How to learn a language online

How to learn a language online

wayne parry

LEARN INDONESIAN ONLINE - FOR FREE

 

 

 

 

STEP ONE:  WHERE THE LANGUAGE IS SPOKEN

THE INDONESIAN ARCHIPELAGO

 

Bahasa Indonesia, as the language is officially known, is the national language of Indonesia and is spoken by over 200 million people in this country as well as being a ‘working language’ in neighbouring East Timor. In all, there are only about 23 million native speakers who reside in urban centres such as Jakarta or Bandung but it is a language that is now understand by almost 100% of the Indonesian population, making it one of the most spoken languages in the world. It is only spoken where there are large communities of Indonesians abroad, such as in the Netherlands, Australia, the United States and Saudi Arabia.

The language is not to be confused with Bahasa Malaysia though. The differences between these two languages are more defined than mere differences between the vocabulary of British and American English, for example. It is more like comparing Dutch and Afrikaans, where the two languages are almost mutually intelligible but are considered separate languages, nonetheless. Obviously it takes very little time for a speaker of Bahasa Malaysia to be able to understand the different lexicon between the two languages, in the same way that a speaker of Afrikaans would spend little time to be able to communicate in Dutch.

While most Indonesians speak a local language at home, Bahasa Indonesia is the administrative language used in schools, government departments and media – as well as being the lingua franca that holds over 6,000 islands together and allows all Indonesians to communicate effectively with one another.   

 

 

 

STEP TWO:  A CITY WHERE THE LANGUAGE IS SPOKEN

WELCOME TO MEDAN

 

Now that we have become familiarised with where the language is spoken (Indonesia), the next step is to zoom in on the country and take a look at a city where it is spoken. This allows us to feel as if we’re in that location and we can absorb all the street scenes of that city.

 

 

 

STEP THREE:  SIGNS

A LEISURELY WALK AROUND JAKARTA

 

The written aspect of a language is important to be able to memorise words for later use. By taking a walk around a local neighbourhood, it is possible to take in some of the sights and read the signs along the way. Markets are usually ideal for this exercise but in Indonesia, most markets are very traditional and sell fruit and vegetables where very few signs are needed.

 

 

 

STEP FOUR:  SITUATIONS

TELEVISION

 

Understanding different situations in communication is important for learning how to speak the language. The best way to see these situations in action is to watch a television drama series, known locally as “sinetron” in this part of the world. Most types of sinetron in Indonesia are sappy love stories but still, they’re worth watching for the variation of emotions shown.  Here’s a list of some recent TV drama that is watched by millions of Indonesians and some are exported to neighbouring Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei.

 

Bawang Merah Bawang Putih   -   story about two girls who are neighbours

Bayu Cinta Luna   -   office love romance

Dunia Tanpa Koma   -   action drama set in a magazine bureau

Angel’s Diary   -   drama about a girl who moves from Australia to Indonesia and how she adjusts

Tim Bui   -   football themed drama set in a prison

Sejuta Cinta Marshuda   -   love story about a girl who meets a rich boy

Safa dan Marwah   -   drama about a girl who moves to Jakarta to find love

Dia Bukan Anakku   -   story about a rich girl whose sister suddenly re-appears

Rama dan Ramona   -   two teenagers who meet at school and fall in love

Kesetiaan Cinta   -   love romance about a woman who marries a playboy

Cinta Fitri   -   story about a girl whose wedding plans turn upside down

Mawar Melati   -   romance drama about a woman who steals someone else’s baby

Alisa   -   love story with a shocking twist about the man who she falls in love with

Amanah dalam Cinta   -   story about a girl who is coerced into meeting someone in Jakarta

 

 

 

 

STEP FIVE:  FOOD

INDONESIAN CUISINE

 

Most visitors to Indonesia would probably have tried nasi goreng or gado gado, which are ubiquitous dishes found all over the country. Due to the melting pot of cultures in this archipelago, it’s no surprise that a food varies from region to region. The most popular type of Indonesian cuisine is called Padang cuisine, or Makasan Padang, and is even found in food courts in Singapore and beyond. Here is a list of some of the more well-known dishes eaten by the locals.    

