The numbering system in Malay is similar to the English system. Starting from one to ten, it is followed by teens, tens, hundreds, thousands and so on. This is a guide to tell the numbers and count in Malay.
One to ten
The pronunciation guide for the letters can be found in this post. However in standard Malay, some pronunciation tend to follow a set of rules, which affect words ending with a and ending syllable containing u from the table above. This standard pronunciation guide can be found here. If you are confused how “du-e” is pronounced, think “dual” without the l.
Now on to the teens count. It is similar to English numbers in teens. The Malay equivalent word for it is “belas”.
You might realise “sebelas” does not follow the same pattern to the other numbers. Instead of “satu belas”, it is using the suffix “se-” wich represents “one”. It is also preferred in the larger place values, but a strict rule applies only for “sepuluh” and “sebelas”.
Below is the way to combine the term for tens for different numbers. Nothing special here, but this pattern is usable for larger place values.
The ones, tens, hundreds, thousands and so on
The number of digits from a figure is called place value. Below are the names for the place values for different number figures in Malay.
|Number Figure||Place Value|
“Juta” is one of the words that is pronounced to its spelling despite having a as the ending letter. “Bilion” and “trilion” are obviously borrowed from English word. Here, there is just a slight difference which is the single l and the o is pronounced in Malay pronunciation. Although, if you pronounce it as in English, most would not notice the change of language.
Numbers in approximation
In this part, you will learn how to use these numbers as approximation, or general range of number figures using the place values.
|Number Figure||Approximation||General Range|
|1||beberapa||name several numbers (dua, tiga etc.)|
For the words above, we will use a simple example. If you want to say there are thousands of something, you would use “beribu-ribu” or simply “beribu”. To say that something is within a thousands in number, you would use “ribuan”. However, there are no strict rule that dictate this.
To sum it up
Let’s do some examples to practice what we’ve learn above. It could be helpful to rewrite the numbers on a piece of paper. Break them down by place values and you can see clearer. Answer is provided below exercise question number 5. So try to stop scroll the page up until the last question if you want to work it out first.
- Dua ribu dua puluh
- Sembilan ratus tujuh puluh satu
- Seribu dua ratus lima belas
- Seratus dua puluh ribu seratus dua puluh
- Seratus dua belas
Hopefully that cover the numbers. Leave your thoughts in the comment below if you have any questions or any feedbacks.