More Indonesian Lessons

Lesson: How to Learn Indonesian

Objective / Tujuan

The objective of this lesson is to teach you how to learn the Indonesian language.

Vocabulary / Kosa Kata


Lesson / Pelajaran

Learning any new language is not an easy task. It takes many hours of study and practice before one can be proficient at it. Many people say that Indonesian is an easy language to learn when compared to other languages, like Chinese, Arabic, etc. In some respects this is true for an English speaker, but there are many challenging aspects of the language that will take significant effort to master.

Before you begin, you need to define your goal for learning Indonesian. I recommend writing it down on the front cover of a notebook that will be used solely for your Indonesian studies. Your goal should include the reason why you want to learn Indonesian and the level of proficiency you wish to reach. Once finished, sign and date the notebook just beneath the goal. This is essentially a contract you made with yoruself. If you break it, then you can sue yourself :).

For example:

I want to learn (basic, intermediate, advance, fluent) Indonesian because I need it for (business/school/dating/family/etc).

John L. Whiteman
Tuesday, 28 March, 2017 / Selasa, 28 Maret, 2017

Next, on the backside of your notebookís front cover, write down a sensible plan that includes specific objectives and timelines.

For example:

a) Learn 10 new words a day or a total of 3,560 words a year
b) Learn 1 lesson a week or a total of 52 lessons a year
c) Spend 15 minutes a day reading Indonesian or a total of 89 hours a year
d) Spend 15 minutes a day writing Indonesian or a total of 89 hours a year
e) Spend 15 minutes a day speaking Indonesian or a total of 89 hours a year
f) Spend 15 minutes a day listening to Indonesian or a total of 89 hours a year

Obviously, you must create something that will work for you. Donít worry though, you can always modify it later.

Now, the critical part of all of this is to track your progress daily. You have to do this even if you didnít accomplish anything. This may all seem somewhat childish, but it works because it forces you to review your plan everyday. This allows you to stay in focus with your training. Serious athletes, investors, dieters, etc. do the exact same thing. If it works for them, then why should it be any different for you learning a language?

For a tracking system, I recommend creating a table that uses rows to represent the day of the month and columns to map each objective you listed above. Update this table at least once a day. At the end of the month, tally the numbers in each column. At the end of the year, tally all the numbers. Do they match your goal?

For example:

January ...
Day/Task a) b) c) d) e) f)
1 10 0 15 15 15 15
2 10 0 15 15 20 20
3 0 0 0 0 0 0
Totals: 251 4 435 435 450 450

Finally, you are going to need tools to help you learn the language. I always recommend a good dictionary, course books with audio, and, if possible, access to a native speaker. There are many great websites besides this one dedicated to Indonesian language and culture, including blogs and news groups. You may also consider taking an Indonesian course on line with an accredited college if you canít physically attend the class yourself.

Listening Resources:

Speaking Resources:

Reading Resources:

Writing Resources:

Exercises / Latihan