I have decided to try to learn Indonesian on my own, so I have a couple of questions. For starters, what (ideally free) resources are available to one who wants to learn Indonesian to college class level fluency? I am currently paying for college and my college does not offer a class on the language; I would highly prefer not to spend my money if it isn't needed.

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    Where are you located, and what other language(s) do you speak? Could be good to know for answering your question.
    – AML
    Sep 18, 2018 at 23:29
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    @AML I live in the US, NY and the only language I speak is Italian due to my whole mothers side of the family, my mother is Italian but born here and knowing Italian doesn't help me in the slightest. To understand some Spanish words or something else is a different story. Sep 19, 2018 at 0:49
  • What do you mean about understanding some Spanish words? Are you finding Italian useful in understanding some Spanish words?
    – Robert Columbia
    Sep 20, 2018 at 11:56
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    @RobertColumbia yes that is precisely what I mean how the languages work and the words are not too far from each other, not on a grand scale at least. Sep 20, 2018 at 12:23

2 Answers 2


Duolingo has an Indonesian course. I've found Duolingo helpful for learning a different language.

There's a 2000 Indonesian Words course on Memrise.

The Center for Southeast Asian Studies at the University of Wisconsin - Madison has a collection of online sources.

There's IndonesianPod101.

You can browse the tag on this site (not much at this point).

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    Thank you these places certainly are a great start and yeah I searched through the tag before hand and I had found one other post I believe, there really isn't much right now Sep 20, 2018 at 12:52
  • Duo Indonesian course is good. A very good start. I suggest you, both the English -> Indonesian and the Indonesian -> English course, on Duo.
    – Quidam
    Oct 15, 2019 at 15:30
  • The link to the University of Wisconsin page is dead. Page not found Aug 16, 2022 at 23:54

There is a wikibook, I've used it to bootstrap my learning process.

You can try online lessons with Italki, the teachers are darn cheap, and some are good. Be careful with your money, though, you won't see it again. What they call a "refund" is simply an option to book a lesson with another teacher. Read their terms of service carefully, they are quite draconian.

One more thing to consider: there's a lot of slang used, notably in chat apps. For that reason, an Indonesian teacher is necessary.

I'm not sure about the quality of Indonesian in Duolingo, but Spanish was completely useless (for instance, second person plural for verbs was ignored completely, as if it doesn't exist; very limited vocabulary up to the most "advanced" level; the vocabulary seemed to be prioritized by similarity to English rather than usage by native speakers - this reflects my impressions as of about 2015).

I've spent 7 weeks in Indonesia and speaking Bahasa Indonesia on daily basis after a few months of learning before the trip.

  • Spanish a complete crap? Please, when you express personal opinions, explain why. I don't think it's a complete crap at all.
    – Quidam
    Apr 13, 2020 at 7:55
  • @Quidam: not Spanish, but rather the Duolingo way of teaching it. I've added a brief explanation as you've requested.
    – badbishop
    Apr 14, 2020 at 8:10
  • Thank you, it was not clear. Duolingo is quite good, but you need to use it a certain way. I still think that the "completely useless" is still something that should be rephrased. It's not useless, as I learned many languages with it, and other people too. The reason for the second person missing is more complicated, it's a major problem with this course, that want to mix European and American Spanish. For this, I do agree, but for the useless, certainly not.
    – Quidam
    Apr 18, 2020 at 12:31
  • @Quidam: I've made the entire course in 8 days. My Spanish at that time was around B1 level, so still quite a lot to learn. After these 8 days, I didn't learn anything new. So for me (and I'm expressing a personal opinion), it was completely useless. And for complete beginners, it could also be misleading.
    – badbishop
    Apr 19, 2020 at 6:26
  • Did you use the forum to get info about grammar? Duolingo requires to be used a certain way, if you only pass the exercise, with nothing more, you cannot progress.
    – Quidam
    Apr 20, 2020 at 6:31

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