What comes to your mind when you come across the Malay word makanan? Some of you may know that it means food and you may know the name of your favourite Malay food. But what if I asked you to describe your breakfast in Malay? Do you know what is the word for breakfast in Malay and can you talk about the time and the people that you had breakfast with this morning?

If you find it a challenge to complete this task, it is a sign that you should expand your vocabulary in the Malay language.

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Going the distance with an enhanced Malay vocabulary

The process of learning and retaining vocabulary is important to bring your language learning journey to the next level. Without a broad vocabulary, you will only stick to simple expressions, simple words and find it difficult to catch up when you come across difficult words. Likewise, a limited vocabulary in Malay will demotivate you to listen, read, write and speak the language effectively.

Having a broad Malay vocabulary helps you to get your points across clearly and create more meaningful conversations. It also allows you to express yourself more diversely and creatively when you are writing and speaking.

Don't forget, your vocabulary helps you to build a foundation that develops a comprehensive language skillset, especially in terms of writing improvement in the Malay language. You will be able to write on different topics and formats accurately with a smooth flow.

Your enhanced Malay vocabulary allows you to switch flexibly between languages when you are communicating with a multicultural audience. Let’s say, you are an emcee for a Malay-speaking event.

You should consider the usage of certain jargon, salutations and vocabulary that is fitting for the event. Even though you can prepare your script in advance, there may be instances where you have to respond spontaneously to sudden changes and requests.

Public speaking Malay
Your true fluency in Malay can be seen when you need to give spontaneous speeches.
Source: Photo by ICSA from Pexels

That’s when you will see the relevance of having a strong vocabulary in Malay. You can be creative and confident by using several words interchangeably that have similar meanings instead of repeating the same words all the time.

Learning new Malay words and phrases can be fun by listing and categorizing words with opposite meanings. It is killing two birds with one stone! You learn new words and you get to connect two different words. The best part? You can use them freely when you are speaking or writing.

One way to kickstart this activity is to have a notebook with a list of Malay synonyms and antonyms and examples of sentences. Place the notebook near you and before you know it, you will be motivated to fill up all the pages with new words!

Effective methods to remember new vocabulary in Malay

A good memory plays an important role in any language learning. If you are unable to remember new words, you will not be able to use them in your daily conversation and write extensively on various topics. Here are some ways that you can consider to help you maximize your vocabulary retention when learning Malay.

1. Create strong relations between the vocabularies and images

Most of us can learn better with visuals as the saying goes, “A picture paints a thousand words.” Images act as a great stimulus when it comes to word correlation. It could also help our brains to remember and retain new information by categorizing vocabularies according to themes, situations and contexts

2. Record and listen by repetition

Believe it or not, listening is a great way to enhance your memory.  The simplest way to start is to read out the text aloud. This is a good listening practice that you can incorporate into your everyday life. To make it more effective, you can record yourself reading and listen to what you have read.

When you are listening, you can pay attention to the new words that you have not heard before and also note how the words are used in different sentence structures and settings. Research has shown that the practice of reading out loud (spoken words) helps people to remember what they read better.

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Nurul humaira izzati
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Cikgu faiz
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Christal
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RM45
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Nor asliza
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Qayyimah
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5 (1 reviews)
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RM30
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Fadhlin izzati
Fadhlin izzati
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/h
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Nurul afifah
5
5 (1 reviews)
Nurul afifah
RM45
/h
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1st lesson free!
Nurul humaira izzati
5
5 (6 reviews)
Nurul humaira izzati
RM20
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Cikgu faiz
5
5 (2 reviews)
Cikgu faiz
RM15
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Christal
5
5 (4 reviews)
Christal
RM45
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Nor asliza
5
5 (4 reviews)
Nor asliza
RM25
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Yogananthini
5
5 (3 reviews)
Yogananthini
RM30
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Qayyimah
5
5 (1 reviews)
Qayyimah
RM30
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Fadhlin izzati
Fadhlin izzati
RM40
/h
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1st lesson free!
Nurul afifah
5
5 (1 reviews)
Nurul afifah
RM45
/h
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1st lesson free!
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How to learn Malay words consistently and naturally

When it comes to learning Malay, it is essential to constantly improve your vocabulary retention. This is because as you progress from beginner’s level to intermediate level and later advanced level, you will be exposed to more complex words and sentence structures. Hence, it is important to set a good foundation by making it a daily habit to not only learn but to retain the Malay words that you have studied previously.

