Be careful to not forget the non-silent h when speaking as woods can have different meanings with or without them.
“muda” (young) and “mudah” (easy) sound the same to a westerner not familiar with the sound.
I’ve sat in rice paddies with farmers, chatted with countless waiters, drank tea with a painter, road tripped with awesome Jakartan photographers, and even bantered with a police officer for a while – all while they taught me what I’m attempting to teach you now.
Those moments were more meaningful to me than any ancient temples I visited or beautiful sunsets I watched on my trip, and I hope you can experience some of those connections as well.
People would often smile and correct me, and some even sat down and spent hours with me teaching me pronunciations and other words – even when they didn’t speak a word of English themselves.
Learning Indonesian sounds scary, exotic, and difficult but I assure you Bahasa Indonesia was one of the simplest languages I’ve ever come across.
Once I learned how to learn Bahasa via immersion and comprehension rather than rote and repetition, learning to speak a few more languages in the next few months became much easier and I’ve actually found I’m eager to learn even more languages. You’re not “bad” at languages, most people in the world are bilingual.
Before diving into words, let’s go over pronunciation so you can actually read Bahasa. The common word “ke” is pronounced as a short “kuh”, almost as if you got punched in the gut.
Even if you don’t know a single word, with a few rules you can read nearly any word in Bahasa like a local. When in doubt omit the first “e” of most words when speaking.After a month of speaking Bahasa I still forget to roll many of my r’s.h is never silent, even at the end of words. At the end of the word it is aspirated – it sounds like you are softly and quickly breathing out.