Indonesian Translation Tips (And Notes)

Recently, we read an article from TechInAsia, a technology news site, that talked about Indonesia’s eCommerce outlook. Indonesia is an archipelago (group of islands) that is home to the world’s fourth largest population. Did you know there are over 18,000 islands? Indonesian is the official language of Indonesia and there are over 197.7 speakers worldwide (inclusive of native speakers and second-language speakers). As a provider of Indonesian translation services, we wanted to further examine this language.

Indonesian Translation Tips (And Notes)

  1. The official language is Bahasa Indonesian. “Bahasa” means language, so the direct translation is “Indonesian Language.” Indonesian was declared a national language in 1945. The language serves as a national identity. Indonesian is the language of government, formal education, mass media, and court systems. While Indonesians may speak a local language at home, they still understand this language, making it the lingua franca.
  2. Indonesian is written using the Latin alphabet (like English), and there are many loanwords from other languages, mostly Dutch (due to colonization).
  3. Indonesia is a diverse country. Here is Indonesia by the numbers:
      • Approximately 237.6 million people
      • Around 300 ethnic groups
      • Approximately 742 languages and dialects spoken

    We definitely recommend using a native speaker to help with any translation or global marketing initiatives. They understand both the language and the culture of your target consumer.

  4. Indonesia is an emerging market with a very young population. According to Indonesia Investments, 66.5 percent of the total population is aged 15-66. Also, the population is rapidly urbanizing. These factors contribute to a more connected population.
  5. Is your website mobile friendly? Most Indonesians access the Internet using a mobile device. Not having a mobile friendly and localized site means you miss out on over 237 million potential consumers!

For related information, and a successful example of Indonesian localization, check out one of our earlier blog posts. Are you looking for more resources on Indonesian translation tips?

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