Indonesian is considered by many people one of the easiest languages to learn. It has simple grammar and it’s phonetic, meaning that one letter represents one sound like in Spanish. Knowing that, how long does it take to learn Indonesian?
It takes about 900 hours or 36 weeks of full-time study to be fluent in Indonesian. This number is based on the research done by Foreign Language Institute and our experience as Indonesian language teachers.
“Full-time study” above means that you have contact hours with Indonesian, so you don’t necessarily need to spend 900 hours in a classroom. Instead, you can combine it with learning outside of classes such as listening to audios, talking local people, learning new words with flashcards, and watching Indonesian movies.
What does “fluent in Indonesian” mean?
In our experience, learners achieve fluency when they reach level Menengah 2 or B2 ‘can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party’.
A few other signs that you are fluent in Indonesian:
- You know something is right because it sounds right.
- You can speak spontaneously without translating in your head.
- You can use a wide range of vocabulary and expressions.
- You make few errors, and if you do, you can catch your own mistakes.
- You don’t get stuck, and if you do, you can find a way around it.
- You can comfortably maintain a conversation.
- Native and other Indonesian speakers easily understand you.
What are some other factors?
Of course, the 900 hours rule above will vary from one student to another. The variation will depend on a few factors such as prior experience in learning foreign languages, person’s language learning ability, motivation, learning environment, and learning/teaching methodology.
Now that you know roughly 900 hours that you need to dedicate to master Indonesian, you can plan your learning. We are happy to help you and wish you the best with your Indonesian learning journey.