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The Meaning of Sih In Bahasa Indonesia

In everyday conversations in Indonesia, we use this word a lot. These are such examples:
  1. Lagi pada ngapain sih?
  2. Kok loe gitu sih?
  3. Ada apa sih?
  4. Aneh ngga sih?
  5. Mau ngapain lagi sih tu anak?
[Sih] is kind of like a filler word. It doesn't have a specific meaning. Its function in the sentence is to emphasize something or give a kind of emotion to the sentence.
The Meaning of Sih In Bahasa Indonesia

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Now, let's discuss the 5 sentences above.

Example Sentences With The Word Sih In It

Let's look at the first sentence from the above.
Lagi pada ngapain sih?
The translation of this in English is,
What are you guys doing?
As I said earlier, Sih doesn't have any meaning in this sentence, and you actually can omit the word "sih" in this sentence. Thus the sentence will become,
Lagi pada ngapain?
The difference between the sentence with "sih" and the sentence without "sih" is that the sentence with "sih" is giving more emphasis that the speaker really wants to know what the guys are doing. He was really curious about what was happening, so that he asked the sentence and adding the word "sih" in his sentence.

Now, let's look at the second sentence from the above.
Kok loe gitu sih?
This if translate in English, the translation will be like this,
Why are you like this?
Again, in this sentence, you can omit the word "sih." Thus the sentence will become like this below.
Kok loe gitu?
The difference between the two sentences is that the sentence with "sih" in it has more emotion than the sentence without the word "sih" in it. The speaker really wants to know the answer to his or her question.

Now, let's look at the third sentence from the above.
Ada apa sih?
If I translate this sentence into English, the translation will be like this below.
What's happening?
Again, in this sentence, you can also omit the word "sih," but if you omit the word "sih" there and just saying like below,
Ada apa?
Then the sentence doesn't have emotion in it. The speaker did not really want to know what was happening. (S)he was asking, but if (s)he was using "sih" in the sentence, then (s)he really wanted to know what was happening. It's hard to explain, but then I think you will understand this once you're in that situation.

Now, let's look at the fourth sentence from the above.
Aneh ngga sih?
If I translate this into English, then translations would be,
Isn't it weird?
Here the speaker really wants an agreement from the person whom he talked to. I have a scene from a movie about this sentence so that you can watch the scene and have a better understanding of this sentence. If the speaker does not add "sih" in the sentence, then (s)he doesn't really want an agreement from the person that (s)he is talking to.

Let's now look at the scene from a movie below.


Below is the conversation from that scene, with English translation.
A: Emang dia pernah ke sini? (Has he been here before?) 
B: Oh iyalah. (Of course.) 
C: Iya dong! Kan waktu itu pas mas Rully beli rumah kita yang di Pondok Indah, tanda tangan surat-suratnya di sini. (Yes! When he bought our house in Pondok Indah, he signed all the documents here.) 
B: Di sini. (Here.) 
A: Aneh ngga sih? (Isn’t it weird?) 
D: Ngga! (Nope!) 
A: Aneh deh, kayanya menurut saya aneh banget. (I think this is really weird.)
As you can see, the speaker was asking some kind of like agreement from the other person when he said, "Aneh ngga sih? (Isn't it weird?)" and then when the person he was talking to answer it with "Ngga! (Nope!)" then he explained why he thought that this was weird.


Let's look at the fifth sentence from the above sentences. This sentence I took from an Indonesian comic called si Juki. Let's look at the scene in this comic below.

Sih Indonesian Word In Comic

The conversation in this comic's scene is as follows,
A: Bang Indra, pinjem jasnya ya! (Indra, may I borrow your jacket?) 
B: Mau ngapain lagi sih itu anak mak, babeh! (What is he doing this time mom, dad?)
Let's look at the sentence in more detail. In sentence B, you can actually omit the word "sih," but once again, it's all about the emotion. You can omit the word "sih," and then the sentence will become like this,
Mau ngapain lagi itu anak mak, beh?
The meaning is still the same, but the sentence with the word "sih" in it is kind of like emphasizing what he really wanted to know about what his brother was doing again right now. He was kind of annoyed with what his brother was doing and wanted to know what kind of mess his brother is doing this time.


Sih In Movie Scenes

Let's watch a scene from a movie below.


In this scene, two girls are waiting to make a photocopy of something. One girl, whose name is Bonita, still uses the photocopying machine and the two girls waiting seemed upset because they were waiting too long.
The conversation in that scene with English translation is down below.
A: Ini butuh berapa lama lagi ya, Bonita? (How much longer will it take, Bonita?) 
B: Fotokopi aja lama banget sih, Bon? (Why are you taking so long just to make a photocopy?) 
C: Udah, udah, ini udah. Udah bisa pake. (It’s done. I’m done. You can use it now.)
So you can see here, the word "sih" is kind of like emphasizing and give emotion, and if you omit the word "sih," then the sentence will be emotionless.

Let's watch the last scene from the movie below.




The situation here is the man is asking the woman to help him find something. The woman says that she wants to help, but at the moment, she has something to do.

The conversation in that scene with English translation is as follows.
A: Jadi gini Gis. Buat Tonight Show nanti, aku itu mau ngadain Tonight Updates. (So, here’s the thing. For Tonight Show, I want to do the Tonight Updates.) 
B: Oke. (Okay.) 
A: Nah! Aku itu butuh banget berita terbaru dari artis-artis di Jakarta ini. Nah, yang bisa didapetin sama Entertainment News tapi ngga bisa didapetin dari internet. Aku butuh itu. (So, I need the latest news from artists in Jakarta that I can get from Entertainment News but people can’t get it from the internet. I need that kind of news!) 
B: Gue mau bantu loe sih, ya tapi ngga bisa sekarang nih. Orang gue mau live. (I want to help you but I can’t do it right now because I’m going live in just a moment.)
So, that's all for now. I hope you will understand my explanation. If you don't, you can ask me by writing the comments below this article. Thank you very much—Bubye, for now.

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