Countries where Indonesian is spoken widely

According to recent data, Indonesian is spoken widely in several countries around the world. This article aims to provide an insightful overview of the countries where Indonesian is spoken as a widely used language. From its roots as the official language of Indonesia, Indonesian has expanded its influence across borders and is now spoken by significant populations in neighboring countries such as Malaysia, East Timor, and Brunei. Additionally, Indonesian has gained prominence as a lingua franca in parts of Papua New Guinea and the Philippines. Join us as we explore the fascinating regions where Indonesian thrives and plays a crucial role in communication and cultural exchange.

Countries in Southeast Asia


Indonesia, a country located in Southeast Asia, is widely known for its rich culture and diverse languages. One of the languages spoken widely in Indonesia is Indonesian. With over 270 million people, Indonesia is the most populous country in Southeast Asia, making Indonesian one of the most widely spoken languages in the region.


Malaysia, a neighboring country of Indonesia, is another nation where Indonesian is spoken widely. While Malay is the official language of Malaysia, many Malaysians also speak Indonesian due to historical and cultural ties between the two countries. Indonesian is often understood and used by Malaysians, especially in regions that border Indonesia.


Singapore, a cosmopolitan city-state in Southeast Asia, is renowned for its multilingual society. While English, Mandarin, Malay, and Tamil are the official languages of Singapore, Indonesian is also spoken widely. The close proximity to Indonesia and the presence of a significant Indonesian population in Singapore contribute to the widespread use of Indonesian in the country.

Indonesian, being one of the major languages in Southeast Asia, plays a crucial role in fostering communication and cultural exchange between these countries. Whether for business, tourism, or social interactions, the ability to speak Indonesian can greatly facilitate interactions with the local population in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore.

Countries in Oceania

Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea is a country located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It is one of the most linguistically diverse countries in the world, with over 800 languages spoken. While English is the official language, Indonesian is also widely spoken, especially in urban areas and among the younger population.

The influence of Indonesian in Papua New Guinea can be attributed to its close proximity to Indonesia and historical ties between the two countries. Indonesian is often taught in schools and used in business and trade, making it an important language for communication within the country and with neighboring Indonesia.


Timor-Leste, also known as East Timor, is a small country situated in Southeast Asia. Indonesian is spoken widely in Timor-Leste due to its historical relationship with Indonesia. During the Indonesian occupation of Timor-Leste from 1975 to 1999, Indonesian became the lingua franca and was widely used for communication and administration.

Even after gaining independence, Indonesian continued to be spoken and understood by a significant portion of the population. It is often used in informal settings and as a means of communication with Indonesian tourists and traders. While Tetum and Portuguese are the official languages, Indonesian serves as an important language for intercultural communication and trade within Timor-Leste.

In conclusion, both Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste are countries in Oceania where Indonesian is spoken widely. The historical, cultural, and geographical factors have contributed to the prevalence of Indonesian in these countries, making it an important language for communication and trade in the region.

Countries with Indonesian diaspora


The Netherlands is one of the countries where the Indonesian language is spoken widely due to its historical ties with Indonesia. The Indonesian diaspora in the Netherlands has a significant presence, particularly in cities like Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and The Hague. This can be attributed to the colonial past of the Dutch East Indies, which is now Indonesia. Many Indonesians migrated to the Netherlands during the period of Dutch colonization and after Indonesia gained independence. As a result, Indonesian language and culture have become an integral part of the multicultural fabric of the Netherlands.

United States

In the United States, Indonesian is spoken widely within the Indonesian diaspora community. Indonesian immigrants and their descendants have settled in various parts of the country, including major cities such as Los Angeles, New York City, and Houston. The Indonesian community in the United States has contributed to the diversity of languages spoken in the country. Indonesian language schools, cultural organizations, and events further promote the use and preservation of the language. The United States’ large Indonesian diaspora ensures that Indonesian remains a spoken language within their communities.


Australia is another country where Indonesian is spoken widely, primarily due to its geographical proximity to Indonesia. The Indonesian language has gained popularity in Australia due to the increasing number of Indonesian immigrants, students, and tourists. Major Australian cities like Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth have significant Indonesian communities, which have fostered the use and spread of the language. Indonesian language courses are offered in schools and universities across the country, reflecting the growing interest in learning and speaking the language. The Indonesian diaspora in Australia plays a crucial role in maintaining and promoting the use of Indonesian in their communities.

The widespread use of Indonesian as a language in various countries showcases its significance in the global linguistic landscape. From its origins as a lingua franca during the Dutch colonial era, Indonesian has evolved into a widely spoken language throughout the Southeast Asian region. Its official status in Indonesia, coupled with its adoption in neighboring countries such as Malaysia, Brunei, and East Timor, underscores its importance as a means of communication across different cultures and communities. As globalization continues to connect nations and bridge gaps, Indonesian stands as a testament to the power of language in fostering understanding and unity among diverse populations.

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