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:

English Bahasa Malaysia
One Satu
Two Dua
Three Tiga
Four Empat
Five Lima
Six Enam
Seven Tujuh
Eight Lapan
Nine Sembilan
Ten Sepuluh
English Bahasa Malaysia
Food Makanan
Eat Makan
Rice Nasi
Noodles Mee
Not too spicy Jangan pedas
Chicken Ayam
Water Air
Drinking water Air minuman
English Bahasa Malaysia
Good morning Selamat pagi
Good afternoon Selamat Tengahari
Good evening Selamat petang
Good night Selamat malam
Days of the Week
English Bahasa Malaysia
Sunday Ahad
Monday Isnin
Tuesday Selasa
Wednesday Rabu
Thursday Khamis
Friday Jumaat
Saturday Sabtu
English Bahasa Malaysia
Hill Bukit
Lake Tasik
Mountain Gunung
River Sungai
Village Kampung
Valley Lembah
Waterfall Air Terjun
Beach Pantai
Island Pulau
Sea Laut
Common Phrases
English Bahasa Malaysia
Hello Hello
Goodbye Selamat jalan
Please Tolong
Thank you Terima kasih
I am sorry Saya minta maaf
What is your name? Siapa nama awak?
My name is… Nama saya
How are you? Apa khabar?
Fine Baik
Male Lelaki
Female Perempuan
Friend Kawan
I don’t understand Saya tidak faham
Toilet Tandas
Where are the toilets? Di mana tandas/tempat mandi?
How much? Berapa?
English Bahasa Malaysia
Turn left Belok kiri
Turn right Belok kanan
Straight ahead Berjalan terus
Intersection Simpang
Bus Bas
Car Kereta/Motokar
Taxi Teksi
Entry Masuk
Exit Keluar
Open Buka
Road Jalan
Lane Lorong
Highway Lebuhraya
North Utara
South Selatan
East Timur
West Barat
Caution Awas
Stop Berhenti
Give way Beri laluan
Ahead Di hadapan
No overtaking Dilarang memotong
Speed limit Had laju
Keep right Ikut kanan
Keep left Ikut kiri
One-way street Jalan sehala
Slow down Kurangkan laju
Detour Lencongan
Sharp bends Liku tajam
Keep left unless overtaking Ikut kiri kecuali memotong


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