Fun and Effective Ways to Learn Indonesian Vocabulary

tips to learn indonesian vocabulary fast

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Do you feel you could use some cool tricks to help you memorize Indonesian vocabulary?To be able to communicate well in Indonesian, or any language for that matters, you need to have a wide range of vocabulary words so that you can express yourself meaningfully and get your message across efficiently to the person you are speaking to.

To learn Indonesian vocabulary effectively you do need to use strategies and thought-out plans to help you memorize the words. In this article we want to share some learning strategies and methods so that learning new Indonesian vocabulary becomes easier and more enjoyable.

Keep an organized vocabulary notebook

Memorizing a new set of vocabulary is challenging on its own. Let’s remove any possible barrier that could make you feel less motivated to revise, that is: cluttered and messy organization of your notes. On your vocabulary notes, you should not only have the meaning of the words in your native language/English, but also to have some sample sentences that can make you remember how to use the word in context.

Start with 3 vocabulary words a day

This simple strategy works wonder. You don’t need to overwhelm yourself to memorize 30 new vocabulary words a day. Start with 3 words. But don’t forget to revise them over and over again. Use a dictionary or the internet to help you. In this step you may discover that the word you have just learned may have a different meaning in a different content. For example: “coklat” can mean “brown,” but it can also mean “chocolate” (a food made from roasted and ground cacao seeds) in Indonesian. To top it off, try to make a couple of sentences using the new words that you have just learned.

Learn Indonesian with Pictures

Sometimes it helps to change your learning approach from time to time to avoid boredom. When you can pick your learning approach strategically you can avoid hitting a learning plateau. Though this method may seem childish and reminds you a lot to your time back in school, but making association of the new words you learn with pictures especially for memorizing nouns, can be a strategic move.

For this method, you can utilize flashcards that have both Indonesian words and pictures only. Use flashcards with Indonesian words to memorize, and use the flashcards with pictures only to test your memory. It’s always good to test yourself after your memorize your words. Don’t forget to also test yourself from time to time. Without revising the words you’ve learned, your effort will be useless because in order for a new set of words to stick (in your memory), you’ll have keep revisiting them until they become second nature to you.

This is the printable digital flashcard set we like to recommend to our students:

Indonesian flashcards

You just need to buy this once, and you can download / print as much as you’d like for your personal use. This set has 4 versions: (1) Pictures with Indonesian words only (2) Pictures with Indonesian – English words (3) Pictures with English words only (4) Pictures only. This flashcard set is great for learning new vocabulary and also for doing the memory game. The beautiful illustration definitely will catch your eyes and spice up your vocabulary learning process. Flashcard is such a versatile tool because you can take them with you anywhere and revise anytime even at the comfort of your bed, or during your commute.

Another approach is to learn Indonesian vocabulary words with pictures on Youtube. On Think Bahasa’s channel we have compiled many vocabulary learning videos where we put the relevant pictures as a background. This will help tremendously for our students to make relevant association when they learn new words.

Check out one of our videos and be sure to subscribe. We post new videos every Monday and Wednesday.

Join a Language Exchange Meetup

Try to see if there is an Indonesian language learning club in your city. If you are based in Singapore, you are in luck. Think Bahasa hosts a regular meetup that allow both native speakers and non native speakers to bond over their love and interest on Indonesian language over casual dinner. This will allow language learners to practice their Indonesian with native speakers and receive feedbacks in real life. Click the link below to join:

Indonesian Language Conversation Club

Singapore, SG
247 Members

You should join this group if you are: * Indonesian native speakers, or * Bahasa Indonesia Language Learners!For Bahasa Indonesia Language Learners: Have you attempted to lea…

Check out this Meetup Group →

By joining a Meetup, there is a huge chance that you will come back from every event learning at least one or two new vocabulary words. Don’t forget the first two learning strategies that we shared earlier. Write your new vocabulary words in your notebook, practice forming different sentences with them to ensure that you know now and you will still remember many days from today the meaning of the words in their appropriate context.

If you are not based in Indonesia, you can opt to join online Indonesian learning club where you will also have the chance to ‘interact’ with native speakers. If you have a Facebook profile, you can consider joining our Facebook group created for Indonesian language learners:

Read, Read, Read

The more you read, the more you learn. You will pick up new words without even realizing it when you read. Reading lets you see how words are used in sentences, and lets you understand them through context.

There are even some books that are meant to teach vocabulary and are catered towards Indonesian language learners. We highly recommend you to check out to get started. The site has a large collection of bilingual English – Indonesian books at a variety of reading levels. We always recommend our students to pick up bilingual books for efficiency purposes. It will save a great deal of your time flipping through your dictionary. All books recommended in are bilingual and they all have side-by-side English – Indonesian text translation.

Reading exposes you to loads of new vocabulary. With storybooks your brain can make a connection between the meaning of the word and its written form. The visual aid means new words are likely to be memorable.

If you need a guide on what to look for when picking up your first few Indonesian books, and also some of our recommendations, read on our article here:

Indonesian Books for Beginners

Use Word Magnet

Integrate your learning into your everyday lives.

What’s one place you see every day? Yes—your fridge! Put some vocabulary words on your refrigerator so that every time you head to the kitchen for a snack or a drink, you’ll see the words right in front of you. Make an effort to change the word daily. This can be your “Indonesian Word of the Day.”

There are many different word magnet sets available to buy at stores and on Amazon. For us, we particularly love this versatile magnetic set .


It’s very versatile and it includes the sturdy storage box to keep all the letters. You can stick these alphabets on fridge, or you can also stick them on the double-sided magnetic writing board (11.3*7.9inch) that comes with the set.

The set also includes 3 whiteboard pens and 1 whiteboard eraser. What’s not to love? It has everything you’d need. If you have younger kids at home, this set is also suitable for children from 4 years old or older. Check out this alphabet magnetic set here.

Use a Learning App

It can’t be denied that learning a foreign language solely using an app is lacking on many aspects and advantages but for simple learning purposes like learning vocabulary words, using an app like Memrise or Duolingo can actually be a good choice. Using a language learning app allows you to learn new vocabulary words on the go. Read on this article below on the 3 best mobile apps (along with their pros and cons) for learning Indonesian.

3 Best Mobile Apps to Learn Indonesian Language

Do you have any other methods to learn Indonesian vocabulary that you particularly love and swear by? Share with us your favorite ways to learn Indonesian in the comments! If you have any topic request and just simply wanted to say hi, feel free to reach out to us at . We always love getting emails from our readers! 🙂

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