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Notes on Indonesian Language
Mount Semeru and Mount Bromo in East Java. Indonesia's seismic and volcanic activity is among the world's highest.

Notes on Indonesian Language

General information about Indonesian language.

What is Indonesian?

  • Indonesian is a variant of Malay languages. It is the national and official language of the Republic of Indonesia. The name of the language is Bahasa Indonesia, literally, "the language of Indonesia."
  • Indonesian is not a tonal language. It is written with Roman script, the same used for writing English.
  • Indonesian belongs to the Austronesian language family, which extends across the islands of Southeast Asia and the Pacific.
  • Indonesian is relatively easy for English speakers to pronounce. Although it has a complex range of prefixes and suffixes, it is easy to achieve basic mastery of the language.
  • The English words: gong, bamboo, orangutan, and sarong are originally Indonesian.

Why Learn Indonesian?

  • Indonesia, in terms of its population, is the fourth largest nation and has the largest Muslim population in the world.
  • Indonesia is an emerging democracy and plays an important geopolitical role in the world.
  • In Southeast Asia, Indonesia is significant because of its strategic position and its wealth in oil and other natural resources.
  • The Indonesian archipelago is home to a large proportion of the world’s tropical rain forests, and is the densest (if not endangered) source of biological diversity on the planet.
  • Around 200 million people in the modern states of Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei speak Indonesian or Malay (mutually intelligible languages).
  • Bali, the Hindu island, and Java, where gamelan and wonderful coffee originate, are located in Indonesia.

Sources: George Quinn’s The Indonesian Way, 2001.

Photo Credit: Sinandoh at en.wikipedia

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