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All the PantunsTerjemahan Pantun klasik Melayu

I’ve translated a lot of pantuns into English as part of my stories.  Maybe you’d just like the pantuns. Here they are.

Bamboo and Rebung

Dragging a shield while shaking in fear
Holding a telescope and flashlight too
How can Moustache be big brother to Beard
Why is Rebung’s kid sister Bamboo?

Leave them be to prepare rebung
Where the awful tiny hairs reside
Leave those who are boastful and proud
Disaster is only a step behind pride

Bawa perisai terhinggut-hinggut
Bawa teropong sambil bersuluh
Kenapa misai abangkan janggut
Mengapa rebung adiknya buluh?

Biarlah orang memasang rebung
Rebung itu banyak miangnya
Biarlah orang berlagak sombong
Sombong itu banyak malangnya

 

Kemuning and Kari

Black on black stack mangosteens
Pity the kemuning as its flowers fall
My dark-skinned beauty is sweet to behold
A light-skinned woman is no use at all

Kemuning wrapped ’round fence’s edge
A garden of tea with a thorny hedge
Boastful talk from scanty knowledge
A great big spoon for little porridge

Let’s cook lempah, pass me that pot
Pufferfish curry cooks up fast
I’ve told you before, have I not
Don’t waste time regretting the past

Hitam-hitam si tampuk manggis
Sayang kemuning luruh bunganya
Hitam-hitam kupandang manis
Putih kuning apa gunanya

Kemuning melilit di tepi pagar
Pagar berduri di kebun teh
Ilmu sedikit cakap berdegar-degar
Kurang bubur sudu yang lebih!

Ambik periuk memasak lempah
Ikan buntal dimasak kari
Agik dolok kamek dah madah
Jangan menyesal belakang belakang hari

 

Machang, Kuini dll.

A pair of fruits, Machang and Kwini
Each one ripening wrapped in a leaf
Oh why does this poor heart of mine feel like this?
Each month of passing has turned into years

Buah macang buah kuini,
Masak sebiji dalam daun;
Mengapa begini hatiku ini,
Habis bulan berganti tahun.

Running from here, to there I must go
Folding the laundry I must make haste
Machang and Kuini, two sun-ripe mangos
Their skins are the same but not so the taste

Dari sana hendak ke sini,
Sampai ke sini melipat kain;
Telah masak macang kuini,
Kulit sama rasanya lain.

Branches of machang hanging so heavy
No need to eat it to know it is sweet
Your letter has come by this child’s delivery
No need to read it to begin to weep

Buah macang setangkai lebat,
Belum dimakan manis dahulu;
Budak ini menghantar surat,
Belum dibaca menangis dulu.

Coffee

Coffee beans spread upon a tray
Jasmine blooms on the ledge do rest
I’ve been dreaming till break of day
My sweetheart sleeping upon my chest

Buah kopi di atas loyang
Kembang melati letak di bangku
Saya bermimpi hampirkan siang
Jantung hati tidur di pangku

Before a ring better a necklace
A necklace graces the entire body
Better mustached than cleanshaven
A mustache serves to strain your coffee

Daripada cincin eloklah rantai
Rantai dibuat penghias diri
Daripada licin elok bermisai
Misainya dapat menapis kopi

Keranji, Langsat and lesser fruits

Pulasan grows at branch’s end
Harvest keranji with a wooden rod
O Man! Do not seek to be praised.
Know that all praise is only for God.

Ambil galah jolok keranji
Buah pulasan di hujung dahan
Manusia janganlah suka dipuji
Segala puji kepunyaan Tuhan

Duku fruit upon the shelf
Who knows where the langsat has gone
Who can measure how worried my heart is
All that I’ve done has come out wrong

Buah duku di atas para
Buah langsat entah di mana
Resah hatiku tidak terkira
Apa dibuat semua tak kena

 

Kenanga

Kenanga flowers with a scent so strong
Watered and fed till the blossoms filled
I’ve tried so hard, worked so long
Yet stand I ready to accept His Will.

Mekar kenanga harum baunya
Kembang mekar disiram dibaja
Puas ku cuba sudah ku usaha
Namun takdirnya ku pasrah saja.

Tongkat Ali and other hardwood

Bring a staff with you to the field
Carry a basket to harvest your crops
How short this life often feels
And yet how the day never stops

Simpan ubi dalam keranjang
Keluar kebun membawa tongkat
Hari terasa amat panjang
Dan hidup terlampau singkat

Timber is famous for its strength
A staff should be made of sturdy timber
Malays are famous for their culture
A culture of seeking out mutual consent

Terbilang kayu karena kuatnya
Kuatnya elok menjadi tongkat
Terbilang Melayu karena adatnya
Adatnya elok mencari mufakat

Sarongs and Songkets

When holding thread to stitch a songket
Back and forth stitch threads of gold
When you recall a small favor done
Be not concerned to ask in return

Ada benang kain disongket
Benang emas ikat berbelas
Apa dikenang budi sedikit
Bukan cemas minta dibalas

Pepper and other Pipers

Down at the beach, a band of youths
In black pepper sauce they fry their fish.
From hand to mouth, enough to get by.
Enough to save?  A distant wish!

