Indonesian language resources

Here are a couple of resources for learning Indonesian that I found to be useful. Feel free to add your own.

Anki flashcards

John's 800 words

I will later put my Anki deck of 800 words of Indonesian on the Anki website and add the link here CCCC. Meanwhile, to download the spreadsheet I used to create the deck, click on the Files button below. CCCC

Other Anki decks

Indonesian Core 100 is a nice example of an Anki vocab deck. One of the few Indonesian words Swmbo has learnt is dada (= chest). I wonder why.


Tuttle's Instant Indonesian

Tuttle Publishers have a long and venerable history in Japan, and I have consistently found their publications to be high quality. Instant Indonesian is quite a good little book. My favourite type of book for learning a language has a high exercises / vocab ratio. Instant Indonesian does not have any exercises, but it is clever in that all its myriad phrases only use a relatively small vocab - well done!

The pleasures of Bahasa

Indonesian is a trade language that most people speak as a 2nd language, so most of its rough edges have been smoothed off. (E.g. I had a far easier time with my French in Morocco or New Caledonia than in France.) Indonesian has a very simple grammar, so once you get enough vocab you can mix & match what you have. The 1 hour per day I did for 4 weeks when I first learnt Indonesian gave me a fluency that took me 4 months studying several hours per day to achieve with Japanese.

I had the loveliest time re-learning Indonesian. Indonesian folk are so nice! A highlight of our trip was shopping for supplies in Sorong before leaving for the island. We interrupted our constitutional through some side streets to ask a couple of locals where we could buy this or that, and found ourselves heart-warmed by folks' friendly generosity. Swmbo might learn more Bahasa next time; maybe there were a couple of times too many when everyone laughed and then looked at her.

Downloading Google Translate for offline use was very useful; the 800 words I had gave me enough of a framework that armed with one or two extra words I could express most things I wanted to say. As always with a limited vocab, it is easier to talk than to understand, but I got by with "Is it X or Y?" The Tuttle book was just what I needed on long speedboat trips with motors loud enough to make any conversation an exercise in shouting. And it has a useful vocab list at the back; I have ticked the words I learnt, ready to add to that spreadsheet for our next visit.

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