Malay phrasebook

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Malay (Bahasa Melayu) is the sole official language of Malaysia and Brunei, and one of the four official languages in Singapore. Standard Malay (bahasa baku, which literally means "standard language", and formally called Bahasa Melayu Baku) is closely related to Indonesian, and speakers of both languages can generally understand each other. The main differences are in the loan words: Malay was more influenced by English, while Indonesian was more influenced by Dutch.

Grammar[edit]

Malay word order is subject-verb-object like English. There are no grammatical gender, or verb conjugation for person, number or tense, all of which are expressed with adverbs or tense indicators: saya makan, `I eat' (now), saya sudah makan, `I have already eaten' = `I ate', saya akan makan = `I will eat'.

A characteristic of Malay is that it is a so-called agglutinative language, which means that the suffixes are all attached to a base root. So a word can become very long. For example there is a base word hasil which means `result'. But it can be extended as far as ketidakberhasilannya, which means his/her failure.

Note that Malay has two words which are equivalent to the English 'we'. If you intend to include the person(s) you are addressing, the word to use is kita. If the subject does not include your listener(s), then the correct word would be kami.

Writing[edit]

Malay can be written using two scripts; the Roman alphabet, known as Rumi as well as an Arabic-derived script known as Jawi. Today, Rumi is the more commonly used script, and is the official Malay script used in Singapore and Malaysia. In Brunei, Rumi and Jawi are co-official, though Rumi is by far the more commonly used script in daily life. In Malaysia, Jawi is still used in Islamic religious publications and in the state of Kelantan, which has been ruled by PAS (the Islamic Party of Malaysia) for decades, but visitors can get by with Rumi everywhere in the country.

Pronunciation guide[edit]

Malay is very easy to pronounce: it has one of the most phonetic writing systems in the world, with only a small number of simple consonants and relatively few vowel sounds. One peculiarity of the spelling is the lack for a separate sign to denote the schwa. It is written as an 'e' or as an 'a' at the ends of words, which can sometimes be confusing. (If you have plans to visit Kelantan, note that Kelantanese varies considerably in pronunciation and somewhat in vocabulary from standard Malay, but though the local dialect is widely used and promoted in the state, standard Malay is generally well understood there.)

Vowels[edit]

like 'a' in `father', except at the ends of words, where it's a schwa in Singapore and most parts of Peninsular Malaysia other than Kedah and Kelantan (e.g., nama, the word for `name', has an 'a' as in `father' in the first syllable and a schwa in the second)
ê 
like 'e' in `vowel' (schwa)
e, é 
like 'e' in `bed'; the difference between a schwa and an e used to be indicated in writing a long time ago but has not been since the 1960s or earlier.
like 'ee' in `beet', sometimes like 'i' in `thin' in unstressed syllables; in final `ih' and `ik' combinations, like `eh'
like 'ow' in `low', but without the `w' sound
like 'oo' in `hoop', in open positions or like 'o' in `hope' in close positions, such as in final `uh' and `uk' combinations

Consonants[edit]

like 'b' in `bed'
like 'ch' in `China'
ch 
old spelling of c
like 'd' in `dog'
like 'ph' in `phone'; can also be pronounced like 'p' in 'pig'.
like 'g' in `go'
like 'h' in `help'; initial `h' is not always pronounced in some dialects
like 'j' in `jug'; in older romanizations also the vowel i
like 'c' in `cat'; at ends of words, a glottal stop like the stop some people use to pronounce `something' as `sump'n'
kh 
like 'ch' in `loch' or 'c' in `cat'
like 'l' in `love'
like 'm' in `mother'
like 'n' in `nice'
ng 
like 'ng' in `long'. Never pronounced with a hard 'g'
ngg 
like 'ng' in `monger'. Always includes a hard 'g'
ny 
like 'ni' in `onion'
like 'p' in `pig'; unaspirated (i.e., no explosive sound) at the ends of words
like 'q' in `quest' (most commonly with `u', and only in Arabic borrowings)
like 'r' in `rat', but starting with the tongue just behind the upper teeth, never formed with the lips
like 'ss' in `hiss'
sy 
like 'sh' in `sheep'
like 't' in `top'; unaspirated (i.e., no explosive sound) at the ends of words
like 'ph' in `phone' (only used in loanwords)
like 'w' in `weight'
like 'cks' in `kicks' (only used in loanwords)
like 'y' in `yes'
like 's' in `hiss', like 'z' in `haze', like 'j' in `jam'

Common diphthongs[edit]

ai 
like the word `I' (except in Kelantan)
au 
like 'ow' in `cow'
oi 
like 'oy' in `boy'

Note: Besides the above diphthongs, when two vowels appear next to each other, they must generally be pronounced as separate syllables.

Note[edit]

In the pseudo-pronunciations below, glottal stops are shown as apostrophes, usually at the ends of words. Unaspirated consonants (always the letters T or P, usually at the ends of words) are shown in parentheses.

