Thursday, October 20, 2011

Learning Bahasa Indonesia

I used to think that Bahasa Indonesia is the easiest language, as it has no tense, no gender, no cases. When I taught D Bahasa Indonesia I started to realise how difficult Bahasa Indonesia really is. As I translate documents to Bahasa Indonesia I often struggle with specific words. I found Bahasa Indonesia needs more words to describe certain thing. As it is a new language, I noticed that certain words are spelled differently in the new KBBI dictionary which is rather confusing.


I've spent this evening re-learning proper Bahasa Indonesia and thinking how to explain it to others because I do get questions about Bahasa Indonesia's grammar from my clients.

Guess what? Bahasa Indonesia is not as easy as I thought.

15 comments:

colson said...

Exactly my opinion: "Bahasa Indonesia is not as easy as I thought".

Indeed. It is tough, it is hard to learn.

triesti said...

@Colson, I think if you speak Dutch & English you'll learn the vocab pretty easy than those who speak French, for example. The very basic grammar is easy, but it's not enough to understand the newspaper with the basic. The other difficulty is to understand colloquial language which could be different than a proper one.

H. Nizam said...

I always think that if we want to speak, read and write properly, no languages, including Bahasa Indonesia, is easy to learn.

triesti said...

@harry well Colloquial Indonesia is so different than proper Indonesia, that what makes it difficult to learn

get the direction said...

Learning a new language is not just about learning the words. Instead, one is required to think with a new set of labels for everything around them. Recognizing this, many language courses use pictures and symbols to illustrate the meanings of new words instead of handing out vocabulary lists with translations into one's native language.

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pj said...

The funny thing is to me that almost no indonesians I know speak indonesian in the way that it is taught. My javanese friends speak indonesian with javanese/betwai slang, the balinese speak indonesian with balinese words randomly inserted. I seem to have less difficulty talking with folks
from Sumatra for reasons that completely escape me. The disturbing trend is the growing use of sms grammer on social media. Its a whole new language out there.

triesti said...

@get the direction, it's true. there are words that are not translatable to other language. Gezellig in Dutch is one of such word.

@PJ So true. That's why I ned to relearn the proper Bahasa Indonesia. Honestly I had to laugh reading the proper example sentences in books for learning Bahasa Indonesia for foreigner. Have you heard of Binan language? That's language use my transgender /hair dresser community. example: Belanda = Belum, Akika = Aku. etc.

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Nice blog.I should say another Welsh translation is hard as it is.

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jana said...

Great post.I really think that Bahasa Indonesia was as hard as other languages.I might say that learning other languages such as Welsh translation would be harder especially when it was not your native languages.We would always give emphasis on the importance of a technical translation being accurate and efficient can indeed not be overstated. Especially in the ever faster moving world of globalized business, successful information and technology transfer within multinational businesses can make the difference between win or lose.