Anak rekan pergi ka pantay
Masak ikan berkua lada
Chukop makan chukop pakay
Mau di simpan tidak kan ada

Together take flight a flock of Jentayu
Felled by an arrow one drops from the sky
Would you care to sit for a chew
Though my sirih has wilted, my betelnut dried?

Burung jentayu terbang beriring
Mati dipanah gugur ke lumpur
Sirihku layu pinangku kering
Sudikah dimamah barang sekapur?

A pigeon rests on a bough of senduduk[1]
Down fall areca-nuts blown by the wind
Don’t be a fool like old Uncle Kaduk
Losing the village a hen for to win

Hinggap merpati di dahan senduduk
Gugur pinang ditiup badai
Jangan seperti malang Pak kaduk
Ayam menang kampung tergadai

Upon grazing the kaduk from fields of paddy
The drowsy deer stands amidst the bamboo
Surely the bride of this life is death
So seek ye knowledge in all that you do

Eating a dish of raw leaves of kaduk
with shrimp paste chili sauce doused with kelubi
Where once rang out the sound of the beduk [1,2]
Now the azan is played on the TV

Kijang menghantuk di rumpun buluh
Makan kaduk di dalam padi
Tuntut ilmu bersungguh-sungguh
Kerana hidup tunangnya mati

Makan berulam si daun kaduk
Sambal belacan asam kelubi
Dulu nyaring bunyi beduk
Kini azan lantang di TV

Tahitian Noni Juice

Morinda growing beside the river
Fruits ruined by a fox in hunger
Wait til I collapse in death my lover
Fallen to the hands of another

Batang mengkudu di tepi sungai
Putiknya musnah dimakan musang
Abang menunggu mati terkulai
Adik lah pindah ke tangan orang

Brown Rice

Brown rice tossed in a winnowing basket
Broken grains spill here and there
The fiercest of beasts yet are hunted
Of a lowly ant no-one cares

Beras perang tampi di nyiru,
Tumpah melukut merata-rata.
Haiwan yang garang lagi diburu,
Siapa takut semut melata?

Papaya

As large as papaya, as small as keranji,
Break a branch and the fruit falls down
A face so lovely with manners so ugly
Like rain falling murky and brown

Besar betik kecil keranji 
Patah dahan buahnya luruh
Muka cantik perangai keji
Bagai hujan airnya keruh

Machetes and Parangs

Take the parang beneath the stairs
Use the whetstone on an edge grown dull
That faith be kept safe in prayer
Prostrate daily five times in full.

Ambil parang di bawah tangga
Kalaulah tumpul asah di batu
Agarlah iman tetap terjaga
Laksanakan solat yang lima waktu

In the cut lies the art of felling
The parang blade after is ground
There are limits in the art of ruling
Cross the line and protest resounds.

Adat merambah ada tebasnya
Sudah menebas parang diasah
Adat memerintah ada batasnya
Melewati batas orang membantah

Take a care when you fish for mackerel
A parang-fish doesn’t cut your hand
Take care when playing humble
Be not a slave to any man

Baik-baik mengail tenggiri
Takut terkena ikan parang
Baik-baik merendah diri
Jangan menjadi hamba orang

Fermented Rice Products

Fold the corners of the tapai leaf
that you may fill it with stale rice
If you want your knowledge to last
Don’t ignore your teacher’s advice

Lipat berbucu si daun tapai
Hendak diisi beras sekal
Pesan guru jangan diabai
Jika hendak ilmunya kekal

Sweetness of tapai comes from the yeast
Honey from bees is sweeter by far
Without faith a man is at loss
Like standing deadwood waiting to fall

Manis tapai kerana ragi
Lebih manis madu lebah
Tanpa iman manusia rugi
Bak kayu buruk menunggu rebah

The Javanese fellow is a maker of tapai
Yeast arrives from the shore over yon
As long as my dreams remain unfulfilled
Let me die among strangers alone

Orang Jawa membuat tapai
Raginya datang dari seberang
Selagi cita-cita tidak tercapai
Biar mati di rantau orang

Henna

A glance at the maiden leads to a wink
Moves so fine eyes can’t take their fill
Just like limestone chanced upon turmeric
Or the red of the henna seeking the nail

Gadis ditegus lalu dikenyit
Baik perangai pandang tak jemu
Bagai kapur bertemu kunyit
Merah inai mencari kuku

Vegetable of the People

Morning glory of the water
Growing thickly in the garden.
Love of praise and pride in honors
Is not the way of the gentleman.

Batang jati kangkung
Tumbuh rapat di dalam taman
Suka dipuji gemar disanjung
Bukanlah sifat orang budiman


Let us conclude with an orginal composition.

*

So sleepy katak di atas batang
Fast lori lalu dibuatnya startle
Walaupun korang jauh dari mata
Know that y’all are still close to my heart-le

*

Maybe anda berminat with a little humor dwibahasa?

Citations for all pantuns in the Malay language can be found through the links embedded above.

All English translations are (c) Bin Gregory Productions.