English Compared to Bahasa Indonesia
by TruAlfa & Indodic.com
††††††††††††††††††††††† When you view Microsoft spell check software for Windows XP Professional, you will see that one of the available alphabet settings is for "English (Indonesia)". The Windows spell check program for English can easily also check Indonesian spelling without any adjustments because both languages use the exact same alphabet with no accent marks. It is possible that no major language in the world today is more similar to English than bahasa Indonesia. Because of the simplicity and consistency inherent in bahasa Indonesia it is an easy language to learn. Some people say it is more suitable than English to be the world's international language.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Similarities Between the two Languages
1. Both English and bahasa Indonesia use the same 26 letter alphabet, divided similarly between vowels and consonants. Neither language uses accent marks for any of the 26 letters.
2. The ways of arranging sentences and paragraphs are similar.
3. Both languages use similar methods of classifying word types into nouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, pronouns, etc ,
4. Both languages form words in the same way by attaching prefixes and suffixes to root words
5. Both languages have transitive & intransitive structures
6. Both languages have passive & active voices - bahasa Indonesia uses "di-" †prefix to indicate the passive voice while English uses the "-ed" suffix.
7. Both languages use similar numbering systems except that bahasa Indonesia uses a decimal(dot) instead of a comma as 3 digit separator (be aware that English is inconsistent with terms for large numbers - American system and British/European system are different)
8. Both languages use similar punctuation marks such as commas, periods, parenthesis, question marks, quotation marks, hyphens, etc.
9. Symbols are nearly the same for both languages
10. Capitalization is nearly the same for both languages
11. There are many words that are identical to both languages and even more that are very similar. See our website lists - 780 identical words and 1,200 that are very similar. Most spellings for names of the world's countries are the same or very similar in both languages.
Differences Between the two Languages
1. Bahasa Indonesia is still a root-based language with nice complete root word families while English has diverged and the study of root words is not as useful. Many original English root words are now not used and forgotten although some of their derived forms remain popular.
2. English has tenses for verbs while bahasa Indonesia has no similar concept.
3. Bahasa Indonesia doesn't have gender (male/female/neuter personal pronouns)
4. Bahasa Indonesia doesn't have a plural suffix which is comparable to the English "s". Indonesian plural concept is understood by context or by the addition of other words to express the concept of something being "more than one".
5. Pronunciation is different but not drastically different.
6. Bahsaa Indonesia doesnít use contractions such as arenít, wonít, etc.
7. Indonesian sentences almost always have the primary thought or focus on the beginning of the sentence, the main thought comes first and the adjunct second. English is more varied and inconsistent.
8. Many English words can be used in different ways (e.g. same-spelled words with different meanings) while bahasa Indonesia has fewer.
9. Modifying adjectives are usually placed before the noun in English but after nouns in bahasa Indonesia
10. There are no articles in bahasa Indonesia (no a, an or the), although the se- prefix can act in a similar manner such as in secarik = a scrap or sebuah = a piece (of fruit).
11. English doesn't use the circumfix affix
12. English uses figurative forms a lot more frequently than in bahasa Indonesia
13. English has different spellings for 3rd person singular verbs while bahasa Indonesia does not change the verb. (example: "I go, you go, he goes" - "I go" is 1st person singular, "you go" is 2nd person singular and "he goes" is 3rd person singular with "goes" as a different spelling of "go".)
14. Hyphens - English uses hyphens to form adjectives & nouns from differing words, compounding them with the combined meaning (e.g.† life-giving = adj.). Bahasa Indonesia uses hyphens for repetition of the same word or almost-same words (reduplication, expressing repetition or indicating things smaller than real size like toys).
15. In spoken Indonesian, there are no linking verbs corresponding to the English words "be, am, is, are, was, were".