20 Ways on How to Learn Bahasa Fast (Indonesian Language)

The word “Bahasa” in English is basically used to refer to both Malaysian and Indonesian. Yet, Indonesian language is almost same like Malay language, but it’s totally different from its grammar, meaning, pronunciation, spelling, and vocabulary. Well, Indonesian language sources of loanwords from many languages.

History of Bahasa 

Indonesian is different from Malay in Malaysia because it has more words and pronunciations that come from Javanese and Dutch. The Language Center published the book that called “Senarai Kata Serapan in Bahasa Indonesia” and stated that there are 10 Indonesian donors for Bahasa Indonesia, they are Dutch, English, Arabic, Sansekerta – old Javanese language, Chinese, Portugues, Tamil, Persian, and Hindi.

Indonesian or Bahasa is the official national language of Indonesia and it is spoken by more than 270 million Indonesian people. It is the main language that has been established under the law of the Indonesian Government as the national language. Many Indonesian people communicate with Bahasa Indonesia as their native tongue to communicate with others but in suburbs.

How to Learn Indonesian?

We will find out most people communicate with their local language and Indonesian/Bahasa Indonesia become a communication tool to unite all the tribes in Indonesia. This is the steps how to learn Bahasa:

1. Using Distinct Time Words

The first rule of how to learn Bahasa Indonesia fast there are no tenses in Bahasa Indonesia that mean time is related by using distinct time words and also verbs do not conjugate to refer to person or quantity either.

2. Listening Indonesian Songs 

If you never heard Indonesian people speak in Bahasa, I recommend you to listen to Indonesian music and reading their lyrics or you can use translator software that can produce how the sound of pronunciations. It is one of easiest ways to learn Bahasa Indonesia.

3. Reading Indonesian Books 

Well, there is no difference in learning Indonesian and English. Just like every languages in the world, Indonesian classifies words from its word class such as nouns, verbs, adverbs, adjective, and pronouns.

Indeed, you can follow these steps to learn Bahasa Indonesia fast and how to sound the words like Indonesian. Unlike English, Indonesian sounds the same to the words to spelling the words. There are some new things to this and there are several sounds that will trick English speakers.

4. Learning Indonesian Sentences 

Same as English language, Bahasa Indonesia uses vowels and consonant to write sentences. The alphabet of Bahasa Indonesia is also made up of 26 letters, 5 of which are vowels, diphthongs and the rest of which are consonants.

Vowels: a e i o u
Consonants: b c d f g h j k l m n p q r s t v w x y z

Vowels Diphthongs Consonants
  • a like a in “far”
  • i like ee in “fees”
  • u like oo in “noon” or “soup”
  • é like e in “mechanic”
  • è like e in “permit”
  • ó like o in “ok”
  • ò like o in “ton”
  • ai like ie in ”tie”
  • au like ow in “how”
ai like ie in “tie”
au like ow in “how”
oi like oy in “toy”
  • b like be in “bay”
  • c like ce in “chester”
  • d like de in “day”
  • f like ef in the English standalone “f”
  • g like ge in “game”
  • h like ha in “have’
  • j like j in “DJ”
  • k like ka when you say “cut” without t
  • l like el in the English standalone “l”
  • m like m in the English standalone “m”
  • n like n in the English standalone “n”
  • p like pe in “pay” without y
  • q like kee in “keen” without n
  • r like er in “air”
  • s like s in the English standalone “s”
  • t like t in “tay” without y
  • v like fe in “fay” without y
  • w like we in “way” without y
  • z like z in the English standalone “z”

 

These are the example of vocabularies and simple sentences in Bahasa. If you can learn and understand them, you will find out how easy, fast and understandable to learn Indonesian/Bahasa Indonesia. Below are some words commonly used in daily conversation, which can be a good start who wants to learn the Indonesian language the easy way and understandable.

Indeed, the first action how to learn Bahasa is by knowing and understanding the common vocabulary in Indonesian. Here are the best ways how to learn Bahasa fast and understandable:

1. Pronoun 

Bahasa Indonesia

English

Notes

Saya/Aku

I

Anda/Kamu

You

Dia

He/She

It can be used for man and woman

Kami/Kita

We

Mereka

They

Itu

That/This/There/It “itu” describes things or to make a dummy subject
Bapak/Tuan

Mr./Sir

Ibu/Nyonya

Miss/Mrs./Madam

Bapak-Bapak/Para Tuan

Sirs
Ayah/Bapak

Father

Ibu/Bunda

Mother

Anak

Child

Anak-anak

Children
Anak laki-laki

Son

Anak perempuan

Daughter
Kakek

Grandfather

Nenek

Grandmother
Kakak Laki-laki/Perempuan

Big Brother/Sister

Adik Laki-laki/Perempuan

Little Brother/Sister


2. Common Phrases in Indonesian   

Indeed, this the common phrase that you need to remember for the first learner.

