Counting in Bahasa Indonesia: angka/nomor

Angka /ang·ka/ n. The sign or symbol in place of a number. Sometimes used for the word ‘number,’ but may translate to figure, mark, point, or digit. It could also refer to academic grades.

Nomor /no·mor/ n. A more definite way to refer to the word ‘number’ although angka works too.

Dice. Image CC0 from Pixabay.

Let’s take a look at the first few numbers in Indonesian:

0: nol
1: satu
2: dua
3: tiga
4: empat
5: lima
6: enam
7: tujuh
8: delapan
9: sembilan
10: sepuluh
11: sebelas

Abacus. CC0 image from Pixabay.

After 11, notice what starts happening:

12: dua belas
13: tiga belas
14: empat belas

We’re using the root number and adding belas to add the -teen indicator.

15: lima belas
16: enam belas
17: tujuh belas
18: delapan belas
19: sembilan belas

When we reach 20, we need a new indicator. Here we will use puluh to indicate a number in the tens.

20: dua puluh
25: dua puluh lima – that’s right, we just add the root digit right on the end – similar to English (twenty-five – comprised of twenty and five).
30: tiga puluh
34: tiga puluh empat
40: empat puluh
50: lima puluh

Indonesian coins. Lima ratus rupiah. CC0 image from Pixabay.

At 100, we’re out of the tens, so we need a new indicator. Now use seratus.

100: seratus
103: seratus tiga
187: seratus delapan puluh tujuh – just mash it all together!

In the hundreds, we start using ratus.

200: dua ratus
234: dua ratus tiga puluh empat

Indonesian currency bills. Lima puluh ribu rupiah at left, seratus ribu at right. CC0 image from Pixabay.

At 1000, use seribu, and beyond that in the thousands starting with 2000, use the indicator ribu.

1000: seribu
1546: seribu lima ratus empat puluh enam
2000: dua ribu
5742: lima ribu tujuh ratus empat puluh dua

Not too bad! In Indonesia, you’ll be using these big numbers quite often. The Indonesian rupiah, the national currency (IDR), has a conversation rate of 1 USD : 13605 IDR at time of writing. So if you need a bottle of water, you’ll be amazed at how quickly you’ll start using proper Indonesian numeracy.

Up for a challenge? If 13605 is tiga belas ribu enam ratus lima, what is 75234?