Success failure effort belief

These words – success, failure, effort, belief – take different forms and collocate strongly with other words.

flag-of-indonesia They’re also problematic for Indonesian scholars. Success has become sukses, effort is translated from upaya, and belief is subject to the same word form error as life (see note below).

A guruEAP challenge!

Use a dictionary to complete the following text with suitable forms of these words. You can copy and paste into a word processor, and later paste your completed text into the comments box below this post where I will later add the ‘correct’ version.

Bill is a ______________ olympic runner. He has won several gold medals and has achieved ______________ in many other competitions. Ever since he was a child, he has always been a ______________. Last year he ______________ broke several world records. What does he think are the factors influencing his ______________? Clean living, plenty of training, and of course the desire to ______________!

Budi is a ______________ as a runner. He ______________ every time he enters a race. Ever since he began running he has been a ______________. As a child he ______________. As a teenager he ______________, and now as a middle age man he continues to ______________. He believes his constant ______________ to win may be related to his fondness for nightclubs and the fact that he eats nothing but bakso (with white rice, of course).

It seems that in order to ______________, a runner needs to make an ______________ to maintain the correct lifestyle and to maintain a ______________ in winning. It is only when we ______________ we will win that we can avoid ______________ and achieve ______________.

flag-of-indonesia Note to Indonesian scholars

  • In English effort is a noun (not a verb). So what is a good translation for mengupaya untuk..?
  • Word form errors made with belief and believe are the same as errors made with life and live.

Photos that never forget

I keep my photos because they can memorise the moment.

But in order to memorise anything they would need consciousness, which is of course impossible. A photograph does not have a brain:


Only humans can memorise things, so perhaps you mean:

  • I keep my photos because they help me to remember the moment.

Be careful with ‘memorise‘. We don’t usually memorise ‘moments’. We generally memorise information, and this often requires continued and intensive concentration. For example if you want to remember somebody’s phone number, you must first of all memorise it. The memory of the number then stays in your head ready for the next time you need it. With a photograph, the memory might not stay in your head. Rather, you remember the moment whenever you look at the photograph. In this sense the photo acts as ‘a reminder‘.

flag-of-indonesia Indonesians would do well to read through the previous paragraph and consider the translations of ingat and its forms, and also hafal and its forms.


Different ethnics will have different languages to communicate.

flag-of-indonesia This is one of those situations where the English word has been borrowed and its use altered. In this case what was in English an adjective has been turned into a noun.

English offers two word forms – ethnic (adjective), ethnicity (noun):

  • Different ethnic groups will have different languages to communicate.
  • People with different ethnicity will have different languages to communicate.

And by the way, how exactly do you describe your own ethnicity? Comments below!