Indonesian bloggers who use English in their blog comprise only 0.01% of the Indonesian population

Statistically, there are 100,000 bloggers who currently reside in Indonesia, citizens and non-citizens alike.

In comparison to the total population of around 245,000,000 in Indonesia, that means that the blogger population is a mere 0.0408% of the entire nation!

For truncation’s sake, let’s just round it down to 0.04%.

Being one among that 0.04% inside this 4th most populous country in the world somehow makes me feel highly privileged. I emphasise the word “privileged” here, not “conceited”, hehe… Of course, the “privileged status” can’t apply to South Korean or American or Briton bloggers, where the internet penetration is a hell lot higher and thus resulting in the higher ratio of the Blogger/Total Population. But in the case of Indonesia, being a part of that community which is less than 0.1% of the population yet having their say resound to the whole world is a privilege indeed.

Of that 0.04%, I would guess that at most, there are only 25% of them who uses totally native-like proficiency of English inside their blog. I know this is actually a large marginal erroneous estimate, as I know the actual statistics should be much less than 25%.

Thus, the bloggers can be divided as such (assuming that anyone in the world has access to the internet):

0.01% whose blogs are understood by anybody (6.5 billion ppl)

0.03% whose blogs can only be understood by the Indonesian speaking and Malay-speaking ppl in Indonesia, Malaysia, Suriname, and Netherlands (270 million ppl, consisting 245 million Indonesian-speakers + 25 million Malay Speakers)

Of course, those who mix Indonesian and English in their blog don’t really deserve to be called English-speaking bloggers, esp. if their English are very much incongruent. I’ve seen numerous Indonesians who attempt their mediocre English in their blog which, I must say, is a poor effort (sorry if this offends anyone). Their slangs are copied from Hollywood movies, and their English language has a strong Indonesian taste in it!

Really, if they can’t be fluent in English, seharusnya memakai bahasa Indonesia sesuai dengan EYD saja. Ato pake bahasa gaulnya Indo aja knapa… Kayak bahasa sms gw ini loh… Gak perlu gaya-gayaan pake bahasa Inggris di blog kalo emang nggak bisa bedain antara “is” dan “was”, ato “has been” dan “have been”. Sebagai warga Indonesia, kalian seharusnya bangga dengan Bahasa Indonesia yang sudah dicanangkan oleh para pencetus Sumpah Pemuda sebagai bahasa pemersatu Indonesia!!!

Not that I’m contradicting my own italicised comments above, but as aforementioned, the reasons that I use English as the sole tongue in my blog are:

  1. I’m not of pure Indonesian ancestry
  2. I wasn’t born in Indonesia
  3. I know very well that I speak good (if not native-like) English
  4. I know I’m not gonna reside in Indonesia for very long
  5. I want my blog to be understood by anyone, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe… Virtually everyone in the world (w/ exception to the tribal groups in Africa and other remote forests) understand some sort of Basic English.

There are only 0.01% of Indonesians whose blogs are in English, and I’m glad to be included in that small percentage.

d  – (28 September 2007 at 09:45)  

Toshi, thanks for stopping by at my blog. I am very impressed with this posting. You did a lot of work in writing it. I don't know which one is better, an Indonesian writing in hard-to-understand English or an Indonesian writing with a deteriorating Bahasa. Ha ha.

Jakartass  – (1 October 2007 at 10:27)  


If, as I suspect, you're using the Blog-Indonesia stats, then they have 'only' c. 5,000 blogs listed and they're those who've bothered to register.

Check out Technorati and/or other aggregators and you'll find loads more Indonesian blogs but, you're right, not many 'foreign resident' bloggers.

Another small stat is that half of the population don't have access to a phone, let alone the internet.

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