L-LINGO - Free Language Learning Lessons

Learn Indonesian

Learn Indonesian reading, Indonesian writing and Indonesian speaking with these free words and sentences about greetings, saying Hello and common phrases. All words and sentences are spoken by real Indonesian natives and this helps you in learning the correct pronunciation.

Our ten Indonesian lessons teach you some of the most important Indonesian words and phrases. We will try to make your learning Indonesian as easy as possible and give you a lot of resources about Indonesian.

If you like the lessons, you can subscribe to our free seven days email course which will give you Indonesian grammar notes, top 1000 Indonesian words and much more!

Lesson 1: Introduction





Apa kabar?

How are you?


Saya baik baik saja, terimakasih

I'm fine, thank you.


Nama saya Tanja

My name is Tanja.


Senang berkenalan dengan Anda

Nice to meet you.


Selamat tinggal



Apakah Anda bisa berbahasa Inggeris?

Do you speak English?


Ya, saya bisa berbahasa Inggeris

Yes, I speak English.


Tidak, saya tidak bisa berbahasa Inggeris

No, I don't speak English.

→ Continue learning Indonesian with L-Lingo, which has pictures!

How to learn Indonesian?

  1. Get an Indonesian Phrasebook and write simple phrases and words on Flashcards and memorize them
  2. Study the Indonesian fundamentals, e.g. how to construct questions, pronunciation etc.
  3. Try and find a good Indonesian teacher or other person to talk with you or enroll in a Indonesian language class or visit Indonesia for more immersion
  4. Use a spaced repetition vocabulary builder to learn words and phrases

Check out our comprehensive Indonesian learning App L-Lingo which contains 105 lessons with grammar notes, thousands of words and high quality audio.

Indonesian Grammar

Bahasa Indonesia is quite a simple language.

Basically, you just need to combine all the words together to form a sentence, without any change of word formats. There are no singular or plural forms, no genders, and no verb changes. So I am sure that you can master Indonesian in no time!


The pronunciation of Indonesian is different from English, as follows:


Indonesian vowels are pure and all vowels are pronounced equally strongly:
"a" is pronounced as in "car", "hut"
"i" is pronounced as in "bee", "tee"
"o" is pronounced as in "all", "tall"
"u" is pronounced as in "put", "you"

There are two different types of pronunciation for "e", and this will depend on the words:
- "e" as in "air", "and"
- "e" as in "water", "teacher"


For the consonants, most of the consonants are pronounced similar to the English pronunciation, except:
- "c" is pronounced as in "chair"
- "g" is pronounced as in "gorilla"

Double Vowels and Double Consonants

Indonesian has double vowels, which is pronounced as combination of the two vowels.

- Indonesian also has double consonants:
- "ng" is pronounced as in "sing"
- "ny" is pronounced as in "canyon"
- "kh" is pronounced as in "loch"
- "sy" is pronounced as in "ship"

Greeting and Introduction

It is important to be able to greet someone in Indonesia. So let's start by learning greetings and introductions.

The most common format for introduction are as follows:

A: Hello / Halo
How are you? / Apa kabar? - literally translated as "what news?"
B: I'm fine, thank you. / Saya baik-baik saja, terima kasih
A: My name is Tanja. / Nama saya Tanja
B: Nice to meet you. / Senang berkenalan dengan Anda
A: Goodbye / Selamat tinggal

You can hear more greetings with audio in the lesson above.


Nouns are pretty easy in Indonesian. Just look at this example:

Seorang anak laki-laki dan sebuah sepeda
A boy and a bike.

Notice that the "a" has different words in Indonesian depending on the noun following it.

For people, "a" = seorang,
but for objects, "a" = sebuah.

To combine two different things, you can use the word "dan" which means "and". You can combine anything with "dan": nouns, verbs, adjectives, all kind of words.

To make a noun plural, you just need to repeat the word.

Have a look at this sentence:

bola-bola / balls
roti-roti / breads

Sayur-sayuran itu berada di dapur
The vegetables are in the kitchen.

Notice again the suffix "-an" in the word "sayur-sayuran". The suffix "-an" after the repeating nouns indicates "various", so "sayur-sayuran" means "various vegetables".


Now that we already learned how to use nouns, in order to make complete sentences, we need to know about verbs. There are no changes of verb forms in Indonesian. To indicate the tenses, you just need to add the "time word" that indicates the timing.


