Knowing the pronouns, basic greetings, and question words of a newly acquired language is absolutely crucial. Just as important, being able to introduce yourself is a basic form of self-expression, individuality, and recognition. Introducing yourself in another, foreign language, however, is much of a different case. In today’s blog, you’ll be exposed to some new words and phrases – the ones you’ll use to introduce yourself in Bahasa Malaysia. If you’re learning Malay and want to know how to introduce yourself in Malay, then stick around and keep your screen time going!
Introduce Yourself In Malay – Is It Easy?
The first thing you should know in the lesson of Malay self-introduction is the fact that Bahasa Melayu is straightforward and easy to acquire and master. Having said that, don’t worry too much about screwing up when you introduce yourself in Malay. The Malay locals would already be impressed as you attempt to speak in their native tongue, so you can push that concern away.
There are several important words you’ll learn in this lesson. Each of the words resembles a specific part, referring to who you are, what you do, and what’s your favorite pastime. If you want to find out how to say all these in the Malay language, keep on scrolling!
Common Phrases When Introducing Yourself In Malay
Let’s dive into some fundamental phrases you need to know in order to introduce yourself in English. Now we’ve all known that Malay is an easy, uncomplicated language. If you’re a native English speaker or you’ve understood how English works, you’ll probably get the hang of the Malay language as well.
1. Sila perkenalkan diri anda (Please introduce yourself)
Before introducing yourself to the Malaysian community or if you’re new to some Malay companies and agencies, you may hear this phrase a lot. Sila perkenalkan diri anda simply means please introduce yourself in English. I’ll provide you with the literal translation of this phrase:
Sila – