Bahasa Malaysia

Perasaan – It’s how I feel…

Feelings in Bahasa Melayu

Hello and welcome to a quick yet important lesson in Bahasa Melayu all about feelings! We’ll be going over how to express feelings and I’ll run down some important feelings for you to know (in addition we may have some fun with idioms!) so grab your language partner and let’s begin!

So the basics, how do we say “I feel…”

Saya rasa….
I feel/taste…

Yes, taste and feel are the same words, they don’t really get confused all that often so I would not worry about any misunderstandings but if you are, check your context, and if it’s related to eating or food, they might be using it as taste and likewise, if two people are having a deep conversation, it would be more logical to assume that they are talking about their feelings.

Now you ask, I can say I feel… what? Let’s give some emotions. This isn’t an exhaustive list but it’s good enough to get you started! Try with every word saying “Saya rasa…” and then saying the feeling, afterward and maybe if you feel confident try describing other people’s emotions too! “Kamu/Dia/Mereka/Kami/Kita rasa…” You/(He-She-It)/They/We (the person spoken to not included)/ We (including person spoken to) feel…

  • lapar – hungry
  • dahaga – thirsty
  • sedih – sad
  • gembira – glad
  • sakit – sick
  • malu – shy
  • takut – scared
  • bimbang – worried
  • letih – tired
  • putih mata – disappointed

Feel like Idioms?

There we are now, you have things to feel again. Though notice the last one? There is another word for disappointed but this “putih mata” (white eyes) is an idiom. Theses are as frequent in Bahsa Melayu as they are in Bahasa Inggris (I’ll let you try and figure that one out..). Need more examples of idioms?

  • besar hati – gembira (big heart)
  • cahaya mata – child (light of the eye)
  • tidur ayam – drowsy (sleepy chicken)
  • khabar angin – rumor (news on the wind)
  • kaki botol – drunkard (bottle legs)

These are just a few of the many, MANY, idioms to be found in Bahasa Melayu, and many a few in there that you can use now that you’re a feeling being again. Until next time!


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

Resources for Self-Instructional Learners of Less Commonly Taught Languages Copyright © by University of Wisconsin-Madison Students in African 671 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.