We know that not many people have the time and money to simply fly to and stay in Indonesia to learn Indonesian. Or perhaps in the case of a pandemic, like the COVID-19 or CoronaVirus that are currently shaking many countries (this article is written in March 2020), many travel plans got postponed or cancelled, and even many are forced to stay at home.
There are so many cool tools and tricks to immerse yourself in Indonesian right here right now, no matter where you currently live, at the comfort of your own home. This article is meant to let you know the HOW. The only essential requirement is internet connection. As long as you have a good internet connection, you are good to go.
Here are 8 Ways to Immerse Yourself in Indonesian in Your Pajamas.
(1) Watch TV Shows / Movies
Thanks to the Internet, you can access Indonesian TV Shows and Movies at your fingertips. That means you can sharpen your Indonesian listening skills anytime anywhere!
Immersing yourself in Indonesian TV Shows or movies not only teaches you about everyday Indonesian conversations, slang words and idioms, you will learn a great deal on various aspects of day-to-day life like school, work and socializing in Indonesia. It’s a fantastic medium to learn cultural references and to learn Indonesian phrases and words in context.
Check out this article to read 8 Best TV Shows for Indonesian Language Learners:
And here are our recommendations for Indonesian movies:
8 Indonesian Movies to Watch for Indonesian Language Learners
(2) Keep a Diary or Blog in Indonesian
Have you heard the saying: practice makes perfect? This notion literally applies to everything, including language learning! Keeping a diary or blog in Indonesian is the best way to get regular writing practice. By doing so you will sharpen up your grammar skills. Writing can also improve your ability to think and express your thoughts in Indonesian like a native speaker! As it is your own diary or blog, you get to determine any topic you want. Write about anything your heart desires. Write about your childhood crush that you bumped into earlier this week, about the concert you’re looking forward to going, and et cetera. It is up to you!
If you want to take one step further, you can show your diary or blog to native speakers and ask them to correct it for you. If you don’t know any native speakers of Indonesian, utilize this facebook group:
Take a picture or screenshot of your diary / blog. You can also copy paste the sentence/paragraph you’re needing help with. Someone from the member of the group will gladly help you with your grammar or expressions.
Just to add a little tip: don’t forget to look back at your previous writing work and seeing how you’ve improved over time. It certainly will boost your confidence and motivate you to go further into your learning.
(3) Attend Online Indonesian Classes
Just imagine having all the benefits of school-style learning without actually having to go to a classroom! Primarily designed for English-speaking students, this popular online Bahasa Indonesia class offers a simple yet effective learning framework that can set up complete beginner Indonesian learners for success.
(4) Study Indonesian Vocabulary Words at Home
There are many ways for you to learn Indonesian vocabulary words at home. One way is: you can simply go on Youtube and binge-watching Indonesian vocabulary video lessons as long as you want. And yes, at home, with a tub of popcorn in hand if you wish!
Another way is: to learn Indonesian words with pronunciation guide on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thinkbahasa/
Last but not least, you can also learn Indonesian using flashcards and play memory game, using this downloadable print-ready files:
(5) Listen to the Radio
Treat your ears to a wide variety of programs with online radio website such as: https://radioonline.co.id/ or http://www.radioindonesia.org/. Either website allows you to tune into any Indonesian radio channel according to the genre you want, streaming it for free.
This is a good way to listen to many different people speaking Indonesian at a normal rate of speed and in many different dialects and accents. The first step is to choose a station / program that plays something you like – music, entertainment news, travel, et cetera. This is important to keep your attention engaged throughout. Talkshow radio station is the best choice for practicing your listening skills. Write down any interesting phrase or word that you don’t know. If you keep hearing the same words or phrases over and over again, it means that those are high frequency words that relate to the topic. Look up what they mean and also an example of the words in context so you can understand how to use them properly next time.
(6) Play Online Games
There are a number of Indonesian Language Learning Games that you can find online. There is actually a good article that list those games, and we are just gonna put the link here: https://www.digitaldialects.com/Indonesian.htm
Another method is: if you are a gamer and you like to play online games that requires teamwork such as League of Legends. or DOTA, you can search the forum and join in a group where there are many Indonesians. The next thing you know you’ll probably learn Indonesian text abbreviation and have to use it on a frequent basis to chat with your Indonesian teammate(s)! For this purpose, you can never be too prepared, you can learn some basic Indonesian Internet slang words and abbreviation from this book/ebook:
(7) Read Books
Reading is not just for improving your comprehension, it can also be a part of your private relaxation time! Double your fun reading about topics that appeal to you, especially your hobbies and interests. Though as beginner Indonesian, it is highly recommended for you to start with bilingual picture books. Bilingual books allow you to learn new words efficiently as the translation is provided on the same page. It cuts time needed for you to learn new words. While the picture on each page will help you to learn meaning of words with context.
If you want to look for Indonesian English books at different fluency levels, check out www.indonesianstorybooks.com.
(8) Record Yourself Speaking Indonesian
Make a short video of yourself speaking Indonesian with your smartphone or computer. Put your video up on social media so people can critique and give constructive feedbacks on your grammar, choice of words and pronunciation. By recording yourself, you can also hear clearly how you sound in real life speaking Indonesian. Compare your pronunciation to that of native speakers you heard on TV shows. Don’t feel discouraged with your accent. A foreign accent is a sign of bravery afterall – according to Amy Chua. Just keep your eyes focus on the prize, that is: reaching a native-like level fluency in Indonesian.