Learning Indonesian, by Cici and Shaun.

Bahasa Indonesia

  Between Two Journeys

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation of an article originally written in French. I apologise for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have resulted. If you read French, click on the French flag below to access the original, correct text: 

On the same principle as Learn Thai Podcasthere is Learning IndonesianOnline audio lessons to learn the basics of the Bahasa Indonesia, the Indonesian language, very close to the Melayu Bahasa, spoken in Malaysia.

Online audio courses

Here again, a couple, Cici and Shaun, are teaching the lessons in two voices. In spite of my meager level in Indonesian-Malay, I am proud to discover that I can easily do without the first lessons.

www.learningindonesian.com To access the podcast site: click on the image opposite.

That said, these first lessons, in free listening, are a good basic approach to a tourist stay.

I still have two weeks to wait before flying to Kuala Lumpur for a half Malaysian, half Indonesian trip. In the meantime, I'm going to explore a bit further the podcasts available on this site, to listen to see if I can pick up some extra stuff. And then, listening to the phrases in my ear is also a way to prepare the trip!

My meager knowledge is limited to saying hello at any time of the day, thanking people and using the usual polite phrases.

I know how to say where I come from and where I'm going (or avoid saying it with the inusable "jalan-jalan"), counting (my money, or my years, or the weeks I'll spend visiting the country), asking the basic questions you always need (how much does it cost, do you have a room, where is the toilet), expressing the past and the future. Finally, I have some vocabulary... mostly food!

Learning Indonesian, by Cici and Shaun.

What to take with you: Indonesian pocket book

Indonesian pocket - AssimilOn each of my trips to Indonesia and Malaysia, I reuse my little Assimil entitled The Indonesian pocketI'm still far from having assimilated everything. It's well done, it allows you to get by. For the pronunciation and the basic syntax, it's much easier than Thai, I think.

Although... you have to say it fast. 😀

In general, my interlocutor, too happy to see my self-confidence in front of his first questions (easy, they are always the same: where are you from, where are you going, how long are you staying here, etc.), suddenly starts to spout long sentences at full speed and I don't understand anything anymore...

So, all that's left is for me to say a pathetic "Saya tidak mengerti"! ("I don't understand").


When I find myself wandering around Kalimantan (the Indonesian state that occupies the southern two-thirds of Borneo), with no one left to speak English in the area, I won't be so smart, that's for sure.


  Between Two Journeys

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  1. 😀 I love Indonesian, it sounds sweet to my ears. Alas, I have a hard time getting very far in the dialogue... wish I had time to learn more. Thanks for the links, it's good to hear talking!

  2. @Manta: Likewise, I still find it difficult to go far in the dialogue, beyond the banal question-and-answer exchange I was referring to, and which the passing tourist cannot avoid. People often appreciate that you have made the effort to learn even a few common phrases and useful words. But we'll talk about it when I've spent some time in Kalimantan... Malaysia doesn't count: it's really easy, considering the number of people who speak very good English.

  3. Hello

    Saw the site. Too bad there is no Tagalog! But otherwise, very well done. I'm leaving for China in 3 days... Chinese or Mandarin I feel that it will not be a sad approach.

    Otherwise I use a block of paper and I draw or write the place where I want to go for the bus, train, etc. It works very well. The Guide du Routard has published a small paperback book with lots of sketch classes by theme, and it works very well too. I even intended to make one for the sailing trip version ....

    Have a nice trip,
    in Bahasa I don't know what you call it anymore... 🙂 and a really slow connection tonight to fetch.

  4. @Michel: Ah, the little drawings... very practical. It's true, I draw a lot too, when I travel. I had heard about this Routard book. I haven't had a chance to look through it yet, I'll go and have a look at it one of these days in a bookstore (but I think I prefer to do my own drawings).
    @Manta: Bravo for the translation of "bon voyage"! Terima kasih!