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Muter Otak In the Indonesian Language

Halo semuanya, apa kabar? Ketemu lagi dengan saya, Iman Prabawa. This time, I want to talk to you about the meaning of the idiom [muter otak] in the Indonesian language. As usual, we will watch cut scenes from movies, talk shows, and whatnot where this idiom is spoken.

Muter Otak In the Indonesian Language

If you want to learn Bahasa Indonesia with me, you can just join my group. You can check it out on the About Me page.


So, without further ado, let's talk about this!

Meaning of Muter Otak In the Indonesian Language

[Muter otak] is the colloquial form of [memutar otak] or [putar otak]. If translated literally, [putar] means to turn something, and [otak] means brain. So, [muter otak] or [putar otak] in literal meaning means to turn the brain.

But, that is not the meaning of [putar otak]. [Putar otak] means that you have to think hard to find a way to solve a problem.

Let's have a look at example sentences on the screenshot below.

Muter Otak Example Sentences

Let's look at the first example sentence.
Topik "nekat" ini bikin muter otak. (This 'crazy' topic will make you think hard.)
Let's look at the second example sentence.
Bikin muter otak kamu! (This will make you think hard!)
And the last example sentence.
Vicky muter otak biar bisa lihat manisnya Erie Suzan. (Vicky tries to think hard to be able to see Erie Suzan's pretty face.)
So, as you can see from the example sentences given above, [muter otak] is usually used in figurative meaning, that is, to think hard.

How to Pronounce Muter Otak

Let's hear how to pronounce [muter otak] down below.


Next, we will watch cut scenes from movies, talk shows, reality shows, and whatnot where this phrase [muter otak] is spoken.

Muter Otak In Movie Scenes

The first clip is taken from a talk show called Tonight Show Net. Let's watch the clip down below.


What Desta said in the scene with English translations is as follows.

Desta: Hai penonton. Jadi pemilik kafe nih gue nih. Pemilik kafe. Lagi pandemi gini kafe sepi lagi nih. Mana muterin lagu bayar! Bingung. Makin sepi aja deh kafe gue. Pemasukan juga berkurang. Harus muter otak. Ngapain lagi ya? Ni pada ke mana sih orang-orang nih? Pada ke mana sih, gaes? Berarti ada orang-orang dong ya? (Hi, audience. Right now, I'm acting as a cafe owner. A cafe owner. In this pandemic, this cafe is empty. Moreover, I have to pay if I want to play music in the cafe. This is so not good. My cafe will become more and more empty. Also, the income from the cafe is decreasing. I have to think hard and find a way. What should I do? Where are the people? Where are you, guys? It means there are people, right?)

In this scene, Desta acts as a cafe owner. He said that business is not good in this pandemic. He needs to think harder to run his cafe business.


Vocabulary From the Scene
[Penonton] = audience.

[Nih] = ini = this, but in this context [nih] has no meaning. It functions as a filler word, not really needed.

[Ni] is short for [ini] = this. In daily conversation, Indonesian people usually drop letters when speaking, like in this cut scene above. [Ni pada ke mana sih orang-orang nih?] <--- in this sentence [ni], [sih], and [nih] is functions as filler words. You can just omit, and the meaning doesn't change at all. [Ni pada ke mana sih orang-orang? = Pada ke mana orang-orang? = Where are those people going to?]

[Sepi] = quiet.

[Pemasukan] = an income that you get from a business.

[Muterin] is the colloquial form of [memutarkan] = to turn, to play. [Muterin lagu] = [memutarkan lagu] = to play music.

[Bingung] = confused.

[Makin] is short for [semakin]. [Semakin] is usually followed by other words, and it means that the intensity is increasing. [Semakin memanas] = is getting hotter. [Semakin sulit] = is getting harder and harder.

[Berkurang] = decreasing.

[Ngapain] is the colloquial form of [melakukan apa]. [Lagi ngapain?] = [Lagi melakukan apa?] = what are you doing? But, [ngapain] can also mean [why]. Ngapain? = Why? You need to see the context first.

[Orang-orang] = people.

[Ke mana] = where to.

So, I think that's all for now. If you have any questions about this, just leave them in the comment section below, and I'll be happy to answer them. If I find another scene from movies or everything, Insha Allah, I will update this article again.

Thank you very much, and I'll talk to you soon.

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