Indonesian Languages

How Many Indonesian languages are there?


Indonesian Languages
Indonesian Languages
Indonesia consists of many ethnics and cultures with their own unique languages. Each of these Indonesian languages is different one from another. And Indonesian language, which is also known as Bahasa Indonesia, is the national language which unites all Indonesian people and widely used throughout Indonesia. Below are a few examples of Indonesian languages:

Examples of Indonesian Languages


According to Wikipedia, Sundanese (which is also called Basa Sunda in local Sundanese dialect) literally means “language of Sunda”) is the language of about 27 million people from the western part of Java or about 15% of the Indonesian population.

The Sundanese language appears to be most closely related to Madurese and Malay, and more distantly related to the Javanese language, mostly spoken in Central and East Java.


The Javanese language (or also called basa Jawa in Javanese or simply bahasa Jawa in Indonesian language) is the language of the people in the central and eastern parts of the island of Java, in Indonesia. In addition, there are also some pockets of Javanese speakers in the northern coast of western Java. It is the native language of more than 75,500,000 people.

The Javanese language is part of the Austronesian family, and is therefore related to Indonesian and other Malay varieties. Most Sundanese and Javanese speakers also speak Indonesian for official and commercial purposes and to communicate with non-Javanese Indonesians.

Both of these Indonesian languages are the mostly spoken Indonesian dialects in Indonesia. The other Indonesian languges are Balinese, Batak, and other dialects. It is estimated that there are around 300 Indonesian dialects in Indonesia. Despite the fact that there are so many dialects in Indonesia, almost all Indonesians can speak Bahasa Indonesia or Indonesian language as the national language, therefore it is essential to learn Indonesian language while staying in Indonesia.

The Fact About Indonesian Languages

Therefore if you want to interact more with the locals, it is strongly suggested that you learn bahasa instead of any other Indonesian languages since most Indonesian people can speak Indonesian language.

But in some cases you might also be interested in learning one of those Indonesian languages, especially if you are a researcher who needs to interact more with people in a certain location or village.

Just like the English language, the Indonesian language also has a slang version which is commonly used in daily conversation, especially during some informal situation. This Indonesian language colloquial has been part of the Indonesian languages itself and is still developing. So for those who already have the ability to converse in (formal) Indonesian language, it is quite easy for them to learn a few Indonesian slang vocabularies, too, and try to use it in daily conversation.So when do we use formal Indonesian language and informal or Indonesian colloquial? Formal Indonesian language is used in any formal situation, such as in the media (newspapers, etc) while informal Indonesian language is mostly used in any informal situation. However it is also possible to use the formal Indonesian language in all aspects of life and in any situation, and you can gradually pick up some colloquial and phrases easily after you learn how to speak in (formal) Indonesian language.

Indonesia, which has amazing history for hundreds of years, is a rich country which has a lot of cultures, customs and languages. And their diverse Indonesian languages reflect the beautiful cultures they have.

After reading this post you might also be interested in reading my other post on Indonesian Course and tips to learn Indonesian.

error: Content is protected !!