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Country/Region, Indonesia, Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia), Pop

“Matahariku” (Agnes Monica)

“Matahariku” (official video on YouTube)
“Matahariku” (live BRI on YouTube)

Agnes Monica
Sacredly Agnezious (2008)

Tertutup sudah pintu, pintu hatiku
Yang pernah dibuka waktu, hanya untukmu
Kini kau pergi dari hidupku
Kuharus relakanmu walau aku tak mau

Berjuta warna pelangi di dalam hati
Sejenak luluh bergeming, menjauh pergi
Tak ada lagi cahaya suci
Semua nada beranjak aku terdiam sepi

Dengarlah, matahariku, suara tangisanku
Kubersedih kerna panah cinta menusuk jantungku
Ucapkan, matahariku, puisi tentang hidupku
Tentangku yang tak mampu menaklukkan waktu

My Sun (Translation by ORS, 2010)

The door is already closed, the door of my heart
Which once was opened by time, only for you
Now you have gone out of my life
I must release you, even though I don’t want to

Millions of colored rainbows inside my heart
In a moment crushed, silenced, going away
There is no more holy light
All tones shift, I become silent, empty

Listen, my sun, to the sound of my crying
Sad because the bow of love punctured my heart
Pronounce, my sun, poetry about my life
About me who could not conquer time


Matahariku – “my sun”; from matahari (“sun”), from mata (eye) + hari (day)
Tertutup – to close, closed; ter- (verb affix “accidental” nuance”) + tutup (noun), cover
Sudah – already
Pintu – door
Hati – heart, feeling
Ku, Aku – I, my
Yang – which, that (demonstrative)
Pernah – once, ever
Di – (preposition) in, at, on; as a verb prefix, intransitive
Buka – open
Waktu – time
Hanya – only, just
Untuk – (preposition) for, to
Mu – you, your
Kini – now, recently
Kau – you
Pergi – to go
Dari – from
Hidup – life
Harus – must, have to
Relakan – to release
Walau – however, even though
Tak – (negation, shortened from tidak) no, not
Mau – want to

Berjuta – millions, from juta (million)
Warna – color
Pelangi – rainbow
Di dalam (preposition) – inside, from di (in) + dalam (deep)
Sejenak – moment
Luluh – crush
Bergeming – to silence (verb prefix ber-)
Menjauh – go away (verb prefix men-)
Ada – to exist, to be
Lagi – again, more, another; as in salutation “sampai jumpa lagi” (until we meet again)
Cahaya – light
Suci – pure, holy
Semua – all, everyone
Nada – tone, chord
Beranjak – move, shift (verb prefix ber-0
Terdiam – to be silent; verb prefix ter- ; from diam (quiet, silent, idle)
Sepi – quiet, lonely

Dengar – hear
Lah – (request)
Suara – sound, voice
Tangisan – crying, weeping; from tangis (to cry) + noun suffix -an
Bersedih – to be sad; verb prefix ber- +  sedih (sad); also, kesedihan (sadness)
Kerna /karena– because
Panah – bow (as in, bow and arrow)
Cinta – love
Menusuk – to puncture ; verb prefeix men-
Ucapkan – say , pronounce; verb suffix -kan
Puisi – poetry
Tentang – (preposition) against, about
Mampu – able, capable
Manklukkan – to conquer; verb suffix –kan

Grammar and other Notes

1.  Indonesian vs. Malay

The relationship between Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia) and Malay (Bahasa Melayu) may be historically traceable through the Austronesian family, but it is still unclear whether these languages are distinct languages or just varieties with numerous orthographical (spelling) and vocabulary differences.

In this video in his series “The Languages of Southeast Asia”, Prof. Alexander Arguelles interviews together a Malay speaker and an Indonesian speaker about the differences, similarities, and mutual intelligibility of these languages.

Malay Indonesian
Official Malaysia, Indonesian, Brunei, Singapore Indonesia
Total speakers 18 million 170 million
Colonial influence British Dutch
Writing system Rumi (Latin), Jawi (Arabic) Rumi (Latin)
Pronunciation Final –e/a is schwa e
Associated religion Islam Christian

2.  Agglutination

Agglutinative languages form words by joining morphemes (word pieces) with affixes (prefixes, suffixes, etc).  Such languages include Basque, Turkish, Japanese, Korean, Swahili, Quechua, Aymara, etc.

Ter- : verb prefix, nuance “accidental” like Japanese しまう (shimau)

-ku-: my, me, I (aku)

di- : as a verb prefix, intransitive

-mu : your, you (kamu)

ber- : verb prefix

men- : verb prefix

-lah : verb suffix; polite command

-an(-) : nominalizaion (forms a noun)


Tertupup sudah pintu…

Ter-closed already door

–> The door is already closed (nuance of ter- : accidental)

Yang pernah dibuka waktu

Which once di-open time

–> Which once was opened by time (di- : intransitive)

3.  Pronouns

Pronouns in Indonesian are, at once, relative simple and highly complex.  The simple part is that there are no cases like in some Indo-European languages where the pronouns change according to case (nominative, accusative, dative, genitive, etc).  The complex aspect is that, like in Japanese, Korean, and some other Asian languages, there are various speech levels resulting in different pronouns based on the relationship between the speaker and the spoken to.

A oversimplified matrix can be formulated as follows:

Number Singular Plural
1st Saya Kami (exclusive)
Aku, -ku (informal) Kita (inclusive)
2nd Anda Anda sekalian
Kamu, -mu (informal) Kalian
Engkau, -kau
3rd Ia, -nya Mereka

4.  Negation

In English, we generally use the word “not” to negate adjectives and verb, and the word “no” to negate nouns and entire utterances.  For example, upon being asked if one speaks Chinese or Indonesian, one may respond:

No, I do not speak Chinese well, and I know absolutely no Indonesian.”

Sentence Noun Adjective Verb
English No No Not Not
Spanish No No No No
French Non, Si Pas Pas Ne…(Pas)
German Nein Kein** Nicht Nicht
Malay/Indonesian Bukan Bukan Tidak, Tak Tidak, Tak
Japanese いいえ (iie) ではありません(deha arimasen)、ではない (deha nai)、じゃない (ja nai) -くありません (-ku arimasen)、—くない (-ku nai) 



—ません (-masen)、ない (nai)

5. Verbs


Boleh – can, may

Bisa – can, able

Mesti, Harus – must, should

Akan – will (future action)

Mau, Ingin – want

Suka – like


Sedang à indicates present progressive

Sudah – already à past

Akan – will à future
Example from the song:

…walau aku tak mau (“however, I don’t want to”)

Guitar Chords:
(capo 1)
intro: D Bm E
verses: F#m  C#m D  A (2x)  Bm  A  Bm C#
chorus: F#m  C#m  D  A  Bm  C#  (2x)
break: D  E  A  C# (2x)  D  E



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