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A Translator’s Information to Malay Idioms


The Malay language is made extra flowery and delightful by using idioms. Nevertheless, Malay idioms are sometimes tough to translate on account of sound, lexis, grammar, and elegance.

As well as, the Malay language doesn’t have several types of tenses to point previous, current, or future time, not like the English language. And what’s extra, the vast majority of the Malay lexis by using idioms has a spiritual sense to it, which may make it tougher to translate.

On this article, we discover frequent idiomatic expressions within the Malay language, concentrate on a couple of of the challenges concerned in translating Malay idioms, emphasize a couple of robust methods for translating them, and focus on the significance of understanding the cultural context in such translations.

Let’s get began.

Frequent idiomatic expressions within the Malay language

Similar to many languages use this a part of speech, Malay idioms are used to convey cultural nuances and meant messages by using language as a type of storytelling. Under, we define a couple of of the extra continuously used Malay idioms to provide you an concept of how the language is used to convey that means.

  • Malay idiom: Anak Harimau Di Dalam Hutan, Tetap Harimau Juga
  • English that means: A tiger cub within the jungle remains to be a tiger.
  • Clarification: It’s when an individual who has grown up in tough circumstances nonetheless possesses the qualities and traits of their background or upbringing. In essence, it implies that folks’s previous deeds will all the time present up of their character. It tells us that you’ll all the time carry what you realized with you it doesn’t matter what your future could also be.
  • Malay idiom: Air Tidak Boleh Dibohongi
  • English that means: Water can’t be lied to.
  • Clarification: It describes a state of affairs the place the reality is already public data and can’t be hidden anymore.
  • Malay idiom: Baju Tidak Sebulu Dada
  • English that means: The shirt just isn’t so long as the chest.
  • Clarification: It expresses how materials possessions and wealth won’t ever carry true happiness and luxury as a result of materials wealth will be fleeting.
  • Malay idiom: Jangan Menyalahkan Kayu, Bila Botol Pecah
  • English that means: Don’t blame the wooden when the bottle breaks.
  • Clarification: It’s used as a educating gadget, telling folks to not blame harmless events for the results of their very own actions.
  • Malay idiom: Hendak Seribu Daya, Tak Hendak Seribu Dalih
  • English that means: If you would like one thing, you might have the pressure of a thousand; for those who don’t need it, you give excuses for a thousand.
  • Clarification: In case you are prepared, you are able to do a thousand issues to attain your aim; In case you are unwilling, you’ll be able to give you a thousand excuses.
  • Malay idiom: Sambil Menyelam Minum Air
  • English that means: Whereas diving, drink water.
  • Clarification: It’s the Malay equal of killing two birds with one stone.
  • Malay idiom: Mati Semut Kerana Gula
  • English that means: Ants die due to sugar.
  • Clarification: It’s utilized in a state of affairs when somebody falls sufferer to a simple manner out.
  • Malay idiom: Sudah Jatuh Ditimpa Tangga
  • English that means: After falling, the ladder falls on you.
  • Clarification: It’s when somebody goes by dangerous luck or exhausting instances in succession; in different phrases, when it rains it pours.
  • Malay idiom: Lembu Punya Susu, Sapi Dapat Nama
  • English that means: The milk belongs to the cow, however the bull cow will get the title.
  • Clarification: In case you have a boss or a coworker who all the time takes credit score to your work. In different phrases, to steal one’s thunder.
  • Malay idiom: Harimau Mati Meninggalkan Belang, Manusia Mati Meninggalkan Nama
  • English that means: Tigers die and go away their stripes, however people die leaving their names.
  • Clarification: A very good particular person dies, ceaselessly leaving a superb impression whereas a nasty particular person leaves a nasty title ceaselessly.
  • Malay idiom: Sepandai-Pandai Tupai Melompat, Akhirnya Jatuh Ke Tanah Juga
  • English that means: Irrespective of how excessive the squirrel jumps, it is going to ultimately fall onto the bottom.
  • Clarification: That is to remind everybody that regardless of how exhausting you might be working away out of your misdeeds and wrongdoings, in the future folks will discover out about them.
  • Malay idiom: Tanam Lalang Tak Akan Tumbuh Padi
  • English that means: For those who plant grass, you gained’t get rice.
  • Clarification: All misdeeds will obtain retributions, or karma by no means loses.
  • Malay idiom: Malu Bertanya Sesat Jalan, Malu Berkayuh Perahu Hanyut
  • English that means: For those who’re too shy to ask you’ll get misplaced; for those who refuse to paddle, your boat will drift away.
  • Clarification: If you don’t attempt one thing, will probably be tough to attain one thing, and in case you are reluctant or shy to ask your superior or trainer, you might be sure to make a mistake.
  • Malay idiom: Alang-Alang Menyeluk Pekasam Biar Ke Pangkal Lengan
  • English that means: For those who attain into the fermented fish jar, you must simply put your complete arm in.
  • Clarification: You ought to be decided to complete what you might have began efficiently, not half-heartedly.

Challenges in translating Malay idioms

Translating Malay idioms successfully comes with various challenges. Amongst these embrace:
Malay idioms

  • Tradition-specific ideas (with no equal within the goal language)
  • The supply language phrase is semantically advanced
  • The supply language and goal language have distinctions in that means
  • The goal language lacks a selected time period
  • Variations in bodily or interpersonal views
  • Variations in expressive that means
  • Variations in type
  • Variations in frequency and function of utilizing particular types
  • Using mortgage phrases within the supply textual content
  • And others.

Methods for translating Malay idioms successfully

There are a number of methods to translate Malay idioms extra successfully. These methods embrace:

  • Translation by a extra common phrase (superordinate)
  • Translation by a extra impartial/much less expressive phrase
  • Translation by cultural substitution
  • Translation utilizing a mortgage phrase or mortgage phrase plus an evidence
  • Translation by paraphrasing utilizing a associated phrase
  • Translation by paraphrasing utilizing unrelated phrases
  • Translation by omission
  • Translation by illustration

The significance of cultural context in conveying meant that means

Though there could also be many challenges in translating Malay idioms, there are additionally a number of extremely efficient methods for efficient translation.

Probably the most essential elements that shouldn’t be neglected when finishing up a translation of Malay idioms is to have a deep understanding of the cultural context in conveying the meant that means.

Because of this, for those who want translations from Malay to English or English to Malay, you want a local speaker who’s deeply acquainted with the nuances of the language and tradition to carry forth a extra correct and extra descriptive translation with ease.

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