Although there are also more 250 native languages spoken throughout the archipelago, Indonesia’s national language is Bahasa Indonesia, a form of Bahasa Malay. Because it’s written in Roman script, has no tones and uses a fairly straightforward grammar, it’s relatively easy to learn.

Pronunciation

a as in a cross between father and cup

e sometimes as in along; or as in pay; or as in get; or sometimes omitted (selamat pronounced “slamat”)

i either as in boutique; or as in pit

o either as in hot; or as in cold

u as in boot

ai as in fine

au as in how

c as in cheap

g always hard as in girl

k hard, as in English, except at the end of the word, when you should stop just short of pronouncing it.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Indonesia features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Go solo: the 20 best places to travel alone

Go solo: the 20 best places to travel alone

Solo travel can be one of the most rewarding ways to explore the world. Whether you'd rather spend it on a desert island or in a frenetic new city, here are th…

21 Dec 2016 • Rachel Mills camera_alt Gallery
Bali travel tips: 10 things to know before you go

Bali travel tips: 10 things to know before you go

With its coral-speckled beaches, luscious green rice terraces and blissful azure seas, Bali has long been a haven for surfers, sun worshippers and yoga junkies …

21 Sep 2016 • Henry Fry insert_drive_file Article
Discover Indonesia: our film of the week

Discover Indonesia: our film of the week

Searching for that daily dose of travel inspiration? Look no further, but don’t be surprised if your feet start to itch for Indonesia. This archipelago nat…

16 Dec 2015 • Colt St. George videocam Video
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month