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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




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Language Tools





  • Hidden Pics - Indonesian
    Apple, Not Free. ‘Hidden Pics Indonesian is a word-game designed for second language learners of Indonesian’.
  • Indonesian Master [Premium]
    Android, Free; In-app purchases. ‘A useful language learning app with various situational Q & A styled expressions for daily conversation’.
  • Learn Indonesian 6 000 Words
    Android, Free; In-app purchases. ‘6 000 words with images to illustrate words, phonetic transcriptions and pronunciation recordings by native speakers’.
  • Learn Indonesian - Phrasebook for Travel
    Apple, Free; In-app purchases. ‘An easy to use mobile Indonesian phrasebook that will give a good start in the language’.
  • Learning Indonesian Basic Audio Language Lessons
    Apple, Free. ‘Study 20 high quality audio Indonesian lessons’.
  • Nemo Indonesian
    Apple, Free; In-app purchase. ‘The most essential words and phrases of the language, each with native speaker audio’.

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’.
  • New ! 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”. Biography and book list available here.
  • 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.
  • Updated ! 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

  • Indonesian
    ‘View curated digital resources that gather together Asia-related web links relevant to year-level content descriptions of the Australian Curriculum : Languages - Indonesian’. Multiple links to further resources and information.
  • Indonesian [2]
    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 ! Why Study Indonesian ?
    Australia-Indonesia Youth Association. ‘If you’re interested in something different or looking to get ahead in the Asian century, Indonesian is one of your best options. We’ve put together the five main reasons we think Indonesian is a great language to learn’.

Podcasts, Blogs, Videos

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