Indonesian is a language spoken in Indonesia and is a working language in East Timor. Around 250 million people speak Indonesian as a first language. It belongs to the Malay family of languages. Commonly called Bahasa Indonesia [‘the language of Indonesia’].
Included is a selection of novels set in Indonesia, for teenagers and older students. They are designed to develop an understanding of Indonesian life and culture and how people in Australia relate to this.
This page gives access to online courses, Indonesian/English/Indonesian dictionaries, vocabulary activities, tutorials, podcasts & blogs, current events, cultural information, grammar, free and fee-based software, other resources and information.
- Beginning Indonesian [Bahasa]
Linked to a Canadian University’s courses. All in Indonesian and uses lessons to enhance Indonesian course learning. It has an explanation in English, an Introductory unit and Glossary plus 14 work units. Not updated for quite a while but still a good basic learning experience.
‘Learn Indonesian in just 5 minutes a day with our game-like lessons. Whether you’re a beginner starting with the basics or looking to practice your reading, writing and speaking, Duolingo is scientifically proven to work’.
- Indonesian Language Course
Lessons, grammar, texts, appendices at multiple levels. Wikibooks. Updated in September 2021.
- Learn Indonesian - Free Language
Not one, not two, … but numerous links to a wide range of courses and presentations of the language for you to learn. Videos, kits, apps and more.
- Learn Indonesian Online
‘How to learn Indonesian by yourself ? Start with an easy and free online course’. Multiple sections based on everyday requirements.
Indonesian - The fun and easy self-paced course in Bahasa Indonesia
Apple podcast. ‘Learning Indonesian is a free high quality entry-level course in the Indonesian Language with native Indonesian and English speaking instructors’.
- Learning Indonesian - Free Audio Lessons
‘Our free podcast course is a simple, basic overview of Indonesian. It uses the same audio-based recall method that has made the Learning Indonesian Premium course a huge success among Indonesian learners for years’.
- Peace Corps Bahasa Indonesia
‘We believe that everybody should be able to learn another language. This is why we have made available these free US Peace Corps resources for you to use. Read the Indonesian ebooks online, listen to the Indonesian audios and practice your Indonesian pronunciation with our online recorder or download the files to use whenever you want’. Two options available.
- Linguanaut - Learn Indonesian
‘We offer free Indonesian [Bahasa] lessons online, from Phrases, Alphabet, Numbers, Adjectives, Prepositions, Verbs, Vocabulary used in Indonesia’.
‘Indonesian language online resource. Quick Guide, Courses, Grammar, Pronunciation, Spelling system, Vocabulary, Colloquial language’ and more. Requires membership to gain full access. Premium membership provides full access and is quite reasonable.
- Cinta Bahasa Indonesian Language School
Most of the courses are now run in Indonesia. There is one Online course available. Check the Language Programs » Course Fee Chart for details of costs for all courses.
- Indonesian for Beginners. The Complete Method. Level 1
‘The complete, comprehensive Bahasa Indonesia course : Mastery of the basics for beginners’.
- IndonesianLanguage.net - Learn Indonesian Language Online
‘A place where you can learn Indonesian online through Skype or direct with us in Bandung. All learning materials, which are exactly the same as when you attend our regular classes, are delivered through emails. Learning Indonesian online is the perfect solution for you who have limited time and space but are eager to learn Bahasa Indonesia effectively and efficiently’.
- Indonesian Online
‘Indonesian Online offers the most advanced online learning materials available for the Indonesian language. We have by far the best materials from the beginner up to the most advanced level’. Previously offering courses for free. These now attract a charge but this appears very reasonable e.g. $70 for two years for the basic course [at time of update].
- Jembatan Bahasa Indonesian Language School
‘Our teaching team has helped thousands of international students learn Indonesian quickly and naturally. We offer high quality and affordable online and in-person Indonesian classes’.
- Language Studies Indonesia
‘Language Studies Indonesia is a unique Department of Education School, licensed by the Indonesian government to provide specialised language programs in Bahasa Indonesia - the Indonesian language’. Check the the course descriptions and options available.
- Learn Indonesian [pod101]
‘Want to start speaking Indonesian from your first lesson ? You will ! Our lessons take you by the hand and guide you through real Indonesian conversations. Our teachers slow down and explain every word and phrase. Just imagine … you’ll finally understand every Indonesian word you hear’.
- Let’s Learn Indonesian Language [Cakap]
Courses for adults, children, even corporate groups. Brush Up, Skill Building, and Intensive packages are available.
