"Ia membaca koran."

Translation:She reads the newspaper.

August 16, 2018



I thought there might be a connection between "koran" and Qur'án, since there are a lot of Arabic words in Indonesian, but it turns out "koran" is from Dutch "krant" (newspaper ;))

August 16, 2018


fun fact: Qur'an in Dutch is actually Koran

August 17, 2018


Full circle!

August 18, 2018


in Polish too

September 3, 2018


Never heard koran used in Bali: there it was always surat kabar.

September 15, 2018


Same in German = Koran

November 3, 2018


Not zeitung?

December 27, 2018


Koran ist the religious book in German, Zeitung is newspaper.

January 12, 2019


This language is completely new for me, sorry for awkward questions.

Difference between Dia and Ia? I know both mean He/She but then why are there two words?

August 16, 2018


"Ia" is a more informal version of "dia". You see it a lot in the written language. When speaking, people tend to just stick with "dia", probably since they're both two syllable words.

August 16, 2018


Thanks, that helped. But also, according to Wikipedia, Dia is the "emphatic/focused" form of Ia. So...would you maybe use Dia when you want to put more emphasis on the pronoun, or speak in a "stronger" way?

September 6, 2018


See the following topic :"ia" & "dia" , "Basics 2", Tips & Notes, Addendum

November 27, 2018


So I read that stress on the penultimate syllable unless there's a schwa on that syllable. The word membaca really sounds like the stress is on the last syllable but according to what I just read it should be membAca not membacA

August 16, 2018


'She reads the newspaper' should also be acceptable. It is the more correct/natural way to say this in English.

August 18, 2018


I believe she reads newspaper be also a correct answer. Why do we need to put "the" ?

August 29, 2018


To make the sentence grammatically correct in English. It needs an article, either "a" or "the".

August 29, 2018


Yeah now it is clear. I did not think and care about Duolingo's credibility and stance. Rather than complaining, I would use this exercises to polish my grammar knowledge on English article as well. Thank you for constructive feedback. Cheers.

August 31, 2018


Indeed. Single countable nouns need an article.

It's plurals and uncountable nouns that don't need it.

August 29, 2018


I know but we are learning indonesian through english, so being grammatically correct english does not matter a lot, as an ESL, and apparently there is no article or at least no need to use article in bahasa indonesia, i believe the sentencr i wrote can be accepted as an answer since it is a direct translation

August 29, 2018


I agree that having the English grammar perfect isn't important to learning Bahasa - and in this particular case, it could probably be accepted even though it's technically wrong.

However, more generally, a word-for-word direct translation shouldn't just be accepted as-is. There's many cases where a word-for-word translation gives a wrong, or even completely opposite meaning. I think it's important to understand the meaning and translate that into a correct sentence, rather than just relying on word-for-for translation.

August 30, 2018


I agree. Sometimes direct translation causes problem, especially translating proverbs or other complicated or colloquial clause and sentences.

The reason why I mentioned direct translation is that there is no concept of article in bahasa indonesia, so the literal meaning of 'Ia membaca koran' is 'she reads newspaper'. (or newspapers) Yes, it sounds strange, but this is the characteristic of bahasa indonesia. It can be a newspaper or the newspaper, depending on the context, but in this case there is no context. So I think we cannot determine whether it is 'a' or 'the' newspaper.

This example is very plain case, so there is no problem for word by word translation. I know that Duoligo lessons are designed by bilinguals who are fluent in both languages, this case bahasa indonesian and english, so it may seem unnatural to come up with the sentence that I wrote for the native english speakers.

But please not that there are some people who are using this platform while being not fluent in english. Especially, in my case, my mother language also does not have articles like a, an, the, so when i saw this exercise, i accidentally omitted the article.

I still believe 2 things. Writing grammatical perfect english sentence is unnecessary when it comes to learning bahasa indonesia. Second, my translation does not change any meaning. How do you guys think?

August 31, 2018


I'm just a learner of Indonesian like you, but I am also a contributor to the course of Polish, a language which also doesn't have articles, and our flag is just the Indonesian flag, but upside down ;) Let me answer you from the position of a Duolingo 'teacher':

No. Nononononononononononononono. No. Absolutely not. This is a language learning website. No course should knowingly accept any grammatically incorrect answer neither in the target language nor the source language. It decreases Duolingo's credibility. If they accept wrong answers in English, how can one be sure that all the Indonesian answers are correct?

