Welcome to Cinta Bahasa Indonesian Language School
Published in Ubud Community Magazine, July 2011
Welcome to Cinta Bahasa in Bali! Whether you are just visiting, lived here a short while, or have already been living here a long time, we’re sure you are aware of how beneficial, and how important it is to be able to communicate in Indonesian. From shopping to getting things done, to sorting out problems and making friends with the neighbours around you, it’s essential that you are able to speak with the Balinese, and all Indonesians, in their own language.
Learning a language opens you up to understanding the culture of this island and of the country. Learning the body language, etiquette and social manners can come through experience, but sadly many of them started off either badly with hurt feelings and bruised egos on one or both sides, or hopefully with at least some funny stories to remember!
It doesn’t matter how long you have lived here, length of time is not really an effective measurement of how much you know about Indonesia’s many cultures. Rather, it’s the quality of that time, the quality of relationships made, that determines whether or not, or how much, you really understand this place.
Bali, and specially Ubud, is changing rapidly. It seems crowded and confused for many people, both local and foreigner. There are a lot of issues that are coming to a head, from traffic jams to crime to garbage, that need the input and involvement of both cultures to resolve. Being able to speak Indonesian is the bridge across the gap between both cultures.
Imagine how good it feels when you’re in trouble, and an Indonesian person is able to help you out and speak with you in your own language. Imagine then how great if feels to an Indonesian person who has met a foreigner can speak to them in their own language.
What would you think if someone came up to you and said “eat you like now?”, instead of saying “Would you like to eat now?” Learning a few phrases, or a “word a day” is simply not enough to learn to speak the language. You’ll end up with a bunch of words and no idea how to put them together into intelligible sentences.
As Bali’s landscape changes and becomes more confusing and crowded, the Balinese themselves are still a fascinating and open-hearted people. To me they’re the main draw on this island. You can have access to this cultural treasure when you can communicate with them in their national language, Bahasa Indonesia. That way, you can talk with anyone you meet, wherever you go in the country, or just with your neighbours and people that you meet each day.
Cinta Bahasa is an Indonesian language school in Ubud, Bali, located at Campuhan College and in collaboration with the Karuna Bali Foundation. They have designed their own teaching methods and textbook, and the teachers make it easy, effective and fun for you to learn to speak Bahasa Indonesia. For the Beginner course, the classes are two hours a day, five days a week for a month, which is just what you need to build your language up, and not forget everything you’ve learned in between classes.
Private classes are generally for more advanced students so that they can be tailored to the student’s needs. If you already speak some Indonesian, or know a lot of words but don’t know how to put them all into sentences, they can help you to communicate better starting right from your level of Indonesian.
To learn more about learning to communicate in Bahasa Indonesia with Cinta Bahasa, visit their website at www.cintabahasa.com, or look them up on Facebook at “Cinta Bahasa”.
About the Authors:
Stephen and Ochie founded Cinta Bahasa last year after being surprised at how few foreign residents in Ubud are able to speak Indonesian beyond a few words, a lot of sign language and a few restaurant and service-oriented commands. Ochie is originally from Sumatra, and Stephen is from Canada. He learned Indonesian while working here with an NGO some 11 years ago, and since then has managed organizations, companies and teams in Indonesian language. She worked as a copywriter for a major advertising agency and as a university lecturer in Jakarta. Both have backgrounds in language education. Their six teacher have many years of Indonesian language teaching experience.