Doing Math in Indonesian

by Raymond Weisling

The majority languages spoken in Malaysia, Indonesia, and the small country of Brunei Darussalam, are nearly identical. In English they are known as Indonesian and Malay. These languages are spoken by over 240 million people living among the more than 18,000 islands that make up these countries. For many of these people Indonesian or Malay is a second language, because there are hundreds of regional languages that are in use in various regions or islands. But most of these languages fall into the same language family, called the Austronesian languages.

The process of forming numbers in Indonesian is not difficult to understand. With only one word translated into English, your task is to work out the simple arithmetic statements to build a vocabulary of the numbers. Where blanks are provided, fill them in with the correct answers, based on what you learn as you go along. Beware - one of the statements contains an intentional error. Find the error and make the necessary correction. No previous knowledge of Malay or Indonesian is necessary.

Definition: satu = "one"

A. Satu ditambah satu menjadi dua.
B. Dua ditambah dua menjadi empat.
C. Satu ditambah dua menjadi tiga.
D. Dua dikalikan dua menjadi empat.
E. Enam dikurangi tiga menjadi tiga.
F. Sepuluh dikurangi enam menjadi empat.
G. Dua dikalikan tiga menjadi lima.
H. Sepuluh dibagi dua menjadi lima.
I. Tiga dikalikan enam menjadi delapan belas.
J. Delapan belas dikurangi satu menjadi tujuh belas.
K. Tiga ditambah empat menjadi .
L. Tiga dikalikan tiga menjadi sembilan.
M. Sepuluh ditambah sembilan menjadi .
N. Dua puluh dibagi dua menjadi .
O. Tiga puluh dibagi lima menjadi enam.
P. Enam belas dibagi dua puluh empat menjadi dua per tiga.
Q. Tujuh puluh dibagi dua menjadi .
Now write out the following numbers (and one fraction) in Indonesian:
Which statement (A-Q) contains an error? .
Rewrite the statement correctly (two possible solutions):