You mentioned that many people that are not native speakers of English take the courses 'for English speakers' - of course. But English is the language taught in the majority of the world and for those people it is also beneficial to be corrected. In this way, they learn two languages and the same time, finally remembering some rules of English because without remembering them they will get constantly annoyed.

Sure, annoyed. I understand why you wrote what you wrote. I also get corrected sometimes, or I miss a word. It happens to most of us. But a wrong answer is a wrong answer.

If that isn't enough, take the following into consideration: every "X for English speakers" course is also an "English for X speakers" course at the same time. This is called 'a reverse tree' and it is widely recommended for people that either finished the course they wanted or at least got further in it. It allows them to write more in the language they want to learn, by acting as if it was the language they learn from. So basically, this course here will also be taken by many Indonesian people learning English. And if such an Indonesian person types "She reads newspaper" and it gets accepted... Then Houston, we've got a problem ;)

August 31, 2018



there is no concept of article in bahasa

What about sebuah, seekor, seorang? They seem to fill a similar role to "a"/"an".

Although I guess those are more like "a something of...", like we'd use with uncountable nouns in English.

Writing grammatical perfect english sentence is unnecessary when it comes to learning bahasa indonesia. Second, my translation does not change any meaning.

I agree with both of those points. However, I don't think it should be changed to allow your answer, because to allow a word-for-word translation when it's not strictly correct would encourage an unhelpful attitude towards translation, and (especially when combined with some of the very unnatural "correct" translations that come from some of the other questions) would effectively guide people towards making only word-for-word translations, even when it would change the meaning.

@Jellei: Absolutely.

I certainly tried to use the Ingriss dari Bahasa course to learn in reverse - as that was available a long time before this course.

I didn't make much progress doing it that way, though; I think you probably need to have a reasonable level of the language before that approach is really helpful.

August 31, 2018


same thing for me i think i will try to pay attention

January 3, 2019


shouldn't 'IT reads a newspaper" be accepted too? as in a robot reads a newspaper.

February 11, 2019


OK. Got it. I was expecting Dia.

August 19, 2018


I was marked wrong for "He reads newspapers", but I think that should be acceptable - it doesn't have to be reduplicated to be plural, I think?

Probably "a newspaper" would be more reasonable, but I think the plural is still a possible translation?

August 27, 2018


If "Dia membaca koran" is "she reads "the" paper....why should a previous statement "I read "the" book" be Aku membaca buku "itu". I wrotr Aku membaca buku..and was marked wrong for not using the "itu".

October 4, 2018


Yeah, this is a common issue with Duolingo. You can use the report button if you think your answer should be accepted, and they eventually review them and add new options if they fit.

However, in this circumstance, if I were the course contributors, I'm not sure I'd allow that one in. There's not a one-to-one correspondence between the languages, so you can't expect everything to translate back the same way.

I think a general rule when translating would be to allow adding sentence fragments if needed, but not subtracting.

By that, I mean that you can add additional context if you need to make the sentence grammatical - which we do for "Aku membaca buku"; because "I read book" or "He/she read newspaper" is not grammatical. Since the Indonesian doesn't specify tense, quantity, or an article, we have to choose them arbitrarily to translate to English.

However, translating the other way, we do have these things specified; so we can't just drop them in the Indonesian translation, we have to include them as best we can. We've been given a present tense singular with definite article, so the translation should be as close to that as possible. For singular and present tense, they doesn't make much difference, because the basic Indonesian doesn't need those specified (although it does rule out specifying "buku-buku" or "sudah"). For the definite article, however, we do have a way to translate that; and thus we should include it. (although we have to add the context of whether it's here or there (ini or itu) for it to be correct in Indonesian.

October 4, 2018


I can only assume that when Duolingo allows you to contribute to a language that you require absolutely no pedagogical skills whatsoever.

The notes for this topic provides a table of Indonesian subject pronouns (cf. https://www.duolingo.com/skill/id/Basics-2/tips-and-notes). Nowhere does it list 'Ia' as a third person singular pronoun.

Why is 'Ia' missing from the table of pronouns? Why is 'Ia' introduced in a translation without it first being taught?

I have done some checking and it would appear the table of pronouns cited above is very incomplete. Maybe there is a reason for that. However, we should not have to just guess what words mean. They should have been taught first.

November 9, 2018
Learn Indonesian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.