Malaysia is a multi-cultural society which comprises of Malay, Chinese, Indians and other ethnicity While Bahasa Melayu is our national language, English is widely spoken here too. Being exposed to friends of different backgrounds, we can get pretty creative with our sentence as well regardless of age and race. This is what makes us uniquely Asia! So, if you’re not from around here and are planning your trip here, these are some common local phrases that you might want to pick up.
1. Universal “Hello”
We still greet each other with “Hi!” or “Hello!” each time. But also, here are the basic words that you might hear on greetings:
Apa khabar? – How are you?
Selamat datang! – Welcome!
2. How to address strangers and break the ice
Manners are quite important in our Asian roots. While it’s common for people to be addressed by their given names, Malaysians have our very own recipe when it comes to greeting people from near and far!
Pak Cik/ Uncle- older male person that close age to our parents
Mak Cik/ Aunty- older female person that close age to our parents
Kak/ Kakak- elder sister
Bang/ Abang- elder brother
Dik/ Adik- younger male or female
3. How to address yourself in a friendly manner
You can always use the non-formal versions when you use to say something about you or other people.
Saya- Me or I
Kami/ Kita- We
4. Kind words to get by
You may use these words when you are about to ask for help especially when you’re getting directions.
Minta tolong- Please
Tumpang tanya- Excuse me
Harga berapa? How much?
Terima Kasih- Thank you
And…we’re done! What are your favorite Malaysian phases? Let us know!
Header Source: Vagabond