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Indonesian Podcasts: 6 Go-To Podcasts for Language Learners

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Indonesian is a very exciting language to learn.

This is largely due to its simplicity. No new alphabet to learn, no verb tenses, and no grammatical gender either.

And the perks are huge.

You’ll be speaking the ninth most common language in the world, and you’ll even be able to understand a fair bit of Malaysian.

But let’s face it.

Learning a language doesn’t really cut it. Total language mastery is what you should always be aiming for.

Whether you’re a beginner, an intermediate learner, or a more advanced Indonesian student, you will always want to master the ins and outs of every skill within your current level before moving forward. 

The three most important skills that dictate your performance at every level are growth, clarification, and endurance. Mastery over each of these skills requires intensive practice.

Listening to authentic native speakers guarantees you access to the “cleanest” version of Indonesian.

Enter Indonesian podcasts.

Podcasts are recorded audio files that cover a specific topic in each episode. You can listen to podcasts in Indonesian and use them to grow your vocabulary, clarify any confusion, and learn to handle conversations even better (in terms of both speaking and listening).

That’s why we have taken the time to compile a list of some of the best podcasts for learning Indonesian. But before we dig in, let’s talk about the benefits that come with learning Indonesian through podcasts.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Indonesian Table of Contents
  1. Benefits of Using Podcasts to Learn Indonesian
  2. Indonesian Podcasts: The 6 Go-To Podcasts for Language Learners
  3. Tricks to Learn Indonesian More Effectively with Podcasts
  4. Conclusion

1. Benefits of Using Podcasts to Learn Indonesian

Improve your listening skills.

A Woman Talking to a Man

Unless you live around native Indonesian speakers, chances are you don’t really get the opportunity to hear much Indonesian. This lack of listening practice can slow down your progress after a while, as you won’t be able to really grasp what others are saying or carry a conversation.

Podcasts are a great solution to help you further improve your listening skills. By matching podcasts with your current learning level, you’ll specifically target your weaknesses and easily pick up new vocabulary, which takes us to the next benefit…

Learn new words.

Sticky Note Words

Learning new vocabulary is almost always the number-one challenge for language learners. Knowing more words guarantees that you’ll be able to have successful conversations, even if you sometimes make grammatical mistakes. 

Listening to Indonesian-language podcasts will grow your vocabulary, both on a conscious level and on a subconscious level. Moreover, you will start articulating your thoughts even better and be able to create a more harmonic flow in your speech.

Familiarize yourself with the culture.

Swedish Flag

This can take the beginner- or intermediate-level language learner a long way. Having a feel for the language and how native speakers perceive speech is crucial for learning a new language.

Indonesians think about food, religion, family, and even language pretty differently than Westerners do, and developing a feel for that is crucial if you want a full understanding of the way Indonesians communicate.

2. Indonesian Podcasts: The 6 Go-To Podcasts for Language Learners

A Woman Listening to Something with Headphones

Now, let’s take a look at the best Indonesian podcasts for language learners. To make things easier for you, we’ve categorized them by level so you can find exactly what you’re looking for. 

All Levels

IndonesianPod101

IndonesianPod101 is by far the most active Indonesian learning podcast. The fact that we have podcast lessons for language learners of all proficiency levels makes us a versatile resource for anyone wanting to improve their Indonesian. 

If you have informally learned Indonesian through your spouse, family, or surroundings, chances are you’re not exactly sure where you stand level-wise.

The IndonesianPod101 podcast will save you the guesswork by helping you slowly position your skills and language level. The episodes range from 1 to 10 minutes long and are updated regularly. The reliability of our podcast makes it a nice resource for the hungry learner who always wants something new instead of continuing to chew on existing content.

If you want to follow the podcast in video format as well, check out the videos on the IndonesianPod101 YouTube channel. Our channel consists of everything from 3-minute episodes to 4-hour reviews of past episodes. Even better, you can always pop into the 24/7 live stream for a TV learning experience.

Finally, make sure to create your free lifetime account on IndonesianPod101.com for access to even more content! 

Beginner

Talking Indonesia

This podcast represents the ultimate introduction to today’s Indonesia. Over 100 uploaded episodes discuss topics such as gender equality, racism, Chinese Indonesians, religion, and more.

The Talking Indonesia podcast is published every fortnight and hosted by either Dr. Ken Setiawan or Dr. Dave McRae of The University of Melbourne’s Asia Institute. The podcast is done in English and can help you build a very good understanding of the day-to-day reality of culture, politics, language, and foreign policies in Indonesia.