In Indonesian, there are no tenses. To indicate the tense, you need to add the time word:

"telah" = past tense
"akan" = future tense
"sedang" = present continuous tense

Have a look at this future tense sentence:

Kuda itu akan melompat
The horse is going to jump.

or this present continuous tense sentence:

Kuda itu sedang melompat
The horse is jumping.

and in past tense:

Kuda itu telah melompat
The horse jumped.

We add the prefix "ke-" in front of the number to indicate ordinal numbers.

Kedua burung itu berwarna hitam
The two birds are black.

Let's try to formulate a present continuous tense statement. The time word is "sedang" which means "currently", indicating that the action is currently occurring.

Have a look at this sentence:

Wanita itu sedang berdiri.
The woman is standing.

In Indonesian, we do not use an article like "the", or "a". Instead, we use "ini" / this or "itu" / that.

Anak laki-laki dan anak perempuan itu sedang melompat-lompat
The boy and the girl are jumping.

Notice the repeating words "melompat-lompat", which is simply the plural form in Indonesian, to indicate that they are doing more than 1 jump.


Indonesian's word structure is the reverse of English structure. In English, we place the adjective before the noun, whereas in Indonesian, we place the adjective after the noun.

Have a look at this sentence:

Celana merah itu pendek
The red pants are short.


Some common prepositions are:

"di" = at
"di dalam" = in
"di atas" = on
"di bawah" = under
"di sekeliling" = around

Have a look at this sentence:

Seorang bayi di dalam sebuah mobil
A baby in a car.

Sebuah sepeda di atas sebuah mobil
A bike on a car.

Measure Words

"orang", "buah" are measure words in Indonesian. It is placed after the number and before the word. The measure word will depend on the noun.

Have a look at this sentence:

"orang" is used to measure person, people
"buah" is used to measure general things, objects

Other common used measure words are:

"batang" is used to measure long, thin object
"helai" is used to measure paper, clothes


To formulate questions, you will need to add the "question word" into the sentence (normally placed at the beginning of the sentence).

The question words are:

apa – what
mengapa – why
siapa – who
di mana – where
kapan/bilamana – when
bagaimana – how
berapa - how much/many

WHAT questions

Have a look at this sentence:

Apa yang sedang dikerjakan wanita itu? Wanita itu sedang memasak
What is the woman doing? The woman is cooking.

Apa yang sedang dikerjakan wanita itu? Wanita itu sedang duduk di atas meja
What is the woman doing? The woman is sitting on the table.

Note the word "dikerjakan".

The root/basic word is "kerja" which means do / work, with the additional prefix "di-" and suffix "-kan".

The verbs in Indonesian use a lot of prefix and suffix to differentiate the meaning. The combination of "di- + -kan" indicate that this is a passive verb.

WHERE questions

Since being able to ask questions is really important, we will continue with questions and focus on the question word "di mana" / where.

Have a look at this sentence:

Di mana pria itu berada? Pria itu berada di dalam rumah
Where is the man? The man is in the house.

Notice the word "berada", which has similar meaning to "exist", indicating a special location. It is also okay to omit the word in the question, as below:

Di mana anak laki-laki itu? Anak laki-laki itu berada di dalam garasi
Where is the boy? The boy is in the garage.

Negative Statements

To give a sentence a negative meaning, just put the negative word in front of verbs / adjective.

The negative words used in Indonesian are: "tidak", "bukan", "belum" / not yet. And the most common one is "tidak" which you can put in front of any verbs / adjectives. "Bukan" is placed in front of nouns.

Have a look at this sentence:

Telepon ini tidak berwarna merah, warnanya hitam
This telephone is not red, it's (color is) black.

Telling Time

To ask the time, you can say: "Sekarang jam berapa?" which means "What time is it now?".

The answer will be "Jam …".

We use the following words in telling the time:

"lebih" = past / after
"kurang" = to
"setengah" = half
"seperempat" = a quarter

The word order is: hour first, then minutes.

This is just a short introduction to Indonesian. If you like to get a free comprehensive Indonesian Grammar, subscribe to our Seven Day Email Course which includes a 20 page Grammar Book!

You love these Free Lessons – so check out the Free Trial of Online Learning App L-Lingo Indonesian – with Full-Featured Audi-Visual Goodness and Progress Quizzes!

L-Lingo follows a similar approach like the L-Ceps Personaltrainer but is a full online web application - it just runs in your browser! Give it a try and head over to Language Learning Software L-Lingo Indonesian for some free lessons.

Privacy Statement Terms of Use