Malay Language for Foreign Students

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Malay Language for Foreign Students

Bahasa Malaysia Komunikasi
ULAM1112

Pelajaran I (Lesson 1)

SEBUTAN DAN INTONASI

I. THE ALPHABET

* Bahasa Melayu/Bahasa Malaysia is written in romanised script consists of alphabets A to Z. So Bahasa Melayu is not phonetics. * Words in Bahasa Melayu are syllable.
* From all of the alphabets, five letters are vowels while the rest of the alphabets are consonants.

II.THE VOWELS

There are six vowels in Bahasa Malaysia:

ais pronounced as aa/ar

saya (I)
ayah (father)
adik (younger brother/sister)
mana? (where?)

e (taling)is pronounced as a in English letter

meja (table)
elok (beautiful)
ekor (tail)
kemah (tend)

e (pepet)is pronounced as eer

peta (map)
emak (mother)
sentuh (taouch)
kelas (class)

iis pronounced as ee

ini (this/these)
itu (that)
kiri (left)
peti (box)

ois pronounced as o

bola (ball)
otak (brain)
kotak (box)
kotor (dirty)

uis pronounced as oo

buku (book)
ubat (medicine)
lembu (cow)
baru (new)

III.THE DIFTHONGS

There are three diphtongs:

aiis pronounced as ie

misai (moustache)
kedai (shop)
salai (smoked)
gadai (mortgage)

auis pronounced as ow

pisau (knife)
hijau (green)
risau (worry)
kalau (if)

oiis pronounced as ouy

amboi (oh!)
koboi (cow boy)
kaloi (a kind of fish)

IV.THE CONSONANTS

In generals the pronunciation of consonants is the same as in English except for:

cis pronounced as ch

cuci (wash)
cawan (cup)
cari (find)
cantik (beautiful)

g is pronounced hard as in ‘garden’, ‘girl’

garam (salt)
gambar (picture)
gaji (salary)
gajah (elephant)

V. THE ADDITIONAL ALPHABET (CLUSTER)

There are some additional alphabet in Bahasa Melayu. They are counted as single letter such as:

ng is pronounced like sing.

nganga (to open the mouth widely)
tangan (hand)
jangan (don’t)
dengan (with)

sy is pronounced like shelter.

syarat (prerequirement, condition)
syurga (paradise)
syarikat (company)
syabas (well done!, good!)

ny is pronounced like new.

nyanyi (sing)
nyamuk (mosquito)
nyawa (life)
tanya (ask)

khis pronounced like key.

khayal (imagination)
khabar (news)
khutbah (sermon)
khusus (specific)

VI.SYLLABLE WORD IN BAHASA MELAYU

Bahasa Malayasia is not a phonetics. It is pronounced by syllables. Example, man-di, bu-ku, ti-dur, sem-bi-lan, and per-ja-la-nan. To separate a word into syllables, there are some keys to follow:

1. If there are two vowels follows each other, separation is between the vowels.

ma-in (play)
bu-ih (bubble)

2. If there is a consonant in the middle between vowels, separation is before consonant. na-ma (name)
ba-ru (new)

3. ng, ny, sy, kh is a single letter so separate it before or after.

a-khir (end)
a-ngin (wind)
ha-nya (only)
syam-pu (shampoo)

4. If there are two consonants in the middle follows each other, separation is in between.

ang-ka (numbers)
tang-kap (catch)
cen-da-wan (mushroom)
V.
TO SEPARATE A WORD

There are patterns that can be used as a key to separate a word into syllables.

1.KV-VK

If there are two vowels follows each other, the separation is between the vowels. For an example, bu-ih (foam/bubble).

2. KV-KV

If there is a consonant in the middle between vowels, the separation is before the consonant. For example, ma-ta (eye).

3. VK-KV

If there are two consonants in the middle follows each other, the separation is in between the consonants. For example, er-ti (means/meaning)

4. KVK-KVK

If there are three consonants or more, the separation is between the first and second consonants. For example, tan-duk (horn, antlers)

5.The Additional Alphabet

The additional alphabet such as ng,ny, sy, kh is a single letter. So it can not be separated by itself. It...
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