Learning Indonesian as an Adult

learn bahasa indonesia as an adult

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The idea of learning Indonesian as an adult is considered a difficult and nearly impossible task – afterall, it’ll be easier to believe in the common myth and give up the idea right from the start rather than putting in efforts and time and energy.

Many adult Indonesian as a Second Language (ISL) students are successful, well-educated people in their own right. They take pride in themselves, and this may help create a fear of being seen as ignorant and unintelligent. For this reason, many choose not to learn Indonesian and forgo the idea of becoming an ISL student altogether.

Quotes of the day: 

Don’t let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.


Learning Indonesian, like learning any other skill, does take time. It is clearly achievable. It may take up to four to six months before a student sees a meaningful improvement in his or her Indonesian ability.

If you are moving or planning to do business in Indonesia, think of the benefit and end goal in mind.

Learning Indonesian will allow you to be included in the broader Indonesian society. Inclusion in Indonesian culture demands an understanding of Indonesian language, which eases performing such actions as shopping, taking part in social functions, and enjoying Indonesian-language entertainment.

If you still have doubts, be clear about them. Write them out, and address each and every single one of them objectively.

As an adult language learner, another common fear is fear of sounding like foreigners. This fear often keeps many from studying Indonesian, and may cause them (expats) to live in a community that demands nothing from them. Think of it this way, when you’re speaking to a foreigner in your native language (but is foreign to the other person), do you expect the other person to speak perfectly – grammar wise and pronunciation wise – to you? Will you judge the other person harshly if he/ she can’t speak in your native language perfectly? If the answer is no, then what’ keeping you?

Perfect pronunciation and grammar are only attainable with more practice and learning. Your focus and objective at the start is to be able to express yourself fully and meaningfully in your target language. Then once you got those two most important aspects down, refining your pronunciation and intonation will come easily and naturally to you with various other approaches.

At Think Bahasa, not only we teach Indonesian in a proven method that works, our instructors will also help students to address their mindset issues that may block them from succeeding. Once we address the mindset, then the next important step is to strategize learning method to suit the students’ preferred learning style. At Think Bahasa, we have a variety of learning resources for visual / auditory / tactile learners.

If you are currently learning Indonesian, and you’re wondering if you are “on track” with your learning milestone and if you have the right resources and support, feel free to consult with our team online by posting your questions on our Facebook group. Our team and learning community will be able to advise you, free of charge, and pin point learning resources, methods and strategies that may be beneficial for you.

Else, you can also check out our RESOURCES page for more resources to support you in your learning Indonesian journey.

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