- Start Learning Indonesian - Mango Languages
‘Learn Indonesian language basics, from common phrases all the way to more advanced concepts. Learn Indonesian through conversations’.
- Indonesian Tutorial Index
Multiple sections. Introduction, vocabulary, grammar, the alphabet, basic phrases, more.
- Apakah Kamu Kenal Semua Alfabet ? - Lagu Anak-anak Bahasa Indonesia
- Super JoJo Bahasa Indonesia
Do you know all the alphabets ? - Children's Songs Indonesian - Super JoJo Indonesian. A series of songs performed by family characters which range from the letters of the alphabet to simple usage of the language. Approx. 20 minutes.
- BelajarIndonesia : Indonesian Alphabet
‘There are 26 letters in the Indonesian alphabet. Don’t worry, there won’t be any unfamiliar letters in the Indonesian alphabet but you still have to work on the pronunciation’. 3min.42sec. Links to related videos.
- Indonesian Alphabet [Audio]
‘Learning the Indonesian alphabet with audio. You can find games for learning Indonesian phrases and common words on our Learn Indonesian Games webpage’.
- Guide to
Pronunciation of Indonesian
‘Unlike English, Indonesian is relatively consistent in matching sounds to spellings, but there are some exceptions to this, and there are several sounds that are tricky for English speakers’. Audio files included.
- Indonesian Alphabet Pronunciation Guide
‘Follow along with this short and easy video to practice your pronunciation of the Indonesian alphabet. Listen to a native speaker then repeat and learn lots of useful words in the process’.
- Indonesian Lessons - The Alphabet
Overview, some audio files, pronunciation. Links to other Indonesian lessons. Wikibooks
- Notes on Pronunciation
Done alphabetically, with examples for each letter.
- Lagu ABC - Bahasa Indonesia - CilukPa
‘We’re learning the alphabet while singing the Indonesian Language ABC Song, CilukPa ! [Kita belajar alfabet, Sambil bernyanyi Lagu ABC Bahasa Indonesia, CilukPa !]’.
- Cambridge English–Indonesian Dictionary
Translate from English to Indonesian. ‘Get Indonesian translations of thousands of English words from the Password English–Indonesian Dictionary’.
- English-Indonesian Dictionary
Provided online by bab.la. You can also access a reverse Indonesian-English Dictionary from the same group here. Clear instructions are given for both. Check the menu at the top for Phrases, Sentences and more.
Works to and from Indonesian. Gives several options for the selection in the other language [Use the Alt button to access the multiple option response.
- Indonesian/English Dictionary
In addition to the multiple dictionaries available, there are also links to common phrases, illustrated vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, even linguistics.
- Indonesian-English Dictionary [AllDict]
Android. ‘This is an Indonesian-English and English-Indonesian Dictionary. This dictionary is more than just a dictionary. You can search words and you can also listen to the pronunciation’. Works offline.
- Indonesian - English Translator [Microsoft]
‘This app can easily translate words and sentences from Indonesian to English and from English to Indonesian’.
- Indonesian Language Dictionary
Indonesian to English and reverse. Limited to single words. You can also request specific numbers of results [if there are enough available].
‘Kamus.net is the world’s largest and most popular English-Indonesian dictionary on the web. Dedicated entirely to the Bahasa Indonesia language Kamus.net provides instant translations to thousands of words, featuring dictionary definitions in English and Indonesian from several respected resources’.
‘Sederet.com is an online Indonesian-English Dictionary. In Indonesian, it means : Kamus Indonesia Inggris. This service is provided to you for free’. The menu at the top also allows you to access a range of other aspects of the language.
In addition to the apps listed here, you should also check other sections such as Dictionaries where specialised apps are also included.
- 6,000 Words - Learn Indonesian for Free with FunEasyLearn
Microsoft; Free. ‘Discover a quick, enjoyable and easy way to learn Indonesian! Learn Indonesian is a new, innovative app that literally makes learning Indonesian fun for everyone – for kids, students, employees and adults of all ages. Increase your vocabulary right now’.
- B2B Learn Bahasa Indonesia
Google Play; Contains Ads and Offers in-app purchases. ‘Clear Native Speaker Audio - use offline with audio speed control. You can slow down the audio speed for better listening. Reading mode; touch each word to listen to the audio. 1 500+ useful Phrases in 30 Lessons all free with some formal and informal sentences comparison’ and much more.
Indonesian dictionary - Free
Microsoft app; Contains Ads and Offers in-app purchases.‘The dictionary works offline, search is very fast. Dictionary database will be downloaded when you run the application the first time’.
