Download GPX file for this article

From Wikivoyage
Jump to navigation Jump to search

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.

However, beware of false friends if you speak Indonesian, as some words are spelt and pronounced the same or very similarly, but have very different meanings. Examples include budak, which means 'child' in Malay but 'slave' in Indonesian, bisa, which means 'poison' in Malay and 'can'/'able' in Indonesian, and pusing, which means 'turn' in Malay but 'headache' in Indonesian (in Malay, 'pusing kepala' means dizziness, because your head [kepala] is turning, so to speak).

Tagalog, the main language of the Philippines, is also closely related to Malay, and while the two languages are not mutually intelligible, you will notice many cognates. There are also numerous false friends between Malay and Tagalog, such as Tagalog salamat (thank you) vs Malay selamat (safe; often used in greetings such as selamat pagi for "good morning" or selamat datang for "welcome"), Tagalog kiri (flirt) vs Malay kiri (left), Tagalog suka (vinegar) vs Malay suka (like) and Tagalog ulam (main dishes) vs Malay ulam (salad of leaves with shrimp paste and chili).

Grammar[edit]

Word order[edit]

Malay word order at its simplest level is subject-verb-object like English. There is no grammatical gender nor are there any verb conjugations for person, number or tense, all of which are expressed with adverbs or tense indicators: saya makan, 'I eat' (now), saya sudah makan, 'I already eat' = 'I ate', saya akan makan = 'I will eat'.

Malay word order does differ from English word order when words such as ini ('this'), itu ('that'), pronouns used as possessives or adjectives are used: buku ini (this book), budak itu (that child), kereta saya (my car), rumah kami (our [not including your] house), gunung tinggi (high mountain), bukit kecil (small hill), pisang goreng (fried banana). Ini buku means 'This is a book', saya kerata means 'I am a car', and goreng pisang refers to the act of frying a banana, so though people are likely to figure out from context what you mean if you use the wrong word order in these kinds of phrases, they may look at you funny.

Agglutinative structure[edit]

A characteristic of Malay is that it is a so-called agglutinative language, which means that the prefixes and 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, from tidak (no) hasil (result) and nya (belonging to him/her/it).

Pronouns[edit]

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.

Otherwise, simple personal pronouns are analogous to English usage, except that there is only one word for he, she and it: dia. Also, there are different levels of familiarity to pronouns for "I" and "you", all the way from forms only the sultan uses to forms that are only used when speaking to God, a lover and possibly the most intimate family members. In this phrasebook, we will deal with only polite and familiar forms of address, as you will have no occasion to use royal speech unless perhaps the Queen of England is reading this.

Writing[edit]

Malay can be written using two scripts: the Roman alphabet, known as Rumi, and 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 with the exception of religious publications, 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 of 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. Some basics of Kelantanese pronunciation have been given below, just in case you meet someone with a strong accent while visiting that state, but you should continue to emulate a standard accent when speaking there, as imitating the Kelantanese accent would come across as disrespectful.)

Vowels[edit]

a
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). In Kedah, the final 'a' is also 'a' as in 'father', whereas in Kelantanese dialect, it's like the sound of 'o' as described below.
ê
like 'e' in 'vowel' (schwa), sometimes barely pronounced at all when in the first syllable of a multi-syllable word
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.
i
like 'ee' in 'beet', sometimes like 'i' in 'thin' in unstressed syllables; in final 'ih' and 'ik' combinations, like 'eh'
o
like 'ow' in 'low', but without the 'w' sound
u
like 'oo' in 'hoop', in open positions or like 'o' in 'hope' in close positions, such as in final 'uh' and 'uk' combinations

Note: In Kelantanese dialect, 'ang', 'an' and 'am' at the ends of words are all pronounced like 'ay' as in 'day', but with no 'y' consonant. So, for example, the word 'jangan' ('don't') becomes more or less 'jah-NGEH'. Also, 'ah' at the ends of words is pronounced 'oh' and 'ak' as 'ok' (the 'o' vowel plus a glottal stop) in Kelantanese and traditionally in Terengganu dialect as well.

