How to Learn Indonesian Quickly: Some Tricks and Secrets

All would agree that learning any foreign language is not an overnight process. Learning Indonesian, as well as other foreign languages, needs process. Sometimes you need to strive in facing difficulties. That is because you brain gets many unidentified inputs regarding language you learn.

In learning Bahasa Indonesia or Indonesian, through a post entitled “Is Indonesian Difficult to Learn?” I have given some clues from the side of grammar point. In this post, I want to give some tricks that work for everyone.

I have been learning English for years and I don’t think that years I have invested in learning English as foreign language are sufficient enough for me to master English as I am still confused about the rule, sometimes I forget the rules, and sometimes I still need to equip myself with dictionary.

A friend of mine, she is one of Englinesians who contacted me through Email after listening to Englinesian Podcast, argued that the rules of Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia) is a little bit confusing. When she follows the rule, the sentence she produced ‘did not hit the target’. Therefore, I suggested her to follow my advise - embracing technology in learning. I suggested her to learn some basic formal expressions related to the field she is in and expressions related their hobbies, then find some academic journals written by Indonesian in Bahasa Indonesia to read at her spare time. Besides, I also advised her to watch Youtube videos.

Till this post is published, I have not heard anything about her progress. As I have mentioned previously that it takes time. Then, is there any shortcut to learn Indonesian quickly? The answer is, of course, ‘yes, there is’. 

Love What You Learn

This is the first rule that you have to obey. Set this as the job of your feeling - love what you learn. It is almost impossible to master Indonesian if you do not put your feeling on it. Once you find yourself loving Indonesian, everything will become easier.

When you love someone, your mind and feeling will always be attached to that person. When you have new car, phone, or something you have been dreaming, your mind and feeling must be tied to that - your mind and feeling will always be filled with the one or thing you love. This is what I called “mental stepping stones” that will lead you to success in mastering Indonesian.

Find Some Friends - Embrace Technology

During quarantine, like what you are experiencing right now due to Covid-19, try to search some online groups on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms that enable you to be in contact with native Indonesians. This is a powerful trick that you must try.

I tell you a secret. Most Indonesians are required to learn English. In Indonesia, English is prestigious. Those who are able to and good at speaking English have special place in the hearts of Indonesians. Here, you have something to return to Indonesians. When you are willing to teach them English, they will teach you Indonesian in return.

Another secret that I want you to know is that most Indonesians can easily be found on the internet. Majority of Indonesians are avid social media players. The convention that is agreed is that those who are not on sicoal media will be considered as ‘less social person’. When I say majority of Indonesians, it means myriad, abundant, numerous, and countless. Execute this opportunity.

Establish Good Relationship

Once you find groups on social media, be a spectator. Spectate Indonesians who are the active users in the groups. Once you think that the groups you spectate can give you promising opportunity to learn, frequently ask some simple questions. Do not forget to end your question with a ‘thank’ - simply say ‘terima kasih’. That is the magic words to make friends with Indonesians.

Mark the accounts who are actively answer your questions and ask them to be your friends. Once you establish good relationship with them, they will voluntarily teach you Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia). The good news is that you can get it for free.

Online Journals and eBooks

Still related to technology, you can embrace internet in finding online journals as well as ebooks to familiarize your brain with Bahasa Indonesia. This is the way that I suggest to a friend of mine, Englinesians from North America who wants to be able to speak formal Indonesian.

Utilize Google Translate to find keywords you want to search, copy the translation, and paste them on your Google search bar. Make sure you access google.co.id instead of the .com extention. People say that extention matters.

Once you get journals and/or ebooks under your interests, just read them. If you need translation, just maintain Google Translate service. It is powerful enough to give you input - reading and listening - to make you brain familiar with Indonesian. As the time goes by, you will find your skills increase. 

If it is possible, set your own learning program by comprehending one or two paragraphs from the journals or ebooks and rewrite them in your own words - it can be in English. To find out whether you successfully make progress on your learning, ask your Indonesian friends to check your works.