Photo Courtesy of BigFoto.com

Quick Facts


Total Worldwide Speakers: 23,187,680


Language Family: Austronesian


Spoken in: Indonesia, Netherlands, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, United States 




Indonesian, an Austronesian language, is a standardized form of Malay and is spoken throughout Indonesia. About 30 million people speak Indonesian as their first language and a further 140 million speak it as a second language. Indonesia is a linguistically diverse region where the Indonesian language acts as a lingua franca, even though there are more native speakers of Javanese - about 75 million.


During the time Indonesia was a Dutch colony, the Latin alphabet was introduced to write Indonesian and a number of Dutch spellings were used. This alphabet was called ejaan lama (Old Script) in Indonesian. In the 1930s, as part of the independence movement, the Indonesian language was standardised and the term Bahasa Indonesia was adopted as the name of the language.



Sources: The Ethnologue & Omniglot

Web-Based Resources

Web-Based Software

Mango Languages LogoMango Languages is available free to all Saint Michael's students, faculty, and staff in a number of languages. Each Mango lesson is focused on practical, common conversation skills and includes instruction on vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, and culture.

For assistance with Mango, please see the Getting Started with Mango Languages guide.


Web-Based Links

Global Road Warrior

Use this database to get acclimated to a country's business culture and etiquette (greetings & courtesies, ethics, meetings, attire), society and culture (gift giving, food, media, time & punctuality) and travel tips (money & banking, transportation, and more) for 175 countries.