Phrase list[edit]

Basics[edit]

Common signs


BUKA 
Open
TUTUP 
Closed
MASUK 
Entrance
KELUAR 
Exit
TOLAK 
Push
TARIK 
Pull
TANDAS 
Toilet
LELAKI 
Men
WANITA 
Women
DILARANG MASUK
No Entry

Tak nak?

Colloquial Malay shortens commonly used words mercilessly.

sudah → dah 
already
tidak → tak 
no
hendak → nak 
to want
aku → ku 
I (familiar) (the word `aku' is used only to address familiars like siblings or close friends. Don't use this word when you are with elders.)
kamu → mu 
you (familiar)

-ku and -mu also act as suffixes: keretaku is short for kereta aku, `my car'.

engkau → kau 
you (usually only for addressing God or possibly someone that you are close to like siblings or close friends in some areas)

Referring to others politely

Some people may consider all Malay terms for `you' impolite, so in some places, the English `you' can be used, or you can opt for an honorific:

Encik (male) / Puan/Cik (female)
adults. Defaulting to this is usually safe.
Abang/Bang (male) / Kakak/Kak (female)
slightly older people, but still in the same age group, E.g. school seniors
Adik/Dik
younger people.

It is also safe to call people by their age group, such as `Pak Cik' (an older man) or `Mak Cik' (an older woman) or by their title, such as `Datuk' or `Datin' for distinguished gentlemen and ladies, respectively.

Hello. 
Helo. (Hello)
Hello. (informal
Hai. (Hi)
Hello. (Muslim
Assalamualaikum (AH-Ssal-ah-moo AAH-la-ee-koom). Note: If anyone says this to you, whether you are Muslim or not, answer `Alaikum wassalam', thus returning the wish of peace that was bestowed upon you. Not doing so is a serious breach of etiquette.
How are you? 
(Literally: What news?) Apa khabar? (AH-puh KAH-bar?)
Fine. 
Khabar baik. (Literally: Good news.) (KAH-bar BUY'.)
What is your name? 
Siapa nama awak? (see-AH-puh NAH-muh AH-wah'?')
My name is ______ . 
Nama saya ______ . (NAH-muh SAH-yuh _____ .)
I am happy to meet you. 
Saya gembira berjumpa awak. (SAH-yuh gum-BEER-uh buhr-JOOM-puh AH-wah')
Please. 
Sila. (SEE-luh) As in `Please sit down' (`Sila duduk' [SEE-luh doo-DOO'])
Please (request, such as for someone to do something for you). 
Tolong. (TOH-long) Note: `Tolong' literally means `help.' It is the more common word for `please', but has a different connotation from `sila'.
Thank you. 
Terima kasih. (TREE-muh KAH-seh)
You're welcome. 
Sama-sama. (SAH-muh SAH-muh)
Yes. 
Ya. (YUH)
No. 
Tidak. (TEE-dah') or Tak (TAH')
Don't (as a command) 
Jangan (JAH-ngahn)
Not 
Bukan (boo-KAHN)
Maybe 
Boleh jadi. (BO-leh JAH-dee)
And 
Dan (dahn)
But 
Tapi or tetapi (tah-PEE)
Or 
Atau (ah-TAHW)
Also 
Juga (JOO-guh)
With 
Dengan (DUH-gnahn)
Without 
Tanpa (TAHN-puh)
Excuse me (begging pardon). 
Maaf. (mah'AHF)
I'm sorry. 
Maafkan saya. (mah'AHF-kahn SAH-yuh)
Goodbye 
Selamat tinggal. (SLAH-mah(t) ting-GAHL), Selamat jalan (SLAH-mah(t) JAH-lahn) Usage note: `Selamat tinggal' means `Safe stay', while `Selamat jalan' means `Safe trip', so whoever is leaving uses the former expression and whoever is staying replies with the latter expression.
I can't speak Malay [well]. 
Saya tidak boleh cakap Bahasa Malaysia/Bahasa Melayu [baik]. (SAH-yuh TEE-dah' bo-leh CHAH-kah(p) ba-HAH-suh muh-LAY-shuh [BUY'])
(Do you) speak English? 
(Anda boleh) cakap Bahasa Inggeris? (CHAH-kah(p) ba-HAH-suh ING-grees)
Is there someone...? 
Ada sesiapa...?
Is there someone who speaks English here? 
Ada sesiapa yang boleh cakap Bahasa Inggeris di sini? (AH-duh suh-SYA-puh yahng BOH-leh CHAH-kah(p) ba-HAH-suh ING-grees dee-SEE-nee)
Help! 
Tolong! (TOH-lohng)
Look out! 
Awas! (AH-wahs)
Good morning. 
Selamat pagi. (SLAH-mah(t) PAH-gee)
Good afternoon. 
Selamat tengah hari. (…teng-ah HAH-ree)
Good evening. 
Selamat petang. (…puh-TAHNG)
Good night. 
Selamat malam. (…MAH-lam) Usage note: `Selamat malam' is also used when saying `Good evening' after dark.
Good night (to sleep
Selamat tidur. (…TEE-dor)
I don't understand. 
Saya tak faham. (SAH-yuh tah' fah-HAHM)
Where is the toilet? 
Di mana tandas? (dee-MAH-nuh TAHN-dahs); on the East Coast of the Peninsula (e.g., Kelantan, Terengganu): Di mana jamban? (...JAHM-bahn). On the East Coast, `tandas' is considered stilted, but do not use `jamban' on the West Coast, where it's considered crude.

