Vocabulary in Context
CONTEXT 1 :
The word 'sedang' in Indonesian, serves the same function as adding '-ing' to an English word.
For example : 'sleep' ( in English) = 'tidur' (in Indonesian)
'sleeping' ( in English) = 'sedang tidur' (in Indonesian)
'eat' (in English) = 'makan' (in Indonesian)
'eating' (in English) = 'sedang makan' (in Indonesian)
'cook' (in English) = 'memasak' (in Indonesian)
'cooking' (in English) = 'sedang memasak' (in Indonesian).
While 'sedang' is used to describe something in progress, it has nothing whatsoever to do with 'tense.' 'Sedang' (in itself) does not indicate whether the activitivy has already taken place, is currently taking place. or will take place in the future.
Consider these sentences :
Saya sedang tidur ketika Anda datang ke rumah kemarin.
(I was sleeping when you came to my house yesterday.)
Saya sedang makan sekarang, kita bicara nanti saja.
(I am eating right now, we will talk later.)
Kalau Anda datang jam lima, sore ini, mungkin saya sedang memasak rendang.
(If you come at five this afternoon, perhaps I will be cooking rendang.)
CONTEXT 2 :
The word 'sedang' can be translated as 'average, moderate, medium.'
It might come in handy at a restaurant if you want to avoid excessively spicy food :
Customer : Pak, saya mau pesan satu porsi nasi goreng.
(Sir, I'd like to order one portion of fried rice.)
Waiter : Baik, Pak. Anda mau pedas?
(OK Sir. Do you want it spicy?)
Customer : (Yang) sedang saja, Pak.
(Just medium, Sir.)
Alternatively, you could use it when it when referring to the level of difficulty of an activity :
Saya bermain "Angry Bird" dengan tingkat kesulitan sedang di tablet saya.
(I play 'Angry Bird" with medium difficulty on my tablet.)