Understanding The Meaning Of "Angkat Tangan"

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Have you ever heard the Indonesian phrase “angkat tangan”? If you are not a native speaker of the language, you might be wondering what it means. In this article, we will explore the meaning and usage of this popular expression.

What Does “Angkat Tangan” Mean?

“Angkat tangan” literally translates to “lift your hands” in English. However, in Indonesian, it is commonly used to express surrender or giving up. When someone says “angkat tangan,” they are admitting defeat or acknowledging that they cannot continue with a task or challenge.

Origins of “Angkat Tangan”

The origins of “angkat tangan” are not clear, but it is believed to have originated in the military. Soldiers who raised their hands in surrender during battle would use this phrase to indicate their defeat.

Usage of “Angkat Tangan”

“Angkat tangan” is used in various situations, both formal and informal. In a business setting, an employee might use it to admit that they cannot complete a task or meet a deadline. In sports, a team might use it to acknowledge their opponent’s victory. In personal relationships, it might be used to express giving up on an argument or disagreement.

Alternatives to “Angkat Tangan”

While “angkat tangan” is a common expression, there are also other phrases that can be used to convey a similar meaning. For example, “menyerah” means “to give up” in Indonesian, and “kalah” means “to lose.”

Expressions Related to “Angkat Tangan”

There are also other expressions related to “angkat tangan” that can be used in different contexts. For example, “angkat bendera putih” means “raise the white flag,” which is a literal translation of surrender. In politics, “menyerah diri” means “to surrender,” which is similar to “angkat tangan.”


In conclusion, “angkat tangan” is a common expression in Indonesian that is used to express surrender or giving up. While it has its origins in the military, it is now used in various settings, both formal and informal. Understanding the meaning and usage of this phrase can help non-native speakers communicate effectively with Indonesian speakers.

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