You might be wondering why on earth you should learn Indonesian. Allow me to persuade you.

#1. To reach 300+ million people

Indonesia is the fourth most populous nation in the world with over three hundred million people. Of its large population the number of people who fluently speak Indonesian is fast approaching 100%, thus making Indonesian one of the most widely spoken languages in the world.

Also the Indonesian language is very similar to the languages in Indonesia”s neighbouring countries of Malaysia, Brunei, and Singapore. For instance, the Malay language is a close relative to Indonesian so you can understand both languages with ease since there are only minor differences in vocabulary. Therefore, learning Indonesian gives access to about three hundred million people-including those in Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei.

#2. To make your everyday life easier

A basic ability in a foreign language will help you to ”get by”, i.e. to order food and drink, find your way around, buy tickets, etc.

Die Grenzen meiner Sprache bedeuten die Grenzen meiner Welt.
The limits of my language are the limits of my universe.
(Ludwig Wittgenstein)

#3. To better understand the unique Balinese culture

Learning the local language will help you to communicate and integrate with the local community.

Many English speakers seem to believe that wherever you go on holiday you can ”get by” simply by speaking English so there”s no point in learning any other languages. If people don’2011-09-29 16:46:22’t understand you all you have to do is speak slowly and turn up the volume. You can more or less get away with this, as long as you stick to popular tourist resorts and hotels where you can usually find someone who speaks English. However, if you want to venture beyond such places to better understand the local culture, knowing the local language is necessary.

If you have the knowledge of the language you can have real conversations with the people you meet, which can be very interesting and will add a new dimension to your holiday.

Americans who travel abroad for the first time are often shocked to discover that, despite all the progress that has been made in the last 30 years, many foreign people still speak in foreign languages.
(Dave Barry)

#4. To get better prices with local merchants

The use of Bahasa Indonesia will immediately make the prices of everything drop from the price of a kilo of mangoes at the local market all the way to the rental of your villa. Guaranteed (we talk from experience here!).

The reason is that locals believe you are an expatriate and you ”know” the real price. In addition, the”y will all be extra grateful that you have taken the time and effort to try and learn their language.

#5. To keep your mind healthy

Indonesian language is one of the easiest languages in the world – honest! Even if you had a dreadful time trying to learn a second language in school, learning Bahasa Indonesia can actually be a very enjoyable experience.

Why is it so easy to learn Indonesian? Here are a few reasons:

  • No tenses. Unlike the English language, Indonesian language has no tenses at all. Adding time indicators (like tomorrow, 2 days ago, now, etc.) and aspect markers into your sentences will do.
  • No genders. Unlike in German, Indonesian language has no genders or grammatical cases attached to the nouns.
  • A simple system of word formation. Indonesian has a straightforward system for combining words with prefixes, suffixes, and infixes to create new words. For example: satu means one, whereas bersatu means to unite (i.e. to make into one). This means fewer words to memorize and you can (sort of) mix-and-match words to form your own word.
  • No Tones. Unlike in Chinese, Indonesian language has no tone in pronunciation. No matter where you put the stress, people will still recognize the word and understand the sentences.
  • A Simple Sentence form. Indonesian sentence structure is similar to English: Subject + Verb + (Object). So, you can easily form sentences in Indonesian language.
  • … and much more

Very simple, isn’t it? Now you can see why learning Indonesian language is really worth it, especially when you plan to travel to Indonesia and the neighbouring countries.

Other post on speaking Bahasa

Read our other posts about on speaking and pronouncing Bahasa

Who Else Wants To Speak Bahasa Indonesia?

How to Pronounce Bahasa Indonesian

How To Speak Basic Bahasa

Basic Indonesian Vocabulary For Bali Travelers