Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Bahasa

For whatever reason, I decided to do some searching on the Malaysian Wikipedia. Yeah, my Bahasa Malaysia is sufficient to maybe get me through a menu, and even that's pushing it.

Check out this page. See how much you can figure out from the various languages you know (and what you know of Wikipedia's general page setup.) One of my faves: Inggeris (sort of what 'English' sounds like phonetically spoken by....someone for whom Inggeris is not a first language. Plus it reminds me of that paean to "innovative" usage of anglais, Engrish.com)

3 comments:

andrea said...

you speak Malaysian too ! wow...

ashvin said...

My knowledge of Bahasa Malaysia is limited to the words I remember written on the malaysian-made chocolate bars that I used to get from my malaysian relatives as a kid. I do remember being amused by the malay word for milk , which means something entirely different in (colloquial) malayalam :)

Btw: the first link is broken. Also: the word "bahasa"="basha"(in hindi/malayalam). I'm sure there are many other examples deriving from some common root language or cross-pollination.

maisnon said...

andrea: Ack! I don't speak Bahasa Malaysia (Melayu)! In some ways I should, since my Dad is Malaysian. I literally only know the food words.

ashvin: Thanks for the heads-up on the link. I think you'll be interested to see what I picked :)

What I have found interesting about Bahasa Malaysia (and Kiswahili, for that matter) are all the words from different sources. Language - the true melting pot! Not surprisingly, lots of words in both languages come from Arabic. Bahasa Malaysia also has lots of words of Indian origin (think of the Tamil Malaysian population.) I think there is a proper Malaysian word for "ice", but the only word I know (i.e. the only I've heard used )is from a Chinese dialect (Hokkien?) (the word is "ping")

So, how do you order an iced coffee? Kopi o ping!