Persons[edit]

I/me 
Saya (SAH-yuh)
We/us 
Kami (KAH-mee), Kita (KEE-tuh). Usage note: Kami is used for 'us but not you'; kita is used for 'everyone present'.
You  
Anda/awak (AHN-duh / AH-wak)
He/she 
Dia (DEE-uh)
Him/her 
Dia
They 
Mereka (muh-REH-kuh)
Them 
Mereka

Problems[edit]

Don't bother me. 
Jangan ganggu saya. (JAH-ngahn GAHN-goo SAH-yuh)
Get lost! 
Berambus! (...)
Don't touch me! 
Jangan jamah saya! (JAH-ngahn JAH-mah SAH-yuh)
I'll call the police. 
Saya akan panggil polis. (SAH-yuh AH-kahn PANG-geel po-LEES)
Police! 
Polis! (...)
Help! 
Tolong! (TOH-lohng)
Stop! Rapist! 
Berhenti! Perogol! (...)
Stop! Thief! 
Berhenti! Pencuri! (bur-HEHN-tee! pun-CHOO-ree!)
Please help me. 
Tolonglah saya. (TOH-lohng-lah SAH-yuh)
It's an emergency. 
Ini kecemasan. (...)
I'm lost. 
Saya tersesat. (SAH-yuh tuhr-SEH-sah(t))
I lost my bag. 
Saya hilang beg saya. (SAH-yuh HEE-lahng BEHG SAH-yuh)
I lost my wallet. 
Saya hilang dompet saya. (...)
I'm sick. 
Saya sakit. (SAH-yuh SAH-kee(t))
I feel dizzy. 
Saya rasa pening kepala. (SAH-yuh RAH-suh PUH-ning kuh-PAH-luh)
I've been injured. 
Saya terluka. (SAH-yuh tuhr-LOO-kuh)
I'm bleeding. 
Saya berdarah. (SAH-yuh bur-DAH-rah)
I need a doctor. 
Saya perlu doktor. (SAH-yuh per-LOO DOHK-tohr)
Can I use your phone? 
Boleh saya guna telefon awak? (BO-leh SAH-yuh GOO-nuh TE-le-phone AH-wah')

Numbers[edit]

sifar (formal)/kosong (colloquial, lit. empty)
satu/se (as in 'satu' ringgit or 'se'ringgit, see below)
dua
tiga
empat
lima
enam
tujuh
lapan
sembilan
10 
sepuluh (see 'satu' above)
11 
sebelas
12 
dua belas
13 
tiga belas
14 
empat belas
20 
dua puluh
21 
dua puluh satu
22 
dua puluh dua
23 
dua puluh tiga
30 
tiga puluh
40 
empat puluh
50 
lima puluh
100 
seratus
200 
dua ratus
300 
tiga ratus
1000 
seribu
1100 
seribu seratus
1152 
seribu seratus lima puluh dua
1200 
seribu dua ratus
1500 
seribu lima ratus
2000 
dua ribu
2100 
dua ribu seratus
10,000 
sepuluh ribu
20,000 
dua puluh ribu
100,000 
seratus ribu
150,000 
seratus lima puluh ribu
156,125 
seratus lima puluh enam ribu seratus dua puluh lima
250,000 
dua ratus lima puluh ribu / Suku juta (quarter of a million)
500,000 
lima ratus ribu / setengah juta (half a million)
1,000,000 
sejuta
1,150,000 
sejuta seratus lima puluh ribu
1,250,000 
sejuta dua ratus lima puluh ribu
1,500,000 
sejuta lima ratus ribu
1,750,000 
sejuta tujuh ratus lima puluh ribu
2,000,000 
dua juta
100,000,000 
seratus juta
1,000,000,000 
satu bilion
1,000,000,000,000 
satu trilion
number _____ (train, bus, etc.
(keretapi, bas) nombor _____ (...)
half 
setengah (...)
quarter 
suku (...)
third 
pertiga (...)
three quarter 
tiga suku (...)
less 
kurang (...)
more 
lebih (...)
roughly (more or less) 
lebih kurang

Time[edit]

now 
sekarang (...)
later 
nanti (...)
before 
sebelum (...)
after 
selepas (...)
already 
sudah (SOO-dah) or dah
not yet 
belum (buh-LEUHM). The 'u' is like the `oo' in `foot'
morning 
pagi (0.00 – 10.30) (...)
midday 
tengah hari (10.30 – 15.00) (...)
afternoon 
petang (15.00 – 19.00) (...)
night 
malam (19.00 – 0.00) (...)
dawn 
subuh / fajar (4.00 - 6.00) (...)
dusk 
maghrib / senja (18.00 - 19.00)

Clock time[edit]

one o'clock AM 
pukul satu pagi (...)
two o'clock AM 
pukul dua pagi (...)
noon 
tengah hari (...)
one o'clock PM 
pukul satu petang (...)
two o'clock PM 
pukul dua petang (...)
midnight 
tengah malam (...)

