A couple of days ago, I read a blog entry with huge bolded letters slapped on top of it. The entry talked about the current Anglicization process of the Malay language. Like the person that blogged about it first, I despise this trend.

Beforehand, I must say I am no purist. Despite my tongue is stamped with the word Malay all over it, my grasp of my mother tongue is almost pathetic. My Malay vocabulary is kind of limited and I’m more comfortable writing in English to Malay though I frequently confuse my tense forms. Given my situation, I do understand why when certain people speak in Malay, they tend to talk in both Malay and English at the same time.

However, this should not be used by the press as an excuse.

I cringe whenever I see any word that sounds English but is written instead in Malay in form that adheres to English pronunciation, particularly whenever mainstream Malay media uses it. Like previu or bajet for instance. The Malay word for preview beats me but bajet, can’t the media just use the good old peruntukan or belanjawan? And just yesterday in Utusan Malaysia, an article talked about polygamy and guess which word the author of the article chose? Polemik.

And then there are akauntabiliti, integriti, transparensi, profil, kontroversi, emosi, posisi. Whatever happened to the words ketanggungjawaban, kebolehpercayaan, ketelusan, rumusan (help me on this), kegamatan (whoa, I totally need a Malay dictionary), perasaan, kedudukan?

Adding more to the list: cif (cheif), propisi (proportion), kondisi (condition), ambisi (ambition).

And yeah, one more word, OMFG – infotainment. WTF?

I haven’t been using Malay extensively for the past five or six years and I might be off the road whenever Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka added more words to Malay vocabulary but if this is the trend, let’s all just use English instead. Save the entire effort of translating – transposing is more like it – and let’s all write in English instead. There is no need to spend resources on Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka anymore.

In France I heard, they have language vigilantes to protect the French language. They arm themselves with everything they’ve got in a crusade against English encroachment on French. Dewan Bahasa should emulate the French vigilantes, not the French gut. (Thousand apologies to all Frenchies and any Francophile. I can’t help it)

I’m telling Dewan Bahasa to be a purist. They should be a purist. It is their job to defend the Malay language. Who else should defend the Malay language if not Dewan Bahasa? Samy Vellu?

Dewan Bahasa is slacking so bad that a person that brought this up in that blog that I mentioned earlier is a Malaysian Chinese, not a Malaysian Malay. How sad is that?

p/s – did I mention that Ajax won against PSV?

4 Responses to “[563] Of Anglicization of Malay language”

  1. on 06 Aug 2005 at 09:46 Jessy


  2. on 08 Aug 2005 at 03:08 Tan Yee Wei

    Eep…it’s worse that i ever imagined. ‘bajet‘? That’s preposterous…

  3. […] I appreciate diversity and am no purist. While no purist, I do hate how English words are being imported with impunity into the Malay language (check also Hijacking Bahasa Melayu at theCicak). If George Orwell were a Malay, he would agree […]

  4. […] I’d prefer the headline to be retitled “Kesan pemanasan sedunia” but that’s another issue altogether. For the article, it’s accessible through Utusan.com.my: KUALA LUMPUR 22 Dis. – Saintis […]

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