Both podcast hosts work hard to bring the best guests for every episode so that you can get the best information first-hand from the experts. Listening to this podcast will help you keep up with the news and political sphere in Indonesia even better than some locals do. This is the perfect podcast for beginners who do not speak Indonesian but want to have an understanding of Indonesian culture and society. 

Learning Indonesian

The Learning Indonesian podcast is an entry course to the Indonesian language. Across 48 lessons, you’ll learn the basics: greetings (first episode), action verbs, and much more. 

Unfortunately, the podcast was only active for a year (2008) and has been discontinued since. Still, the 48 episodes are enough to give you a good start with the Indonesian-language basics as well as the building blocks you’ll need to carry along on your learning journey.

After you’ve consumed all the beginner content, you can feel free to slowly switch over to intermediate-level podcasts…

Intermediate

Speak i n d o

Speak i n d o is probably the most entertaining podcast on our list. Each episode of this top Indonesian podcast tells real-life stories in slow Indonesian, followed by an English translation. 

The key Indonesian vocabulary in each story is emphasized in the English part of the podcast. This repetition will enhance your memorization of the vocabulary and help you stay focused on language learning (rather than getting distracted by the stories themselves). 

The podcast is usually updated on a biweekly basis, but the schedule is not the most consistent. In any case, there will always be newer episodes for you to listen to.

Bule Belajar Bahasa

Cindy and Kristen, the hosts of the Bule Belajar Bahasa podcast, are probably the most entertaining and dedicated podcast hosts for Indonesian learners. The energy and attention to detail they bring to the podcast are exceptional, to say the least. You will learn so much vocabulary from their discussions with each other, all while keeping a smile on your face and being thoroughly entertained.

The podcast is in English, but the discussions are solely about Indonesian words. That said, the atmosphere is never too serious or dull, so you’ll never want to switch to another podcast out of boredom! It’s the perfect listen for when you’re home doing the dishes or commuting to work.

Advanced

SBS Bahasa Indonesia

SBS (The Special Broadcasting Service) is an Australian public service broadcaster, mainly funded by the Australian government to publish news on recent events both in Australia and around the world. The Indonesian version of this podcast is aimed at Australian residents and citizens who are of an Indonesian background.

The podcast is very frequently updated. There are a few episodes published every day, so you’ll never run out of material to work with and listen to. 

Given the nature of SBS Bahasa Indonesia, we recommend this podcast for advanced Indonesian students. 

3. Tricks to Learn Indonesian More Effectively with Podcasts

On the Go

A Man Listening to Something on the Go

For those of you who are short on time and busy with work, school, or just life, podcasts are probably the number-one solution for language learning. No visuals to keep up with, and nothing that holds you too accountable for paying attention.

In the convenience of your vehicle, on the bus, or while taking the metro, you can take advantage of your commute time by playing your favorite podcast on the go.

When it comes to learning like this, repetition is your best friend. Repeating after the podcast host—especially when new words are introduced—will not only sharpen your pronunciation but also give your vocabulary an extra boost.

You can make your learning time on the go even more effective by saving new words for later practice at home. One great way to practice them is by creating your own flashcard deck! 

At Home

At home, you have even more control and flexibility when it comes to learning Indonesian with podcasts. 

IndonesianPod101’s versatile podcast enables you to listen to quality audio in Indonesian, and our website/app grants you access to vocabulary lists created specifically for the podcast episode you’re listening to.

You can check the description of each episode to access the designated cheat sheet and get full access to the material. Then, you can take the vocabulary on your sheet and get the most out of it by using the different tools offered by IndonesianPod101 (e.g., digital flashcards, voice comparison, and slowed-down audio).

4. Conclusion

There you have it. Your arsenal is now armed with not only some of the best Indonesian podcasts for your level, but also tips for how to leverage them in order to achieve language mastery.

Even if you’re an intermediate or advanced Indonesian learner, you may want to start slow with Indonesian podcasts. 

You can pick the easier episodes in the podcasts matching your level or start out with some one-size-fits-all episodes from IndonesianPod101.

After you get the momentum going and build the habit of listening every day, you can shift into more advanced podcasts. If you’re an advanced learner, you might find yourself shifting to podcasts that target your areas of interest.

Happy learning!
Selamat belajar!

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