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Advice on Learning Language Before Going to Indonesia

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  • Advice on Learning Language Before Going to Indonesia

    Hi All,

    My family will be moving to Indonesia this summer and I was hoping I could get some advice on what I can do now to start learning the language. Is there a book, dvd, cd or something else that might be helpful as a starting point?

    Thanks for the input.

  • #2
    One option is "Beginning Indonesian Through Self-Instruction," which is a 3-volume set available from Amazon. (Yours truly is responsible for the improvements made in the third edition, as well as one embarrassing typo.)

    I don't know what the story is regarding the accompanying audio for these books. I worked on the third edition (which seems to be the one that is still being used) back in the dark ages when we made a new set of cassette tapes. How literally and figuratively last century! It seems there is now a DVD, but one of the Amazon reviews from several years ago says that it didn't work but that the publisher (Cornell University) was working on fixing it. I would certainly try to confirm that useable audio materials are available before investing in BITSI. If they haven't totally redone the audio in 20 years, I'm the bule voice on the exercises!

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    • #3
      I'll check it out. Thanks.

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      • #4
        I'm finding this book to be very helpful: The Learner's Dictionary of Today's Indonesian. It's a dictionary, but goes way beyond that and gives great advice on how to express in Indonesian, what your thinking in English. Every single entry is full of great info and example sentences.
        Off the top of my head Google is your best friend for finding many free/paid resources online. Google translate, Youtube are two good places to start for free. Once you get the basics down pat - speaking is pretty easy. My best advice is to really learn to listen, thats the hard part for me at least. Tv is great for that and radio. You might be able to get Indonesian radio over the new itunes radio?? Audio material, as Puspawarna mentioned along with text, is a must, especially as you all will be learning from outside Indonesia/and don't have Indonesians you can practice with. Check around your local area, there may be a language centre or University that runs short courses.. Whichever method you use just focus on basic pronounciation (very important), numbers, usefull day-to-day polite phrases. Don't worry too much, once you get here you will have an endless supply of practice partners. But your right, the more effort you make beforehand will help. You will learn a lot faster when you move here and review your course, book, notes and can literally walk out the door and put can it into practice.. And the good news is there are a lot of people of all ages in Indonesia who have english skills ranging from minimal to excellent, so between your best efforts and theirs you can generally get by - theres always seems to be someone who can help out Good luck.

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        • #5
          Good luck.

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          • #6
            These are some online resources.
            http://www.learningindonesian.com/free/lessons
            http://mylanguages.org/learn_indonesian.php

            I enjoy reading Dr James Sneddon stuff. Lots of interesting things on the culture too. http://www.bahasakita.com/category/c...neddon/page/2/
            The challenge is to be yourself in a world that is trying to make you like everyone else.

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            • #7
              I would vote "don't bother" in regard to Rosetta Stone, which someone mentioned on another thread before I joined this group.

              The voice recognition software was weak 10 years ago. I also got the English version for my stepdaughter and when I tested myself, I got a medium or weak score! Apparently, you get a better score for your utterance if you shout. I mentioned this to some people hawking the software at an airport in the US about 5 years ago and they claimed the problem was fixed, but when I tested it (for free), it was same old same old.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by martindo View Post
                I would vote "don't bother" in regard to Rosetta Stone, which someone mentioned on another thread before I joined this group.

                The voice recognition software was weak 10 years ago. I also got the English version for my stepdaughter and when I tested myself, I got a medium or weak score! Apparently, you get a better score for your utterance if you shout. I mentioned this to some people hawking the software at an airport in the US about 5 years ago and they claimed the problem was fixed, but when I tested it (for free), it was same old same old.
                Perhaps you speak too softly or you're not very clear. The software worked fine on my computer.
                [COLOR=#333333][FONT=Verdana]Some love to milk Apostate.[/FONT][/COLOR]

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                • #9
                  There are free courses online from the Univ of Hawaii. http://ipll.manoa.hawaii.edu/tiw/

                  If you pay tuition you can receive undergrad credit. I believe there are at least courses for three full years - 6 semesters. I'm enrolled now.

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                  • #10
                    Hey welcome back MedanProf - how are you travelling six months(?) down the track?

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                    • #11
                      Thanks to all those who've given advice. I went ahead and got the book "Instant Indonesian" by Robson and Millie and it's been great so far. I'm also watching/listening to some things on Youtube.

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                      • #12
                        Actually 2 1/2 years down track. I'm in US currently trying to improve my Bahasa Indonesia language skills and looking forward to returning to Medan later in the year. Thanks for asking. Cheers

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