"Mengapa tidak ada yang tertulis di sini?"
Translation:Why is nothing written here?
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No it's not an idiom.
If you break it down word by word, then it would be something like this:
'ada' = there is (presence).
'tidak ada' = (no presence), there is not, there is nothing.
'tidak ada yang' = there is nothing that.
'tidak ada yang tertulis di sini.' = there is nothing that is written here.
'Mengapa tidak ada yang tertulis di sini.' = "Why is there nothing that is written here?'
'Mengapa tidak ada yang tertulis di sini.' = "Why is nothing written here?'
Wouldn't "Why isn't there writing here?" also be an acceptable translation?
"[Writing]" as in the verbal participle, rather than as the results of the action, which I believe would be /tulisan/ in Bahasa Indonesia.
English is ambiguous because the word "writing" can refer to either one, i.e. the results of the action of writing, as well as the process of doing the writing.