indonesian is very useful indeed!

Is Indonesian hard?

Do rest assured that, in our Indonesian classes at Euroasia, we make learning the language as straightforward as possible.

  • For most English speakers, the Indonesian language is very much easier than most other Asian languages!
  •  The pronunciation of Indonesian is pretty straightforward. Most of the sounds also occur in English, and even those that don’t are not too hard to produce.
  •  Indonesian is written using our Latin alphabet. The written form was originally based on Dutch spelling, but, following spelling reforms, it’s now much closer to English spelling. As a general rule, one letter represents one sound.
  •  Indonesian is not related to English, and so you won’t find many similarities in the basic vocabulary. That said, the words are not that hard to learn, and quite a lot of English terms have entered the language, particularly in recent times in connection, for example, with IT and business.
  • The grammar of Indonesian is also unrelated to English grammar, but it’s not that hard to grasp, especially at lower levels, and you’ll find you can say quite a lot with just a basic feel for the way the language is put together.
Course timetables and enrolment
What our students say
  • “Since attending classes at Euroasia my Mandarin has improved a lot. I can talk about a lot of different things now and I can understand more than I could before. Thank you.”

    Rachel Booth
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