Why are you learning Bahasa Indonesia?

I think it would be interesting to know why you are all learning Indonesian :)

Maybe you have moved to Indonesia, and would like to speak the native language. Or maybe you are a curious Duolingo completionist!

I am learning Indonesian as it has always been a "background language" in my life, but I have never studied it formally. I learnt the language as a toddler, and feel as if I still speak like an Indonesian toddler now haha

How about yourself?

October 25, 2018


I sponsor a child in Indonesia through a charitable organization. We have exchanged many letters over the years, and her letters have always been translated by someone who works for the charity. I would love to be able to read her letters without needing the translation, and would also like to be able to write to her in Indonesian so my letters also do not need any translation.

October 30, 2018

Amazing! That's such a beautiful reason for learning a new language.

I remember when I was younger, maybe 15 years ago, I went along on a day out with a charity like that in West Java. All the sponsored children on a big coach to the zoo. Was such a memorable day for so many of them who had never seen some of those animals before.

October 31, 2018

Bahasa Indonesia is listed as one of the 'critical languages', meaning there is a short supply of Indonesian speakers here in the U.S and a high demand. Also, Indonesia is one of the largest nations in the world, spanning further than San Francisco to New York City, the 4th most populous, and the largest Muslim country; yet, it doesn't get enough attention. Indonesia is also a wild, beautiful tropical archipelago with so many unique species of plants and animals which are rapidly going extinct due to deforestation of a fragile rainforest for palm oil plantations. As an environmentalist, I'd like to be able to work with the Indonesian government to find better ways to be sustainable while preserving the natural environment. Indonesia is always hit by earthquakes, volcano eruptions and tsunamis, and I think more lives will be spared if people could communicate in their lingua franca.

November 12, 2018

Such great and noble reasons. Makes me quite interested in the language myself. On another note, the language icons next to your name make it look like you cut the Japanese red circle in half, haha.

January 15, 2019

I am really obsessed with languages that function as lingua francas in diverse places, and "simple" languages. (Like Swahili in Africa, or Tok Pisin in Papua New Guinea.)

Recently, a YouTube channel called "LangFocus" (which is a REALLY good channel, by the way) did an episode on Indonesian, and it sounded really interesting. So I'm dabbling in it.

October 27, 2018

I am learning Indonesian because it is a relatively easy language i.e. no new alphabet, no crazy grammar rules that change if someone yawns, I like the language, its unique, and it would be amazing to be able to say "I speak Indonesian" My other reason is that I am an aquarist and I want to be able to buy fish that I can't get where I live. The Indonesian fish markets are amazing, and so I want to be able to buy guppies, angelfish, and rare Siamese fighting fish that aren't available to me, that way I can breed them and make a profit.

October 27, 2018

I play Indonesian gamelan and would love to communicate better with my Balinese and Javanese teachers.

October 31, 2018

Gamelan ? That's nice !
Did you have a "Tumpek Landep" ceremony last week ?

November 1, 2018

I played in an Indonesian (Javanese) gamelan back in the 1990's. It was great.

November 1, 2018

[deactivated user]

    I've had an interest in Indonesian for many years, ever since I saw a documentary of the French-born conservationist Chanee who runs the Kalaweit Project, a successful conservation project that rescues gibbons and other native species and buys rainforest in Indonesia to protect natural habitats. In the documentary is showed him speaking fluent Indonesian and I was impressed by both him and the language. I looked into the language and found out it is one of the most spoken languages in the world--it's just here in the US, we never hear about it! i thought that fact alone was good enough reason to study. Also, it's just sounds so cool. :D

    I first used the podcast Learning Indonesian, but that only really teaches you word lists and a little grammar (at least the free podcasts). I also tried to use Lang 8 but I was very confused by the conflicting and unclear corrections I was getting from native speakers. Later I got through about half of Teach Yourself Complete Indonesian. I stopped for a couple of years, out of lack of time as well as frustration over the lack of materials available for English learners that I could afford on my very tight budget. I got interested again when I found out the Duolingo course was close to being released. I've finished this course--I will continue to practice and earn crowns--so right now I'm working through Colloquial Indonesian and a Memrise course, as well as using the files from 50Languages to practice pronunciation and speaking phrases.

    October 25, 2018

    Wow, that's such a complete list of Indonesian learning resources... I'm really impressed! Can't wait to check some of these out.

    How are you working through colloquial Indonesian? Is this just through participating in regular Indonesian online communities? I've found difficulty online in separating day-to-day conversational Indonesian with "internet speak" Indonesian which isn't always suitable for real life conversations. I suppose watching Indonesian movies may be a better solution for this.

    October 26, 2018

    I've traveled in Indonesia quite a bit for leisure but also for work sometimes. I've visited several universities in Java as research sites. Staff all speak English, but it is good to make an effort.

    Also, I am a language teacher. It is good for teachers to have the language learner experience from time to time as well. And, as an applied linguist, Indonesian is interesting. It helps that text is easy and the pronunciation isn't so hard. I've been using Memrise, Learn "2,000 words of Indonesian" for a while but I'm glad to have more structures here. I follow a bunch of Twitter accounts in Bahasa Indonesia for some higher level input--mainly news headlines right now.

    Finally, I hope to be able to go live in Indonesia for six months to a year sometime in the next 5 years or so.

    October 30, 2018

    Badminton! <3

    October 31, 2018

    I've always had an interest in becoming fluent in a second (or more ^.^) language. I got pretty far in Japanese, tried Afrikaans, Spanish and Tagalog, but it was when I met my Indonesian wife that I finally knew which language was finally going to be "the one" and I haven't looked back.

    November 9, 2018

    I’m a cartoonist and comic artist. Only on Instagram and Facebook I meet many Indinesian artists (such a talent in Indonesia!). I would live to read their works in Bahasa Indonesia and join into the chats about comic art. Also I love cooking and would like to read the recipes I love to eat.

    November 20, 2018

    I visited Indonesia (Java) many, many years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it, but unfortunately I knew very little Bahasa Indonesia, so when this course appeared I saw it as a good chance to learn the language as I would like to go there again one day. It's apparently also a widely spoken language, so I thought that's also good reason to learn it.

    October 29, 2018

    I travel to Indonesia yearly trips andd have Indonesian friends so using duo lingo to not get rusty. However, some of the translation and usage is pretty poor

    October 29, 2018

    However, some of the translation and usage is pretty poor.

    My thoughts exactly, though it does seem to be improving. Duolingo uses some sort of user based improvement system. The problem is how to distinguish which users are correct? maybe consensus?

    May 11, 2019

    It's such an interesting language and it's spoken by so many people over such a huge area (not just Indonesia). I picked up just a smattering over fifty years ago when working as a surveyor in SE Asia and found It's one of those marvellous languages which allow people with very little knowledge to begin to communicate, but I would never dare to call it easy until I can fully understand all the affixes and other finer points. And that will probably be never though I'll do my best! This new Duo course is so enjoyable.

    November 18, 2018

    I'm learning it because there are a ton of Indonesian (and Malay) people to practice with and I think it's a cool language in general. The grammar seems simple and it is mostly a phonetic language.

    November 2, 2018

    I lived in Timor-Leste for three years so Bahasa was around me quite a bit but did not put in the effort to pick it up then. Would love to get really good at it so that I don't get shy every time I cross the boarder into West Timor and can't talk to anyone.

    June 15, 2019
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