5 Indonesian Language Difficulties and How to Learn It

Perhaps Bahasa Indonesia is not in everyone’s list of language that they would learn. But when you are going to visit or travel to Indonesia, learning the language is crucial. The truth is Indonesian has few expectations of foreigners visiting the country to actually learn the language. So, when there are foreigners making attempt to learn Bahasa Indonesia, Indonesians are encouraging and most pleased.

Many people wonder if learning Bahasa Indonesia is as difficult as learning other languages. Well, the level of difficulty in learning a language is actually different from one person to another. There are many factors which influence the level of difficulty in learning Indonesian such as mother language and leaning ability. That is why some people say that it is easy to learn Bahasa Indonesia while some others say it is difficult.

Is Bahasa Indonesia is easy to learn?

In the previous post, we have talked about Is Indonesia an Easy Language to Learn? There are indeed some points which makes Bahasa Indonesia is easy to learn such as no grammar complexities, Latin alphabets system, and the like. However, is Bahasa Indonesia is a really easy language to learn? Is there no difficulties in learning the language?

Some people claim that learning Bahasa Indonesia is easy when you are learning only in survival level. The main point in learning language in this level is to make the person you are talking to understand your main point. But when you are trying to learn Indonesian in academical level, the level of difficulty is higher. Speaking of difficulty in learning Bahasa Indonesia, what is it actually? Related Easy Ways to Learn Bahasa Indonesia.

Indonesian Language Difficulties

As aforementioned above, the level of difficulty in learning a language can be varied. You may find the language easy but not for others. In general, there are some points which makes Bahasa Indonesia is difficult to learn.

1. Additional suffixes

Grammatical context between English and Bahasa Indonesia is quite different. Bahasa Indonesia can be considered as agglutinative language as many of the words use suffixes to create different meaning.

To create words in Bahasa Indonesia, take a root words such as ‘makan’ (to eat) and ‘jalan’ (to walk) and add suffixes such as me-, di-, ke-, pe-, pe-an,me-an, and many more. In English, there is also suffix addition -ed to create past tense but the pattern is fix. While in Bahasa Indonesia, the use of suffixes are not associated with tenses change but mostly to create new word.

Here is it types of Indonesian suffixes:

2. It is a high context language

If English is a low context language in which the meaning of the words can be easily interpreted, but Bahasa Indonesia is a high context language. The meaning of the words sometimes associate with cultural boundaries. This makes foreigners difficult in learning the language because they simply struggle with the cultural influence. 

3. Fast changing language

Believe it or not, Bahasa Indonesia is a fast changing language. Bahasa gaul or Indonesian slang and neologisms are quickly developed. It is mostly used in everyday conversation especially in youngsters and certain groups of people.

The problem with bahasa gaul ( Indonesian slank ) and neologisms is that foreigners do not learn that from textbook or teachers. The fast changing language is not only the problem for foreigners only but also Indonesian who had been abroad for a long time. Each year, there will be new words invented whether it is neologisms or bahasa gaul and some of it are going viral though out the country.

Also learn about Indonesian Language Example.

4. No tenses?

Some people think Bahasa Indonesia is easy to learn because there is no tenses. In fact, the tenses is there even though it is not as complex as English tenses. In Bahasa Indonesia, tenses markers or adverb of time is used to indicate different tenses instead of verb changing.

This can be quite confusing for foreigners who do not quite often use adverb of time. But, yes, there is no verb infliction which makes people think that Bahasa Indonesia is easy to learn. Learn more about Indonesian Grammar Exercise

5. Additional particles

In addition to foreigner confusion when learning Bahasa Indonesia is the additional particles such as dong, kan, nih, lah, and so on. This additional particles has no actual meaning but it serves as additional expression to emphasize the meaning of the sentence. Also learn more about Indonesian Useful Expression.

How to Learn Bahasa Indonesia? Check it out here about Easy Ways to Learn Bahasa Indonesia for beginner as there is no Indonesian language difficulties if you learn it well.

Learning any language including Indonesian can be difficult, but it can be just an excuse not to learn the language. There are many ways to help you learning Bahasa Indonesia easily including reading Masteringbahasa. Good luck with your lesson. Terima Kasih! (Thank You!)