- Indonesian by Nemo
Apple; Free; Offers in-app purchases. ‘Nemo is not built around lessons at all. It is meant to be picked up and put down throughout the day, whenever you have a few minutes to spare. The most essential words and phrases of the language, each with native speaker audio. Master your accent with the Speech Studio. Simply record yourself saying a phrase and then hear your voice next to the teacher’s’.
- Indonesian Master [Premium]
Google; Free, In-app purchases. ‘A useful language learning app with various situational Q & A styled expressions for daily conversation’.
- Learn Bahasa Indonesian
Apple; Free, Offers In-App Purchases. ‘Using this app, you can learn Indonesian phrases and words from our native Indonesian speaking parrot. The parrot works together with you to practice your speaking and listening skills, wherever and whenever you are. Learning Indonesian can never be easier’.
- Learn Indonesian - 15 000 Words
Google; Free, Offers in-app purchases. ‘Learn to read, write and speak Indonesian. Discover the fun and easy way to learn all the reading rules, all the words you’ll ever need and all the useful phrases in the Indonesian language’.
- Learn Indonesian Language Fast
Apple; Check re the subscription [Premium]. ‘100% of our content is completely free ! Professionally curated word lists with more than 2 600 words that cover 90% of everyday word usage. Every single word is beautifully illustrated: connect the new words to illustrations rather than translations’.
- Learn Indonesian Language with Master
Google; Check the subscription information. ‘Our free Indonesian language learning app is designed to make learning Indonesian as easy and as fun as possible. Using a variety of mini games and interactive learning techniques, you’ll be able to immerse yourself in the Indonesian language using just your smartphone’.
- Learning Indonesian Lessons
Apple; Free. ‘Everything is suitable for beginners, all starting with Lesson 1. Study 20 high quality audio Indonesian lessons; Learn through challenge & response methodology; One-button 5 second rewind if you miss something; Background audio playing supported on multitasking-capable devices’ and much more.
Indonesian Vocabulary - Verbs Words Phrases
Google; Ads, Offers in-app purchases. ‘Learn 3 500 Indonesian nouns, adjectives and verbs to enrich your vocabulary. Memorise most common Indonesian words. Listen to the pronunciation of the words. Learn with word games, phrases and word lists. Use flash cards to master frequently used, core vocabulary’.
- Speak Indonesian - 5 000 Phrases
Google; Free, Ads, Offers in-app purchases. ‘Whether you’re a tourist having a vacation in an Indonesian speaking country or someone who just wants to speak a foreign language, this application will help you learn Indonesian phrases in a fast, easy and enjoyable way’.
- Anki - powerful, intelligent flashcards
‘Anyone who needs to remember things in their daily life can benefit from Anki. Since it is content-agnostic and supports images, audio, videos and scientific markup [via LaTeX], the possibilities are endless. Anki will handle decks of 100 000+ cards with no problems. There are a large number of add-ons available’. Be sure to read the Anki Manual to see what you can do and how to do it.
- Bahasa Kita Indonesian
‘Bahasa Kita Indonesian is a program for beginners. There are interactive exercises and spoken examples with clear explanations of the language structure. There are concise cultural notes on social customs. Many of the 12 units address both a specific area of language and a particular situation. There is access to a talking dictionary which includes most of the words used’ and many more options. Fee-based.
Pimsleur Indonesian Conversational Language Course
‘This course includes Lessons 1-16 from the Indonesian Level 1 Program - 8 hours of audio-only effective language learning with real-life spoken practice sessions. Each lesson provides 30 minutes of spoken language practice, with an introductory conversation, and new vocabulary and structures’. Fee-based.
- Talk Now Indonesian
‘Delightful interactive program to teach beginning vocabulary in the topics of: First Words, Food, Colours, Countries, Body, Numbers, Time, Phrases and Shopping. You learn the vocabulary, practice your pronunciation compared to native speakers, choose between the easy game or hard game to test your knowledge and even print out a picture dictionary’. Fee-based.
- Free Online Flashcards
About 3 000 flashcards from English to Indonesian, grouped under several headings. Free. Links to fee-based flashcard resources for Desktop [Windows], Pocket and Mobile. Trials are available for each of these.
‘More than 500 free Indonesian games and activities’.
- Indonesian [Bahasa Indonesia]
Introduction, the alphabet, pronunciation, further resources. Audio and video examples are included. Links to related material.
- Indonesian Flashcards
Cram.com Select from an extensive collection of flashcards created by others. Several selections make use o f games to help with learning.
