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Indonesian resources

  Tags: Resources
 Language Learning Forum : Language Programs, Books & Tapes Post Reply
Joined 1872 days ago

1 posts - 1 votes
Speaks: English*
Studies: Indonesian

 Message 1 of 6
05 January 2016 at 5:07am | IP Logged 
Hello HTLAL community,

I'm highly interested in learning Indonesian currently, but there are few courses or study groups where I
live, which has necessitated that I take an autodidactic approach.

Does anybody have much experience with materials for learning Indonesian? I have started with The
Indonesian Way recently and generally like it, though I am also intent on using a second source if
possible. My French is not good enough for me to be comfortable using Assimil. Does anybody have
any positive experiences with other materials?
1 person has voted this message useful

Monox D. I-Fly
Senior Member
Joined 3502 days ago

753 posts - 664 votes 
Speaks: Indonesian*

 Message 2 of 6
05 January 2016 at 12:52pm | IP Logged 
Well, I don't know such sites but I myself am a native Indonesian, so maybe I can help you out personally.
1 person has voted this message useful

Senior Member
Joined 2419 days ago

499 posts - 1084 votes 
Studies: German

 Message 3 of 6
05 January 2016 at 2:18pm | IP Logged 
I have not studied Indonesian. However, recently, because I was following on discussion on the audio-lingual method of instruction wherein this language was mentioned, I began collecting some information on learning materials for this language. Here is what I have so far:

HTLAL G-Search
If you conduct the "G-Search" function of this forum using "Indonesian" as your search criterion, you will find quite a number of discussion threads. Perhaps the most pertinent ones for your immediate purposes are:

Indonesian Language

Malay and Indonesian Resources

Indonesian Series by Cornell University (John Wolff)
Some years ago, Cornell University published a series of texts by John Wolf. The course was very well received. Unfortunately, according to the customer reviews on Amazon, there was a technical issue with the accompanying DVD that contained the audio files. I do not know whether or not this issue was ever resolved. Were I interested in learning Indonesian, I would send an Email to Cornell and ask them about this problem. From my brief research, here is a list of the materials/links:

Beginning Indonesian Through Self-Instruction, Book 1
Beginning Indonesian Through Self-Instruction, Book 2
Beginning Indonesian Through Self-Instruction, Book 3
Here is the site of the Cornell University Press. I would ask them about the technical issues concerning the DVD, perhaps they have been resolved?
Cornell University Press. As part of the same series...
Formal Indonesian, John Wolff
Indonesian Conversations, by John Wolff
Indonesian Readings, by John Wolff

Teach Yourself Complete Indonesian
Generally speaking, users of the Teach Yourself courses submit positive comments and this seems to be the case for the Indonesian course. As you might be aware, these courses offer a very basic introduction to a given language, aiming for the A1 level. However, a number of customer reviews on Amazon mention that the CD audio track numbers as printed in the course book are not well-synchronized with the actual tracks on the CD! I do not know whether or not this problem was resolved by the printing of a new book or the issuing of new CDs.

Routledge Colloquial Indonesian
Generally speaking, the Routledge Colloquial series has been well received, provided that the students understand that the publisher has deliberately limited the scope of their courses to meet the basic needs of a traveller; that is, get in, conduct your basic affairs, get out. The customer reviews on Amazon are about three stars and the complaints seem to be that some vocabulary used in some of the dialogues is not introduced until later in the book. I consider this a minor issue, this is part of life!

Pimsleur Indonesian
Pimsleur offers a Phase I course (30 units) for Indonesian. Their courses are known for their ease-of-use and, generally speaking, I have been very pleased with them. However, given their high prices, the lack of a glossary, and the fact that one must infer the grammar from the lessons, I do not think that this would be my first choice.

DLI Basic Indonesian
Unfortunately, the old DLI Basic Indonesian course is not listed on the JLU-archives website. By searching the ERIC website, I came across most of the textbooks for the course. I presume that this course would have used the audio-lingual method of instruction; that is, dialogues, basic sentences, sentence-pattern drills, narratives and readings. As you might be aware, some individuals continue to offer their own collections of the old FSI and DLI courses, for modest prices, on EBay and elsewhere. I located the following offer which, from reading the course description and looking at the onscreen images, leads me to believe that it is, indeed, the DLI Basic Indonesian course or, at the very least, something similar from the early 1970's.

