Is Indonesian hard to learn?

A very common question we often get is ‘Is Bahasa Indonesia easy?’ . In this blog post, we want to convince you that Indonesian is one of easiest languages in the world.

Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian language) was created to be the national language of 260 million speakers of thousands of local languages spread across 17,000 islands. Bahasa Indonesia is a second language for almost all of its speakers. Its success as a national language depends on it being easy to learn and easy to use.

Here are five reasons why Bahasa Indonesia is an easy language to learn.

It’s a phonetic language

This means that each letter in Indonesian represents one sound in the words it is used in. For example, the sound of “I” in “indah” is the same as the “I” in “ibu”. So you basically can pronounce any Indonesian words if you know how to pronounce the Indonesian alphabet.

Indonesian has no tenses or conjugation

Another easy feature of Bahasa Indonesia is that it doesn’t have any tenses. Instead, it uses time qualifying words to indicate when actions happen. For example:

I am eating – Saya sedang makan

I will eat – Saya akan makan

I already ate – Saya sudah makan

Bahasa Indonesia also doesn’t have any conjugation, meaning the verbs stay the same regardless of any subject they have. For example:

She/he eats – Dia makan

You eat – Anda makan

I eat – Saya makan

As you can see, the word ‘makan’ doesn’t change even though it has different subjects.

Bahasa Indonesia doesn’t have any articles

There are no “a”, “an”, and “the” in this language. For example:

An apple – apel

A house – rumah

Plural forms

In English, to indicate a plural noun, you can add “s” at the end of the word, e.g. houses, tables, teachers. In Bahasa Indonesia, to make a noun plural, you can simply repeat the word. For example:

A house = rumah

Houses = rumah-rumah

It’s important to note that you don’t have to repeat the word all of the time. If you already have a word that indicates the noun is plural, then you can say the word once. For example, for “many houses” Indonesians would say “banyak rumah” instead of “banyak rumah-rumah”.

Loan words from English

Bahasa Indonesia has a lot of loan words from English. Most of these words are different in spelling, but similar in pronunciation. Here are some examples:

activist – aktivis

actor – aktor

class – kelas

design – desain

evacuation – evakuasi

So Is Indonesian easy or hard to learn?

After reading the reasons above, we hope that you realize that Indonesian is a simple language to master. It has grammatical and phonetic simplicity. Learning Indonesian allows provides to connect with the vibrant and ethnically diverse people who live across one the world’s largest archipelagos. With this in mind, it’s hard to find excuses not to learn Indonesian. If this article tickles your taste buds, and you are ready to get started, contact us now.

By Jembatan Bahasa

Jembatan Bahasa is a professional and highly rated Indonesian language school based in Bali, Indonesia. Our teaching team is experienced and certified to teach Indonesian as a foreign language. Some of them have over eight years of teaching experience and have taught in a prestigious international school in Bali. Interested in learning Indonesian with us? WhatsApp us at +6282 145 950 737 or email at