Cinta Bahasa Blog
Learn to Speak Indonesian Language the Right Way!
There is a saying that is very useful when it comes to learning how to do something new, and it goes like this: “Well Begun, is Half Done”. This means that whatever you do, if you start it properly, then it’s as good as being half completed already. Don’t start your project well, and you won’t have a foundation for successful completion.
The same is true with Language Training. In previous posts, we list out things to look for in selecting the right Language School and Language Teacher. Some people think that being able to teach is as easy as pulling a book off a bookshelf, and then offering their services to you at a fee that professionals charge. Just think if your plumber or electrician did that, they would be putting you at risk. But since language education should also last a lifetime, then why treat your language teacher any differently?
We have seen the damage that Learning to Speak Indonesian the Wrong Way has caused, because in Indonesia, you really do need to learn how to speak Indonesian Language, and you can either learn the right way with us, right from the start, or come to us later to help you repair your broken language. So here are three types of Indonesian language teachers, or any language teacher, to be aware of.
Type #1: The so-called teacher who will basically dump the entire language onto you in the first class, like a big ball of string, and then spend the rest of the time (or forever which is what they would prefer) untangling the ball. Whether or not the course is completed, or whether they convince you to continue learning forever in order to figure out the mystery (which is their teaching methodology and not the language, by the way), you will never feel like you’re using the language properly. That is their strategy, to keep you confused for as long as possible.
Type #2: The so-called teacher who will translate the language she is teaching, into your language for you. You’ll never learn to speak the language properly if you are always translating the words in your head. If you start off learning this way, you’ll always be struggling to find the right word, or the right meaning in your own language, which cannot necessarily be translated into your target language, in this case Bahasa Indonesia.
Type #3: The so-called teacher who will make you feel sorry for her, so that you don’t quit the course. She’ll confess her situation to you in class, and make you feel like it’s not nice to expect to be taught the language properly. You’ll be learning more about her than learning the language. The fact is, she really did learn to teach yesterday by spending the last of her money on an outdated Indonesian language textbook at the used-book store, and whatever other materials she could borrow and photocopy.
There are a few other types of teachers that will teach you the wrong way to learn to speak Indonesian language, or any other language. Please add them to the comments below, so that other language learners won’t be wasting their precious time and valuable money on learning the wrong way.
Learn Bahasa Indonesia the Right Way with Cinta Bahasa! In a foreign country, you’ll never know when you will really need it.
If you agree, or don’t agree, what we’re saying here, please let us know!
On The 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 realize the fact of Differential Pricing in Indonesia.
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 100-500% over the actual price. This means you could be paying 2-5 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, an 80% discount!
Now doesn’t that make it worth learning to speak at a good school?
Have you had experiences like this? Leave us a comment and let us know!
How to Choose a Quality Language School and Teacher
When considering learning a new language, there are a number of questions to consider when selecting a quality language school or private teacher. Here are a few:
Is my teacher trained and certified? They can be trained by a particular institution or school, and can be certified by presenting their Indonesian Proficiency Test results and official training certificates. Does your teacher/school have this?
Where will you be learning? Will you be learning at a home, a restaurant or a school? If your teacher is trained and certified, why would they be teaching anywhere other than at a school? If at a restaurant, factor in associated costs such as drinks and snacks, as well as noise, interruptions and distractions. If at home, your environment may be comfortable for living, but not suitable for learning.
What methodology will the teacher be using? Language learning has come a very, very long way since most of us sat at student’s desk. Language learning has become much more enjoyable on one hand, and psychological on the other. The purpose is no longer to help you to be capable in a new language, which old methods could barely achieve, or to help you to translate between your mother tongue and the new language which slows your thinking to a crawl, but to be fluent, which new methods and trained teachers can help you to achieve.
What materials and resources will they be using? Does the school/teacher prepare their own materials for you, or are they using ‘off-the-shelf’ materials from the bookstore? Bahasa Indonesia is a rapidly developing language, most books are obsolete by the time they are published and go on sale. Are they giving you other learning resources to use, or are they just writing and talking lots about the language to you, rather than actually training you how to speak the language, by having you actually speak it?
How much does it cost? It may appear cheaper to learn in a place that’s ‘free’ like a home or a restaurant, but there are many hidden costs involved, in expected food and drink purchases, inconvenience, distractions and discomfort. While it’s good to have a drink if you are talking a lot, you should be able to bring your own to the class.
A formal school may appear to cost more, but actually it costs less. With a formal school, you have trained and certified teachers teaching you in a proper learning space using an effective methodology and specially-designed materials and resources. Private teachers charge the same amount, but they do not provide any of these things, and they pocket the difference. They pay no tax, no rent or mortgage fees, and no formal registration or organization fees, and do not make contributions to local organizations.
Cinta Bahasa started as a school in Campuhan, Ubud, Bali. Our teachers have University degrees, successful careers in their fields prior to become teachers, and are trained and certified by a variety of formal language training institutions. They teach in proper classrooms using the latest methodologies and specially-designed textbooks and learning resources. They are also paid very well and have long-term employment contracts. Cinta Bahasa is formally registered as an educational institution, is registered with the Ministry of Education and is well-connected to Indonesian Language networks across Indonesia. Cinta Bahasa has contributed over Rp 24,000,000 (2,500 USD) to Education Scholarship Funds for low-income Balinese students and has contributed to hotel, restaurants and other businesses in Ubud.
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Do you speak Tarzan Bahasa? Would you like to learn how to speak proper Bahasa Indonesia?
It seems many of us are unable to speak Indonesian beyond asking for another beer (satu lagi, by the way) or asking the pembantu to make tea. Anything more than this and the jigsaw puzzle of words falls to pieces…
I suppose I was fortunate to have received a proper education in the language by my employer when I first arrived here, but I’m quite shocked to see how few expats can actually hold more than a five second conversation, or see the need to be able to have more than a five second conversation with an Indonesian.
These folks are pretty easy to spot, you certainly will never see them together with an Indonesian friend or their Indonesian wife, and when they talk it sounds like a conversation between Tarzan and his wife Jane, or between Tarzan, his personal interpreter, and his wife Jane.
Well, if this is you I’m talking about, don’t feel bad. Cinta Bahasa has small-group Beginner and Pre-Intermediate courses, as well as Private Courses right up to the advanced level.
See their website www.cintabahasa.com for more information. It’s changed the lives of many Ubud expats who would certainly prefer to not be named. Now they can actually speak with their wife, or with their employees (rather than have Wayan do it for them), and they actually understand what their staff are saying about them within earshot.
Do you know someone who speaks “Tarzan Bahasa”? Tell them it’s time they took an Indonesian language course with Cinta Bahasa!