Like it or not, both ancient and popular sayings about life becomes many people motivation in conducting life. Throughout the times, popular sayings become a country’s philosophies and culture.
Indonesian Sayings about Life
Here are some sayings about life in Bahasa Indonesia to give you some motivation.
1. Jangan menilai orang dari luarnya
English equivalent: do not judge a book from its cover
Meaning: everybody is different, so, it is better not to judge them from the outer look but from the characteristic and inner heart.
2. Lidah tidak bertulang
English translation: the tongue knows no restraint
Meaning: to describe (usually with disgust) a person who always keep changing what he/she says, someone who tells lie all the time, someone who has no principle.
3. Jadilah kumbang yang hidup di taman bunga, jangan jadi lalat yang hidup di bukit sampah
English equivalent: life is what you make of it
Meaning: live a good, useful, and positive life because you live only once.
Learn more about Indonesian idioms and expressions.
4. Kepala bisa panas, tapi hati harus dingin
English translation: the head can be heated but the hearts should cool
Meaning: any matter can be resolved with cool heart and open mind.
5. Mulutmu adalah harimaumu
English translation: your mouth is your tiger
Meaning: control every word that you say. It is the reflection of your behaviour and it can also get you in trouble.
6. Hemat pangkal kaya
English equivalent: a penny saved is a penny gained
Meaning: conduct a frugal life, save up more and become rich sooner.
7. Malu bertanya, sesat di jalan
English translation: embarrassed/hesitate to ask results in getting lost.
Meaning: do not hesitate to ask when you do not know about something. It is the only way to learn.
Learn more about Indonesian proverbs with English equivalent.
8. Gajah mati meninggalkan gadingnya, macan mati meninggalkan belangnya, dan manusia mati meninggalkan namanya.
English translation: an elephant dies leaving its tusk, a tiger dies leaving its stripes, and man dies leaving his/her name.
Meaning: someone will be remembered for his good or bad deeds during life.
9. Ada gula ada semut
English translation: when there is sugar, there are ants
Meaning: people tend to be attracted to something with most benefits.
10. Kasih ibu sepanjang masa, kasih anak sepanjang galah
English translation: a mother’s love is as long as time, but child’s love is as long as wood stick.
Meaning: a mother’s love lasts forever.
Also learn more Indonesian popular phrases.
11. Sedia payung sebelm hujan
English equivalent: better late than sorry
Meaning: it is better to be prepared than to be sorry. It is also similar to English saying prevention is better than cure.
12. Surga ada di telapak kaki ibu
English translation: heaven is in the bottom of mother’s foot
Meaning: it is an act to always love your mother unconditionally.
13. Kacang lupa kulitnya
English translation: nuts forget its shell
Meaning: it is an illustration of a person who forget his/her whereabouts such as family, heritage, hometown, and the like.
14. Besar pasak daripada tiang
English equivalent: do not bite off more than you can chew
Meaning: it is a condition when your expense outweighs your salary or when your debt is larger than the income.
15. Jadilah seperti padi, semakin berisi semakin merunduk
English meaning: be like a rice plant, the heavier it contains the more it bow
Meaning: in life, the more knowledge you have it is better to be more humble than arrogant.
16. Semakin tinggi pohon, angina bertiup semakin kencang
English translation: the higher a tree, the wind blows harder
Meaning: the higher position or fame that you obtain meaning more problems or anything annoying approach you.
Learn more about Indonesian words of wisdom and meaning.
17. Pikir dahulu pendaptan, sesal kemudian tiada berguna
English equivalent: look before you leap
Meaning: it is important to always think before act or speak.
18. Berat sama dipikul ringan sama dijinjing
English equivalent: birds of feather flock together
Meaning: everything will be easier when groups of people do the task together
19. Kesempatan tidak datang dua kali
English equivalent: opportunity never knocks twice at any man’s door.
Meaning: seize your moment because opportunity does not come twice
Also learn about unique Indonesian words.
So, are you notice some sayings that match with your condition? I hope it is the good one. But in general, those phrases have the equivalent English phrases. You can use the phrase to hone your skill in learning Bahasa Indonesia as well as keep you motivated.