100 Indonesian Proverbs with English Equivalent

Ancient wisdoms, including proverbs, help shaping a country’s modern-day culture. In Indonesia, proverbs and sayings are still reflected in country’s culture and philosophies. Learning Indonesian proverbs helps you understand the local culture and wisdom. However, the problem with proverbs is it is not always easy to translate proverbs and saying in literal way because it might alter the meaning. So, in this article we are going to talk about Indonesian proverbs with English equivalent.

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Indonesian proverbs English Equivalent
Air tenang menghanyutkan Still water runs deep
Air beriak tanda tak dalam Barking dogs never bite
Ada asap ada api Every why has its wherefore
Air tenang jangan disangka tak ada buaya Look before you leap, because snakes among sweet flowers do creeps
Air susu dibalas dengan air tuba Bite the hands that feed you
Air tenang menghanyutkan The mills of God grinds slowly but sure
Ada ubi ada talas, ada budi ada balas An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth
Ada musuh dibalik selimut There is s snake under the grass
Ada udang dibaik batu To have an axe to grind
Banyak jalan menuju roma There is more than one way to skin a cat
Berakit-rakit ke hulu berenang-renang ketepian. Bersakit-sakit dahulu bersenang-senang kemudian No pain no gain
Berat sama dipikul, ringan sama dijinjing Birds of feather flock together
Buah jatuh tidak jauh dari pohonnya Like father like son
Bagai telur diujung tanduk Dancing with elephants
Bersatu kita teguh, bercerai kita runtuh United we stand, divided we fall
Besar pasak dari pada tiang Do not bite off more than you can chew
Buruk rupa cermin dibelah A bad workman blames his tools
Bermain api basah, bermain api hangus Sow wind reap a whirlwind
Dikasih hati minta jantung Give him an inch and he will take a yard
Dimana ada kemauan, disitu ada jalan Where there is a will, there is a way
Dimana bumi dipijak, di situ langit dijunjung When in Rome, do as the Romans
Habis manis sepah dibuang He is a fair weather friend
Gali lobang tutup lobang Robbing Peter to pay Paul
Hemat pangkal kaya A penny saved is a penny gained
Jadilah kumbang, hidup sekali di taman bunga. Jangan jadi lalat , hidup sekali di bukit sampah. Life is what you make of it
Lebih baik satu burung ditangan dari pada sepuluh burung di pohon. A bird in hand is worth two in the bush
Karena nila setitik, rusak susu sebelanga The rotten apple spoils the whole barrel
Nasi sudah menjadi bubur Do not cry over spilled milk

Indonesian Proverbs with English Equivalent

Kejarlah cita-citamu setinggi langit Hitch your wagon to a star
Mengharap burung terbang tinggi, punai ditangan dilepaskan Better an egg today than a hen tomorrow.
Kesempatan tidak datang dua kali Opportunity never knocks twice at any man’s door.
Pikir dahulu pendapatan, sesal kemudian tiada guna Look before you leap
Siapa cepat dia dapat The early birds catches the worm
Teman saat duka adalah teman sejati A friend in need is a friend indeed
Tak kenal maka tak sayang Out of sight, out of mind
Tua muda sengsara bersama When you lie on roses while young, you will lie on thorns when you are old
Sambil menyelam minum air Killing two birds with one stone
Seperti duri dalam daging Like a thorn in one’s flesh
Sekali mednayung, dua tiga pulau terlampaui Killing two birds with one stone
Rajin pangkal pandai Persevere and never fear
Sepandai-pandai tupai melompat akhirnya jatuh juga A good marksman may miss, the pitcher goes so often to the well that it is broken at last
Rumput tetangga selalu lebih hijau The grass is always greener on the other side
Setiap perbuatan akan kembali ke diri sendiri What goes around comes around
Tangan diatas lebih baik daripada tangan di bawah It is better to give than to receive
Tong kosong nyaring bunyinya It is not the hen that cackles the most that lay the most eggs
Tak ada rotan akar pun jadi A half loaf is better than none
Tak ada asap tanpa api Leaves do not wave if there is no wind
Sudah jatuh tertimpa tangga pula Misery loves company
Bagai menelan empedu To eat a crow
Lembar batu sembunyi tangan Pass the buck
Bagai air dengan minyak Like cat and dog
Jangan menilai seseorang dari penampilannya Do not judge a book by its cover
Tak ada gading yang tak retak No rose without thorn

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Those are the popular Indonesian proverbs with English equivalent which mostly used in everyday life. Believe it or not, most people still live up to some of the proverbs in life. There should be no difficulty in learning Indonesian proverbs as there are English equivalent.