 

 

ENTRÉE

 

Gado Gado   (boiled vegetable salad with peanut sauce)

Sambal Tempeh  (fermented soybeans in chili paste)

Sayur Asem   (Sundanese sour tamarind and vegetable soup)

Soto Ayam   (Indonesian style chicken soup)

Lalab dan Sambal Terasi   (Sundanese raw vegetables with chili shrimp paste)

Tahu Sumedang   (fried tofu)

Lumpiah   (spring rolls)

Pempek   (fried fishcake from Palembang)

Sop Buntut   (Javanese oxtail soup)

Tekwan   (fishcake soup from Palembang)

 

 

MAIN

 

Sate Ayam   (satay chicken skewers in peanut sauce)

Rendang Daging   (Padang style beef in spicy coconut milk)

Nasi Goreng   (Indonesian style fried rice)

Ayam Goreng Kalasan   (fried chicken stewed in spices from Yogyakarta)

Mie Rebus   (Javanese style egg noodles in gravy)

Bakso Solo   (meatball and noodle soup from Central Java)

Rawon   (dark beef soup with sambal from Surabaya)

Sate Madura   (chicken skewers in sweet soy sauce)

Bakso Malang   (meatball and fried wonton soup from East Java)

Bebek Goreng   (deep fried duck from East Java)

Soto Bangkong   (chicken soup with rice vermicelli and tomatoes from Semarang)

Nasi Kuning   (spiced vegetable and rice dish from East Java)

Dendeng Balado   (thin crispy beef with chili from Minangkabau)

Nasi Liwet   (chicken broth in coconut milk served on rice from Solo)

Rujak Cingur   (marinated cow snout from Surabaya)

Babi Guling   (Balinese style roast pork)

Bubur Ayam   (Javanese chicken rice porridge)

Bubur Manado   (dried fish porridge from Sulawesi)

Bakmie Goreng   (deep fried noodles)

Cap Cai   (Chinese fusion stir fried vegetables)

Empal Gentong   (offal soup from West Java)

Ketupat Sayur   (pressed rice cakes with coconut chicken soup from Jakarta)

Laksa Bogor   (vermicelli and vegetable soup derived from this Malaysian favourite dish)

Lawar   (shredded jackfruit and pork from Bali)

Mie Aceh Goreng   (spicy fried noodles from Aceh)

Nasi Ulam   (steamed rice in sweet soy sauce soup with meat and vegetables from Jakarta)

Paniki   (bat cooked in spices from Sulawesi)

Gule Kambing   (mutton curry from East Java)

Nasi Kucing   (dried fish and rice dish from Yogyakarta)

Nasi Gudeg   (Javanese jackfruit and chicken dish served with rice)

Papeda   (sago congee served with mackerel from Maluku and Papua)

Gulai Ayam   (chicken curry from Sumatra)

Betutu   (Balinese steamed chicken in spices)

Cakalang Fufu   (grilled smoked tuna skipjack from Sulawesi)

Sate Padang   (Padang style satay in thick yellow sauce)

Ayam Taliwang   (chicken in spicy herbs from Lombok)

Roti Cane   (Indian bread with beef curry from West Sumatra)

Sangsang   (Batak style meat stew)

Tongseng   (goat curry soup from Central Java)

 

DESSERT

 

Angsle   (hot soup of sago pearls and mung beans)

Serabi   (coconut and rice pancakes)

Bakpia Pathok   (bean cake from Yogyakarta)

Bubur Kacang Hijau   (green been porridge)

Cendil   (Javanese sweet rice and coconut cake)

Gethuk   (Javanese cassava paste)

Klepun   (glutinous rice balls)

Es Teler   (avocado, jelly and jackfruit in coconut milk)

Es Cendol   (coconut milk and jelly)

Kolak   (stewed banana, cassava and pumpkin)

Kue Putu   (sweet coconut cake)

Pisang Goreng   (deep fried bananas)

Lupis   (glutinous rice balls in coconut syrup)

 

 

 

STEP SIX:  HOW TO PREPARE THE FOOD

A RECIPE FOR NASI GORENG

 

It wouldn’t be right to just taste the food. Getting involved in the preparation of the food is just as important for becoming immersed in the culture of the language. By far, nasi goreng is the dish most known to Indonesians and foreigners alike when mentioning anything typically Indonesian. It’s fairly easy to make and in this clip, there is an easy recipe to follow.

