We have now decided that it is time to learn something of Bahasa Malayu, which is the national language of Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore and is even used in some parts of Indonesia.  I am spending a few hours each morning doing an online course.  I hope to pick up enough language to function successfully  if we should get an opportunity to travel to the east and north, where Malay is more dominant.

We have had a lot of fun trying to understand the “Manglish” that is spoken by our Malaysian friends, although I think that Steve has developed a few extra gray hairs trying to reconcile this language with his degree in English. 

Manglish is a form of English in which the sentence structure is more like the Malay or Chinese structure, and tenses and pronouns just aren’t used.  The pronunciation is so rapid fire that many words are unrecognizable and often compressed into one word (tingwat= What do you think?)  If you want to stress something you just repeat it (Can, can = Will do that).

On top of this they put suffixes on the end of every phrase for emphasis, most often “lah”. (It is so hotlah)   To make it  a question add “kah”,  and if you are Chinese use “ah” (So cheap ah) as an exclamation.  Most nouns can be used as a verb if need be, so  if someone cuts you off in traffic you “horn”  him.  I still really have to concentrate to follow a conversation especially in a group setting where it is not unusual for people to flip between Manglish and Bahasa Malayu.

How about:  baiwanfraiwan or betayudonlah  or  yusobadwan

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