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Learn Simple Malay - Constructing Simple Sentences

Updated on May 24, 2013

Using of Conversational Malay Language

In today context, travelling can be pretty easy and cheap. People are travelling more often today. However travelling to foreign places can be challenging as we might be facing a new foreign language. Mastering a foreign language can be very tough as it usually takes years for us to learn a new language. But understanding a language can be pretty simple.

If you are travelling to Malaysia,Singapore,Indonesia or Brunei, you might want to equip yourself with certain understanding of the lanaguge.

Learning Conversational Malay can be quite simple. It takes one to know the basic and then it is all about memorizing the various words for us to construct the sentence. Before we start a sentence construction in Malay, let us understand three important terms first.

Three Important terms

Noun: A word used as the name of anything. Noun can be divided into: COMMON, PRONOUN*, ABSTRACT, and COLLECTIVE.

Pronoun: A Word used for or instead of a noun; it shows the person or thing without actually giving the name of the person or thing. Types of pronoun; PERSON, IMPROPER, INTERROGATIVE, NOMINATIVE, and DEMOSTRATIVE pronoun.

Verb: A word which asserts something about a person or thing. The types of verb are TRANSITIVE and INTRANSITIVE. The verb is the most important word in a sentence.

After learning these three terms, lets us take a look at a few words listed below.

Saya (I)
dia(He or she)
mereka(They, them)
Tinggal (lives)
datang (come)

Constructing Sentences

After understanding those three terms, it is time for us to put them together. This will allow us to construct a few sentences as of below.

Sentence in Bahasa
Sentence in English
Katabenda + Katakerja
Noun + Verb
Saya Duduk
I Sit
Dia tidur
He Sleep
Katabenda + Katakerja + Katabenda
Noun + Verb + Noun
Dia minum kopi
He drinks coffee
Dia jalan ke sekolah
She walks to school
Mereka datang dari Itali
They come from Italy

Learning a few more words

With this, we need to know more malay words such that we will be able to form more sentences. Now go ahead to construct your own sentences with the extra words given below.

budak lelaki (Boy)
pulang(going back)
Kakak (sister)
datuk (grandfather)

Are you confident to travel now?

This sum up with constructing simple conversational sentence. However, with this, it wont allows us to be able to converse with the local using Malay language. We still have to bring dictionary along with us. And in today context, it will be smart phone.


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    • AlvinTay profile image

      Alvin Tay Kong Wei 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thx jtrader :)

    • jtrader profile image

      jtrader 3 years ago

      Voted up and useful. Good introduction to the language.

    • AlvinTay profile image

      Alvin Tay Kong Wei 4 years ago from Singapore

      Thx Marlene:) You too, a good instructor in Real Estate

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 4 years ago from USA

      The way you explain things are natural and easy to follow. Taking your list, along with a dictionary is enough to get someone off to a good start. You are a very good instructor.

    • StephanieBCrosby profile image

      Stephanie Bradberry 4 years ago from New Jersey

      Interesting and useful.

    • AlvinTay profile image

      Alvin Tay Kong Wei 4 years ago from Singapore

      Hi Paul, Yes the sentence structure is quite similar to English when it come to simple sentences. For more complex sentences, it's difference will be in the positioning of the words. As for malay language, it is a non-tonal language unlike mandarin and thai. In indonesia, they mostly called their language bahasa indonesia which is almost similar to malay. Thanks for the suggestion and if i have a bit more time, will go for video to show the pronounciation. I recently took up thai language too, and i believe that you should be quite well verse in it since you stay in thailand now

    • Paul Kuehn profile image

      Paul Richard Kuehn 4 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand


      This is a very interesting and useful hub for anyone who doesn't know anything about the Malay language. It appears that the sentence order in Malay is quite similar to English. I am especially interested in the spoken language. Is Malay a tonal or non-tonal language? I have heard that Malay is very similar to the Indonesian language. Is that true? I think you could make your hub better if you included a video demonstrating how the language is pronounced and spoken. Voted up as interesting and useful.