I Talk Manglish ah

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Lydia Teh is as Malaysian as nasi lemak, char kuay teow and roti canai. Like all Malaysians, she can eat six meals a day but refrains from doing for the sake of her waistline. Born and raised in Klang, Selangor, she still lives in this royal town which is known for its bah-kut-teh: herbal stewed pork washed down with Chinese tea. She has written six books including the best-selling Honk! If You’re Malaysian and Fun for Kids in Malaysia. She manages an English language centre, writes a newspaper column and dreams of literary world domination. She can be contacted via

Do You Speak “Manglish”? Lydia Teh Puts Your Malaysia English Skills To The Test In Her Columm This Month

Hello, Sir. Long time no see. You okay or not? How is the wife and kids? I hope they are okay in this type of weather. Now ah, everyday rain, rain, rain. Clothes oso cannot dry properly. Some more very smelly. You smell my shirt and see. Dowan to smell ah? Ok lor. Neh mind. Sorry ah. I think your nose too sensitive, sure cannot take the smell one.

Not like our nose. Very strong one. Smell from stuck drain and rubbish not collected oso can stand. We use to it lah. Not like you flers. Durian smell so wonderful oso you say it stinks. Don’t be like that lah. Best in the world fruit you say smell like toilet. How can?

You know what food smell really stinko one? The blue cheese. Wah, from outside the room oso I can smell that bugger and you guys think it so tasty. Think of it oso I sweat oredi. Alamak, why so hot one? The air-con not on is it? I thought it was on just now. Who off it one? Don’t mind ah. I on it, can ah? I know you don’t mind one.

Not like your boss. He one kind one. He think he very big shot. Like to grumble here, grumble there. My shoes got a bit of mud, oso he grumble. Afterwards my carpet all dirty, he say. What man! Carpet dirty ask maid to clean lah. If not, what for you employ maid, right? Sit there and shake leg ah? You got maid, you make her work to earn her pay, fair what.

But I tell you ah, nowadays you must be careful of maids. If can, install CCTV to see what they up to. You know or not, sometimes they do terrible things one. Once I saw video clip of this maid beating up a kid. She sit on the poor kid, only about three or four I think. I see oso I cry. Good thing the boss got CCTV and caught her. They send her packing after that!

I know got good maid around oso. My brother-in-law last time got maid – really best one. She help him in business, put up shelves and that kind of things lah. Some more she can cook very well. And she even sew clothes for the children. Wah! What more you want to ask for ah?

My brother-in-law so lucky one. Got good maid, nice house, big car. Oredi got so much money, some more he strike lottery. I ah, I buy, buy and buy oso cannot strike. Not fair lah. Rich people get richer. Poor people get poorer. Now ah, I dowan to buy 4D. Buy until pokai oso cannot strike. I may as well use money to buy food.

You hungry or not? Let’s go makan. I take you to this mamak. Best in the world. Sorry, what you say? I say everything oso best in the world? Where got? Not everything best in the world what. Some only best in KL, some best in Penang, some best in Klang, some best in the world, some ah – you ask me to eat for free oso I dowan. Hah! You think I simply say one? Don’t say like that. When it comes to food ah, I know what I’m talking about. Come, we must go now. Otherwise got jam. If stuck for so long on the road, afterwards no mood to eat.


Wait ah! Where’s my car key? Die lah! I think I left it in the car. Spare key in the house. Aiyah, what to do ah? You got clothes hanger or not? You got? How come you keep hanger in your office one? Oh, you use to hang up your jacket is it? Let me see what brand you wear. Armani ah!? Wah, real terror lah you! Aisayman, you must be loaded. Can afford to buy Armani some more. My only jacket I got from warehouse sale. Ninety percent discount.

Such a nice hanger ah? I cannot use lah. I need to unbend the hook so I can put inside the car window and pop up the car lock. Afterwards the hanger spoil I cannot afford to pay you back. What, you can buy new one and claim from company ah? Like that oso can ah? Wah, you flers very lucky lor. Everything oso can claim. I tell you what. Afterwards we don’t go mamak. I take you to five-star Chinese restaurant. We order abalone, sea cucumber, tiger prawns, crab and eat until full. Then you claim from your company ah. Can or not?

This article was written by Lydia Teh
This article appeared in the JAN 2012 issue of The Expat magazine

This article has been edited for
Get your free subscription and free delivery of The Expat Magazine.

"ExpatGo welcomes and encourages comments, input, and divergent opinions. However, we kindly request that you use suitable language in your comments, and refrain from any sort of personal attack, hate speech, or disparaging rhetoric. Comments not in line with this are subject to removal from the site. "


Click to comment

Most Popular

To Top