5 Best Ways To Learn Malay Language

December 11, 2020

Are you among those who want to learn Bahasa Melayu but are still struggling? Can't figure out the best ways to learn and speak Malay like a local Malaysian? Well, this is definitely the perfect place for you! Keep scrolling and learn the best tips on how to speak and write Malay like a native speaker!


Learning Malay - What is Malay language?


Bahasa Malaysia or Bahasa Melayu is one of the easiest languages to be spoken. If a person plays this 'learning process' card right, he may be able to speak Malay and sound like a local in just 3 months! Before we start reading and digesting some of the greatest guides to learn Malay, we should know the roots of the language.

Bahasa Melayu is the mother tongue of the native Malay people, living mainly in the Southeast Asian country, Malaysia. As Malaysia is a multicultural nation, all of its citizens, including the three predominant races, Malay, Chinese, and Indian, naturally acquire the country national's language - its words, phrases, sentences, pronunciation, and grammar. The language is also spoken by some people of its neighboring countries like Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore, and Brunei.

Now, as we have understood the necessary information of the language and some of the Malay-speaking countries, let's see the five most practical means to learn Malay!


Top 5 Best Tips on Learning Malay Language


1. Learn Malay by talking to a local (a lot!)

Talking to a native speaker of a language can really be a head start for you to learn Malay. By having a lot of conversations, chats, and banters with the locals, you will be quickly acquainted with the common words and phrases used in the Malay spoken context. You can easily find a local Malaysian and save your money by getting acquainted on social media and popular online forums (it's free and time-saving!).

Start learning Malay by telling the Malay speakers your interest in learning their language and you can casually interact with them in Malay. If you maintain this kind of banter on a daily basis, there would be no problem for you to know the common phrases, words, and sentences used in Bahasa. If you have the opportunity to speak with a local via videoconferencing calls, that would be even better! Speaking and listening to the articulations of a local Malay speaker will help you learn the exact pronunciation and usage of the language.


After talking to a local in Malay for several weeks, try writing down the common phrases and words used in day-to-day conversations. This way, you can track your language learning development and see how much of the Malay vocabulary, phrases, and basic expressions you have grasped over time.


Another extra tip you can try is by finding a local language instructor, or simply a local who can teach you the language. You'll be surprised at how much progress you make when someone expert in the language personally gives lessons to you about their mother tongue in various aspects involving grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, writing, and reading. So, you might want to look for a local Malaysian starting from now on for more effective language learning!



2. Watch and learn from Malay entertainment

You can try to learn Malay by seeing and listening to how the language is practically used in its society. What better way to learn the usage of a language than diving into its entertainment industry? It can be both pleasant and enjoyable in one's journey of learning Bahasa Melayu.

Try scouring through some of the local television channels like TV1, TV2, and TV3 to see how Malay is used in both formal and colloquial contexts. Take notes and learn the common words used during the national news, interviews, and tv shows.

This practice will definitely be a good exercise for you to learn how to carefully listen to Malay words and lists them down, look at how the Malay vocabulary is articulated and practice it on your own. If Malaysian films and TV channels are not enticing enough, you can start tuning in to their music and have a good learning experience.

I'll have you know that this means of learning is excellent for you to learn and review how the Malay language is typically used and pronounced. It's not the best place if you want to learn Malay grammar, but you're certainly on the right course if you wish to study the common usage of the Malay language. Plus, instead of seeing it as mere entertainment, you can shift your perspective and start viewing it as a form of entertaining lessons! If this trick is put into practice once a week, you'll surely get to master Malay in no time!



3. Read, write and listen to the Malay language

Reading and writing - the most basic method of learning a language. Boring? Can be. Important? Absolutely. In all the hype of acquiring a new language, it's crucial for you to not skip reading and writing, no matter how insignificant it may seem to you. Something you always need to put in mind - language can never be learned without reading and writing.

So, you can start making yourself familiar with Bahasa Malaysia by reading children's storybooks - this is the most effortless manner for a foreigner to grasp basic words, phrases, and sentences of Malay. Reading also does wonders to enrich your vocabulary and teach you how to write lists of Malay words. Once you have mastered children's storybooks and think they're too easy for you, you can learn how to read longer sentences and compositions. Some of the options that you can choose from are Malay novels, newspapers, and magazines.


If you're tech-savvy and want something more updated, you would definitely love podcasts and audiobooks. These reading materials and audio recordings will serve you a vast array of Malay words, common phrases, and vocabulary. It can also be one of the most excellent ways for you to learn about Malay grammar and sentence structures, as reading materials are normally written in a formal, standard context. So, what are you waiting for? Start picking up any Malay book or start listening to any Malay podcasts today!



4. Travel to Malaysia and blend in!


You must have known this important fact - a language learner would be even proficient if he mingles around with those who are the native speakers of his target language. If you wish to learn Thai, it's best for you to go to Thailand and learn it first-hand from its native speaker. So, if you want to learn Bahasa Malaysia in the most effective way, what should be done? Exactly, you must travel to Malaysia! It's not a compulsory practice, but this method can undoubtedly help to boost your language learning process. If you're a fast learner, you can master Bahasa Malaysia in just a short period of 2 months!

How is this the most guaranteed, effective technique? Just so you know, by having a physical, in-person interaction daily, your brain would recognize and later be accustomed to Bahasa Malaysia, making it easier for you to absorb its words and phrases! As you chat and exchange dialogues with Malay speakers every day, it wouldn't be a problem for you to master basic Malay words and common phrases like apa khabar (how are you) and jom pergi makan sama-sama (let's eat together) in just 30 days.



5. Learn it online! (apps and online courses)


This final tip is the most efficient way - it's free and very easy! The only two things that keep you away from accessing countless information on acquiring Malay are your fingers and Internet connectivity. Since all the hustle-bustle of life today has mostly gone digital, it's truly convenient for you to just hit the search engine and look for any language learning applications, software, or online courses! A lot of these online apps offer language lessons, activities, and assessments free of charge.

So, take advantage of the modern-day convenience and learn Malay online! Ling App is one of the best, interactive free language app that can teach you essential Malay words, vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, and spelling through games and quizzes. It has a specific page where you get to learn Malay. With such a fun way of learning, you'll certainly get the hang of Bahasa Melayu in an instant!

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