Learning Bahasa Malaysia Isn’t as Hard as You Think
Learning Bahasa Malaysia Isn’t as Hard as You Think
Bahasa Malaysian was integrated as a compulsory subject in 2007. Since it was announce that every Malaysian citizen was required to take the subject, including the international school students, many parents raised their concern and there was every reason for them to be concerned.
Generally, parents are in agreement that their children find great help from the prominence given to English usage which has been used for years as a teaching medium in most private schools and international schools as well. Many children studying in Chinese schools especially those in vernacular and private have to deal with more than two languages in addition to Bahasa since it was added into the syllabus.
Considering that Bahasa Malaysia is a comparatively new language, continuous changes are still unfolding place as it is continually being shaped by numerous aspects such as cultural shifts and technology. It is easy to understand why parents and children who grew up with other older languages such as Mandarin and English would me more affectionate of the sound grammatical structures of the new language.
The world is quickly turning into a multiple language melting container and there is no doubt that every person must keep up with the changes taking place. While living in Malaysia, having a good knowledge of the local language and fine distinctions would absolutely be so helpful especially in your social skills.
According to the famous saying, when you are among the ducks, just quack like them and wade into mud as they do. This however does not mean engaging in things that are illegal but implies on the need for easily mingling with the culture within which you find yourself in. There is no better way therefore to do this than to learn the different languages and this includes Bahasa Malaysia especially if you want to hone your social skills and do business within the country at some point in time.
Human beings are created in a way that they can get used to almost anything. We are created in way that we can easily adapt especially if we are determined to. Once both the children and the parents accept this reality, then it becomes easy and possible to learn absolutely anything. If you are currently not a fluent Bahasa Malaysia speaker, this can easily turn into an ideal opportunity to learn alongside your children. Doing different things together is so much enjoyable and will definitely help you catch up much easily and fast.
The question however it, are there some tips that can help make adaptation process much easier and enjoyable? Below are some helpful Bahasa Malaysia learning tips that will help you in your adaptation journey:-
Life is fun just play the game
One of the best things about Bahasa Malaysia is its similarity with English since it uses Roman alphabets. Moreover, quite a number of the words used are similar and only minor changes are notable when it comes to the spelling. For instance, a word like chocolate is written cokelat while bicycle is written as basikal.
You can encourage you own children to come up with their own flash cards as a way of starting the learning. You can either paste or draw a picture various familiar objects and write their names in both English and Bahasa Malaysia at the back. Another option is to place the picture of the object on the two sides of the flash card and put the two different names on each side.
Take turns between you and your kids to sharpen your vocabulary skills using the “I Spy” or “Word Train” game while doing something interesting such as driving to the mall or work. This does not only help create excitement about school but also reduces the usual stress that accompanies the traffic snarl-up.
For seasoned travellers
There is no denying the fact that language and culture are in no way separable but go hand in hand. For years, Malaysia has grown in popularity for both its colourful character and nature thus bringing throngs of people plus locals also like travelling from one corner to the other in a bid to sample the beauty.
As you take your next vacation trip, you can try planning to visit village homestays with your family as have a taste of the good things is has to offer. The village has been approved by the Malaysian ministry of Tourism. The surrounding environment allows you to enjoy an immersion in the fresh breeze, interact with the friendly Kampung people and the beautiful greenery thus helping you forget that you are even learning Bahasa Malasia language. As the locals notice that you are making some strides to learn the new language, then you will be showered with appreciation as you receive some appreciative cheers.
A visit to the village gives you an opportunity to know the neighbourhood in a better way and explore the night markets that are located nearby better known as pasar malam by the locals. Trying to negotiate the price of the available items with the locals using their own mother tongue will definitely help you get the best prices possible. Whether you are looking for sandals or spices, you will be amazed to find them in these night markets. Always ensure that you are polite and civil as you tour these markets.
Turn your words into food
Ask any Malaysian living abroad what it is that they really miss more than the rest and the common answer would be their locally prepared meals. This surprisingly is one of the best motivations that can help you crack the Bahasa Malaysia and make it easy to understand. Both adults and children alike always have a good time trying to guess the meaning of the delicacies listed in the menu in some of the best local restaurants. Every time you enter into the local eateries, you can always be prepared to enjoy some laughter together with your family and friends when you all discover that “cooking rice chillie’s fat” is not the translation for “masak lemak cili padi”
If you are the kind that is a bit more budget savvy, you will come to appreciate the place of a cookbook written in Bahasa Malaysia especially in helping you understand everything kitchen in this interesting language. Translate the cooking instructions as well as the ingredients from the available recipe as you prepare foods or cook with your loved ones and see how enjoyable this process is. Start by looking at the local recipes especially those that look similar to what you already know and are used to including jellies and soups. This is like a double edged science assignment that not only fills your mind but also the mouth as well.
Turn it into songs, just say it
You can start by browsing through YouTube or pay a visit to a karaoke parlour to listen to the songs and from there trying singing together with those who know the language. Many commercial media within Malaysia and independent bloggers have in the past made an attempt to translate numerous songs from English language to Bahasa Malaysia. Some of the songs and content you can now enjoy in Bahasa Malaysia include Disney masterpieces such as Let it Go song from the animation “Frozen” (Bebaskan), Reflection song from Mulan (Bayang) and Disney sequence song “You’ll Be in My Heart” sing along from Tarzan (Kau Di Hatiku).
There are also movies from the celebrated actor P. Ramlee. These not only provide you with a simple sequence to follow but are also very interesting thus making it easy for you to enjoy. They are also come with interesting music that you can easily sing along and these include “Kami Penyamun” by Nujum pa’ Blalang. You can also improve your idiom account (This is very important especially when it comes to essay writing), try watching other movies such as Gurindam Jiwa Sung, acted and sung by the late Latifah Omar and Noordin Ahmad.
The most interesting thing with these songs is that you and your kids will be immersed in the tunes and might continue singing even long after without realizing it. Many parents and their children have mastered Bahasa Malaysia using these simple techniques and there is no doubt that you too will find them helpful as you learn the new language. As you can see, it is not as scary as you might have thought. You only need to embrace a positive attitude, embrace some of the most enjoyable learning techniques, which will keep you flowing along when going about your normal businesses. You do not have to stick in a classroom to learn this language. You can augment what you learn in class through simple day to day interactions and within a short time, you might be giving some local folks a run for their money.
As seen, it is easy to benefit from your Bahasa Malaysia learning efforts as you bargain with sellers who use it as their mother tongue. Isn’t this a great way of enjoying slashed prices on goods that you so much need? Give it a try and enjoy the process.
If you are looking for a good Bahasa Malaysia teacher in Penang, we have suggestion for you
Bahasa Melayu Group Tuition (Standard 2 to Form 5) by Cikgu Ooi
Students will expect to learn knowledge as below.
1. Penulisan karangan yang berkualiti tinggi
2. Pembinaan ayat yang gramatis
3. Kesalahan tatabahasa dan pemahaman petikan umum.
For other location, especially in Klang Valley, click here.