Perfecting Your Indonesian Pronunciation

Perfecting Indonesian Pronunciation

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Let’s get it straight. The realistic objective is not to develop an Indonesian accent. The main objective of practicing your Indonesian pronunciation is to minimize your native accent, so that native speakers of Indonesian can understand you and therefore effective communication can happen between you and native speakers of Indonesian you are speaking to.

Certainly because Indonesian is a foreign language to you, there are some words that you may deem more difficult, and learning the correct Indonesian pronunciation will help you to correct your tongue placement when you’re enunciating those ‘difficult’ words.

The 3 keys to perfect your Indonesian pronunciation are: (1) Absorb (2) Observe (3) Practice.


So let’s dive right in into the first key to perfect your Indonesian pronunciation: ABSORB.

How can you absorb the correct way of pronouncing Indonesian words? Well, there are many ways. One, you can watch Indonesian TV Shows or Movies and learn how those words you’ve learned in class or by yourself are pronounced by native speakers of Indonesian. Another sure proof way is: communicate with native speakers yourself face-to-face. Ask the native speakers to repeat words when you don’t catch them first time round.

Second key: is to OBSERVE. Observe what words do you have a hard time differentiating when they are spoken by native speakers? Make a list of those words you struggle to catch. Perhaps words like “muda” (young) and “mudah” (easy)? With your list, it will be easier for you to take a note on the particular words or group of words you need to pay more attention to in your learning.

In order for a communication to happen, you need to be able to listen AND also to speak. Pay attention when native speakers to repeat what you said. This may indicate that you don’t say the Indonesian words correctly. If you could, when this happens, ask the other person (who is a native Indonesian speaker), to teach you the correct way to pronounce the words.

Third key: is to PRACTICE. If you follow through the first and second steps to perfecting your Indonesian pronunciation, which are: (1) Absorb, and (2) Observe, you should now have a list of words and potentially also groups of words that you find difficulty in pronouncing. Just like when it comes to learning any new skill, learning is useless without practice!

So now what can you do to practice? With your note or list, repeat saying those words over and over again. Put them in sentences, repeat those sentences over and over again, too. Try to do this in front of a native speaker. Ask them to correct you when you’re pronouncing words incorrectly.

To add more fun into your learning, consider to practice your pronunciation with Indonesian tongue twisters.


Record yourself or do it with a friend who may also be an Indonesian language learner. You have an Indonesian native speaker friend? That’s even wonderful! You can also do this fun tongue twister game with him or her. Remember that the key to effective learning is to make YOUR language learning fun.



There are words and sets of words that pose a special challenge for Indonesian language learners; some may even appear to be “tongue twisters.” In many cases, Indonesian language learners may have difficulty with the placement of their tongues in pronouncing words such as “kakak” and “kakek,” “murah” and “mudah.” These “tongue twisters” are mastered through repetition and through paying close attention to the position of the lips and the tongue. The secret in pronouncing “tongue twisters” correctly lies in training the mouth and tongue muscles so they learn the new positions to hold in order to produce the new sounds.

The sense of accomplishment when contractions and “tongue twisters” are mastered leads to a newfound confidence and motivation for success. The mastery of one aspect of pronunciation leads successfully to the mastery of other aspects.

Theoretically speaking, it’s easy to find Indonesian friends. Just go to your local meetup or find Indonesian friends online. But realistically speaking, it is not as easy as it seems. For one, you may live in a city where there are not many Indonesians to begin with. Another factor, even if you go to your local meetup, you certainly don’t want to be seen as a creep who only wants to make friends with Indonesian just for the purpose of practicing your Indonesian. And lastly, when it comes to an online world, we all know how it can be an unsafe place to be!

If you’d like someone to pinpoint your mistakes effectively when you’re mispronouncing words, it’s rather hard to do this without a teacher. Though you may have a native speaker friend, he or she may not want to correct you in order to not be seen as rude. This can be even harder when you’re exchanging language, as the other person’s motive is to be fluent IN your language, not to teach you the proper way of Indonesian pronunciation. Native speakers without a teaching background and experience may not know effective ways to correct your pronunciation. They can certainly show you how to pronounce, but what about technique wise? So if you are interested to perfecting your Indonesian pronunciation in the most efficient manner, consider to do it with a qualified Indonesian teacher.

Are you interested in our accent reduction program? If so, contact us using the contact form on this website, or you can also email us at

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