The Advantages of Being Able to Speak Bahasa Indonesia

In this post, we talk about the many advantages of being able to speak bahasa Indonesia.

If you are not able to speak Indonesian, or rely on Indonesians to do most everything for you, you may not see the advantages and benefits of being able to speak Indonesian, and one of the biggest benefits of all, as you may not realize the fact of Differential Pricing in Indonesia.

Differential Pricing example

Differential pricing for those unable to speak a foreign language

On everything from vegetables to buying a pair of glasses, to leasing land or building, prices for foreigners who are unable to speak Indonesian can be as high as 100-300% over the actual price.  This means you could be paying 2-3 times more than the price that an Indonesian-speaking person, whether local or foreigner, would pay.

It’s not only Indonesia that has this unofficial policy. The photo to the right shows prices for Orange Juice in Mexico. If you can ask for it in Spanish, it’s a dollar less than it would be if you only know how to ask for it in English.

It’s been this way for generations in many countries, not only Indonesia.

If you look at the cost of a course in this light, you’ll see that if you can speak Indonesian proficiently, you can save yourself hundreds, if not thousands or many thousands of dollars each year. Clearly, to invest in a good language education is worth the expense, the time and the effort.

Our students go to Ubud Market around the last week of their 40 hour training, and learn for themselves that they often can negotiate to 1/5 of the asking price.  That’s right, a 80% discount! Now of course that won’t happen every time you shop, but you will be surprised at how much farther your investment in learning to speak bahasa Indonesia will take you.

There’s another big advantage as well, one that may not occur to those of you reading this who have never learned a second language before. That is, the advantage of being able to think like people who are not like you.

Indonesian people think differently than others, not better, not worse, just different. This difference is contained in how Indonesian language describes the world. Once you understand this, you will start to see the world in new ways, and this can have many advantages that may not have occurred to you.