- Indodic Language Learning Section
Multiple options grouped under Language Analysis, Vocabulary Building, Miscellaneous. 24 sections in all.
- Language Learning Space
‘The Language Learning Space has been custom-designed for language teachers and students’. Indonesian is one of three languages.
You need to be able to log in to access this site [Scootle for staff].
- Languages Online
DET, Victoria. ‘Make your own interactive tasks’. Multiple languages including Indonesian [35 activities listed].
- Siaran Radio Australia - Bahasa Indonesia
Practise your Indonesian Skills with news from Indonesia in Indonesian.
- Useful and Usable
‘This book is for English speakers who want to learn to communicate in Bahasa Indonesia/Indonesian language from scratch but do not have much time. All vocabulary and grammatical information are presented in simple stages so that learners can start using them straight away’. Amazon Australia. Fee-based.
- Indonesian Grammar - 17 Lessons
‘This page contains links to lessons about Indonesian grammar. Here are the topics discussed in each lesson : adjectives, adverbs, plural, prepositions, feminine, numbers, negation, pronouns, questions, determiners, nouns, verbs, present tense, past tense, future tense, imperative, and the comparative. Going through each lesson should take about 30 minutes’.
- Indonesian Grammar [ilanguages.org]
‘The grammatical rules below are the most important in Indonesian and help connect words or shape the structure. We start with prepositions’. Check the menu on the left for other aspects of Indonesian.
- Indonesian Grammar [IndonesianPod101.com]
Introduction to Grammar, Grammar Bank, About Indonesian Verbs.
- Indonesian Grammar [Langhub.com]
7 sections covering grammatical types. Also check the topics listed in the menu at the top, right.
- Indonesian Grammar [LEARN101.ORG]
‘Welcome to the 8th lesson — about Indonesian grammar’. Check the menu on the left for other aspects of learning Indonesian
- Indonesian Grammar [Mylanguages.org]
Use sections from the menus - Adjectives, Adverbs, Nouns, Articles, Pronouns, Plural, Feminine, Verbs, Prepositions, Negation, Prefixes … to help you with your Indonesian grammar.
- Learn Indonesian - Grammar [and Vocabulary]
‘Check our courses about adjectives, adverbs, articles, gender [feminine, masculine … ], negation, nouns, numbers, phrases, plural, prepositions, pronouns, questions, verbs, vocabulary, exercises … to help you with your Indonesian grammar’.
- 100 Indonesian Vocabulary Lessons [Audio
‘You can download the audio files below for free to practice at your convenience. Click on the lessons below to be taken to that page. You can view the translations of the first 30 lessons for free but the rest are hidden and require a membership to see’. Use the items in the menu on the left to access specific areas to assist with learning Indonesian.
- Basic Greetings and Vocabulary
Percakapan Dasar dan Kosa Kata [Basic Conversation and Vocabulary]. ‘To get you started and introduce you to the Indonesian national language, here are some basic phrases in Bahasa Indonesia. Click on the link to the Indonesian phrase [below[ to hear the phrase in Indonesian’.
- Digital Dialects : Indonesian
‘Free games for learning languages. Includes phrases, greetings, numbers, animals, spelling games, colours, vocabulary builders’ and more. You might also try Game 1 and Game 2 that link back to this.
- Indonesian Vocabulary Sets
‘Use this page to study the everyday words from the Indonesian vocabulary and use flash cards or online games to learn the words. Click one of the word sets [below] to review and learn the Indonesian words for that category. You can learn a random collection from all sets of words either using the Flash Card exercise, or by playing Hangman or Word Search’.
- LingvoSoft Online PhraseBook
15 sub-directories covering the Basics to Calling Police and Sport/Leisure.
DET, Victoria. Learning and teaching resources. Educational kits and online resources. FUSE material, books, readers, language lessons and more.
Dance, Music, Arts, Religion, People. Part of a larger site which covers several aspects of Indonesian life.
- Culture in Indonesia [Lonely Planet]
‘National Identity; Lifestyle; Multiculturalism; Religion; Women in Indonesia; Arts; Crafts; Sport’. Most sections have sub-sections for specific aspects.
- Culture of Indonesia
‘Orientation [background]; Demography; History and ethnic relations; Urbanism, architecture and the use of space; Food and economy; Social stratification; Political life; Gender roles and statuses; Marriage, family and kinship; Socialisation; Etiquette; Religion; The Arts and Humanities;’ and more.
