Indonesian Language Blog

New Year’s Resolution – Learn Indonesian Posted by on Jan 11, 2018 in Uncategorized

Did you make a resolusi tahun baru (New Year’s Resolution) this year? For many people, learning a new language is high on the list. Whether it’s for work or just to travel, learning a language is a great idea. If your New Year’s Resolution is to belajar Bahasa Indonesia, we’re here to help! After all, there are plenty of reasons why you should learn Indonesian. Here are some tips and resources for you to learn Indonesian in 2018.

No more monkey business! It’s time to learn Indonesian!

Learn the Alphabet

Unlike other Asian languages such as Chinese or Thai, Indonesian is quite easy to read. As a matter of fact, Indonesian uses the Roman script, just like English! The only thing that is different is the pronunciation. Follow along with this short and easy video to practice your Indonesian pronunciation and learn a lot of common and useful vocabulary at the same time.

Once you’ve practiced the video a few times, head here to read more details on the pronunciation of the Indonesian alphabet.

Meet and Greet People

Introducing Yourself in Indonesian

Making friends is easy in Indonesia!

People in Indonesia are quite friendly and talkative. If you’re a bule, many people are very interested to chat with and learn about you. Start out by learning some common Indonesian greetings and useful words/phrases for making introductions. You can also follow this video for some practice:

Once you’re ready for a bit more of a challenge, you can read this post with a few dialogues based on greeting people in Indonesian.

Introduce Yourself and Your Family

Keluarga saya besar!

Learning how to introduce yourself is one of the first things you need to learn in any language. Watch this video and learn five basic questions and answers for introducing yourself.

I wrote a self-introduction in Indonesian with an English translation that you can read as well. Then you can try to practice introducing yourself. See if you can answer these questions:

  • Siapa nama anda? (What’s your name?)

  • Apa pekerjaan anda? (What do you do?)

  • Apakah anda punya saudara? (Do you have any siblings?)

  • Berapa? Adik atau kaka? (How many? Younger or older?)

  • Bapak anda bekerja sebagai apa? Ibu anda? (What does your dad do? Your mom?)

  • Anda tinggal di mana? (Where do you live?)

  • Apa hobi anda? (What are your hobbies?)

When introducing yourself, you often talk about your family. You can learn some Indonesian family vocabulary to get started, and then try another reading exercise where I introduce my family in Indonesian. Here’s some family vocabulary in video form while we’re at it:

Master Some Survival Phrases

New Year's Resolution - Learn Indonesian

Don’t go hungry! Learn how to order food.

Nobody is going to be fluent overnight, so start out by mastering some survival phrases that will at least get you speaking Indonesian on a regular basis. Here’s a list to get you going:


Please (request)

Please (formal)

Thank you
Terima kasih

Ma kasih/trims

You’re welcome





Excuse me

Tidak apa-apa
No problem

Bisa bicara bahasa Inggris?
Can you speak English?

Saya tidak bisa bicara bahasa Indonesia.
I can’t speak Indonesian.

Saya bisa bicara bahasa Indonesia sedikit-sedikit.
I can speak a little Indonesian.

Saya tidak mengerti.
I don’t understand.

Bisa biscara pelan-pelan?
Can you speak more slowly?

Ini apa?
What’s this?

Itu apa?
What’s that?

Berapa harganya?
How much is it? (a single item)

Berapa semuanya?
How much is it? (total/in a restaurant)

Berapa ongkosnya?
How much is it? (service i.e. a taxi)

Saya tersesat.
I’m lost.

Bisa tolong saya?
Can you help me, please?

Di mana kamar mandi?
Where is the bathroom?

You can practice your pronunciation by following another with another video:


Most of our interactions are full of questions and answers. As such, learning how to ask and answer questions is a very important part of learning any language. We’ve got a few great posts for you to study:

We’ve got another great video from our beginner series on how to ask questions as well:

Travel to Indonesia

Bena Village in Flores

Of course, the best way to learn Indonesian this year is to actually travel to Indonesia! Whether you visit the chaotic capital of Jakarta, relax on the beaches of Bali, or visit remote villages in Flores, you’ll have an amazing trip and you’ll learn plenty of Indonesian along the way. It really isn’t that difficult of a language to pick up, and people are super friendly and eager to talk with you no matter where you go.

Transparent Language

You’ve got several resources to help you learn Indonesian right here at your finger tips. In addition to the blog, you can:

That’s enough to keep you busy and get the ball rolling with your Indonesian studies. Make 2018 the year you finally learn that foreign language, and make it Indonesian!

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About the Author: sasha

Sasha is an English teacher, writer, photographer, and videographer from the great state of Michigan. Upon graduating from Michigan State University, he moved to China and spent 5+ years living, working, studying, and traveling there. He also studied Indonesian Language & Culture in Bali for a year. He and his wife run the travel blog Grateful Gypsies, and they're currently trying the digital nomad lifestyle across Latin America.