Duration[edit]

_____ second(s) 
_____ saat (SAH'ah(t))
_____ minute(s) 
_____ minit (MI-ni(t))
_____ hour(s) 
_____ jam (jahm)
_____ day(s) 
_____ hari (HAH-ree)
_____ week(s) 
_____ minggu (MEENG-goo)
_____ month(s) 
_____ bulan (BOO-lahn)
_____ year(s) 
_____ tahun (tah-HOON)
_____ hour(s) and _____ minute(s) 
If the minute is in numbers, _____jam _____ minit. If the minute is expressed as a fraction of the hour e.g two and a half hour: dua jam setengah. (NOT dua setengah jam)

Days[edit]

today 
hari ini (HAH-ree EE-nee)
yesterday 
In peninsular Malaysia: semalam (suh-MAH-lahm), kelmarin (kuh-MAR-reen) (in Borneo and traditionally in parts of the East Coast of the Peninsula)
the day before yesterday 
kelmarin or kelmarin dulu
tomorrow 
besok (Bay-SOH') or esok
the day after tomorrow 
lusa (LOO-suh)
three days after today 
tulat (...)
this week 
minggu ini (MEENG-goo EE-nee)
last week 
minggu lepas (MEENG-goo luh-PAHS)
next week 
minggu depan (MEENG-goo deh-PAHN)
Sunday 
Ahad (AH-hahd)
Monday 
Isnin (EES-neen)
Tuesday 
Selasa (SLAH-suh)
Wednesday 
Rabu (RAH-boo)
Thursday 
Khamis (KAH-mees)
Friday 
Jumaat (joom-MAH-ah(t))
Saturday 
Sabtu (SAHB-too)

Months[edit]

January 
Januari (...)
February 
Februari (...)
March 
Mac (MAHCH)
April 
April (...)
May 
Mei (...)
June 
Jun (JOON)
July 
Julai (JOOL-ly)
August 
Ogos (oh-GOOS)
September 
September (...)
October 
Oktober (...)
November 
November (...)
December 
Disember (dee-SEM-burr)

Writing time and date[edit]

Writing time[edit]
1.00 
pukul satu (POO-kool SAH-too)
1.01 
pukul satu, satu minit
1.15 
pukul satu suku
1.20 
pukul satu dua puluh
1.30 
pukul satu setengah (POO-kool SAH-too suh-TEH-ngah)
1.40 
pukul satu empat puluh
1.45 
pukul satu empat puluh lima
The hours are written from zero to 12. So 06.00 PM is written as 6.00PM or 6.00 petang.
Date[edit]

First one should write the day, after that the month and then the year. (format: dd MM yyyy)

August 17th 1945 
17 Ogos 1945

Colors[edit]

black 
hitam (HEE-tahm)
white 
putih (POO-teh)
gray 
kelabu (kuh-LAH-boo)
red 
merah (MAY-ruh)
blue 
biru (BEE-roo)
yellow 
kuning (KOO-neeng)
green 
hijau (HEE-jow)
orange 
jingga/oren (JING-guh/OH-ren)
purple 
ungu (OONG-oo)
light brown 
perang (PAY-rahng)
dark brown 
coklat (CHOCK-ah-la(t))

Transportation[edit]

Bus and train[edit]

How much is a ticket to _____? 
Berapa harga tiket ke _____? (buh-RAH-puh HAHR-guh TEE-ke(t) kuh _____)
I want to buy one ticket to _____. 
Saya nak beli satu tiket ke _____. (SAH-yuh nah' blee SAH-too TEE-ke(t) kuh _____)
Where does this train/bus go? 
Tren/bas ini pergi ke mana? (tren/bahs EE-nee puhr-GEE kuh-MAH-nuh)
Where is the train/bus to _____? 
Di mana tren/bas ke _____? (...)
Does this train/bus stop in _____? 
Tren/bas ini berhenti di _____? (tren/bahs EE-nee buhr-HEN-tee dee ______)
What time does the train/bus leave for _____? 
Bilakah tren/bas pergi ke _____? (...)
When will this train/bus arrive in _____? 
Bilakah tren/bas ini sampai di _____? (...)

