National Language of Malaysia

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The National Language is Bahasa Malaysia (Malay) but English is widely spoken, being a compulsory subject in schools and the main Primary 6, Lower Secondary and the local version of `O’ Level examinations.

Other major languages used are Chinese and Tamil. The government has also been encouraging the frontliners of hotels and tourism-related business people to learn other international languages.

The vowels in Malay are as: ‘a’ as in “hard”, ‘e’ as in “other”, ‘i’ as in “ink”, ‘o’ as in “orchid”, and ‘u’ as in “loot”. Consonants ‘c’ is pronounced ‘ch’ as in “chin”, ‘sy’ is pronounced ‘sh’ as in “shy”.

Some useful translations for words and phrases in Bahasa Malaysia (Malay) for you to get started:

Numbers
EnglishBahasa Malaysia
OneSatu
TwoDua
ThreeTiga
FourEmpat
FiveLima
SixEnam
SevenTujuh
EightLapan
NineSembilan
TenSepuluh
Food
EnglishBahasa Malaysia
FoodMakanan
EatMakan
RiceNasi
NoodlesMee
Not too spicyJangan pedas
ChickenAyam
WaterAir
Drinking waterAir minuman
Time
EnglishBahasa Malaysia
Good morningSelamat pagi
Good afternoonSelamat Tengahari
Good eveningSelamat petang
Good nightSelamat malam
Days of the Week
EnglishBahasa Malaysia
SundayAhad
MondayIsnin
TuesdaySelasa
WednesdayRabu
ThursdayKhamis
FridayJumaat
SaturdaySabtu
Geography
EnglishBahasa Malaysia
HillBukit
LakeTasik
MountainGunung
RiverSungai
VillageKampung
ValleyLembah
WaterfallAir Terjun
BeachPantai
IslandPulau
SeaLaut
Common Phrases
EnglishBahasa Malaysia
HelloHello
GoodbyeSelamat jalan
PleaseTolong
Thank youTerima kasih
I am sorrySaya minta maaf
What is your name?Siapa nama awak?
My name is…Nama saya
How are you?Apa khabar?
FineBaik
MaleLelaki
FemalePerempuan
FriendKawan
I don’t understandSaya tidak faham
ToiletTandas
Where are the toilets?Di mana tandas/tempat mandi?
How much?Berapa?
Traffic
EnglishBahasa Malaysia
Turn leftBelok kiri
Turn rightBelok kanan
Straight aheadBerjalan terus
IntersectionSimpang
BusBas
CarKereta/Motokar
TaxiTeksi
EntryMasuk
ExitKeluar
OpenBuka
RoadJalan
LaneLorong
HighwayLebuhraya
NorthUtara
SouthSelatan
EastTimur
WestBarat
CautionAwas
StopBerhenti
Give wayBeri laluan
AheadDi hadapan
No overtakingDilarang memotong
Speed limitHad laju
Keep rightIkut kanan
Keep leftIkut kiri
One-way streetJalan sehala
Slow downKurangkan laju
DetourLencongan
Sharp bendsLiku tajam
Keep left unless overtakingIkut kiri kecuali memotong

 

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