Malaysia is a beautiful country with diverse culture, heavenly food, modern cities, stunning natures and a tropical climate. Not to forget the amazing and warm people too. It is an incredible mixing pot of various cultures.
Situated near the equator, it has the best weather to die for. With the hot and humid weather most of the time through the year, there just so much to see, to do and indulge in here.
It is safe to say that Malaysia is the centre location of Southeast Asia. The country is the one location you should not miss when exploring the region.
Many tourists come to visit Malaysia and end up coming back for more. There are even some of them who decided to make Malaysia their home forever.
Whether you come here to travel, work or study, it is always good to have a good command of the national language - the Malay language. The Malay language is also known as Bahasa Melayu or Bahasa Malaysia locally.
Malay Course For Foreigners - Should You Go For It?
If you are a newcomer in Malaysia, do consider taking a Malay language course if you are in Shah Alam. Although English is also widespread in Malaysia, knowing the Malay language can give you lots of benefits.
1. Talk With The Local
Not everyone in Malaysia can understand and speak English especially those in remote places such as Pahang, Sabah and Sarawak. Learning Malay let you communicate and blend in with the local.
2. Bargaining Skill
Purchasing groceries or souvenirs at the markets will be much easier and cheaper if you know how to bargain in the Malay language. You can get cheap fruits and extra street food if you got the skill to bargain.
3. Be A Celebrity
Malaysian appreciate foreigners who can talk in good Malay language. Just look at foreign celebrities like Mat Dan, Rhys William and Cassidy Anderson who manage to get celebrity fame just by speaking in Malay.
4. Communicate With Malay Speaker From Neighbouring Countries
Did you know the Malay language is also the national language for other neighbouring countries like Singapore, Brunei and Indonesia? The Malay language is also spoken in other countries such as Southern Thailand, some parts in the Philippines and Cocos Island and Christmas Island in Australian territories?
If you master the Malay language in Malaysia, you will be able to communicate with other people while visiting neighbouring countries. Speaking Malay will help you to dive into the interesting culture of the Malay Archipelago.
Do these benefits make you eager to pick up the language yet?
Tutorial In Malay: The Best Way To Learn Malay On Your Own
As a foreigner in Malaysia, of course, you will get a lot of benefits if you can speak Malay. But how can you learn to speak like a local Malaysian?
Other than attending Malay classes in Seberang Perai, you might also learn the language on your own. You can try these tips and see how your Malay proficiency grows each day.
Listen To The Local
The first step to learn the Malay language is to listen to how the locals talk. Identify the common words the locals use and how they pronounce them. Keep your eyes on their expression and projection of the voice while they speak.
Speak The Language
The second step is to repeat after them. Once you identify the common phrases, try to say the words in the same way the locals do it. You might get it wrong the first few times but gradually, you will get it right.
Put Yourself In Native Malay Speakers Circle
The third step, keep your circle surrounded by native Malay speakers. When you encounter more locals who speak in Malay, it will motivate you to communicate in the language. At the same time, you will be able to discover more new words and speak them every day.
People say practice makes perfect. And that is what you should do.
Keep speaking in Malay. You will find yourself talking like a local Malaysian with your almost-native pronunciation in no time.
However, if you want to learn the language faster and more accurately, it is encouraged for you to attend a professional Malay class. In the class, you will learn the standard Malay language which also known as ‘bahasa baku’.
While in everyday conversation, the locals might use slightly different slangs or dialects. The different slangs and dialects are usually referred to as ‘bahasa pasar’.
Is Malay Course Difficult?
According to the US Department of State, Malay falls into Category 2 Language. It means the language is quite easy to learn.
It takes approximately 36 weeks or 900 class hours for an English speaker to learn the Malay language. The timeline mentioned is solely based on the observation for the average length of time a student can achieve language proficiency.
However, the actual may vary due to students’ learning ability, prior linguistic experience and the time spent in practising the language. To conclude, the Malay language is easy to learn.
Did you know there are several English words that are heavily influenced by Malay words? Let’s take a look at some of the English words that have Malay origins.
Meaning: A parrot with an erectile crest.
Original word: Kakatua
Meaning: A white volatile crystalline substance with an aromatic smell and bitter taste, occurring in certain essential oils.
Original word: Kapur
Meaning: In a violently raging, wild, or uncontrolled manner
Original word: Amuk
Meaning: A field where rice is grown or rice before threshing or in the husk.
Original word: Padi
Interesting, isn’t it? You will probably encounter more English words which are derived from the Malay language if you learn them from Malay language centres in George Town.
Finding A Tutor In Malay: What To Expect?
For formal Malay language classes, you will be taught the four major language skill - reading, writing, listening and writing. Once you master all four skills, it is safe to say that you are already fluent in Malay.
Learning the Malay language is easy. Why?
Firstly, because the language has no grammatical gender. You can use the word ‘dia’ to refer to a person as in she or he.
Secondly, there is no grammatical plural in the Malay language. The word ‘orang’ can mean person or people.
Thirdly, the verbs in the language do not inflect by the number or person. They are not marked for tense like ate as past tense for eat. Instead, you use ‘sudah’ which means already before the verb.
Malay is an agglutinative language. It means that new words are formed using few methods like attaching affixes, repetition and formation of a compound word from a root word.
You may get dizzy by now with all the terms and word formations. But really, learning Malay is not that hard. You will get used to it once you use the language in your everyday life.
The good thing about attending Malay classes for example in Petaling Jaya, you will be exposed to not only the culture and history of the Malays but also other races in Malaysia such as Indian and Chinese.
One thing you must not miss! The food culture in Malaysia. Once you taste the food, you will want more of them.
Look Up For A Malay Teacher Online
Finding a tutor to teach you Malay is no longer tedious work these days. You can always look up your teacher online through various online sites such as Superprof.
Superprof is an online platform that offers a wide selection of tutors and subjects for you to choose from. You can choose your preferred tutor, either for the Malay language or other subjects.
At Superprof, there are over 15 million tutors and 1000 subjects are available for you to pick up. Interestingly enough, Superprof lets you survey each tutor available and you can choose who do you think is the best to be your teacher.
Superprof encouraged the tutors to offer the first hour of each lesson for free. Within this first hour, you and your tutor may get to know each other, get comfortable, discover your proficiency and outline the lesson plans to improve your mastery of the subject.
If you think face to face learning session is not for you, no worries. With the technology advancement, you can go for an online learning session.
You may discuss with your tutor and decide on what medium you will be using to communicate. There are a number of communication tool options you can use for example Skype, Google Hangout, Zoom or any platform that you think is possible.
However, do consider a good internet connection to avoid disruption during your sessions. Also, prepare yourself with a decent headset, laptop or desktop computer, a comfortable learning space and probably a cup of hot chocolate.
Now you get a brief guide about the Malay language. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s go for a Malay lesson today!