Consonants[edit]

b
like 'b' in 'bed'
c
like 'ch' in 'China'
ch
old spelling of c
d
like 'd' in 'dog'
f
like 'ph' in 'phone'; can also be pronounced like 'p' in 'pig'.
g
like 'g' in 'go'
h
like 'h' in 'help'; initial 'h' is not always pronounced in some dialects
j
like 'j' in 'jug'; in older romanizations also the vowel i
k
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'
l
like 'l' in 'love'
m
like 'm' in 'mother'
n
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'
p
like 'p' in 'pig'; unaspirated (i.e., no explosive sound) at the ends of words
q
like 'q' in 'quest' (most commonly with 'u', and only in Arabic borrowings)
r
like 'r' in 'rat', but starting with the tongue just behind the upper teeth, never formed with the lips
s
like 'ss' in 'hiss'
sy
like 'sh' in 'sheep'
t
like 't' in 'top'; unaspirated (i.e., no explosive sound) at the ends of words
v
like 'ph' in 'phone' (only used in loanwords)
w
like 'w' in 'weight'
x
like 'cks' in 'kicks' (only used in loanwords)
y
like 'y' in 'yes'
z
like 's' in 'hiss', like 'z' in 'haze', like 'j' in 'jam'

Common diphthongs[edit]

ai
like the English word 'I' (except in Kelantan, where this diphthong is similar to 'ay' in 'day')
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 or PEREMPUAN
Women
DILARANG MASUK
No Entry

Tak nak?

Colloquial Malay shortens commonly used words mercilessly.

sudah → dah
already
tidak → tak
no
hendak → nak
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)
literally older brother/sister. slightly older people, but still in the same age group, E.g. school seniors
Adik/Dik
literally younger brother/sister. younger people.
Bos
literally boss. can be used to address a shopkeeper
Kawan
literally friend. can be used to address anyone of similar age in an informal setting

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?
Apa khabar? (Literally: What news?) (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 or request)
Jangan (JAH-ngahn)
Not
Bukan (boo-KAHN)
Maybe
Boleh jadi. (BO-leh JAH-dee)
And
Dan (dahn)
But
Tapi (tah-PEE) or tetapi
Or
Atau (ah-TAHW)
Also
Juga (JOO-guh)
With
Dengan (DUH-ngahn)
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.
Because
Sebab (suh-BAHB)
Why
Mengapa (muhng-AH-puh) or sebab apa
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 (muh-LAH-yoo) [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/my
Saya (SAH-yuh) (formal); aku (AH-koo) (familiar).
We/us/our
Kami (KAH-mee), Kita (KEE-tuh). Usage note: Kami is used for 'us but not you'; kita is used for 'everyone present'.
You/your
Anda/awak (AHN-duh / AH-wak). Usage note: Anda is more formal than awak. The most common familiar word for "you" is kamu (KAH-moo).
He/she/it/him/his/her/its
Dia (DEE-uh)
They/them/their
Mereka (muh-REH-kuh)

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! (bur-HEHN-tee! puh-ROH-gohl!)
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. (ee-nee kuh-chuh-MAH-sahn)
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. (SAH-yuh HEE-lahng DOHM-peh(t) SAH-yuh)
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 DOH'-tohr)
Can I use your phone?
Boleh saya guna telefon anda? (BO-leh SAH-yuh GOO-nuh TEH-leh-fohn AHN-duh)

Numbers[edit]

Numbers in Malay are relatively straightforward, with the number system being largely analogous to English.

0
sifar (formal)/kosong (colloquial, lit. empty)
1
satu/se (as in 'satu ringgit' or 'seringgit', see below); the number by itself is 'satu', but when used in combination with any other word, 'se' is usually used as a prefix.
2
dua
3
tiga
4
empat
5
lima
6
enam
7
tujuh
8
lapan
9
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
1,000
seribu
1,100
seribu seratus
1,152
seribu seratus lima puluh dua
1,200
seribu dua ratus
1,500
seribu lima ratus
2,000
dua ribu
2,100
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 hours: dua jam setengah. (NOT dua setengah jam)

Days[edit]

today
hari ini (HAH-ree EE-nee)
yesterday
semalam (suh-MAH-lahm) (in Peninsular Malaysia); 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 duh-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-gohs)
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]