Directions[edit]

How do I get to _____ ? 
Bagaimana saya dapat pergi ke _____ ? (...)
...the train station? 
...stesen keretaa api? (STEH-shen kuh-reh-TAH-pee)
...the bus station? 
...terminal/stesen bas? (...)
...the airport? 
...lapangan terbang? (LAH-pah-ngahn TUHR-bahng)
...downtown? 
...kota/pekan? (...)
...the _____ hotel? 
... hotel _____ ? (...)
...the American/Canadian/Australian/British embassy/consulate? 
... Kedutaan / Konsulat Amerika Syarikat/ Australia / British / Kanada? (kuh-DOO-tuh-ahn)
Where are there a lot of... 
Di mana ada banyak... (...)
...hotels? 
...hotel? (...)
...restaurants? 
...restoran? (...)
...bars? 
...bar? (...)
...sites to see? 
...tempat menarik? (...)
Please show me on the map. 
Tolong tunjukkan pada peta. (TOH-lohng TOON-joo'-kahn dee PUH-tuh)
street 
jalan (...)
Turn left. 
Pusing kiri. (POO-sing KEE-ree)
Turn right. 
Pusing kanan. (POO-sing KAH-nahn)
left 
kiri (...)
right 
kanan (...)
straight ahead 
terus (tuh-ROOS)
towards the _____ 
menuju _____ (muh-NOO-joo)
past the _____ 
melepasi _____ (...)
before the _____ 
sebelum _____ (suh-BLOOM)
Watch for the _____. 
Perhatikan _____. (...)
intersection 
persilangan (...)
north 
utara (oo-TAH-ruh)
south 
selatan (suh-LAH-tahn)
east 
timur (TEE-mohr)
west 
barat (BAH-rah(t))
north-east 
timur laut (TEE-mohr LA-u(t))
north-west 
barat laut (BAH-raht LA-u(t))
south-east 
tenggara (tuhng-GAH-rah)
south-west 
barat daya (BAH-raht DA-ya)

Taxi[edit]

Taxi! 
Teksi! (TEH'-see)
I want to go to _____. 
Saya nak/mahu pergi ke _____. (...)
How much does it cost to get to _____? 
Berapa harganya ke _____? (...)
Take me there, please. 
Tolong hantar saya ke sana. (...)

Lodging[edit]

Do you have any rooms available? 
Ada bilik kosong? (AH-duh BEE-leh' KOH-sohng?)
How much is a room for one person/two people? 
Berapa harga bilik untuk seorang/dua orang? (buh-RAH-puh HAHR-guh BEE-leh' oon-TUH' suh-OH-rahng/DOO-uh OH-rahng)
Does the room come with... 
Adakah ini termasuk... (...)
...bedsheets? 
...alas/sarong tilam? (...)
...a bathroom? 
...bilik mandi? (...)
...a telephone? 
...telefon? (...)
...a TV? 
...TV? (tee-vEE)
May I see the room first? 
Boleh lihat bilik dulu? (...)
Do you have anything quieter? 
Ada yang lebih sunyi? (...)
Do you have a room which is... 
Ada bilik yang... (...)
...bigger? 
... lebih besar? (leh-beh buh-SAHR)
...cleaner? 
...lebih bersih? (bur-SEH)
...cheaper? 
...lebih murah? (MOO-rah)
Alright. 
Baiklah. (BUY'-lah)
I will stay for _____ night(s). 
Saya akan tinggal untuk _____ malam. (SAH-yuh AH-kahn TING-gahl oon-tuh'_____ MAH-lahm)
Can you suggest another hotel? 
Boleh cadangkan hotel lain? (...)
Do you have a safe? 
Awak/anda ada peti besi? (...)
Do you have lockers? 
Awak/anda ada peti berkunci? (...)
Is breakfast/supper included? 
Sudah termasuk sarapan/makan malam? (...)
What time is breakfast/supper (dinner)? 
Pukul berapa waktu sarapan/makan malam? (...)
Please clean my room. 
Tolong bersihkan bilik saya. (...)
Can you wake me at _____? 
Boleh tolong bangunkan saya pada pukul _____? (...)
I want to check out. 
Saya nak/mahu daftar keluar. (...)

Money[edit]

Do you accept American/Australian/Canadian dollars here? 
Adakah anda menerima dolar Amerika / Australia / Kanada di sini? (...)
Do you accept British pounds? 
Adakah anda menerima paun British? (...)
Can I use a credit card? 
Boleh saya boleh guna kad kredit? (...)
Can I change money? 
Boleh saya tukar wang? (...)
Where can I get money changed? 
Di mana boleh saya tukar wang? (...)
Can you change a traveler's check for me? 
Boleh anda tukar cek kembara untuk saya? (...)
Where can I get a traveler's check changed? 
Di mana boleh saya tukar cek kembara? (...)
What is the exchange rate? 
Apa kadar tukaran wang? (...)
Where is an automatic teller machine (ATM)? 
Di mana ada ATM? (dee MAH-nuh AH-duh EY-TEE-EM)

