Introduction to Indonesian

Indonesia is the world’s fourth most populous region, and almost all Indonesians are proficient in Indonesian – their main language. It is a standardised version of Malay, an Austronesian language. For over 75 million people globally, it is their main language, and for 140 million people, Indonesian is the second language.

History of the Indonesian language

The old Malay language can trace its history back to the 7th century, but it is only in 1945 that it was declared the official language. In 1930, as part of the independence movement, the language was standardised. In a country where there are over 300 native languages, Indonesian acts as a binding factor, since it is used by the media, government, educational institutes and for all official work carried out in the country. It has incorporated within it many words from other languages, such as Sanskrit and Dutch. Sanskrit has its roots in India and is considered the base for many other languages in the world. In schools, children are taught the formal language. However, in their daily lives, the language used by children and other people has sprinklings of other dialects, such as Javanese, Balinese and Sudanese. Thus, region-wise there is an immense variation in the spoken dialects.

Indonesian language

Indonesian for expats

Since it is language which is spoken by such a large number of people, people who learn Indonesian will soon realise that it could turn out to be a major plus point in their CV. The expats living in Indonesia, people doing business with Indonesian companies and many others will find several benefits to learning the Indonesian language. An Indonesian course can be either found online or can be learned from a traditional Indonesian language school.

Understand Indonesian grammar

Those who set out on the path of learning Indonesian will soon find that the script is a Latin script and is still similar to the original Dutch script. In 1972, some major changes were introduced in the Indonesian spellings in order to make it easier to write and pronounce. The nasal phonetics of some words are not easy to master, and the different dialects spoken all over the country make it harder for the student to learn the language comprehensively. There are not too many words which differentiate between genders and most of them have been derived from Sanskrit or Chinese. Grammatical gender is not very common in the Indonesian language.


Learn Indonesian with Babbel

In order to grasp the nuances of the Indonesian language, Babbel users benefit from voice recognition technology to correct the pronunciation, so that the spoken word is correct and understandable. Due to the differentiation between the formal, official language and the spoken word, the emphasis on colloquial Indonesian courses is an integral part of all lessons. Babbel courses are designed for practicing listening, writing and speaking skills. With the state-of-the-art voice recognition, you will be able to improve your pronunciation in a short space of time. With Babbel you will be able to learn languages from scratch in beginner courses, where basic grammatical rules and the most common language expressions are explained. Finally, thanks to the intelligent Review Manager feature, you will always know what vocabulary to revise, and when.