To which language should you translate to localize in Indonesia?
As one of the largest multilingual countries in the world, the linguistic landscape in Indonesia is extremely diverse and complex with many languages coexisting and influencing one another. Thus the existence of “Bahasa Indonesia” (which literally means “Indonesian language”) that serves as a unifying force for the country. It is estimated that around 85-90% of the population speaks Indonesian. It is used as the official language in education, government, and media.
But when it comes to how many Indonesians speak Bahasa Indonesia as their first language, the answer would be only less than a quarter of the population speak Indonesian as their primary language. It’s quite hard to give an exact percentage of language usage in Indonesia, since it’s a vast country and the language usage can vary greatly from region to region. In some areas, local languages are widely spoken, while in other areas, they may be used primarily in the home or in certain social contexts. And yet, most people speak their local languages as their mother tongue. In other words, many Indonesians are trilingual.
Then, first of all, take a look at what the 100 top websites do
Of the 100 top website (Global by design ranking):
- 32/100 translate into Bahasa Indonesian
- 40/100 translated into English
Of the 100 top website: 11 do not localize in Indonesia: 2 translate only in English and Spanish; 1 is a business not present in Indonesia.
Jawanese 52%, Indonesian 29%, Sundanese 19%
T-Index ranks countries according to their potential for online sales.
More than 700 living languages are spoken in Indonesia
Low proficiency (EF) – 80 of 112 countries/regions in the world- 14/24 position in Asia.
Currency: Indonesian rupiah
Population: 276,36 m
Population density: 147/km2
GDP: 1.19 trillion USD (2020)
GDP per capita: 4,291.8 USD (2020)
Exports: $178 billion (2020)
Internet users: 73.7% penetration, 204.7 million
Unemployment rate: 3.8% (2021)
Urbanisation: 55.99% (2020)
Literacy: 96 % (2020)
Arabic numerals with comma as decimal separator.
Date format: dd-mm-yyyy
Time: 24h time system
Country code: 0062
Language data sources: Worldatlas/Britannica//EF/Wikipedia; Demography data sources: IMF/Worldometers; Conventions data source: Wikipedia; Economy data sources: WTO/OEC/CIA/Esomar/Datareportal; Statistics data sources: Datareportal/WorldBank/UN/UNESCO/CEIC/IMF/Culturalatlas/Commisceoglobal
Facts and data
$140 billion (2019). Refined Petroleum ($7.45B), Crude Petroleum ($3.13B), Telephones ($2.95B), Planes, Helicopters, and/or Spacecraft ($2.69B), and Petroleum Gas ($2.42B), importing mostly from China ($40.8B), Singapore ($14.8B), Japan ($9.24B), Thailand ($7.76B), and United States ($7.59B).
Financial inclusion factors (over 15 years of age)
• 48% have an account with a financial institution
• 48% have a credit card
• 3.1% have a mobile money account
• 11% make online purchases
Ease of doing business
It is easy to conduct business (rated 69.6 out of 100) ranked 9th out of 25 Asia-Pacific countries ranked 73rd out of 190 countries worldwide (2020, World Bank).
Global Innovation Index
Ranked 14t out of 17 South-Eastern
Asian and Oceanic countries, 87th out of 132 worldwide.
The Global Innovation Index captures the innovation
ecosystem performance of 132 economies and tracks the most recent global innovation trends.
$178 billion (2020). Palm Oil ($17.9B), Coal Briquettes ($15.6B), Gold ($6.31B), Petroleum Gas ($5.71B), and Ferroalloys ($4.74B), exporting mostly to China ($32.6B), United States ($19.6B), Japan ($14.4B), Singapore ($12.6B), and India ($11B).
Main local online stores
MercadoLibre, eBay and Amazon, Netshoes, Alibaba, Garbarino.com, Musimundo.com, Frávega, Apple and Cencosud
‘Moderately free’ (rated 64.4 out of 100) ranked 10th out of 39 Asia-Pacific countries ranked 63rd out of 186 countries worldwide (2019, Heritage Foundation and Wall Street Journal)
Indonesia. The wandering whispering.
By Rachmadhina Insan Widyapianissa
At 1,905 million square kilometers with over 275 million people, Indonesia is really a big – both figuratively and literally. Indonesia has 34 provinces, 17,000 islands, and 700 living local languages spoken across the archipelago.Read it now
Service Imports (2018)
Service Exports (2018)
Most complex products by PCI
Product Complexity Index measures the knowledge intensity of a product by considering the knowledge intensity of its exporters
Most specialised products by RCA Index
Specialisation is measured using Revealed Comparative Advantage, an index that takes the ratio between Indonesia observed and expected exports in each product
Export Opportunities by Relatedness
Relatedness measures the distance between a country's current exports and each product, the barchart show only products that Indonesia is not specialized in
Distribution of e-commerce payment methods in Indonesia in 2019
Reach most of the online purchasing power
T-Index ranks countries according to their potential for online sales. It estimates the market share of each country in relation to global e-commerce.Try it now
Media language Indonesian, English
Television is the most popular medium. Major national commercial networks compete with state-owned Televisi Republik Indonesia (TVRI). The radio dial is crowded, with scores of stations in Jakarta alone. In line with global trends, print newspaper circulations are falling. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) describes as “drastic” the restrictions on media access to the troubled province of West Papua. More generally, it says many journalists self-censor because of the threat from laws on blasphemy and online libel. The authorities can resort to blocking online content deemed to break the law or violate social norms, says Freedom House. The NGO reported restricted access to social media and manipulation of online content during elections in 2019.
Radio Republik Indonesia (RRI) – state-owned, operates national, regional and local stations
Media data source: BBC
73.7% penetration, 204.7 million
Share of web traffic by device
62.76% mobile phones, 36.90% computers (laptops and desktops), 0.34% tablet devices
Median speed of mobile Internet connection
Median speed of fixed Internet connection
Mobile connection as a percentage of total population: 133.3%
Percentage of mobile connections that are broadband (3G-5G): 96.7%
Most popular web search engines
Google (97.44%), Yandex Ru (0.99%),Yahoo (0.93%), Bing (0.36%), Duckduckgo (0.24%), Baidu (0.02%)
Most used social media
Facebook (34.77%), YouTube (30.06%), Twitter (12.74%), Pinterest (11.44%), Instagram (10.41%), Vkontakte (0.01%)
71.77 yrs (2020)
Average age of the population
29.7 yrs (2020)
2.98% of GDP (2017)
Indonesia’s geography, composed of 17,500 islands, means that there are over 300 different ethnicities, and this has led to the development of many micro-cultures with their own customs and traditions.
A common trait is a hierarchical structure that most Indonesians follow, with age usually the overriding feature in determining the level of respect. The elderly are thought to have the most wisdom and are thus considered deserving of more authority.
In 2017, about 16% of 25–64 year-olds in Indonesia had attained tertiary education, well below the OECD average of 44% and the G20 average of 38% (Figure 1). Bachelor’s programmes are the most popular form of tertiary education among young adults in Indonesia: 12% of 25–34 year-olds have earned a bachelor’s degree, compared to 4% for short-cycle tertiary qualifications. Not many young adults will graduate from a master’s or doctoral degree in Indonesia: only 1% have attained a master’s degree and below 0.01% a doctorate (OECD averages: 14% and 0.8%).
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Languages spoken in Indonesia
Others Austronesian Languages
Non Austronesian Languages
Languages in percentages
The geographical distribution of languages that you will find in the maps published in this section is a work in progress. Our community is helping us to fill it up with always new and updated data. Your contribution is precious. If you want to help us, please write to email@example.com
Photo credit: Ruben Hutabarat, Unsplash