Get To Know The Local Lingo!

English is widely spoken in Malaysia, but with more than 40 ethnic groups and a multicultural landscape, most citizens are multilingual.
So to help prepare ICCA Congress 2016 delegates for their trip to Malaysia, the Centre has put together some examples of common phrases in Malay that visitors can use to impress the locals!
Phrase Reply
English Malay English Malay
Good morning
Good afternoon
Good evening
Selamat pagi
Selamat petang
Selamat malam
Good morning
Good afternoon
Good evening
Selamat pagi
Selamat petang
Selamat malam
Welcome Selamat Datang - -
How are you? Apa Khabar? I’m fine, thank you. Khabar baik, terima kasih.
What’s your name? Siapa nama anda? My name is … Nama saya …
Have you eaten? Sudah Makan? Yes, I have.
No, I haven’t.
Are you okay? Awak okay? Yes
Maybe Mungkin - -
I don’t know Saya tidak tahu - -
Can! Boleh! - -
Cannot! Tidak boleh! - -
Please Tolong - -
Thank you Terima kasih - -
Good luck! Selamat maju jaya! - -
Have a nice day! Semoga hari anda baik-baik sahaja! You too! Awak juga!
Goodbye Selamat jalan/ Selamat tinggal Goodbye Selamat jalan/ Selamat tinggal
Manglish, the local hybrid of Malay and English, is one of those things that make Malaysians who they are, and it is obviously not going away anytime soon! Here are some quick guidelines to understanding Manglish
Usually written as a separate word for clarity, though it is typically pronounced as a suffix to the word before it without a break in between.

The word may be used for emphasizing / cajoling/ reassuring purposes.

Lah is often thrown into the last word before punctuation mark – exactly like the one you reading now lah!
This word is used to express doubt.

Should not be confused with the English slang of whatever; “meh”.
Used with an inquiring tone.

This word is also a substitute for “pardon me” / “what did you say” / “please repeat yourself” / etc.
  • I got no more money lah! = I don’t have enough money
  • It’s okay lah!
  • Got meh? = Really?
  • Can do that meh? = That’s possible?
  • Huh, really ah? = Are you serious?
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