Language is not simply a mode of communication. It is a form of art. An art that has evolved over the years, containing emotions, traditions, and ideologies of a nation.
No matter what language you speak, what area you reside in. The language you speak is the purest representation of your heritage and shows how proud you actually are of it. This is the very essence of language learning.
Talking about traditions and diversity, Southeast Asian countries have a separate spot of their own. Whether its their food, their clothing, or the super diverse Malay itself. This region is the epitome of cultural and literary diversity around the globe.
The History of Malay
According to calculated estimates, it first appeared in the Southeast Asian region around 1000 BC. As the time passed, the language began to grow its roots among countries like Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei.
Today, there are more than 200-250 million speakers distributed in the so called Malay Peninsula. Out of these numbers, around 19 million individuals are regarded as Bahasa Malaysia or Bahasa Malay variant general speakers.
Is learning Malay difficult?
As experts like to put it this way, no language is difficult to learn if you understand the basics of grammar. the same thing goes with the language.
Even though, the language is heavily influenced by early colonial and influential languages such as Arabic, Sanskrit, and Tamil. The Bahasa Malay, which is also considered as the purest form of Malay, has developed a different and objective set of Malay grammar. Malay language can easily learned online with many online Malay language course Singapore available.
This allows any first-time learner to get a better understanding the overall words, common phrases, and Bahasa grammar effectively.
Are there any reliable language software to learn Malay?
We are living in the 21st century. this is an era where learning a new language is not something that’s confined to the premises of a class room. The same thing goes with learning Malay language.
Language learning software like Rosetta Stone, Pimsleur, Duolingo contains special directories, pictorial representations, and practice problems to help anyone around the globe to learn any language. Even the Bahasa Malaysia or Bahasa Malay.
Majority of these top-notch software are oriented towards developing a strong grammatical foundation of the Malay language. this allows the user to learn Malay just like the native speakers.
Where to start?
Well first, you need to acknowledge one thing. There is no way you’re going to effectively learn and speak language without properly understanding the grammatical structure of the language.
That’s why, most of the experts would suggest you to begin with working on the grammar of the Bahasa division. After understanding the very basics of grammar, you can focus on the second most important section of any language, the pronunciation.
And language learning software like the ones mentioned above will help you learn the Malay language for kids and its dialects in a step by step tutorial series. A great way to initiate the whole language learning program.
How To Learn Malay From Beginner?
Before trying to frantically learn the dialects, there are some very basic steps and questions that must be addressed. this will allow you to get a better direction to learn the Malay .
The very first and probably the most important question so far. Why do you want/need to learn Malay language in the first place?
Without a doubt, Malay language is a complete and dense language just like Arabic and Chinese. But in terms of overall widespread and popularity, it is not as famous as the later two discussed languages.
The whole Malay (Bahasa Malaysia) speaking population of the world is confined to Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei up to 99%. This confines the future of Malay growth to a very limited region.
The 3 major Malay speaking regions
As discussed earlier, Malay is not a widespread or global communication language. English, Chinese, Arabic, Spanish, etc. are some of the languages that fall under the category of global reasons.
And the reason behind this is the number of individuals around the globe that can communicate through these languages. Arabic alone covers at least two major world continents.
But if we discuss about Malay, specifically the Bahasa Malay dialect, the number of speakers only range between 19-20 million native speakers, further distributed among three regions,
First, Malaysia itself. the number of Malay speakers is the highest among the technologically advanced Malaysia. As being a country with a rich and diverse sea shore market, it is quite an obvious fact that Malaysia became a perfect hub for the native speaker community of the Bahasa dialect.
Second, the beautiful and tropical Brunei. A land of cultural and linguistic diversity at its best.
And last, the sea surrounded land of Singapore. The crown jewel of the Southeast Asian peninsula. A large number of people around here also prefer to speak Malay.
Current Statistics of the Malay Language and its future
A couple of centuries back, the language was the native language of almost whole Southeast Asian region. This was a time before the start of colonialism in the region.
As foreign invaders grew stronger and stronger in the region, the number of Malay speaking community grew smaller and smaller with each passing year. most of the natives switched to languages like English and Spanish, leaving the Malaysian dialect to become almost obsolete at one point.
But with the rise of freedom movements throughout the region, the native speakers began to revive the glorious past of their local language. today, there are around 250 million native speakers of the Malay distributed among the region. And according to current statistics, the number of Malay speakers is increasing quite impressively.
But today, the Malay is generally used as a language for non-native communication among individuals residing in various countries of Southeast Asia. We can consider it as a replacement of the English language for this region rather than ranking it as a native language.
What exactly is Bahasa Malay?
The word ‘Bahasa’ itself means ‘language’. The origins of Bahasa can be traced all the way back to the Sanskrit word for language ‘bhāṣā’.
The modern day Malaysian or Malay language can be divided into two base variants. The Bahasa Malay and the Bahasa Indonesia. As the Indonesian vocabulary and pronunciation is quite different from the Malay one, it is only confined to the Indonesian region alone.
Lets talk about the primary Bahasa Malay dialect. The overall Malay dialect is quite different than the Indonesian dialect in some major sections. The overall Malay grammar and words are focused towards introducing and explaining concepts in a more friendly tone.
If we take a look at the native Malay speaking population, the structure of sentences along with writing and speaking vocabulary of the Malay dialect is much easy to understand as majority of the content is derived from known international languages including Arabic, English, Sanskrit, etc.
Does Bahasa Indonesia affect the Bahasa Malay Structure?
In simple words, yes. And the overall geographical setup of the region plays a vital role in promoting the overall similarities and structural interferences among these two dialects.
Both Malaysia and Indonesia are neighbouring countries. Since the very beginning, bot the countries share almost the same heritage, traditional, culture, and language.
But with the introduction of the modern Malay dialect, the Indonesian dialect becomes confined to Indonesia and its islands alone. At the same time, the Bahasa Malaysia or Malay widened its geographical approach to even states like Singapore and Brunei.
Talking about the common phrases, and the phrases, the Malay words and pronunciation is affected by the Indonesian dialect quite much. Specially in the Malaysia and surrounding regions that are closest to Indonesia.
Where most of the natives can fully understand someone talking in the Indonesian dialect, there are certain phrases sets that can cause some serious miscommunication if not pronounced correctly.