Learn Indonesian Slang and Idioms

Learn Indonesian Phrases and Idioms

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Want to learn common Indonesian slang words and idioms? Understanding Indonesian slang words and idioms will allow you to understand Indonesian pop culture. It will also allow you to communicate like a native speaker.

Learning Indonesian is not all about grammar and vocabulary. Colloquialisms and slang should be an essential part of any Indonesian course. Especially considering that Indonesian slang words and idioms come up all the time in both written and spoken Indonesian. Unfortunately many Indonesian classes out there do not offer this as part of their program. But lucky for you, now you have a variety of ways to learn Indonesian slang words and idioms.

Here are some ways for you to learn Indonesian slang and idioms.

(1) Books / eBooks

Thankfully in this digital age, there are many resources out there that allow you to learn Indonesian slang and idioms whenever and wherever you want. Learn Indonesian with convenience at your fingertips, for real! There are many good ebooks and paperbooks covering these topics, here are some of our picks:


This book/ebook is perfect to learn and teach uses of Indonesian in informal setting, particularly the use of acronyms and abbreviations when texting and communicating via mobile phone and social media. Stay updated with the latest online lingo that many Indonesians use.

Indonesian Idioms and Expressions

Many non natives lack the ability to understand and reproduce idiomatic language thus hindering them from sounding like the natives. This book is an easy to use guide for Indonesian language learners of all ages. Clear definitions and meanings in English, along with beautiful illustrations to let you learn Indonesian idioms in context, are used to ensure readers to understand the meanings of these complicated but essential parts of the Indonesian language.

Do you have any other good book to recommend? Let us know!

(2) Movies / TV Shows

Add some fun into your learning by learning Indonesian with movies or TV shows. Again, thankful for living in the digital age, we’re spoilt not only with choices of resources but also the type of movies and TV shows available to us, at our fingertips. There are Youtube, Netflix, and many other websites we can use.

If you are a complete beginner with Indonesian, consider to put subtitles in your own language as a start. Pick something you like and be prepared to watch it more than once. For best approach, we recommend you to try watching it three times – first with subtitles in your language, second with subtitles in Indonesian and third without subtitles at all.

If you are interested to take on this approach, that is: learning Indonesian slang and idioms through movies / tv shows, Read on our blog: 8 Indonesian Movies for Improving your Indonesian.

8 Indonesian Movies to Watch for Indonesian Language Learners

We guarantee you’ll hear many of Indonesian idioms and phrases on any of the movies we recommend. Afterall, no matter what language you’re speaking, you’ll find that idioms are extremely common in everyday conversation. Need more? Then, try to watch Indonesian TV Shows too!

Best TV Shows to Watch to Learn Indonesian

(3) Social Media

The whole world is connected by social media. Think of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. A few years ago, finding someone to practice Indonesian with, meant finding a pen pal. You’d write your pen pal a letter on paper, mail it and then wait weeks to find their response in your mailbox.

Learn Indonesian through social media may involve any of these approaches:

(1) You joining a group / page / account that focuses on helping Indonesian language learners like yourself

(2) You finding an Indonesian page / account in which many Indonesians follow & comment, and you read through them to find (and learn) Indonesian idioms peppered through the comments

For the first approach, Facebook has pages and groups for almost any topic you can imagine, and that includes Learning Indonesian. Follow pages or groups that have discussions and share links related to learning Indonesian. Don’t be afraid to join the conversations, ask questions, make mistakes, and learn along the way.

For Facebook group, we recommend you to check out:

(1) Bahasa Indonesia Learning Club


(2) Belajar Bahasa Indonesia


For the second approach, you may use Instagram, or Facebook, or even Twitter. Follow a famous Indonesian figure, for example, Indonesian president: Joko Widodo. You’ll find him posting updates / statuses in Indonesian, and not only that, you will also find many Indonesians commenting on his updates / statuses. This will allow you to observe different everyday expressions that native speakers will use when communicating on the Internet and social media.

Joko Widodo’s Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Jokowi/

Joko Widodo’s Instagram Page: https://www.instagram.com/jokowi/

Joko Widodo’s Twitter Page: https://twitter.com/jokowi

(4) Online Games

Do you like to play games? Turn your hobbies into language-learning experiences. We guarantee you, this will make Indonesian practice fun, exciting and valuable to you.

Online games like DOTA and League of Legends (LOL) enable you to form a team with members from different countries. Why don’t you try to team up with a bunch of Indonesians? This approach will help you to memorize vocabulary words and practice speaking and writing in Indonesian in a way that is both fun and educational. Because it’s online world and in everyday online conversation, people would use slang and idioms almost at all times, you’ll be exposed to Indonesian slang and idioms in no time.

(5) Learn from your Indonesian friends

We know that this approach is not possible for you who don’t live in Indonesia, but if you do, you’ll have this extra approach to learn Indonesian slang and idioms. You can even cross check what you’ve learned about Indonesian slang and idioms from other methods, with your friends. If you have no Indonesian friends to begin with, you can try to check out language exchange meetup or social event in your area, and start from there.

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 →

In summary..

We have just discussed 5 methods you can use to learn Indonesian slang and idioms, and those methods are:

  1. Books / eBooks
  2. TV Shows / Movies
  3. Social Media
  4. Online Games
  5. Have Indonesian friends

Learning Indonesian slang and idioms will help you understand modern informal words, improve your overall Indonesian comprehension as well as widen your vocabulary range.

Learning Indonesian slang and idioms are fun and when you learn them in context, you’ll learn them easily and effortlessly. You can also compare Indonesian slang and idioms to the slang and idioms in your own language. It’ll be a fun discovery!

What are your favorite methods to learn Indonesian slang and idioms? Let us know in the comments!

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