If you know anything about podcasts, it’s that there are a lot of them. There are crime podcasts, cooking podcasts, news podcasts, friend podcasts, dating podcasts and podcasts about nothing at all. This is a great thing, because it means people have fully embraced this new artform. But it also means that finding podcasts for your interests can be difficult. If you want to try using podcasts to learn a language like Indonesian, for example, you might try to search “Indonesian.” But this will pull up a whole roster of shows, some of which just happen to have Indonesia mentioned somewhere in an episode description.
To help you get started, then, we compiled a list of some of the best Indonesian podcasts out there. We split them up by difficulty, so you can find something to listen to whether you’re just starting out or practically fluent. No matter your interests, there’s something out there you’ll love!
Beginner Indonesian Podcasts
Learning Indonesian is only one aspect of interacting with Indonesian culture, and it’s worth exploring other aspects early on. So while this show is entirely in English, Talking Indonesia — produced by the University of Melbourne — can be a good podcast to listen to. Each episode is an interview that talks about the current events going on in the country. The topics can be a little intense, like the war on drugs, racism and pornography laws, but it’s the kind of stuff that will help you understand the language and the people who speak it much more.
If you’re looking for a straightforward podcast that teaches the Indonesian language, you can check out Learning Indonesian. Each episode is a short lesson on grammar or vocabulary, covering any number of topics you might need to grow your Indonesian lexicon. The show itself is relatively old for a podcast — it was published in 2007 and 2008 — but there are 48 episodes you can work your way through.
Intermediate Indonesian Podcasts
The Speak indo podcast is great for people who want a taste of both the language and culture of Indonesia. Each episode is a story, first presented in Indonesian and then in English, and there are transcripts of both versions on their website. The first season focuses on Indonesian folk tales, while the second is regular Indonesian people telling a story from their life. The show uses more informal than formal language, so it can be good practice for speaking in informal settings.
Bule Belajar Bahasa
If straightforward “learning podcasts” sometimes make your ears shut off, maybe you’ll want to try something more fun and conversational. The show Bule Belajar Bahasa (“Foreigner Learning Indonesian”) features Cindy, the Indonesian expert, and Kristen, the relative newcomer. Their friendly dynamic makes the show entertaining, but they still get through plenty of language material to help you learn the basics.
Advanced Indonesian Podcasts
SBS Bahasa Indonesia
SBS Bahasa Indonesia is a show created by an Australian broadcasting service, which might sound like a weird choice for an Indonesian podcast recommendation. But there are benefits to listening to this show. For one, some parts —especially interviews — are done in Australian English, so if you still aren’t ready for Indonesian-only podcasts, this is a good advanced option. Plus, it’s a regular news podcast, so there’s a huge amount of content that it puts out about recent world events. And because it’s a news show, it tends to stick to more standard Indonesian, which might be a bit easier to understand.
While the huge number of podcasts out there can be overwhelming, it also means you can find shows that fit whatever interests you might have. And when you learn a new language, your options continue to grow! If you’re confident in your Indonesian skills, it’s worth it to find a show that you’re specifically interested in. For example, if you like basketball, you can listen to Overtime Indonesia, a show all about the NBA. It’s like any other sports show, but it gives you a distinct outsider’s perspective. And consuming media in other languages is a great way to expand your worldview beyond the English-centric.