Monday, June 15, 2009

How to speak Malaysian

Here is a short summary on how to speak the Malaysian language. Now as there is no such thing, Malaysian is really a mix and match of the dialects and languages spoken in Malaysia.

For the benefit of foreigners, you may use these tips while you're on holiday here. I know there's that phrase "be your self" yada yada bullshit, but its always nice to blend in and mix with other cultures. Say you're in Kiwiland, say "aye" at the end of your sentence.
If you're in Australia raise your voice at the end of your sentence to make it sound like you're asking question.

In England just lift your heels while having a standing conversation from time to time.

In Japan just bow as much as possible you should get by.

Here in Malaysia:

1. Dont over pronounce each word. Eg.
To say : I need to speak with the person in charge of this operation.
Malaysian : I nid to spik wit de person in chage of dis opratn.

The words sound the same only you pronounce them as quick as possible like you're tap dancing with your mouth.

2. When you're at a mamak stall ( a malaysian style outdoorsy cafe mostly serving southern indian food) and to grab the attention of a waiter:
make smooching sounds with your lips. He'll then take your order.

3. At a supermarket, don bother saying hello to the cashier, just snap your fingers and say "eh, count"
If you so much as greet them by saying hello and smile, they might cower behind the counter and all of sudden get the fits. Of course you might be lucky and they will smile back.

4. if you need to drive the point home , use LAH at the end of your sentence.

To say: I'm hungry.
Malaysian: I'm hungry LAH.

To say: Now why did you go and do that for?
Malaysian: Whaaaat LAH you.

To say: Lend you some money my big fat aunt!
Malaysian: Lend you money your head LAH.

To say: Pardon me, I need to use the ladies/gents/lavoratory.
Malaysian: wait ah, toilet.

5. You can call any guy Joe or Mat (not like Matt or Pat, but like Bart). If he's fat or a little bit chubby, you can call him Bob.
If he's chinese you can call him, leng chai which means handsome dude. He wont think you're gay.

Fried =Goreng
Rice =Nasi
Ice = Ais

Chicken Rice = Nasi Ayam
Fried Rice = Nasi Goreng
Iced tea = Teh Ais
Iced Milo = Milo Ais
Sickly sweet hot white tea with foam = Teh Tarik (Tah-rick)
Iced tea with no milk = teh O Ais
iced milo with no milk = Milo O Ais
Souther Indian pancakes = roti chanai
dhall sauce or curry sauce = dhall or kari
Fried noodles = mee goreng

Thats only scratching the surface of speaking Malaysian. Some of these tips work when you visit Singapore too. However drop the LAH at the end of your sentences, but use LEH or MEH from time to time. If you are unsure how to use them, listen how the locals speak. You will get it in no time.

Right now its lunch time.
I'd like to have the fried noodles with a cup of iced tea and I will have it takeaway as I shall eat it at my table.
Malaysian: Lunch! I wan mee goreng wit teh ais. Tarpau ah!

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