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Language/Puzzle competition for high school students

November 21, 2011

Are you ready for a real challenge?

Try the linguistic puzzle below from NACLO.

Do your students have a knack for languages, logic and “computational thinking”?

NACLO (North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad) is an educational competition in Linguistics – the science of language.

The Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of North Texas is sponsoring this NACLO competition on Thursday, February 2, 2012. The event is open to all high school students. It will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 12 noon at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, F201, on the Discovery Park campus of the University of North Texas, 3940 North Elm Street in Denton.

For more information, go to or print out the NACLO Student Flyer-2012.

Doing Math in Indonesian
by Raymond Weisling
(Copyright 1999-2007. Department of Linguistics, University of Oregon)

The process of forming numbers in Indonesian is not difficult to understand. With only one word translated into English, your task is to work out some simple arithmetic statements to build a vocabulary of the numbers. Where blanks are provided, fill them in with the correct answers, based on what you learn as you go along. Beware – one of the statements contains an intentional error. Find the error and make the necessary correction. Stumped? Check out the solution at
Definition: satu = ‘one’
A. Satu ditambah satu menjadi dua.
B. Dua ditambah dua menjadi empat.
C. Satu ditambah dua menjadi tiga.
D. Dua dikalikan dua menjadi empat.
E. Enam dikurangi tiga menjadi tiga.
F. Sepuluh dikurangi enam menjadi empat.
G. Dua dikalikan tiga menjadi lima.
H. Sepuluh dibagi dua menjadi lima.
I. Tiga dikalikan enam menjadi delapan belas.
J. Delapan belas dikurangi satu menjadi tujuh belas.
K. Tiga ditambah empat menjadi ___________.
L. Tiga dikalikan tiga menjadi sembilan.
M. Sepuluh ditambah sembilan menjadi ___________.
N. Dua puluh dibagi dua menjadi ___________.
O. Tiga puluh dibagi lima menjadi enam.
P. Enam belas dibagi dua puluh empat menjadi dua per tiga.
Q. Tujuh puluh dibagi dua menjadi _________.
Now write out these numbers (and one fraction) in Indonesian:
Which statement (A-Q) contains an error? ______.
Rewrite the statement correctly (2 possible answers):

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