Alfabet M

"Malu bertanya, sesat di jalan."
Embarrassed to ask will result in getting lost.
Meaning: Asking question is the only way to learn

"Mati satu tumbuh seribu."
One dead replaced by one thousand.
Used to describe the undying spirit of a movement (for instance during the struggle for independence)
Also: "Gugur satu tumbuh seribu." The word 'gugur' means similar as 'mati' (die), but it usually relates only with dead leaves (when a leaf dries it will fall from its tree) or somebody who dies in honour, like the heroes. Thus, "Gugur satu tumbuh seribu" sounds more patriotic than "Mati satu tumbuh seribu."

"Memancing di air keruh."
Fishing in a murky water.
Meaning: Taking advantage of a murky/confusing situation.

"Memang lidah tidak bertulang."
The tongue indeed has no bone.
Meaning: To describe, with disgust, a person who has no principle, who kept changing what he/she says, who is a big time liar.

"Menang jadi arang, kalah jadi abu."
Meaning: To describe a no win situation
Same as: Bagai makan buah simalakama.
See: Kalah jadi abu, menang jadi arang

"Mengharap burung terbang tinggi, punai di tangan dilepaskan."
Meaning: Expecting something bigger, and we let go what we already have.
Example: A gamble who gamble away his paycheck expecting to win big but ends up with nothing.

"Mengharapkan hujan turun, air di tempayan ditumpahkan."
Eager for the rain to fall, water already stored is thrown away.
Same as: Mengharap burung terbang tinggi, punai di tangan dilepaskan

"Menuhuk kawan seiring menggunting dalam lipatan."
To punch a comrade, to cut inside a fold.
Meaning: To describe a traitor (or traitorous acts)

"Merdeka atau mati."
Freedom or death.
Meaning: We have to fight for our freedom as long as it takes, and we shall not mind the death following our struggle for independence.
That is a very common motto in Indonesian wars against the Dutch colonialisation, usually written "Merdeka ataoe mati", because at that time, 'u' was still written as 'oe', just like the current 'y' was 'j', the 'j' was 'dj', and the 'c' was 'tj'.


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