Indonesian: One of the Easiest Languages to Learn!

By learning Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian), you can have a good conversation with more than 260 million people! Aside from that, there are other reasons why you should learn Indonesian.

Some people claimed that Indonesian is one of the easiest languages to learn. Here are several considerations to help you determine whether learning Indonesian is easy or not.

 

1. Latin Alphabet

Unlike many other Asian countries, Indonesia uses the Latin alphabet for the writing system. So, if you happen to be a European languages speaker, congratulations! The only difference lies in the pronunciation. Another good news, there is no special characters! You won’t find any “à, ê, ö, ñ” in the middle of learning Indonesian.

 

2. Tons of Loanwords

By learning Indonesian, you will find that there are tons of loanwords from Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, English, Portuguese, and even Sanskrit. You will understand once you see the example below.

Language English Original Word Indonesian Word
Arabic news (khabar) خبر kabar
Saturday (sabt-u) سبت sabtu
Chinese noodles 面 (hokkien: mi) mi
teacup 茶碗 (cháwǎn) cawan
Dutch refrigerator koelkast kulkas
towel handdoek handuk
English internet internet internet
satellite satellite satelit
Portuguese doll boneca boneka
party festa pesta
Sanskrit earth भूमि (bhoomi) bumi
language भाषा (bhasha) bahasa

 

As you are reading this, I believe that English is one of the languages you’re probably fluent in. Due to the globalization, modern Indonesian borrowed really a lot of English words. Thousands of Indonesian words are similar to English. Several of them even directly borrowed without any standardization (notice the word ‘internet’ above). Without realizing it, you might have known a lot of Indonesian vocabs!

 

3. No Grammatically Tenses

What makes you happier than knowing there is no past, present, or future tenses? Tenses are specified by merely adding “adverb of time” without modifying any verbs. Just like English, the word order in Indonesian is generally “Subject-Verb-Object”. In fact, the grammar is quite flexible too. You can put the time determiners in the beginning or end of the sentence, it’s up to you!

          e.g. We (kami) went (pergi) to (ke) Bali yesterday (kemarin).

          Kami pergi ke Bali kemarin, or

          Kemarin kami pergi ke Bali.

 

4. No Grammatically Genders

In contrast with German, Spanish, Russian (you name it!), Indonesian does not classify nouns into masculine, feminine, and neuter. Moreover, we even use “dia” to describe both ‘he’ and ‘she’, and also “adik” to call the ‘younger brother’ or ‘younger sister’.

 

5. No Plural Forms

Plurality is expressed simply by duplication of an object or addition of plural determiner.

          car, cars

          mobil, mobil-mobil

          book, some books

          buku, beberapa buku

 

6. Not a Tonal Language

Consider this.

          我可以问你吗?Wǒ kě yǐ wèn nǐ ma ? Can I ask you something?

          我可以吻你吗?Wǒ kě yǐ wěn nǐ ma ? Can I kiss you?

For a tonal language like Chinese, different tone can change its meaning, even lead to misunderstandings. I can assure you that such things will not occur in Indonesian. However, a little voice rises at the end of a sentence is normal when we’re asking questions.

 

7. Vocab is the Key!

Useful tips: enrich your vocabulary, and you’re halfway there! 😊 How to Memorize Vocabulary? Here are 7 Tips to Memorize Vocabulary. As you can find the keywords in the Indonesian sentence, you will have no problem to guess the entire message that wants to be delivered.

 

Semangat! 😉

 

If you are interested to learn Indonesian, do check out LingoCards!

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