 

 

 

STEP SEVEN:  MUSIC

POPULAR MUSIC IN INDONESIA

 

While it is true that traditional Indonesian music, such as gamelan, is essential for understanding the culture of the language, it depends on personal taste. Music that contains songwords (lyrics) is far more useful for learning the language. Obviously, with a population of over 200 million, there is a huge demand for popular (local) music and below is a list of some recent hits. Indonesian popular music is heavily influenced by international trends, especially rock music from the USA or Japan.  

 

Tulalit (Cinta Laura)   -   German born female pop singer from Jakarta

Sesuatu  (Syahrini)   -   female pop singer from West Java

Itu Aku (Sheila on 7)   -   alternative rock band from Yogyakarta

Natural (D’Masiv)   -   rock band from Jakarta

Ketahuan (Matta Band)   -   rock band from Bandung

Terluka (Eren)   -   female singer from Lampung in Sumatra

Aku dan Kamu (Five Minutes)   -   another rock band from Bandung

Jangan Letih Mencintaiku (Asbak Band)   -   pop rock band from Jakarta

Sakura (Fariz RM)   -   one of Indonesia’s most famous male pop singers of all time

Disaat Aku Mencintaimu (Dadali)   -   pop band from Bogor

Matahariku (Agnes Monica)   -   female singer from Jakarta

Aku Yang Tersakiti (Judika)   -   male pop singer who orginated from Indonesia Idol

Tak Rela (Merpati)   -   rock band from West Java

Sang Dewi (Titi DJ)   -   female soul singer from Jakarta

 

 

 

STEP EIGHT:  SPORT

FOOTBALL IN INDONESIA

 

Like most parts of the world, Indonesians are passionate about football (soccer) and there are many successful players who have made a name for themselves in European teams. Watching a local sport, in its local language, is another way to understand the minds of the local people. Here’s a recent match between Indonesia and East Timor.

 

 

 

STEP NINE:  FILM

POPULAR MOVIES IN INDONESIA

 

With its huge population, Indonesia has an insatiable market for home-grown movies – despite fierce competition from movies in English (USA), Hindi (India), Mandarin (China) and Japanese (Japan). It is recently making a comeback after suffering a decade in decline. Indonesian movies are back with a vengeance. Here’s a list of some popular movies that were released in the last few years.

 

Alangkah Lucunya  -  comedy that parodies Indonesian society

7 Hati 7 Cinta 7 Wanita  -  story about seven women who are unknowlngly interconnected

Minggu Pagi di Victoria Park  -  touching story about Indonesians working in Hong Kong

Jamila dan Sang Presiden  -  movie about a prostitute who is sentenced to death for killing a government minister

Ruma Maida  -  story about a young Christian man who runs a house for street kids in Jakarta

Mereka Bilang, Saya Monyet  -  story about a woman who was sexually abused as a child

Di Bawah Pohon  -  movie about three women who travel to Bali

Get Married  -  comedy about a tomboy who is forced to find a husband

Mengejar Mas-Mas  -  comedy about a girl who runs away to Yogyakarta

Kamulah Satu Satunya  -  comedy about life in a coastal town compared to the big city

Nagabonar Jadi 2  -  the comedy sequel about a father and son

Identitas  -  story about a man who loses his wife

2 Hati  -  teen romance set in Jakarta

 

 

 

STEP TEN:  PEOPLE

SKYPE

 

Talking to native speakers is an obvious step to fluency and making friends with locals is a sure way to improve communication skills. However, if you happen to be very far from where those native speakers live then it’s a good idea to try finding some native speakers online, where it is then possible to arrange a time to chat on Skype. Find a speaker of the same level so that both parties benefit from the language exchange. Here are two good websites for finding language exchange partners.

 

The Mixxer   http://www.language-exchanges.org

My Language Exchange  http://www.mylanguageexchange.com

 

 

STEP ELEVEN:  WORK

BUSINESS WORDS IN BAHASA INDONESIA

 

If you’re learning this language for work, it’s also important to know some business vocabulary in the line of work you’re involved in. This motivates us to learn faster as it reminds us that our career relies on us to learn the language. Here’s a short clip of some Indonesian graduates and what they have to say.

 

 

 

STEP TWELVE:  RELATIONSHIPS

HOW THE PEOPLE INTERACT

 

To understand how native speakers communicate in a language it is important to also understand how they relate to each other, whether positively or negatively. Here is a rather patriotic clip that shows how Indonesians perceive their own country and what it means to be a part of this great archipelago known as Republik Indonesia.

 

 

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