- Indonesian Culture [Cultural Atlas, SBS]
‘Core concepts; 12 sections from Greetings to Reference material; Specific areas [see menu on the right]; Indonesians in Australia’. For a small fee you can download all the information in PDF format for use at your convenience.
- The History of Indonesian
Puppet Theatre [Wayang]
Overview; related resources; activities; lessons.
- The Wayang Puppet Theatre
‘Renowned for its elaborate puppets and complex musical styles, this ancient form of storytelling originated on the Indonesian island of Java. The Wayang Puppet Theatre still enjoys great popularity. However, to compete successfully with modern forms of pastimes such as video, television or karaoke, performers tend to accentuate comic scenes at the expense of the story line’. [5.5min.] Links to similar videos.
- Wonderful Indonesia : Culture and Heritage
‘Visitors from around the world come to Indonesia, attracted by its unique and diverse cultures and vibrant heritage. As a country with over 350 cultural ethnic groups, the cultural diversity of Indonesia deserves to be explored’. [3.9min.]
The novels listed are designed for students in the teenage years and adults. They cover many topics, but all are set in various parts of Indonesia and feature easy to understand characters. While needing to be assessed for your students, they could be used to expand an understanding of life and culture in Indonesia and how people in Australia relate to this. Where possible, links are to the specific book information on an author’s pages, or specific books are noted in the link provided. The author’s name is provided with each link.
- Cut Loose
Lucy Chesser. ‘A novel for young adults [15+]. It is set in Sumatra, Indonesia and follows the adventures of two young Australian brothers, Ethan, 14 and Jon, 19. It successfully evokes the rich texture of life in Indonesia : the everyday lives of the people who inhabit the land, drenching torrential rains, tropical rainforests, chaotic transport, Padang restaurants, the tourist industry, housing and more’.
- Escaping Paradise
Warren Flynn. ‘Escaping Paradise follows the adventures of Nikita Scoperta, a Perth teenager visiting Bali with her mother. Their package tour to Nusa Dua quickly degenerates into a holiday in hell when Nicki is kidnapped by political activists. A terrifying journey across the island of Java ensues, taking the reader through a cross-section of contemporary Indonesian culture, seen through Nicki’s eyes’.
- Indo Dreaming
Neil Grant. ‘Indo Dreaming is a vivid and enigmatic novel for anyone who has the spirit of travel wedged in their soul. Grant’s ability to take the reader into the wild and foreign Indonesia is a delight’.
- Senior Novels
Allan Baillie. Two novels relate to Indonesia. They are “Treasure Hunters” and “Saving Abbie”. Each is detailed on this site, with descriptors giving a summary of each novel, any awards, other items of information. Also try “Krakatoa Lighthouse”. Biography and book list available here. Click on titles for further information.
- Steve Tolbert Novels
This author has two novels that relate to Indonesia. They are “Escape to Kalimantan” and “Surfing for Wayan and Other Stories”. Each is provided with a good summary of the storyline. Also try “O’Leary, JI Terrorist Hunter”. These can be found by scrolling down the site page.
- The Tiger
Sophie Masson. ‘The Tiger is a novel set in Java, the main island of Indonesia. Combining realistic description, mystery and the supernatural, it is a rich and complex novel. Nick and his family travel to Java for holidays and also to see where his father was born : and get caught up in a mystery whose roots go back thirty years before, to the troubled ’60’s in Indonesia. This novel, which has been very popular and widely reviewed, gives an interesting picture of Javanese culture, life and history’. You can also try here.
‘View curated digital resources that gather together Asia-related web links relevant to year-level content descriptions of the Australian Curriculum : Languages - Indonesian’. Multiple links to further resources and information.
- Indonesian 
Extensive collection, in several sections, of briefly annotated links.
- Indonesian Children’s Games
‘The toys and the games that are described below are commonly seen and played by Indonesian children’.
- Indonesian Language Links Database
Grammar & pronunciation; Digitised Grammar Books; Indonesian Vocabulary; Vocabulary-related [and Digitised] Ebooks; Indonesian Reading Materials; Indonesian Dictionaries; Digitised Dictionaries; Indonesian Listening and Video Resources. All links briefly annotated.
Podcasts, Blogs, …
‘Food, Travel and Lifestyle blog based in Jakarta, Indonesia’.
- Indonesian Travel Phrasebook
‘Connect in Indonesia with these handy phrases’.
- Radio.net Learning Indonesian
‘This English podcast teaches the Indonesian language online’.
- SBS Podcasts : Indonesian
‘Podcast of related news stories, sports, entertainment’, more.