Bahasa Indonesia is the national language of the archipelagic Indonesian country, spoken throughout the seventeen thousand islands by over 200 million Indonesians with diverse backgrounds. It was originally the Malay language spoken for trading purposes, then growing to be a lingua franca for the archipelago. 

Bahasa Indonesia, with its simple nature as a genderless and tenseless language, has been connecting and developing various peoples of different regions, cultures, ethnic languages, histories, and belief systems as the Indonesian nation since 1945.

For many English native speakers, therefore, it is not unusual to master Bahasa Indonesia up to an intermediate level within one academic year. The mastery equips them with skills to deal with daily conversations with Indonesian natives from various regions and cultures.

The Indonesian language at Cornell:

Indonesian is offered at all levels from the elementary to the advanced. Classes are small and can be tailored to individual student needs.

Indonesian language resources:

Indonesian and Regional Languages across the Nusantara Archipelago materials.

Samples of the languages and dialects in Indonesia

Related people

Image of Jolanda M. Pandin
Jolanda M. Pandin

Senior Lecturer

All research areas

Bangla    Burmese    Chinese (Mandarin)    Hindi-Urdu    Indonesian    Japanese    Kannada    Khmer (Cambodian)    Korean    Nepali    Pali    Punjabi    Sanskrit    Sinhala    Tagalog (Filipino)    Tamil    Thai    Tibetan (Classical and Modern)    Vietnamese