Eating[edit]

eat 
makan (MAH-kahn)
sweet 
manis (mah-NEES)
sour 
masam (MAH-sahm)
bitter 
pahit (pah-HEE(T))
salty 
masin (MAH-seen) or asin
spicy 
pedas (puh-DAHS)
bland/tasteless 
tawar (TAH-wahr)
hot (temperature) 
panas (pah-NAHS)
cold 
sejuk (suh-JO')
Please give me a table for one person/two people. 
Tolong beri saya satu meja untuk seorang/dua orang. (TOH-lohng buh-REE SAH-yuh SAH-too MEH-juh oon-TOK suh-OH-rahng/DOO-uh OH-rahng)
May I look at the menu? 
Boleh saya lihat menu? (boh-leh LEE-hah(t) MEH-noo)
Is there a house specialty? 
Ada makanan istimewa di sini? (AH-duh mah-KAH-nahn ees-tee-MEH-wuh dee SEE-nee)
Is there a local specialty? 
Ada makanan tempatan khas? (...)
I'm a vegetarian. 
Saya seorang vegetarian/saya tidak makan daging (literally "I do not eat meat"). (...)
I don't eat meat, chicken or seafood. 
Saya tidak makan daging, ayam atau makanan laut. (SAH-yuh TEE-dah' MAH-kahn DAH-ging, AH-yahm ah-tahw mah-KAH-nahn LOU(T))
I don't eat pork. 
Saya tidak makan babi. (BAH-bee)
I don't eat beef. 
Saya tidak makan daging lembu. (DAH-ging LUHM-boo)
Can you make it `lite', please? (=less oil/butter
Boleh kurangkan minyak / mentega? (...)
I want _____. 
Saya nak _____. (SAH-yuh NAH')
I want a dish containing _____. 
Saya nak makanan yang mengandungi _____. (...)
I am allergic to _____. 
Saya alah kepada ________.
chicken 
ayam (AH-yahm)
meat 
daging (DAH-ging)
beef 
daging lembu (...LUHM-boo)
pork 
daging babi (...BAH-bee)
goat 
kambing (KAHM-bing)
fish 
ikan (EE-kahn)
shrimp/prawn 
udang (OO-dahng)
crab 
ketam (keh-TAHM)
squid 
sotong (SOH-tohng)
cuttlefish 
sotong katak (SOH-tohng KAH-tah')
ham 
ham (...)
sausage 
sosej (...)
cheese 
keju (KAY-joo)
eggs 
telur (TEH-loor)
salad 
salad (...)
(fresh) vegetables 
sayur (SAH-yohr) (Note: Sayur is a specific kind of dish on the East Coast of the Peninsula.)
cucumber 
timun (TEE-moon)
water spinach (a common green, leafy vegetable) 
kangkung (kahng-KOHNG)
amaranth/spinach 
bayam (BAH-yahm)
squash 
labu (LAH-boo)
bean 
kacang (KAH-chahng)
long bean 
kacang panjang (...pahn-JAHNG)
potato 
ubi kentang (OO-bee KUHN-tahng)
cassava 
ubi kayu (...KAH-yoo)
purple yam 
ubi keladi (...kuh-LAH-dee)
sweet potato 
ubi keledek (...kuh-LEH-deh')
onion 
bawang besar (BAH-wahng bih-SAHR)
garlic 
bawang putih (...POO-teh)
shallot 
bawang merah (...MEH-rah)
(fresh) fruit 
buah (BOO-ah)

Note: Fruits are often called `buah' and then the name.

banana 
pisang (PEE-sahng)
watermelon 
tembikai or timun cina (TUHM-bee-KYE/TEE-moon CHEE-nuh)
mango 
mangga/kuini/pauh - 3 varieties in descending order of deliciousness per local opinion (MAHNG-guh/KWEE-nee/POWH)
jackfruit 
nangka/cempedak - 2 different varieties; nangka is the standard one and cempedak is stronger-tasting and not as sweet (NAHNG-kuh/CHUHM-puh-dah')
pineapple 
nanas (NAH-nahs)
guava 
jambu (JAHM-boo)
mangosteen 
manggis (MAHNG-geese)
lime 
limau (LEE-mahw)
starfruit/carambola 
belimbing (buh-LIM-bing)

Rambutan and durian, also English words, are the Malay names for those fruits.

