“Ada asap ada api.”
Where there is smoke, there is fire.
Meaning: There’s a cause for everything.
“Ada gula ada semut.”
Where there is sugar, there are ants.
Meaning: People tend to be attracted to what most benefits them
“Ada udang di balik batu.”
There is a shrimp behind the stone
Meaning: There is a hidden motive behind an act
“Air beriak tanda tak dalam.”
Shallow water has ripples.
Meaning: Overly boisterous/ loud-mouthed people often don’t know much. To be “all talk”.
“Air cucuran jatuhnya ke pelimbahan juga.”
Water dripping from the roof will eventually go to the reservoir.
Meaning similar to “Like father like son” or “An apple never falls far from the tree”“Air dicincang tak putus.”
Water minced will not separate.
Meaning: Like the seaweed that clings together after each passing boat separates them, so too a family will come together with the passing of each crisis.
See also: “Biduk lalu kiambang bertaut.”
“Air susu dibalas dengan air tuba.”
Milk is repaid with poison
Meaning: A good deed that is repaid by a bad deed
“Air tenang menghanyutkan.”
Still water runs deep.
Meaning: Never underestimate a quiet person, for he may have qualities that belie his quiet nature.
“Air tenang jangan disangka tiada buaya”
Never think that still water doesn’t have crocodiles.
Meaning: Never take for granted a peaceful outlook since danger may lurk beneath.
“Anak dipangku dilepaskan, beruk di rimba disusukan.”
A child in the lap is let go, a monkey from the forest is nursed instead.
Meaning: Changing priorities.
“Ala bisa karena biasa.”
Practise makes perfect.
Meaning: If we practice enough, we can do really well.
“Anjing menggonggong, kafilah tetap berlalu.”
The dogs are barking, the caravan moves on
Meaning: Useless protest, criticism or sarcasm.
“Asam di gunung, garam di laut bertemu dalam satu belanga.”
Tamarind in the mountain, salt in the sea meet in the one pot. Tamarind and salt are two of the most important and frequently used spices in Indonesia.
Meaning: Even things that are far apart can meet as one. Usually used to settle differences between two rivalries or to express a relationship from two very different entities. Or, in the context of match-making, even two persons of different backgrounds / from.
Berdiang di abu angin
Mengharapkan pertolongan kepada yang lemah
Kalah jadi abu menang jadi arang
Yang kalah dan yang menang sama-sama rugi, sama-sama rusak
Seperti abu diatas tunggul
Kedudukan yang tidak kuat
Sudah jadi abu arang
Telah rusak sama sekali (tidak dapat diperbaiki)
Telentang sama makan abu, tertelungkup sama makan tanah
Sama-sama setia dalam suka dan duka, seia sekata
Terpegang di abu hangat
Orang yang kecewa dalam suatu pekerjaan, baru saja dimulai sudah mendapatkan kesusahan .