Indonesian

English
Permisi

Excuse Me

Apa Kabar?

How Are you?
Baik/Kurang Baik

Good/Not Good

Bolehkah saya bertanya?

May I ask you?
Siapa nama kamu?

What is your name?

Nama saya Eric

My name is Eric
Di mana kamu tinggal?

Where do you live?

Saya tinggal di Jakarta

I live in Jakarta
Nama saya John

My name is John

Senang bertemu kamu

Nice to meet you
Saya tidak mengerti

I don’t understand

Apakah kamu bisa berbahasa Inggris?

Do you speak English?

Saya tidak bisa bicara bahasa Indonesia

I don’t speak Indonesian

Tolong bicaranya pelan-pelan

Pleas speak slowly

Terima kasih

Thank you

Sama-sama

You’re welcome


3. Greetings 
                                                 

Indonesian

English
Selamat Pagi

Good Morning (00am-11am)

Selamat Siang

Good Day (11am-3pm)
Selamat Sore

Good Afternoon (3pm-6pm)

Selamat Malam

Good Evening (6pm-11pm)
Sampai Jumpa

Good bye

Sampai Jumpa Lagi

Good bye (until we meet again)
Selamat Jalan

Good bye (to someone is leaving)

Selamat Tinggal

Good bye (to someone is staying)
Selamat Makan

Enjoy your meal

Selamat Tidur

Good night
Selamat Ulang Tahun

Happy Birthday

Selamat ya!

Congratulations!
Welcome

Selamat Datang

Meanwhile, learn how to greet in Indonesian is the easiest way to learn Indonesian fast. You can then learn its pronunciation too.

4. Numbers

Indonesian

English
Nol

Zero

Satu

One
Dua

Two

Tiga

Three

Empat

Four

Lima

Five

Enam

Six
Tujuh

Seven

Delapan

Eight
Sembilan

Nine

Sepuluh

Ten
Sebelas

Eleven

Dua Belas

Twelve
Tiga Belas

Thirteen

Empat Belas

Forteen
Lima Belas

Fifteen

Enam Belas

Sixteen

Tujuh Belas

Seventeen

Delapan Belas

Eighteen

Sembilan Belas

Nineteen
Dua Puluh

Twenty

Dua Puluh Satu

Twenty-One
One Hundred

Seratus

One Thousand

Seribu
One Million

Satu Juta

5. Conversations on the phone

Indonesian

English

Halo

Hello

Dengan siapa saya berbicara?

Who’s speaking?

Bisa berbicara dengan … ?

Can I talk to (name’s person)?

Mohon tunggu sebentar

Please wait a moment

Apakah ada pesan?

Do you want to leave a message?

Dia sedang tidak ada di tempat

He/She is not available

Mohon hubungi saya kembali

Please call me again

Meanwhile, that’s the common vocabulary you need to know and that’s how to learn Bahasa fast.

Suffix and Affix Uses in Indonesian

Building a sentence in Indonesia is similar to Englis Language, but it doesn’t use tenses. If you want to write an active sentence, the verb should be written with the affix “me-” and for a passive sentence the verb should be written with the affix “di-“.

For examples:

My mother is cooking for dinner. (active sentence)

Ibu Saya memasak untuk makan malam. (Indonesian)

For this example, the verb is “masak” means “cook“. It is the same as the present continuous tense that the verb should be written with -ing where the subject is doing something at the moment yet in Indonesian it is used with the affix ‘me-‘ where the subject actively doing something.

Let’s take a look another example of a passive sentence.

Dinner is cooked by my mother (passive sentence)

Makan malam dimasak oleh Ibu saya. (Indonesian)

The structure of both sentences are same but in Indonesian, the affix is changed from “me-” to “di”. It means that it is represented where dinner is still as the object whereas the subject is “my mother” or “Ibu saya”.

Examples of Sentence Pattern

As you aware that the examples above have basically sentence pattern in English grammar. The details of sentence patterns are as follows:

“My mother” is a subject, “is cooking” is a progressive verb and “for dinner” is an adverb.

In spoken Indonesian, there are no linking verb corresponding to the English words “be, am, is, are, was and were”. the English has tenses for verbs while Indonesian has no similar concept.

“Ibu Saya” is a subject, “memasak” is an active verb and “untuk makan malam” is an adverb.

From this information, we know that the pattern is S-V-A. But in the passive form, we find the different subject.

“Makan malam” is a subject, “dimasak” is a passive verb and “oleh Ibu Saya” is an adverb.

Meanwhile, to learn Indonesian faster, check out the video of how to learn Indonesian here.

And this is the last advice to end this session, you always hear these words that practice makes perfect. If you have friends as native speakers from Indonesia, it would be perfect if you could communicate with them. The more you practice your Indonesian, the better your Indonesian skill communication will be. Please follow our next lessons how to learn Bahasa fast in the next articles.