Here are two effective tips to increase your vocabulary retention.

1. Set a goal of learning at least a new Malay word a day

Language goals are important to help you stay on the right track. Make it a habit of keeping a Malay dictionary near you when you see new Malay words and look up their meanings and sample sentences. According to your pre-set goals, you can write down 5 new words that you have come across when you are reading a Malay newspaper or when you are watching a Malay movie.

After that, remember to write and put them at a place where you can look at them consistently. For instance, you can write down the 5 new Malay words on post-it notes that you want to memorize and stick them on your study table, near your dressing mirror or places where you normally go to. Bear in mind that you should also review the words that you have learnt every day by re-reading them to improve your memory.

Learn Malay new words
Using post-it notes to jot down new Malay words is a great idea to increase your vocabulary retention.
Source: Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

2. Participate in diverse conversations

It is through conversations where we get to hear new words that are related to various topics. You may have Malay speaking friends who have different hobbies or different cultural backgrounds. Apart from enabling you to speak Malay more fluently, engaging in natural conversations allows you to pick up new vocabulary in the simplest and fastest way.

The more you hear new words and figure out the meanings in your previous conversations, the easier you will be able to use them in your next conversation.

Let’s say a few days ago, you may be talking to this friend about his or her favourite singer and you discovered new words such as penyanyi (singer), suara (voice) and the word peminat (fan) from their dialogues. The next time you meet this same friend, you can use these same three words when you are talking about your favourite singer. You can also initiate new conversations with other friends on the same topic.

The more you use them,  the more you will remember the words better. The same cycle applies to different new words and different settings. If these two activities are ingrained in your daily routine, you will certainly see a great improvement in your journey to learn the Malay language.

Be a master of communicating in Malay with Superprof

Vocabularies are often described as the building blocks to ensure true fluency for all languages. When you are learning the Malay language, your reading comprehension can be improved when you show improvement in remembering new words. You can only move on to more difficult levels after you have learnt more words and how to consistently and accurately use all of them for different situations.

This is why it is so important to learn Malay from a systematic and student-friendly learning platform like Superprof. At Superprof, you can be certain that an experienced Malay teacher will provide you with a personalized learning route that is suitable for your current learning level and also preferences.

Teaching Malay vocabulary
Your Malay teacher will personalize your lesson according to your language level.
Source: The Strait Times

You can discuss with your teacher about the topics that you wish you dive deeper and your Malay teacher will prepare the right teaching materials for you. Furthermore, you will be assessed equally and consistently for every level that you are studying in. This is an important step before you progress from a beginner to an intermediate learner in the Malay language.

Get ready for your Malay learning adventure

Superprof offers you simple steps to personalize your Malay learning adventure. The first thing you need to do is head to the official website of Superprof and key in your desired subject to learn as well as location. The database of the Malay teachers will be constantly updated with their latest teaching experience and qualification. You can opt for both physical and online classes, which means you can decide the exact time and location of your Malay lessons.

There is also a filtering system where you can adjust your maximum budget and look for specific requirements in the subject that you are learning. Need help to speak Malay more confidently? No problem. Can’t seem to expand your Malay vocabulary when you are writing?

Wait no more. Your Malay teacher from Superprof will guide you proactively and provide you with necessary feedback on all of your language learning components.

You can certainly look forward to having a fluent and engaging Malay conversation the next time someone asks you about your favourite makanan in Malaysia.

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An avid reader and writer, Joycelyn loves the art of communication and is passionate about all kinds of media.