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15 Beautiful Words in Javanese Language : Wise and Meaningful Phrases

by Yoga Adi

After telling you about the Javanese culinary you can find in Jakarta city, let’s dig some more into the core of Javanese culture. Aside from telling you about the arts and traditional stuff of Java island, we also want to take you closer with learning about the Javanese language. Have you familiar with it?

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The Javanese language usually used in three main provinces in Java island, East, Central, and West Java. The thing is, the Javanese language in both East and Central Java are basically the same. Only the level of politeness if maybe the only difference. You can learn some wise words from it, including all the beautiful words in the Javanese language below:

1 – Niat Kerjo Ojok Golek Perkoro. Niat Golek Rejeki, Ora Golek Rai. Ora Balapan, Opo Maneh Ugal-ugalan.

The first one on the beautiful words in Javanese language is actually quite long words basically mean if you work, don’t look for troubles, if you want to look for wealth, don’t be a flatterer, don’t rush it, or even be inconsiderate. These words tell us about how we should focus on our work only, not on other things.

If you want to have an honest job, doing an honest work, only for the purposes for getting wealth, you shouldn’t think about anything else that can make completely unfocus. Also, even though in work there are always some struggles with your own peers, make sure to finish them with the most sincere ways possible.

2 – Tresno iku kadang koyo ceriping telo, iso ajur nek ora ngati-ati le nggowo

So, those words above basically mean Love is just like a cassava cracker, if you don’t bring it carefully or hold it too tight, it’ll be broken eventually. From there, you’ll understand what they meant. It’s highly related to the most sensitive thing that we all have, either now or in the future, Love.

Love doesn’t only require bravery to show it to somebody. It’s not a thing that once you get it, you’ll be free all your life. You need to take good care of it. If you happen to have a partner with you right now, cherish him/her. Make them happy, hug them tighter, but not too tight, and too possessive to the point that it’s annoying.

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3 – Ojo dadi pengecut seng umpetan ning ngisor mejo

These words mainly tell us about not being a coward. They use the term “Umpetan ning ngisor mejo” which basically translated to hiding under the table, which clearly shows the behavior of cowards. Not only men or women, we should all be brave to what’s coming, ether it’s something troublesome or a whole new situation.

You know, if you’re always being a coward, there’s no point of going forwards. You’ll be stuck at the same spot, for a period of time anyone doesn’t know how long. If you are afraid to face it alone, have some support from the people around you. These days, there are numerous people who willing to be at your side.


4 – Yen tak sawang sorote mripatmu, ketoke kowe arep nembung utang karo aku

Now, it’s time to translate the words again. The words above basically mean “When I see your face, it looks like you’re gonna owe me some money”. This is actually a wordplay, and the original version of it is something like this, “When I see your face, I feel love”. The words then changed for joke purpose only.

People in Java usually make a joke about something like this. Things related to money, wedding, or any social phenomenon. These words are also a form os sarcastic to the people who always want to be closer to us, just for taking our money (by owning or even asking portion of it) which is not the definition of true friendship.

5 – Kuat dilakono, yen ra kuat ditinggal ngopi

So, the words above say that “If you’re strong enough, just do it. But if you don’t, it’s time to take some coffee (rest)”. From there, we can take a few points here. First, is to be strongly positive about something. If you feel really capable of doing things, then do it right away. Don’t wait for anytime longer.

That’s actually the most important thing you should learn, especially when doing business. Usually, people have some thought about things, about risks or some things, but afraid of doing it anyway. The result is, all their research leads to nothing. But what they don’t know is, whether they’re a success or not, they are still the winner for conquering their fear of trying something new.

6 – Urip iku mesti akeh cobaan, yen akeh saweran iku jenenge dangdutan

Life is never been easy, that’s what these words mainly tell us about. Even though it’s beautiful, life is pretty complex with so many challenges and struggles that we should pass in order to continue to live. That’s why we need to be brave and be patient about our own way of life, and shouldn’t complain about things.

Even though it seems hard, it’s really rewarding for those who want to fight.

7 – Wong menang iku seng iso ngasorake priyanggane dhewe

And in this seventh point of the beautiful words in Javanese language, we want to tell you that winning or losing is not depend on the achievement. If you failing at something, maybe our study or work, that doesn’t mean that your life will end at that exact moment. You need to be patient and gather the spirit for another round.

The people who won is the one that able to conquer their ego.

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8 – Witing tresno jalaran soko kulino. Witing mulyo jalaran wani rekoso

This is can be said to be the common phrase you can find in Java, “Witing Tresno Jalaran Soko Kulino”, which basically means love will come eventually. Anyone can relate to this one, especially for teenagers who seeking their first love. If you being close to someone for long, you can get a chance to gain his/her heart.

With spending time together, love will come eventually.

9 – Sing wes lungo lalekno, sing durung teko entenono, sing wes ono syukurono

This is the phrase for anyone who is having a terrible day. When all hopes seem lost, all you need to do is be patient and tell your problem to somebody. You’re strong enough to face it, but with someone besides you who can calm you down, you can be braver to forget what’s needed to be forgotten.

Just like these words say, you should forget what’s lost, you should expect what’s not coming, you should cherish what’s now present.

10 – Gusti Allah paring pitedah iso lewat bungah, iso lewat susah

Another one in the beautiful words in Javanese language shows a relation between God and his creations, us. God gives us life with a certain task, to live our lives as best as we can be. He gives us so many things, you can name them all starting from our own soul, wealth, family, friends, and the other uncountable things.

But sometimes, He also gives us bitterness through problems, only because He wants to give us a test. If we can pass it, rewards are sure things.

11 – Becik ketitik ala ketara

You know, in Java there’s a famous phrase that commonly heard during an Opera or any other theatrical performance. And that very phrase is Becik Ketitik Ala Ketoro, which means a little bit of badness will cover up all the goodness. It’s like almost the same like few rotten apples give a bad name to the whole barrel phrase.

It clearly shows how people sometimes judging others.

12 – Ra ono wong mulyo tanpo urip rekoso

These words basically means there are no successful people in this Earth who has done nothing to his life. That means, if we want to be a success or at least to be a better person, all we need to do is change. If you want to have better grades, you should invest your time in studying. If you want to be successful in your business, make sure to spend some of your time learning deeper about it.

Thus, a success will be very familiar near the future.

13 – Ajining diri soko lathi, ajining rogo soko busono

The next one is these words that mainly tell us about how we are as humans, proper humans. The direct translation of it is the true face of someone is shown through her lips (politeness), and the true personality has shown via busono or clothing. This can also imply to how we should behave to others.

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14 – Lakon menang keri

As mentioned earlier on the previous points, the failure is not the end of all things. Just like these words mean, Lakon menang keri or the Protagonists always win last. Which basically means, you’ll be a successful person after passing more and more failures as experiences to make yourself better.

15 – Alon-alon asal kelakon

And the last one of the beautiful words in Javanese language is Alon-alon asal kelakon, which basically the same as Slow but Sure. Don’t be reckless or hasty in doing things. Do it with care and focus, so the result will show the best.

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