- British and Malaysian English differences
This article outlines the differences between
Malaysian Englishor more popularly Manglish, the form of street Malaysian English spoken by most Malaysians and British English, which for the purposes of this article is assumed to be the form of English spoken in south east England, used by the British Government and the BBCand widely understood in other parts of the United Kingdom.
It is necessary to make a distinction between Manglish and the English spoken by Malaysians speaking so-called proper English. While there are still certain peculiarities in the latter (especially in terms of intonation, accent and choice of words), proper Malaysian English is merely a normal variation in the way English is spoken and does not deviate significantly from common English. It is intelligible to most English-speaking peoples around the world.
Pure Manglish however can be likened to
pidgin English, and it is usually barely understandable to most speakers of English, except Singaporeans who also speak a similar patois known as Singlish.
Despite being traditionally based on
British English, Malaysian Englishhas, in recent decades, been strongly influenced by American English. This can be commonly seen in web based media and documents produced within organisations. Typically, the writer is unaware of the differences between British and American English, and just uses the default settings on their installed software spellchecker. For example, centre (British) is typically spelled center (American), although colour and color are used interchangeably. In schools and in the print media, Malaysians default to spelling the British way, i.e. "vapour" instead of "vapor" and"organise" instead of "organize"
Manglish does not possess a standard written form, although many variations exist for transcribing certain words. For most purposes it is a spoken tongue.
Much of Manglish grammatical structure is taken from Chinese dialects. Many also claim the structures have also been borrowed from the
Malay language, but the amount of borrowing from Malay dwarves in comparison to the borrowing from Chinese. For example, the phrase "Why you so like that one?" means "Why are you behaving in that way" in standard English. In Cantonese, a similar phrase would be rendered as "Dímgáai néih gám ge?" or literally "Why you like that?" The "one" in the sample phrase does not literally mean the numeral one, instead it is used more as a suffix device. It is also sometimes rendered as "wan."
Other common characteristics are
anastropheand omission of certain prepositions and articles. For example "I haven't seen you in a long time" becomes "Long time never seen you already." Or, in Singlish (used in Singapore), natives will usually say "Long time no see".
Words only used in British English
To a large extent, standard Malaysian English is descended from British English, largely due to the country's colonisation by Britain beginning from the 18th century. But because of influence from American mass media, particularly in the form of television programmes and movies, Malaysians are also usually familiar with many American English words. For instance, both lift/elevator and lorry/truck are understood, although the British form is preferred. Only in some very limited cases is the American English form more widespread, e.g. chips instead of crisps, fries instead of chips.
Words or phrases only used in Malaysian English
Malaysian English is gradually forming its own vocabulary, these words come from a variety of influences. Typically, for words or phrases that are based on other English words, the Malaysian English speaker may be unaware that the word or phrase is not present in British or American English.
This is a list of words and phrases that have one meaning in British English and another in Malaysian English
In Malaysian English, the last syllable of a word is sometimes not pronounced with the strength that it would be in British English.
Also, p and f are sometimes pronounced somewhat similarly among speakers of Malay descent. For example, the two Malay names 'Fazlin' and 'Pazlin' may sound almost identical when spoken by Malays, whereas this confusion would not arise when spoken by a British Speaker.
Regional accents of English speakers
* http://www.asiaosc.org/enwiki/page/Malaysian_Proper_Noun_List.html - common proper noun list used in Malaysian languages
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Malaysian English vocabulary — Malaysian English is a form of English used and spoken in Malaysia as a second language. Malaysian English is primarily used in informal speech.Many Malay and Malaysian words or phrases that describe Malaysian culture have become part of… … Wikipedia
Malaysian English — Not to be confused with Manglish. Life in Malaysia Culture Cuisine Demographics Economy Education Ethnic groups Film Health Holida … Wikipedia
American and British English differences — For the Wikipedia editing policy on use of regional variants in Wikipedia, see Wikipedia:Manual of style#National varieties of English. This is one of a series of articles about the differences between British English and American English, which … Wikipedia
Differences between national standards of Chinese — The Chinese language enjoys the status as official language in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore and Taiwan. However, the language shows a high degree of regional variation among these territories. Contents 1 Written standards 2 Spoken… … Wikipedia
Malaysian Mandarin — mǎláixīyǎ huáyǚ Spoken in Malaysia Native speakers About 6 millions (date missing) Language family Sino Tibetan … Wikipedia
Malaysian Chinese Association — Persatuan Cina Malaysia 马来西亚华人公会 Leader Chua Soi Lek … Wikipedia
Differences between Malaysian and Indonesian — The differences between Malaysian (Bahasa Malaysia) or Malay (Bahasa Melayu) and Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia) are significantly greater than those between British English and American English. They are roughly mutually intelligible, but with… … Wikipedia
Malaysian Chinese — Ethnic Chinese of Malaysia 马来西亚华人 馬來西亞華人 Alex Yoong • Nicholas Teo • Michelle Yeoh Total population c … Wikipedia
English language — English Pronunciation /ˈ … Wikipedia
Differences between Malay and Indonesian — The differences between Malay ( Bahasa Melayu or Bahasa Malaysia ) and Indonesian ( Bahasa Indonesia ) are slightly greater than those between British English and American English. They are mutually intelligible, but with differences in spelling … Wikipedia