coconut 
kelapa/nyior (kuh-LAH-puh/NYOR)
peanut 
kacang tanah
seed 
biji
bread 
roti (ROH-tee)
toast 
roti bakar (literally, "burnt/charred bread") (...BAH-kahr)
rice 
nasi (=cooked rice)/beras (=raw rice) (NAH-see/buh-RAHS)
noodle(s) 
mi (just like the English word `me')
May I have some _____? 
Boleh saya dapatkan _____? (...)
Can you please add ____? 
Boleh anda tambah _____?
salt 
garam (GAH-rahm)
sugar 
gula (GOO-luh)
black pepper 
lada hitam (LAH-duh HEE-tahm)
chili pepper 
lada
fresh chili pepper 
lada hidup
dried chili pepper 
lada kering
cinnamon 
kayu manis (KAH-yoo mah-NEES)
cloves 
bunga cengkeh (BOO-nguh CHENG-keh) or cengkeh
nutmeg 
buah pala (BOO-ah PAH-luh)
turmeric 
kunyit (KOON-yi(t))
shrimp paste 
belacan (buh-LAH-chahn)
fish sauce 
budu (BOO-doo)
soy sauce 
kicap (KEE-chah(p))
butter 
mentega (muhn-TEY-gah)
oil 
minyak (MEAN-yah')
curry 
gulai (GOO-lye)
sour, with a tamarind base 
asam (AH-sahm)
fry/fried 
goreng (GO-rehng)
roast(ed) 
panggang (PAHNG-gahng or pahng-GAHNG)
bake(d), charred over a wooden fire 
bakar (BAH-kahr)
boil(ed) 
rebus (reh-BOOS)
dry/dried 
kering (kring)
sauce, gravy 
kuah (KOO-ah)
Excuse me, waiter? (getting attention of server)
Encik! (male) Cik! (female) Mek! (young female in Kelantan and Terengganu) (...)
I'm finished (eating). 
Saya sudah habis (makan). (hah-BEES)
I'm full. 
Saya kenyang. (SAH-yuh KUH-nyahng)
It was delicious. 
Sedaplah. (suh-DAHP-lah)
I liked it very much 
Saya suka sangat. (SAH-yuh SOO-kuh sah-NGAH(T))
It's too bitter. 
Terlalu pahit. (tuhr-LAH-loo pah-HEE(T))
It's too spicy. 
Terlalu pedas. (puh-DAHS)
It's too hot (in temperature). 
Terlalu panas. (pah-NAHS)
What did you put? 
Apa yang awak letak?
There's a fly in my soup. 
Ada lalat dalam sup saya. (ah-duh LAH-lah(t) dah-lahm SOO(P) SAH-yuh)
That's enough. 
Cukuplah. (choo-KOO(P)-lah)
I want a refund. 
Saya mahu ganti rugi.
Please clear the plates. 
Tolong ambil pinggan. (...)
Please clean the table 
Tolong bersihkan meja (...)
When will my order be ready? 
Bilakah pesanan saya akan sedia?
I would like to take away (literally, package) the food. 
Saya nak bungkuskan makanan. (BOONG-koos-kahn mah-KAHN-ahn)
The check/bill, please. 
Boleh saya dapatkan bil sekarang? (...)
I don't have change. 
Saya tak ada duit kecil. (DOO-i(t) kuh-CHEEL)
Can I pay by credit card? 
Boleh saya bayar dengan kad kredit? (BOH-leh SAH-yuh bah-YAHR DUH-ngahn kahd KRE-dee(t))

Drinking[edit]

drink 
minum (MEE-noom)
I want a glass of _____. 
Saya nak/mahu ('nak' is shortened form of 'hendak') segelas _____. (...)
I want a cup of _____. 
Saya nak/mahu secawan_____. (...)
I want a bottle of _____. 
Saya nak sebotol _____. (...)
water 
air (Just like the English word `I')
coffee 
kopi (...)
tea (drink
teh (...)
milk 
susu (SOO-soo)
juice 
jus (...), or use `air', the Malay word for `water', plus the name of the fruit (e.g., `air oren' is orange juice)
soft drink 
minuman ringan (...) (or use brand name instead, eg Coke/Sprite)
beer 
bir (...)
hard liquor 
arak (AH-rah')
red/white wine 
wain merah/ putih (...)
Is there alcohol here, (too)? 
Ada alkohol di sini (juga)? (AH-duh AHL-ko-hohl dee-SEE-nee JOO-guh)
A beer/two beers, please. 
Tolong berikan satu/dua bir. (...)
A glass of red/white wine, please. 
Tolong berikan satu gelas wain merah/putih. (...)
A bottle, please. 
Tolong berikan sebotol. (...)
_____ (hard liquor) and _____ (mixer), please. 
_____ and _____, please. (...)
whisky 
wiski (...)
vodka 
vodka (...)
rum 
ram ('a' as in 'father') (...)
water 
air (Just like the English word I)
club soda 
club soda (...)
tonic water 
air tonik (...)
orange juice 
jus oren (...)
Coke (soda
Coca-cola (...)
Do you have any bar snacks? 
Ada makanan ringan? (...)
I want another one. 
Saya nak/mahu satu lagi. (...)
When is closing time? 
Tutup pukul berapa? (too-TOO(P) poo-kool buh-RAH-puh)

Shopping[edit]

