Is it an indonesian saying I wonder? maybe the equivalent to the australian "buggered if i know". which Im sure comes out pretty strange in a translated situation!
For those concerned about not knowing whether a speaker means 'tofu' or 'to know' in conversation, it'll be pretty clear from the context. Consider how many homonyms English has - have you ever mistaken someone having said 'flour' when they meant 'flower', or 'sweet' instead of 'suite'? Unlikely.
Also, when saying tahu as in 'tofu', you pronounce the h, but when saying tahu as in 'know' you don't, and this is reflected in the way people will often shorthand 'tahu' to 'tau' when the meaning is 'to know'.
are there other words for - know? how is tahu not confused for the word for tofu?
Note: Not a fluent Indonesian speaker but have doing some self-study for several months.
There are different verbs for "know", but like with any language they often carry different shades of meaning. Using Cambridge's Online English-Indonesian dictionary as a guide:
Tahu is anything you've been aware of or informed about: "I know he is at home." Aku tahu dia di rumah.
Mengenal is what you've learned or remembered: "He knows a lot of poetry." Dia mengenal banyak puisi. It also has connotations with what you can identify: "He knows a good car when he sees one." Dia mengenal mobil bagus kapan dia melihat satu.
Kenal more relates to being aware of the identity of someone, perhaps on a friendly level: "I know Mrs. Taylor." Saya kenal Ibu Taylor.
That being said, as far as I know "tahu" is the most common spoken way to express knowing something. Context will separate the verb from the noun for tofu.
Tahu/know is pronounced ta-u. The h is hardly heard. Tahu/tofu is ta-hu, very clear h.
Aku tau dia suka tahu. I know he likes tofu.
In Jakarta area, when people say "taa-u' ", it means "I don't know", saya tidak tahu. Mau makan apa? Tau'...
yes good one! I don't know what I want to eat.... if I pronounce that with the audible 'h', I have just made a decision! :)
“That cat knows. This dog wants tofu”... Kucing itu tahu... Anjing ini mau tahu “That cat knows. This dog also wants to know”... Kucing itu tahu... Anjing ini juga mau tahu
Am I correct?
"Daddy daddy, I dont understand my maths homework!" "Im bad at maths, ask cat, the cat knows"