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This particular resource links to the Wikipedia entry on the Indonesian language. This entry contains loads of information for the curious reader as well as for the serious Indonesian language learner, including historical and linguistic data.
Use this resource to become familiar with the Indonesian language and its context in today's world, to discover facts and linguistic data about Indonesian and its many varieties, access further information about and resources for learning Indonesian, and much more.
Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia) is the official language of Indonesia. Indonesian is a standardised dialect of the Malay language that was officially defined with the declaration of Indonesia's independence in 1945. The Malaysian and Indonesian languages remain quite similar.
Indonesia is the fourth most populous nation in the world. Of its large population the number of people who fluently speak Indonesian is fast approaching 100%, thus making Indonesian one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. Most Indonesians, aside from speaking the national language, are often fluent in another regional language or local dialect (examples include Minangkabau, Sundanese and Javanese) which are commonly used at home and within the local community. Most formal education, as well as nearly all national media and other forms of communication, are conducted in Indonesian. In East Timor, occupied by Indonesia from 1974 to 1999, the Indonesian language is recognised by the constitution as one of the two working languages (the other is English, alongside the official languages of Tetum and Portuguese).
The Indonesian name for the language is Bahasa Indonesia (lit. "the language of Indonesia"). In the same way that English speakers would refer to the official language of France as "French" (not Français), the most accurate way of referring to Indonesia's national language in English is "Indonesian". However, the foreign term Bahasa Indonesia can sometimes still be found in written or spoken English. In addition, the language is sometimes referred to as "Bahasa" by English-speakers, though this simply means "language" and thus is also not an official term for the Indonesian language.