Learning Indonesian – A Native English Speaker's Perspective

Bahasa Indonesia:
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Indonesian is the first language that I have really tried to learn. I studied French and Italian for limited amounts of time during my schooling, but only because I was forced to learn them. With Indonesian it was different – I study Indonesian because I love the language.

However, as a native English speaker, learning Indonesian can (in the beginning) seem strange. Because Indonesian has a sort-of-reversed word order to English, many native English speakers find it hard to rewire how they look at language.

Interview: Jan van der Aa (the Netherlands)

Let's meet Jan van der Aa from the Netherlands


Could you tell us about yourself, including the languages you know?

My name is Jan van der Aa, I just turned 27 and I am a traveling entrepreneur. In the last 5 years I have visited over 70 countries. I do speak a few languages as well. Besides my mother tongue I am also comfortable in English, Mandarin Chinese and German. I also speak Cantonese, Portuguese and Spanish and I am a beginner in Japanese and Indonesian. 

Interview: Michael Tetris (Taiwan)

Let's meet Michael Tetris from Taiwan


Could you tell us about yourself, including the languages you know?

I am a tour guide, part time model agent and event host. I have been to about 20 countries so far and still increasing the numbers…and I love outdoors, art and history. I am just another simple man on this planet. I speak Chinese and Taiwanese as native languages, and  I speak English fluently. I also know basic Japanese.

Interview: Chloe (Taiwan)

Let's meet Chloe from Taiwan


Could you tell us about yourself, including the languages you know?

Born and bred in Taiwan, I consider my mother tongue to be Chinese. However, I started learning English since I was four, so English comes to a close second.  I have been learning Spanish for 7+ years, but I can’t write well, because I rarely write. I also learned French for 2 years, but it’s been on and off. I also tried out Vietnamese and Indonesian classes at school just for fun.

Interview: Conor Clyne (Ireland/ UK)

Let's meet Conor Clyne from Ireland/ UK


Could you tell us about yourself, including the languages you know?

I am a qualified lawyer by profession, a traveler by passion and speak English, French, Italian, German, Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, Russian, as well as, currently learning Romanian, Catalan and Ukrainian. 

Learn Indonesian by a Native Spanish and English Speaker

Indonesian flag
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

First, I started to be motivated about the language about a year ago since I had some Indonesian classmates and heard some similarities with Spanish language; however, I got busy and took a break. It was until recently when I was about to graduate from college that I dedicated myself more.

Interview: Balint Brunner (United Kingdom)

Let's meet Balint Brunner from United Kingdom


Could you tell us about yourself, including the languages you know?

My name is Bálint and I’m seventeen years old. I was born in Budapest, in Hungary, to Hungarian and Greek parents. Currently I live in the United Kingdom, where I’m also enrolled in secondary education. I’m the author of a blog called ‘I wish to be a polyglot!’, which some of you may have encountered already.

Interview: Marcelo Yuji Himoro (Brazil)

Let's meet Marcelo Yuji Himoro (Brazil)


Could you tell us about yourself, including the languages you know?

Okay, my name is Yuji and I'm a Japanese-Brazilian. My mother tongue is Portuguese, but I also grew up exposed to the Japanese dialect from the Touhoku region spoken by my grannies. I picked up English and Spanish by playing games, listening to music, chatting, reading, watching TV, series and movies (which is perhaps why I make a lot of mistakes).

Interview: Ron (United States)

Let's meet Ron from United States


Could you tell us about yourself, including the languages you know? 

I’m a technical writer and translator from Orlando, Florida. I speak English (native), Modern Standard Arabic (C1), Spanish (B2), and German (B1). I also blog about languages at www.languagesurfer.com.

Interview: Brian Powers (United States)

Let's meet Brian Powers from United States


Could you tell us about yourself, including the languages you know?

I am the creator and primary writer for Languages Around the Globe, a language and culture blog and social media presence dedicated to spreading cultural awareness through language learning and cultural exchange. LATG offers both language learning advice, tricks, insight into linguistic issues and attempts to spread awareness of endangered and minority languages.

Interview: Sophia (Germany)

Let's meet Sophia from Germany


Could you tell us about yourself, including the languages you know?

I was born in Portugal and I am living in Germany now. My grandfather is mixed of French and Spanish, so we speak Portuguese and Spanish at home. I have studied French for 3 years but I cannot speak it well. I have also studied British English for 12 years.

Interview: Amanda Bullington (United States)

Let's meet Amanda Bullington from United States


Could you tell us about yourself, including the languages you know?

I’m an American who has lived in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and India. I received a scholarship from the Taiwanese government to study Mandarin at the National Taiwan Normal University, where I studied up to business proficiency. I read fluent French.  I’ve also dabbled in beginner classes for Urdu, Arabic, Japanese, and Indonesian.

Interview: Anita (Belize)

Let's meet Anita from Belize

Could you tell us about yourself, including the languages you know?

Hi, I am a Belizean student that recently graduated from university in Taiwan. My native languages are English and Spanish. In my free time, I enjoy playing with online language games. My third language that I am able to speak is Mandarin since I got a scholarship to study in Taiwan.

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