Sell 
Jual (JOO-ahl)
Buy 
Beli (BLEE)
Do you have this in my size? 
Ada dalam saiz saya? (...)
How much is this? 
Berapa harga ini? (...)
Is this pirated? 
Ini bahan ciplak?
That's too expensive. 
Terlalu mahal. (...)
May I pay _____? 
Boleh saya bayar _____? (boh-leh BAH-yahr)
(too) expensive 
(terlalu) mahal (mah-HAHL)
cheap 
murah (MOO-rah)
I don't want it. 
Tak nak. (informal) / Saya tidak mahukannya. (formal) (...)
You're cheating me. 
Awak tipu saya? (...)
Don't lie. 
Jangan bohong.
Don't even think about it. 
Jangan harap.
Can you lower the price? 
Boleh kurangkan harganya?
The quality is not good. 
Kualitinya tidak baik.
I don't want that. 
Saya tak nak itu.
OK, I'll buy it. 
Baiklah, saya beli. (BUY'-lah, SAH-yuh buh-LEE)
Can I have a plastic bag? 
Ada beg plastik? (...)
It's cheaper over there. 
Di sana lebih murah.
Do you ship (overseas)? 
Boleh hantar (ke luar negeri)? (...)
I need... 
Saya perlu... (SAH-yuh puhr-LOO)
...toothpaste. 
...ubat gigi. (OH-baht GEE-gee)
...a toothbrush. 
...berus gigi. (...)
...condoms. 
...kondom. (...)
...tampons. 
...softeks / tuala wanita (literally "women's towel"). (...)
...soap. 
...sabun. (SAH-bohn)
...shampoo. 
...syampu. (...)
...pain reliever. (e.g., aspirin or ibuprofen
...ubat sakit (aspirin, panadol, …) (Note: ibuprofen and aspirin is not widely available. The usual pain killer is paracetamol, widely known by the brand name "panadol"). (...)
...cold medicine. 
...ubat selsema. (...)
...stomach medicine. 
...ubat sakit perut. (...)
...a razor. 
...pencukur / pisau cukur. (...)
...an umbrella. 
...payung. (PAH-young)
...a postcard. 
...poskad. (...)
...postage stamps. 
...setem. (...)
...batteries. 
...bateri. (...)
...(writing) paper. 
...kertas (tulis). (KUHR-tahs)
...a pen. 
... pen. (...)
...English-language books. 
...buku dalam Bahasa Inggeris. (...)
...English-language magazines. 
...majalah dalam Bahasa Inggeris. (...)
...an English-language newspaper. 
...surat khabar dalam Bahasa Inggeris. (...)
...an English-Malay dictionary. 
...kamus Inggeris-Melayu. (...)

Driving[edit]

What's that sign?


  • Jalan/Jalan Raya - Road (JAH-lahn)
  • Laman/Lorong - Small Road/Lane
  • Lebuh Raya - Highway (LEH-boh RAH-yuh)
  • Persiaran - Avenue
  • Bulatan - Roundabout (BOO-lah-tahn)
  • Jambatan - Bridge (JAHM-bah-tahn)
  • Jejambat - Flyover
  • Persilangan - Interchange
I want to rent a car. 
Saya nak/mahu sewa kereta. (SAH-yuh NAH' SEH-wuh kuh-REH-tuh)
Can I get insurance? 
Boleh saya dapatkan insurans? (BOH-leh SAh-yuh DA-pat-KAN in-SU-rance)
stop (on a street sign
berhenti (...)
one way 
jalan sehala (jah-lahn suh-HAH-luh)
no parking 
dilarang meletak kereta (dee-LAH-rahng muh-leh-tah' kuh-REH-tuh)
gas (petrol) station 
stesen minyak (...)
petrol 
petrol (...)
diesel 
diesel (...)

Authority[edit]

I haven't done anything wrong. 
Saya tidak buat sebarang salah. (SAH-yuh TEE-dah' BWAH(T) suh-BAH-rahng SAH-lah)
It's not my fault. 
Ini bukan salah saya. (EE-nee boo-KAHN SAH-lah SAH-yuh)
What's happening? 
Apa yang berlaku?
This was a misunderstanding. 
Ini salah faham. (EE-nee-lah SAH-lah fah-HAHM)
This is not fair. 
Ini tidak adil. (ee-nee TEE-dah' AH-deel)
Have pity on me. 
Kasihanlah saya (kuh-SEE-hahn-lah SAH-yuh) or kesiankanlah saya (informal)
What are you doing? 
Apa yang awak buat? (AH-puh yahng AH-wah' BWA(T))
Officer (when talking to a police officer) 
Tuan (=Sir) / Puan (=Ma'am) (TOO-ahn, POO-ahn)
Where are you taking me? 
Ke mana tuan/puan bawa saya ? (kuh-MAH-nuh TOO-ahn/POO-ahn BAH-wuh SAH-yuh)
Am I under arrest? 
Saya di tahan kah? (SAH-yuh dee TAH-hahn kah)
I am an American/Australian/British/Canadian citizen. 
Saya warganegara/rakyat (literally "people of") Amerika /Australia / Inggeris / Kanada. (SAH-yuh WAHR-guh-neh-GAH-ruh...)
Can I make a telephone call? 
Boleh saya buat panggilan telefon?
I want to talk to the American/Australian/British/Canadian embassy/consulate. 
Saya nak/mahu cakap dengan Kedutaan/Konsulat Amerika / Australia / British / Kanada. (SAH-yuh nah' CHAH-kah(p) DUH-ngahn kuh-DOO-tuh'-ahn/KOHN-soo-lah(t)...)
I want to talk to a lawyer. 
Saya nak/mahu cakap dengan peguam. (SAH-yuh nah' CHAH-kah(p) DUH-ngahn PUH-gwahm)
Can I just pay a fine here? 
Bolehkah saya membayar denda di sini saja? (boh-leh-kah SAH-yuh muhm-BAH-yahr DEHN-duh dee SEE-nee SAH-juh)
This is a guide phrasebook. It covers all the major topics for traveling without resorting to English. But please Plunge forward and help us make it a star!