DLI GLOSS Indonesian Files
Although not a course, the DLI GLOSS website contains a few hundred lessons and exercises on the Indonesian language. My experiences and those of other students are that the GLOSS files are excellent for practicing a given language.

Linguaphone Indonesian
Linguaphone used to sell an Indonesian course. I am not at all aware whether this was one of their rather Spartan efforts from the 1950's or one of their more complete efforts from the 1970's. Although it is now out-of-print, rumour has it that some members might know of a source where it can still be purchased.

Indiana University CeLt
The Indiana University CeLt Recorded Archives contain the recordings for an old Basic Indonesian course. I have given a quick listen to the initial lessons and I can confirm that this is most definitely an audio-lingual course: dialogues, basic sentences, sentence-pattern drills. In response to my recent request for information, the CeLt advised me, "Our old card catalog lists those materials simply as “Intensive Indonesian Program” by Harsono & Baird, 1965. " I have trying to locate a copy of the accompanying textbook but have not yet located one. I have sent a request to the Indiana University's Southeast Asia Studies department asking them if they have a copy of the textbook. If they do, and if I can obtain a copy, I will further advise.

Online Indonesian Courses
The following online Indonesian courses seem to be popular with users
Learning Indonesian Online
Learning Indonesian
Linguanaut Learn Indonesian

Good luck with your studies!

3 persons have voted this message useful

Joined 3392 days ago

17 posts - 18 votes
Speaks: English*
Studies: Dutch, Swedish

 Message 4 of 6
15 January 2016 at 3:04pm | IP Logged 
Hi Maubicara,

I'm also just starting to learn Indonesian. :)

Another really good course is Basic Indonesian: An Introductory Coursebook
By Robson & Kurniasih. It isn't too expensive and the audio, like with an Assimil course doesn't have unnecessary English descriptions.

I have the Assimil course and have been trying to translate it. There's a German-base edition due to be published early this year (first trimester is what I heard).

1 person has voted this message useful

Joined 3551 days ago

37 posts - 59 votes 
Speaks: Dutch*, Swedish, French, EnglishC2, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Hungarian

 Message 5 of 6
11 February 2016 at 5:44pm | IP Logged 
Here's a link to a post with a free Indonesian Software product offering Indonesian
Folktales with immediate mouse-over pop-up translation (correct and in-context), and
integrated vocabulary training:

Free Software e-books (check under Blue header "Fairy Tales" for Indonesian Folk Tales)

3 persons have voted this message useful

Senior Member
Joined 2419 days ago

499 posts - 1084 votes 
Studies: German

 Message 6 of 6
12 February 2016 at 3:26pm | IP Logged 
Unpaid Labour ...

During my search for materials and links under this topic, I came across the Indonesian audio recordings that are freely available on the Indiana University CeLt Recorded Archives website: Indonesian Resources (CeLt)

In my communications with the CeLt staff, they advised me that they had an index card record of the origin of these recordings but that they did not have the corresponding textbook. I consulted the Librarian of the Indiana University’s Southeast Asian faculty and they, too, did not have a copy of the textbook, nor apparently do any of the faculty. Between them, they surmised that this was a project that was never completed, possibly for lack of funding. I find this somewhat of a shame as, upon a quick review of the recordings themselves, it becomes abundantly clear that the audio-lingual method was employed. That is, the audio files contain dialogues and multiple sentence-pattern drills. It occurred to me that an opportunity exists to restore a portion of the original textbook through the preparation of a transcript of the Indonesian audio files accompanied by an English translation. Obviously, only someone who possesses both languages could prepare such a document … and my thoughts turned to all of you … well, okay, to some of you!

Would anyone be interested in “volunteering” for such a project? I appreciate that it would represent an investment of personal time and we all experience multiple demands on this precious resource. My hope is to find someone who would take on this task and that the resulting document would be offered to the Indiana University for hosting on their website to accompany the audio recordings. So, who’s “all in” on this project? Thank you for your consideration.

Edited by Speakeasy on 12 February 2016 at 3:28pm

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