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Anyone else having trouble memorizing words?

I am currently learning Indonesian as my 5th language and I noticed 2 things:

1- I have never seen a language with such easy and simple grammar rules;

2- I have never seen a language with such hard words to memorize!

I especially have trouble memorizing verbs. I must say though that this is my first time in ever trying to learn an asian language. Quizlet if my friend here since Duolingo alone is not enough for me to memorize these Indonesian words!

September 16, 2018



Halo teman! Since Indonesian has been my first meeting with an Asian language, I think by more than eight years ago, I cannot feel happier with this course. This is the moment I can learn more about the grammar than during all those years. Sincerely, it was not so easy to memorize words.

Then I have used lots of resources, watching videos, films, reading phrasebooks, grammar books (now starting to read short stories), also talking with Indonesians.

I had no only problems when learning verbs, or some long words I could not even know how to pronounce entirely without reading, and reading them first so many times. Perhaps, my first great achievement was the word "memperkenalkan", and this without knowing anything about roots and affixes. Also, the construction and variation of the word order in some questions, mainly using "yang mana", "punya", "milik" seem to be many times a puzzle hard to solve.

After discovering Duolingo, at the same time I started French at the university, the courses of Memrise had became the main basements for my Indonesian learning, the others would be Babbel, and the English course for Indonesian speakers in Duolingo.

This is an example of a simple course in Memrise I would highly recommend to learn the first approach to Indonesian verbs:

100 Indonesian verbs


This is a more advanced course, with lots of verbs, nouns and adjectives, listed with affixes, and without affixes.


And this is a very short course but still it is so efficient and covers important and basic aspects of the conversation in Indonesian:

Indonesian grammar and conversation


Selamat belajar! :)


awesome. saya orang indonesia berasal dari kota Banda Aceh. buku kamus terbaik di indonesia untuk belajar bahasa indonesia dari bahasa inggris dan sebaliknya adalah kamus inggris-indonesia dan kamus indonesia-inggris karangan John M. Echols dan Hassan Shadily. semoga bermanfaat.


How much of Memise were you able to access without paying as there are quite a few apps that claim to be free, then demand patent to get above a very basic level. I have read conflicting comments about Memise ... which I think relate to the app version compared to the online version. I would be happy to hear from someone who used it to learn Indonesian.


Yeah, I've also been struggling with the verbs lessons. I think they're trying to introduce too many new words in one lesson, so they're harder to memorise all at once.


Since Bahasa is somehow an agglutinative language, your best bet to know the vocabs more is by learning the affix usage then farming the base words. This site is pretty much summing up all affixes that are used in Bahasa.


I remarked that a lot of verbs begin by the same letter : m. But not all (pergi, for example). And I still have not learned enough to have a judgement so far, but it seems to me that it will be more difficult to memorize than if the verbs were totally different. So, I rather agree with you.


I remarked that a lot of verbs begin by the same letter : m.

mmmm.....you're probably referring to the "me-verbs".

I think it's easier (in the long run) to learn the base words and learn the system of affixes, rather than learning each individual word.
You can form new words (verbs/nouns) with the affixes attached to the base word.
If you know the base word and you know the system of affixes, then your vocabulary increases rapidly.


I was told the same today.


Words without IE-cognates are indeed hard to memorize, they do not want to stick until I can come up with some mnemonic to trigger it. However, in this respect, Indonesian is no harder than say Swahili, Turkish or Chinese. The easiest parts of Indonesian vocabulary so far have been the Dutch cognates and words from Indonesian cuisine.


I'm also struggling with remembering words, but I feel I'm picking up a lot.


It’s very interesting, because I, on the contrary, find it very easy to learn! I recommend you to use mnemonics. That’s when you build associations to the words you need to remember. They may refer to something hilarious, sad, shocking etc, and it’s not necessary for them to make any sense. It’s also a great idea to base mnemonics on your own experience. I’ll give an example: the word lupa. My mother tongue is Russian, and in Cyrillic this very set of letters means a magnifying glass. Today I was just going to buy one, but forgot to. And so, here is how I memorized its meaning — to forget! Mnemonics is especially effective (for me, at least) with Indonesian because of its word simplicity (unlike, for example, German).


I started to learn Indonesian about ten years ago, but only really use it for a few weeks a year (despite my wife being Indonesian). I am purposely working through the course very slowly so that what I learn really sticks. I have found that knowing why the different affixes are used before learning new words helps. A great book for this is, A student's guide to Indonesian grammar (Oxford). The book is inexpensive and a pdf version can be found using Google. The website Velonisia provided a link to is a good second option. Selamat belajar.

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