It’s amazing how many foreigners living in Indonesia don’t speak Bahasa Indonesia, with many expatriates expecting the locals to speak English. Not that speaking English is a bad thing but learning Bahasa Indonesia is essential for those who want to truly appreciate living in this amazingly diverse country.
Bahasa Indonesia is an easy language to learn and is spoken by almost 300-million people across the archipelago, which is home to a variety of distinctive languages. There are more than 700-living languages spoken in Indonesia, which is around 10-percent of the world’s languages, making Indonesia the second most linguistically diverse nation in the world. But there is one language that unifies the nation; Bahasa Indonesia, the official language, and it’s the most widely spoken across more than 17,000 islands.
If you make the effort, learning Bahasa Indonesia will give you access to a rich cultural heritage that is unique to this part of the world, give you a better understanding of the culture and people that is not always obvious to those foreigners living here as well as gain the respect of the local population. And in so doing, it will make your experience in Indonesia more enjoyable, more interesting, and much more rewarding.
Indonesians appreciate those who take the time to learn their language and culture, and it will show them that you are open-minded and willing to learn and contribute. This is especially important if you are working or living in an Indonesian community. In addition, learning Indonesian can also be beneficial to foreigners in terms of education and work opportunities. Knowing the language can open up new doors and provide access to more job and educational opportunities.
Many English language schools offer Bahasa Indonesia courses and can be found in most of the country’s larger cities, serving as business hubs for students, teachers, and other professionals. In addition to language classes, many language schools also provide cultural activities and events, such as lectures and field trips. These activities are designed to help students develop their understanding of the culture, history, and customs of Indonesia.
And as Indonesia becomes an increasingly attractive destination for more and more international businesses it makes sense to spend some time learning the language. How good is your Bahasa Indonesia? It’s never too late to learn!