Here
Sini, di sini (SEE-nee, dee SEE-nee)
There (for example, across the room or across the street)
Situ, di situ (SEE-too, dee SEE-too)
Over there, yonder (for example, 50 miles away)
Sana, di sana (SAH-nuh, dee SAH-nuh)
To here
Ke sini (kuh SEE-nee)
To there
Ke sana
How do I get to _____ ?
Bagaimana saya dapat pergi ke _____ ? (...)
...the train station?
...stesen keretapi? (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 pah-duh PUH-tuh)
street
jalan (...)
Turn left.
Pusing kiri. (POO-sing KEE-ree) / Belok kiri. (BEH-lo' KEE-ree)
Turn right.
Pusing kanan. (POO-sing KAH-nahn) / Belok kanan. (BEH-lo' KAH-nahn)
left
kiri (...)
right
kanan (...)
front
hadapan
back
belakang
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-yuh)

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)/ ...televisyen?
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 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-TO' suh-OH-rahng/DOO-uh OH-rahng)
May I look at the menu?
Boleh saya lihat menu? (boh-leh SAH-yuh 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: On the East Coast of the Peninsula, sayur is a specific kind of dish, not just a generic word.)
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), char(red) over a wood 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 is/was delicious.
Sedaplah. (suh-DAH(P)-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 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') (...)
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 ini dalam saiz saya? (AH-duh EE-nee DAH-lahm size SAH-yuh)
How much is this?
Berapa harga ini? (buh-RAH-puh HAHR-guh EE-nee)
Is this pirated?
Ini bahan ciplak?
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) (TAH' NAH')
You're cheating me.
Awak tipu saya? (...)
Don't lie.
Jangan bohong. Note: Accusing someone of cheating or lying is very serious and shouldn't be done unless you have strong reasons to believe they are being dishonest, not just bargaining well. Deprecating the quality of an item is more acceptable as part of the bargaining process.
Don't even think about it.
Jangan harap.
Can you lower the price?
Boleh kurangkan harganya? (boh-LEH KOO-rahng-kahn HAHR-guh-nyuh)
The quality is not good.
Kualitinya tidak baik. (KWAH-lee-tee-nyuh TEE-dah' BUY')
I don't want that.
Saya tak nak itu. (SAH-yuh tah' nah' EE-too)
OK, I'll buy it.
Baiklah, saya beli. (BUY'-lah, SAH-yuh buh-LEE)
Can I have a plastic bag?
Ada beg plastik? (AH-duh behg PLAHS-tee')
It's cheaper over there.
Di sana lebih murah. (dee SAH-nuh leh-beh MOO-rah)
Do you ship (overseas)?
Boleh hantar (ke luar negeri)? (boh-leh HAHN-tahr [kuh loo-ahr NEH-gree])
I need...
Saya perlu... (SAH-yuh puhr-LOO)
...toothpaste.
...ubat gigi. (OH-baht GEE-gee)
...a toothbrush.
...berus gigi. (broos GEE-gee)
...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. (oh-baht sah-kee(t) puh-ROO(T))
...a razor.
...pencukur / pisau cukur. (...)
...an umbrella.
...payung. (PAH-young)
...a postcard.
...poskad. (...)
...postage stamps.
...setem. (STEHM)
...batteries.
...bateri. (BAH-tuh-ree)
...(writing) paper.
...kertas (tulis). (KUHR-tahs)
...a pen.
... pen. (...)
...English-language books.
...buku dalam Bahasa Inggeris. (boo-koo dah-lahm bah-hah-suh EENG-grees)
...English-language magazines.
...majalah dalam Bahasa Inggeris. (mah-JAH-lah...)
...an English-language newspaper.
...surat khabar dalam Bahasa Inggeris. (soo-raht KAH-bahr...)
...an English-Malay dictionary.
...kamus Inggeris-Melayu. (KAH-moos eeng-grees muh-LAH-yoo)

Driving[edit]

What's that sign?


  • Jalan/Jalan RayaRoad (JAH-lahn)
  • Laman/LorongSmall Road/Lane
  • Lebuh RayaHighway (LEH-boh RAH-yuh)
  • PersiaranAvenue
  • BulatanRoundabout (BOO-lah-tahn)
  • JambatanBridge (JAHM-bah-tahn)
  • JejambatFlyover
  • PersilanganInterchange
  • Jalan SehalaOne-Way Street (...suh-HAH-luh)
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-SOO-rahns)
stop (on a street sign)
berhenti (buhr-HEHN-tee)
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 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 ditahan 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 Malay phrasebook has guide status. It covers all the major topics for traveling without resorting to English. Please contribute and help us make it a star!