Mark, my Oz friend, came to my hometown of Yogyakarta, Indonesia sometimes in April 2007, and wanted to learn Indonesian Language. He allocated 6-7 months to learn and speak fluently. I was surprised that he could eventually speak Indonesian language fluently only in 2.5 months. When I asked him, he simply said “Bahasa Indonesia adalah bahasa termudah di dunia”, (Indonesian language is the easiest language to learn).
Yesterday, my British friend called me to translate a letter in Bahasa Indonesia, a short letter regarding an offer to subscribe to an Indonesian magazine. Before I said something, he asked me, “How long it would take to learn and speak Bahasa Indonesia fluently?”. He then canceled his request, and pledged to translate the letter by himself. Interesting.
I started to Google some foreigners opinion about world’s easiest language to learn, and i found some interesting remarks:
Jeremy Cole – UK
There have been threads in the past about the easiest language to learn, with some people suggesting Esperanto for its regularity, or Italian for its pronunciation, or English overall, and so on. What about Indonesian? Some, like Barry Farber, say its the easiest major language to learn. The grammar is extremely straightforward and simple–like Chinese, but without the tones and characters. It has an easy pronunciation with a logical orthography. And unlike some of its Austronesian cousins, it–along with the similar Malay–has a huge population and literature.
Obviously, the vocabulary is another story, but that would be true for any language not from one’s own language family. (The only languages that I can think of that might be easier are some of the creoles–western vocabulary base, reduced grammar–but localized and not much literature.)
Pavel Brennus – Slovak
I don’t know Indonesian very well but from the little bit I’ve studied it seems to be relatively simple phonologically and grammatically. It probably ranks with Spanish, Haitian Creole, Modern Norwegian and even conversational German as one of the easier languages in the world. It contains numerous borrowings from Dutch, some from Portuguese, Arabic and Hindi (boneka = doll, masjid = mosque, raja = king ;czar) and an increasing number from English. The English loan words are entering the language so fast that some of them have been completely unaltered.
Andrea C. – France
The grammar is bery simple but bery organized. It has NO TENSES. To express the time we only use the time signals such ad now, tomorrow,etc. Indonesian has constant spelling, what you write is what you read. Dome or many words are borrowed from Arabic, Hindi, Sanskirt, and many others. But the spelling has been formed into Indonesian spelling, so that it will be easy to pronounce. I think the difficulties of learning Indonesian is about using and combining prefixes, suffixes and some infixes. However, it is the reason why Indonesian is easy. You only learn a words and you can use it for many functions. You can make many verbs, nouns, adjectives, and adverbs. Indonesian is flexible. We (the Indonesians) in daily conversation, do not use the formal Indonesian. We sometimes don’t think about grammar. We often also, use informal or simplified words, 4 example:tidak (not) becomes gak or nggak or tak in daily conversations. Indonesian words can easily used in SMS because we can make many abbreviations from it (of course all or some people understand the long form, example: (long) Saya tidak mau makan nasi goreng (I don’t want to eat fried rice) to (short) Sy tdk mau mkn nasi grg (the same meaning). It’s very easy &fun to learn Indonesian, try it!!!!!
Kert Jones. – US
Indonesian uses a good alphabet thanks to the efficient Dutch who once colonised the place.
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