Malaysia has a rich culture influenced by many different demographics. It is the kind of culture that produces quotes that stick with you. And you’re in luck because today, we’re going to talk about the most impactful and memorable Malay quotes we can find!
Something to keep in mind, however: these quotes may not translate well in English, but we’ll provide you with the context behind each quote and tell you how it relates to Malaysian culture in general. You might pick up a nugget of wisdom or two!
Malay Language Quotes That Will Keep You Up At Night
Quotes For Love And Family
1. Sekiranya anda terlalu malu untuk bertanya, anda mungkin kehilangan jalan.
“If you are too shy to ask, you might lose your way.”
This quote means that people who are too afraid to rely on others may find themselves in unfavorable situations. Malaysians are known for having vast extended families and place a lot of faith in asking for advice from their elders.
This quote wants to measure how you should be bold and ask for help from people who have experience!
2. Untuk benar-benar mencintai isteri anda, tinggalkan dia sendirian sekali-sekala.
“To truly love your wife, leave her alone every once in a while.”
This quote would transcend its meaning, even if it was translated into English. Nevertheless, it’s good advice for husbands worldwide and should likely be put into law one day…
3. Potong air tidak pecah.
“Chopped water does not break.”
This is one of the most memorable Malay proverbs ever discussed, probably because it may need a bit of explanation in English. But, it means that family does not break apart, even if it is torn apart – just like water!
4. Walaupun sebatang pokok tumbuh begitu tinggi, daun yang tumbang kembali ke akarnya
“Though a tree grows ever so high, the falling leaves return to its roots.”
As we said before, Malaysians heavily emphasize the importance of family. You can barely have a conversation without a pakcik telling you
Malay Quotes About Being Prepared
1. Sediakan payung sebelum hujan.
“Prepare the umbrella before it rains.”
This one does not require a lot of explanation, as the content makes sense. If we expect something to happen, we have to be prepared for it, lest we get caught in the rain without an umbrella.
2. Matahari selama setahun dihapuskan oleh hujan selama sehari.
“A year of sunny days is wiped by a day of rain.”
This Malay proverb expresses the need always to be prepared. Even if the future looks bright for you, it will take a single day of misfortune to bring it all down. Therefore, we must learn how to prepare for such incidents so we don’t fall victim to misfortune.
3. Di mana terdapat gula, pasti ada semut.
“Where there is sugar, there will be ants.”
While the quote sounds better in its native language, both English and Malay share the same meaning: if you have good things, people will be bound to covet them. This quote understands that the human condition is prone to envy.
4. Mereka yang belajar mencuri, mesti belajar untuk menggantung.
“Those who learn to steal must learn to hang.”
Rather dark, this one — those who learn to do the wrong thing must learn how to deal with the consequences. Even in English, this Malay quote is every bit as jarring! It warns people who want to commit crimes to drop everything and turn over a new leaf.
5. Jika anda menanam rumput, anda tidak akan medapat beras.
“If you plant grass, you won’t get rice.”
This Malay quote has something to share: prepare for the right thing. It’s true what it says: if you plant grass, don’t expect to get rice. It can be compared to the old English saying of “reaping what you sow,” but in Malay!
Malay Quotes About Life
1. Menderita sekarang, kesoronokan kemudian.
“Suffer now, pleasure later.”
We often get pains during the first few days we train our bodies. While the pain is demotivating, the truth is that it is just repairing itself so you can be more robust in the future. That is what it means to suffer in the beginning for pleasure later.
2. Jangan ukur kot lelaki lain pada badan anda.
“Do not measure another man’s coat on your body.”
Again, this Malay quote points to man’s tendency to envy. It teaches us that comparing ourselves to others is not always wise, especially if we do not know how they have lived their lives.
3. Untuk membenkokkan buluh, mulakan apabila ia adalah pucuk.
“To bend bamboo, start while it is a shoot.”
This Malay quote tells us the importance of starting something as early as possible. This applies to raising children, starting a new job, or building a new business. It is always best to start early – lest you junk your efforts!
Learn Malay Proverbs And Quotes With Ling App
If you enjoyed this quick glimpse into the philosophies Malaysians believe in, you might want to start learning the language to immerse yourself in the culture further. And have we got the app for you!
Welcome to the Ling app: equipped with hundreds of hours of lessons in Malay and 60+ other languages! Created with teachers and native speakers, this app helps you go from zero to hero in your Malay language studies.