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Unveiled Peribahasa Melayu Literally

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Peribahasa Melayu has never been interesting for me until it became the topic for a hot debate during lunch hour with my boss a few months back.

At first the argue was about technical and political decision and how people reacting to it. To be honest, I see people nowadays react depends on their knowledge, not taken the experts, who have deep idea what this is all about. Taking Lynas as the example, people will buy the provocation rather than accepting the technicality the experts trying to prove. It is two contrast in view and politic play important role in twisting any human decision.

Lynas is a hardcore example. Then we came to this Peribahasa Melayu.

“Saya ini orang sastera. Kalau you nak tahu, orang sastera ni a bit different dengan orang teknikal.”

“Prove it.”

“Okay, kita akan interpret differently depends on our knowledge. Contohnya peribahasa melayu. Based on your knowledge, cuba you tafsirkan Sepandai-pandai Tupai Melompat Akhirnya Jatu Ke Tanah Jua.”

“Hahaha. Okay.. Itu, tupai tu lompat-lompatlah. Lepas tu dia terjatuh lepas dia penat. Kira melambangkan, kalau terel macam mana pun, akan kecundang juga akhirnya.”

“Ok. Good. Itu secara literally. Dan you dapat jawab sebab you boleh bayangkan bagaimana. Cuba ini pula. Logik tak kalau, Seperti Melepaskan Batuk Di Tangga.”

“Itu..orang tu batuk-batuk. Tapi pada zaman dahulu, orang yang batuk tu sepatutnya batuk dalam rumah. Tapi dia batuk kat tangga.”

“Jadi apa kaitan batuk dengan tangga?”

“Mungkin sepatutnya tidak boleh batuk di tangga. Macam tak habis kerja.?”

“Hm…. Hm… Salah. Lagi?”

“Eh ada jawapan ek. Ok. Orang sepatutnya memberi salam sebelum masuk rumah. Rumah dulu-dulu ada tangga. Tapi dia batuk pulak di tangga. Jadi, kerja memberi salam itu tidak habis.”

“Salah juga.”

Setelah 20 minit…

“Ok, I bagitau u jawapan. Bagi negeri pantai timur, Kelantan, batok ialah benda seakan sebuah gayung. Pada zaman dahulu, orang Melayu akan pakai berkaki ayam atau pakai capal untuk ke mana-mana. Sudah menjadi kebiasaan, jika ingin memasuki rumah orang yang kebanyakannya mempunyai tangga, kaki akan dibasuh terlebih dahulu di luar. Terdapat tempayan dan juga gayung yang dipanggil batok ini di luar. Maka, jika ia ditinggalkan di tangga bermakna, kerja tersebut tidak habis.”

Picture 3: Batok is some kind of gayung made by tempurung.

“Wow! Menarik tu. Sepanjang 26 tahun, tolak 7 tahun lepas belajar Peribahasa Melayu, saya tak pernah tahu yang ini. Maksud saya batuk itu ialah batok. Bukan batuk. Cikgu kat sekolah tak pernah ajar pun.”

“Itulah the art of literature. I belajar semua tu. I dah agak dah mesti cikgu you tak pernah mention kan. Ntah2 dia pun tak tahu. ;p”

— The above Peribahasa has been discussed during translation from Malay to English on Memoir of Tun Dr Mahathir, which the translator takes ‘batuk’ literally – he put ‘cough’ as the translation.

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Another case:

Recently I was mentioned by my other boss that the same situation goes to peribahasa ‘ Harapkan Pagar, Pagar Makan Padi‘. So, if we can imagine it logically, it means we put our hope on the fence so that it will protect the paddy. Logic isn’t it? But come to think, how can a fence eats paddy?

The answer is that is not pagar (fence) but Pegar (a bird). Pegar is a bird that usually seen at the paddy field. The function of this bird is to protect the paddy field from other


1 comment

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  1. Iffah

    very interesting. terima kasih dengan knowledge berikjut.

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