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Welcome to Indonesian Language Studies at Yale.

Spread across a chain of thousands of islands between Asia and Australia, Indonesia has the world's largest Muslim population and Southeast Asia's biggest economy. Ethnically it is highly diverse, with more than 300 local languages. The people range from rural hunter-gatherers to a modern urban elite.

Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia ‘language of Indonesia’) is a member of the Malayo-Polynesian branch of the Austronesian language family. Bahasa Indonesia is a standardized dialect of Malay which had been used as a lingua franca in the Indonesian archipelago for centuries.  In the 1930s, as part of the independence movement, the Indonesian language was standardized and the term Bahasa Indonesia was adopted as the name of the language.

Our program currently provides instruction in Indonesian from Beginning to Advanced levels under the auspices of the Council on Southeast Asia Studies.

The Council also sponsors the Yale Indonesian Forum (YIF), an interdisciplinary group of students and faculty with a common interest in Indonesia and Indonesian affairs. The YIF organizes talks, workshops and conferences throughout the year, and is open to all members of the Yale community.

Additionally, thanks to initial funding from the Southeast Asia Studies Council endowment, Yale's Music Department hosts a full Javanese Gamelan Ensemble, and includes a performance course in gamelan music which is open to both undergraduate and graduate students. See the Yale Gamelan Suprabanggo website for more information.