Indonesian (Malay)

Après la culte, sortie des fidèles (femmes) portant leurs offrandes du temple de l'amont du lac Batur à Bali (Indonésie)
Pura_Ulun_Danu_Batur_(Bali_2014) © J. Samuel‎

Discover the language

Malay is better known as "Indonesian" in Indonesia and "Malay" in Malaysia, where these two variants of a single language are used as national languages by over 250 million speakers, of whom around 60 million use it as their mother tongue. In addition, Malay and its various dialects are also spoken in Singapore, Brunei Darussalam, Timor Leste and Thailand.

Malaysia has long been one of the "Asian Dragons". After plantations and light industry, the country is now focusing on tourism and educational engineering in particular. The Indonesian take-off is more recent, but Indonesia is now a member of the G20, recognized as a "major emerging country" by the French government. It is also Southeast Asia's largest democracy, with a gigantic domestic market and a wealth of opportunities.

Not only are these countries home to remarkable linguistic and cultural diversity, and a wealth of traditions, but today their writers, creators and artists are recognized far beyond the Southeast Asian region: this is also where tomorrow's world and culture are being built.

Malay is one of the four languages included in the founding decree of Langues O' in 1795, but it has only been taught there since 1841. Today, Indonesian-Malay or Malay-Indonesian is offered within the Southeast Asia and Pacific (ASEP) department.

See the "Malay (Indonesian)" page.

Training courses

Inalco offers a complete Indonesian-Malaysian curriculum in Licence and Master. From L 2 level upwards, students of Indonesian-Malaysian have the option of entering one of Inalco's five professionalizing Bachelor's and Master's courses.

Teachers of Indonesian and Malaysian language, literature and civilization also provide supervision for Doctorates (host laboratories: CASE and CERLOM).

Inalco also offers three Diplômes de Langue et Civilisation (DLC) Indonesian and Malaysian, which are one-year diploma courses, with the possibility of direct access to levels 2 and 3, depending on candidates' language skills. The content of these courses is identical to that of the basic Bachelor's degree.

All Indonesian-Malaysian Bachelor's courses are eligible for enrolment in Passeport as well as, for students enrolled at other universities, in Mineure Bachelor's and Master's courses.

Bachelor's and DLC courses in Indonesian and Malaysian language, literature and culture include language learning to a proficiency level equivalent to B 2 or higher in Indonesian and B 1 or higher in Malaysian.

Student life

The Becak! association brings together students from the section. It circulates cultural and academic information among them, and organizes activities throughout the year.
In addition, many meetings, shows, scholarships, competitions, etc., are offered by the Indonesian Embassy in Paris.

Partnerships and mobilities


Erasmus mobilities involve a small number of European universities, where Indonesian-Malaysian is taught at Bachelor and/or Master levels. These are mainly L'Orientale (Naples, Italy), Universiteit Leiden (Leiden, Netherlands), SOAS (London, UK), Humboldt Universität (Berlin, Germany), Goethe Universität (Frankfurt am Main, Germany) and Passau Universität (Passau, Germany).

Indonesia and Malaysia

Existing agreements between Inalco and several universities in Southeast Asian Malay-speaking countries enable Inalco students to spend a partially or fully integrated semester there:

  • Universitas Airlangga (Surabaya, Indonesia)
  • Universitas Indonesia (Jakarta, Indonesia)
  • Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia (Bandung, Indonesia)
  • Universiti Malaya (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
  • Universiti Putra Malaysia (Serdang, Malaysia)