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Indonesian [Bahasa Indonesia]

Indonesian is a language spoken in Indonesia and is a working language in East Timor. Around 250 million people speak Indonesian as a first language. It belongs to the Malay family of languages. Commonly called Bahasa Indonesia [‘the language of Indonesia’].

This page gives access to online courses, Indonesian/English/Indonesian dictionaries, vocabulary activities, tutorials, podcasts & blogs, current events, cultural information, grammar, free and fee-based software, other resources and information.

Included is a selection of novels set in Indonesia, for teenagers and older students. They are designed to develop an understanding of Indonesian life and culture and how people in Australia relate to this.


Language Courses


  • Beginning Indonesian [Bahasa]
    Linked to a Canadian University’s courses. All in Indonesian and uses lessons to enhance Indonesian course learning. Not updated for some time but still good.
  • Indonesian Language Course
    Lessons, grammar, texts, appendices at multiple levels. Wikibooks.
  • The Indonesian Way
    ‘Offers a wide range of free Indonesian language related resources, including free online courses for all levels from beginners to advanced learners of Bahasa Indonesia’.
  • Learning Indonesian Online
    ‘The free Indonesian language course online’. 48 lessons.
  • Peace Corps Bahasa Indonesia Course
    3 downloadable books in PDF format. There are no audio tapes available at this time.



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Language Tools






Free Software

  • Gidic
    ‘A simple offline English-Indonesian and Indonesian-English dictionary application. This will help people search words and get the meaning quickly. It already supports audio pronunciation’.

Other Sites

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Language Usage



Other Sites

  • BahasaKita
    ‘Indonesian language online resource’.
  • Childrens Library
    7 books for young children. Click on chosen book; click on “Read this Book”; select “Indonesian” from choices at top centre; click on first page, then use arrows to move between pages.
  • Indonesian 101
    ‘Designed as a starting point for people who want to learn more about the Indonesian language’. Use the menu on the left for individual sections.

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Other Information



The novels listed are designed for students in the teenage years and adults. They cover many topics, but all are set in various parts of Indonesia and feature easy to understand characters. While needing to be assessed for your students, they could be used to expand an understanding of life and culture in Indonesia and how people in Australia relate to this. Where possible, links are to the specific book information on an author’s pages, or specific books are noted in the link provided. The author’s name is provided with each link.

  • Cut Loose
    Lucy Chesser. ‘A novel for young adults [15+]. It is set in Sumatra, Indonesia and follows the adventures of two young Australian brothers, Ethan, 14 and Jon, 19. It successfully evokes the rich texture of life in Indonesia : the everyday lives of the people who inhabit the land, drenching torrential rains, tropical rainforests, chaotic transport, Padang restaurants, the tourist industry, housing and more’.
  • Escaping Paradise
    Warren Flynn. ‘Escaping Paradise follows the adventures of Nikita Scoperta, a Perth teenager visiting Bali with her mother. Their package tour to Nusa Dua quickly degenerates into a holiday in hell when Nicki is kidnapped by political activists. A terrifying journey across the island of Java ensues, taking the reader through a cross-section of contemporary Indonesian culture, seen through Nicki’s eyes’.
  • Indo Dreaming
    Neil Grant. ‘Indo Dreaming is a vivid and enigmatic novel for anyone who has the spirit of travel wedged in their soul. Grant’s ability to take the reader into the wild and foreign Indonesia is a delight’.
  • Senior Novels
    Allan Baillie. Two novels relate to Indonesia. They are “Treasure Hunters” and “Saving Abbie”. Each is detailed on this site, with descriptors giving a summary of each novel, any awards, other items of information. Also try “Krakatoa Lighthouse”.
  • Steve Tolbert Novels
    This author has two novels that relate to Indonesia. They are “Escape to Kalimantan” and “Surfing for Wayan and Other Stories”. Each is provided with a good summary of the storyline. Also try “O’Leary, JI Terrorist Hunter”. These can be found by scrolling down the site page.
  • The Tiger
    Sophie Masson. ‘The Tiger is a novel set in Java, the main island of Indonesia. Combining realistic description, mystery and the supernatural, it is a rich and complex novel. Nick and his family travel to Java for holidays and also to see where his father was born : and get caught up in a mystery whose roots go back thirty years before, to the troubled ’60’s in Indonesia. This novel, which has been very popular and widely reviewed, gives an interesting picture of Javanese culture, life and history’.

Other Sites

  • Indonesia
    Includes For Teachers and Go Indonesia among other things. ‘Designed to provide relevant, accessible and stimulating ideas for including the study of Indonesia in the curriculum areas of the Arts, English and Studies of Society and the Environment in upper primary [Years 3-6] and lower secondary [Years 7-9]’. Visits several areas of Indonesia, using a range of activities.
  • Indonesian
    Extensive collection, in several sections, of briefly annotated links.
  • Indonesian Children’s Games
    ‘The toys and the games that are described below are commonly seen and played by Indonesian children’.
  • Indonesian Internet Sites
    National Library of Australia. Links for Arts & Culture, Education, Government, regional areas, law, more. While not language, they establish an understanding of the country and its culture.
  • Indonesian Language Links Database
    Grammar & pronunciation, Digitised Grammar Books, Indonesian Vocabulary, Vocabulary-related [and Digitised] Ebooks, Indonesian Reading Materials, Indonesian Dictionaries, Digitised Dictionaries, Indonesian Listening and Video Resources. All links briefly annotated.
  • New South Wales HSC Online - Indonesian
    While for the HSC, it provides revision on all aspects of senior secondary Indonesian.

Podcasts, Blogs, Videos

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