10 Ways To Stay Motivated Learning Indonesian

staying motivated to learn Indonesian

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Staying motivated is important when it comes to acquiring a new skill, and in this case: mastering Indonesian language. Without motivation, the idea of learning new words sounds very daunting. How could you progress in your learning if you can’t seem to find motivation to revise what you’ve learned and learn new words?

So when your motivation to learn has hit a plateau, here are 10 ways to stay motivated learning Indonesian:

1. Remind yourself why you learn Indonesian in the first place.

Is it because you’re after a job promotion? Starting a startup or a research project in Indonesia? Looking to start your digital nomad life in Bali? Marrying your significant other who happens to be Indonesian? Retiring in Indonesia perhaps? Visualise how speaking fluent Indonesian will help you tremendously to get what you want.

Most of the time the reason why people are wanting to be fluent or at least conversational in Indonesian is because it will get them to the end goal they are after. So in your case: Remember the big end goal you have in mind. You’re already on your way, stick to it.

2. Celebrate little victories. 

Has it been a week? a month? a few months? Look back at what you have achieved. So you’re able to count 1-50 now? That’s wonderful! Can you tell the time in Bahasa Indonesia? That’s a very practical skill that you have. Are you able to understand what Chris Hemsworth is saying in this video, then? Bet you do!

Learning Indonesian will help you to tap into the 5th most populous country in the world. It will let you to find a common ground and build relation to a lot of people! So be easy on yourself and give yourself a pat in the shoulder. Tell yourself: “Good job, me!”

3. Record a video of you learning and speaking Indonesian to keep yourself accountable.

It’s easier to flake out when nobody sees you, when nobody knows about it. But when you share with many people in your circle that you are learning AND intend to master Indonesian, backing out may not be so appealing anymore. Keep yourself accountable by sharing your goals to many people. If you’d like, you can even start an Instagram account where you share your video learning and speaking Indonesian to public. There is a reason why many polyglots set their Instagram account to public, not only it’s to keep them accountable, you gotta admit that a little words of encouragements here and there (even if they come from strangers) can keep you going.

4. Evaluate your study routine, and make changes if needed.

Get creative ! If the only way you’re learning Indonesia is learning by yourself (self-study) and from textbook only, no wonder your motivation wanes. Watch interesting Indonesian lesson videos on youtube, such as the one here:

Every week Think Bahasa’s Youtube channel posts a new learning video. Be sure to subscribe for more engaging learning videos. If you are just too tired to open up your textbook, just select a topic out of the many videos that have been posted. If you like to listen to songs, why don’t you try to listen to Indonesian songs? Pick one that you like, and try to translate the lyrics to your native language. Do you like to read quotes? Pick some of your favourite ones, and try to translate them into Indonesian. Keep your lesson plan interesting!

5. Surround yourself with positive and motivated Indonesian language learners.

Do you know anyone else who learns Indonesian? If you don’t have anyone else in your circle who is also learning or able to speak Indonesian, you can always go to a language exchange event in your city. This other person can be both your accountability partner or your conversation partner. It’s easier to monitor your own progress once you get to put what you’ve learned into practice.

6. Reward yourself when you’ve finished your study session.

What’s your vice? A cup of hot chocolate? A glass of protein shake? Remember: your study session doesn’t have to be long. Spare 15 minutes a day in the morning would be our advice. Just go straight onto it. 15 minutes. BAM. Then done. Then, savour your reward before starting your day.

7. Put your Indonesian into a good use.

Do you have a travel plan to go to Bali for a 2-weeks vacation? or do you go to Jakarta regularly as part of your work travel? Amazing amazing amazing! Say a phrase or two in Indonesian at every chance you have. It does feel like scoring a big time when you know a native speaker can understand what you’re saying. But what if you say something a native speaker doesn’t understand? Well, that’s okay. You’re learning and Indonesian is probably your second if not your third (maybe even your fourth) language. Ask the native speaker to correct you. Have this opportunity to learn. Are you feeling insecure about your accent? Well, don’t be! One of quotes we love is from Amy Chua. She said: “Do you know what a foreign accent is? It’s a sign of bravery.” So now stop giving excuses as to why you’re not putting your Indonesian into practice, and why you’re not making the most out of your time in Indonesia.

8. Set a realistic language learning goal periodically.

Let us give you a tip: stop taking demotivating tests. The main objective of you learning Indonesian is so that you can have conversation with native speakers. Measure your progress by how much Indonesian conversation can you understand and how comfortable you are when speaking to native speakers in Indonesian.

Now, how do we set a realistic language learning goal periodically? Perhaps it is by setting a goal to learn 20 new words a week (that means: 2-3 words a day). Be sure to also set time to review your progress so that you’re not losing track and forgetting what you’ve learned the week before.

9. Use your commute time wisely.

Speaking about learning 2-3 words daily, please say this is not hard to do! You can do this easily by using your commute time wisely. Head over to Think Bahasa’s Instagram account here, where you can learn Indonesian vocabulary words with pronunciation guide and meanings in English.

10. Take a break.

We understand that life happens. Something in your personal life may need your utmost attention right away. And in that case sometimes, the best thing you can do to stay motivated doing something is to step back from it, language learning included. However it is VERY important to take only a TEMPORARY break. Set a specific amount of time, such as a week or ten days, and stick to the limit. And always remember that your study session does not have to be long. It can be as short as 5, 10, 15 minutes, and as long as it’s active (meaning you’re doing it regularly), it is good than nothing.


Read related articles…

5 Fun Ways to Learn Indonesian for Busy Professionals

How to make learning Indonesian fun for kids?

Last few words…

So that’s all, friends, our tips and strategies to stay motivated learning Indonesian. Don’t you think they are all very much DOABLE? That’s exactly what we want!

And now.. We’re interested to hear from you! What do you think is the best way to stay motivated when learning Indonesian, based on your own experience? If you have any other tips to stay motivated when learning Indonesian, please be sure share your strategies below in the comments section. Let’s help each other out!

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