Session 9 : Counting and Quantities – Learn Bahasa Indonesia

Manipulate quantity

As a beginner I advise you to focus on the following vocabulary :

  • Banyak : A lot / many
  • Sedikit : A few / little
  • Kalau malam ada banyak nyamuk di kamarku [If evening have lot mosquitoes at room I] : At night there is a lot of mosquitoes in my room (this is rather informal because I don’t introduce malam with pada, but you can do it in daily life).
  • Kamu bisa bahasa Indonesia ? [You can language Indonesia ?] : Can you speak Indonesian ?
  • Answer : Sedikit aja [Little just] : Just a little bit (aja is an informal deformation of saja)

If you want to translate one more (or two more, three more) you have to use lagi [again] :

  • Satu lagi : One more
  • Ada lagi ? [Have again ?] : Do you have something else to add / to ask …


Counting in Indonesian is quite easy, first learn the following vocabulary :

  • Kosong : zero
  • Satu : one
  • Dua : two
  • Tiga : three
  • Empat : four
  • Lima : five
  • (E)nam : six (unless someone is articulating very clearly, you can consider that it is pronounced “nam”)
  • Tuju : seven
  • D(e)lapan : eight
  • Sembilan : nine
  • S(e)puluh : ten
  • Sebelas : eleven

To build all number from 12 to 19 just use the base number and add -blas at the end. Only eleven is a bit different (sebelas instead of satublas).

  • Duablas : twelve
  • D(e)lapanblas : eighteen

To build 20, 30, 40, 50 just add puluh after the base number :

  • Tiga puluh : thirty
  • Lima puluh : fifty

In order to form 200, 300, 400 just add ratus after the base number (as the next word not a suffix). Only one hundred is different (seratus instead of satu ratus).

  • Seratus : one hundred
  • Enam ratus : six hundred

This is the exact same logic and exception for thousands, add ribu after the base number :

  • Seribu : one thousand
  • Tuju ribu : seven thousand

Finally, million is juta.

Then to build a complex number, you give first the thousands, then the hundreds, then the tens … :

  • Enam puluh lima : 65
  • Tiga ribu lima ratus lima pulu dua : 3’552
  • Empat juta sembilan ratus dua puluh tuju ribu delapan ratus empat puluh tiga : 4’927’843

Very often, the puluh is omitted when speaking. It doesn’t work with sepuluh because it is only one word while the next one (20, 30) are made out of two words.

  • Berapa umur kamu ? [How much age you ?] : How old are you ?
  • Dua enam [Two six] : Twenty-six

The same logic applies for prices, very often people will omit the ribu.

  • Ini berapa ? [This how much ?] : How much for this ?
  • Dua ratus [Two hundred] : Two hundred thousands

For intermediate speakers

Useful expressions

If you want to take something out of a list (minus one), you would better use tidak jadi (inf. ga jadi) [no become] : cancelled

  • Itu semua yang kamu pesan [That all which you order] : That is everything you ordered
  • Reaction : Maaf ya, minyaknya ga jadi. Kita masih ada di rumah [Sorry yes, oil-the no become. We still have at home] : Sorry, please take out the oil. We still have some at home

If you say kurang satu [minus one], you are actually saying that one is missing :

  • Kursinya kurang dua mas. Tolong bawa lagi [Chair the minus two brother. Please bring again] : We are missing 2 chairs. Please bring more

The expression salah satu means one of :

  • Salah satu korban selamat dari tragedi pesawat Chapecoense Alan Ruschel sudah kembali berlatih dengan penuh semangat [Wrong one victim safe from tragedy flight Chapecoense Alan Ruschel already back train with full enthusiast] : One of the survivor of the Chapecoense airplane tragedy Alan Ruschel is already back to training strongly motivated

Semakin (inf. makin) is also a very common word than can be translated roughly by increasing :

  • Langit makin mendung [Sky increasing cloudy] : The sky is getting cloudy
  • Bawa resmi padi, makin berisi makin tunduk [Bring official rice stalk, increasing full increasing bow] : Abide the way of the rice stalk, the more laden it gets the more it bows its head (great translation I found here) : the more knowledgable are the most humble.

Useful vocabulary

  • Penuh : full
  • Sepih : empty
  • Kosong [zero] : empty
  • Semua : all / every
  • Ramai (inf. rame) : crowded
  • Beberapa : some
  • Kebanyakan : most of
  • Cukup : enough
  • Terlalu : too much
  • Tanpa : without
  • Setidaknya : at least

Translating just

The exact translation for just (in the meaning of “only this”) is saja. Saja is often abreviated to (inf.aja.

Remember that if you wanna say that something just happened, you have to use baru instead. We discussed this in session 3 already.

  • Kamu sama siapa ? [You with who ?] : Who are you with ?
  • Answer : Sendiri aja [Alone just] : I’m just alone
  • Apa kabar ? [What news ?] : How are {you} ?
  • Answer : Baik saja [Fine just] : Just fine

You can also cuman (inf. cuma) and doang. Sometimes you can use them both in the same sentence :

  • Kamu sama siapa ? [You with who ?] : Who are you with ?
  • Answer : Cuman aku [Just I] : Just me
  • Saya ulang pesananmu, iga bakar satu, soto Madura satu, es teh manis dua. Ada lagi ? [I repeat order you, ribs grilled one, soup Madura one, ice tea sweet two. Have again ?] : Let me repeat your order, on grilled ribs, one Madura soup, two sweet ice tea. Do you wan to add something ?
  • Answer : (inf.) Tidak. Itu doang [No. That just] : No, just that
  • Kak, aku sudah bawa beras yang kamu minta [Bro/Sis, I already bring rice which you ask] : Bro/Sis, I already brought the rice you asked for
  • Answer : Cuman itu doang ! Aku kasih 100,000Rp tadi ! [Only that only ! I give 100,000Rp just before] : Only that ! I gave you 100,000Rp.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.