The quick answer is ‘no’, Indonesian is not difficult. I don’t just say this because Indonesian is my mother tongue. Of course learning a language is never instant and you still need time and effort to learn Indonesian, but in comparison with most other languages, Indonesian is probably simpler and more straight forward.
Here’s a few reasons why Indonesian is not a difficult language:
1. Same set of alphabets as English
Have you tried learning a foreign language where the script is completely new to you, such as Japanese, or Chinese, or Arabic, or Thai? You’ll be glad to know that Indonesian has exactly the same 26 alphabets as in English, just A to Z. Phewww...
2. Pronunciation is easy
Not only are the alphabets are the same as English, their pronunciations are even easier than English. Have you ever considered how challenging English pronunciation is for non-native speakers? Each letter can be pronounced differently in different contexts. For example, a in ‘Apple’ is different from ain ‘Mars’. G in ‘giraffe’ is pronounced differently from g in ‘gas’. In Indonesian, each letter has a particular pronunciation and do not change with different contexts. (There’s exception for the letter e, which has two different pronunciations.)
One aspect that you might find more challenging in Indonesian pronunciation is how they roll their tongue when pronouncing ‘r’. This might take a bit of time and practice.
3. Grammar is simple
Grammar is relatively simple. The sentence structure of Subject- Verb- Object is familiar to English speakers. Moreover, there are no tenses in Indonesian words. In English the verb ‘eat’ can become ‘ate’ or ‘eaten’ depending on the tense, but in Indonesian the verbs do not have tenses.
Once you are immersed in Indonesian society, you will also find that in spoken Indonesian, grammar and sentence structure is flexible.
4. Many adopted words from English
Indonesian is a language which has many foreign influences from Indian languages, Dutch, Arabic, Chinese, and most obviously, English. Even if you’ve never learnt Indonesian, when you listen to an Indonesian conversation, you will find many words sounding familiar.
So, Indonesian is not a difficult language to start learning, the sooner the better! You can start the learning journey by joining us at our udemy course of beginner Indonesian (to be launched in October 2018).
If you have already started learning the language, let us know in the comments below whether you agree with us or not, and what the difficulties of learning Indonesian are.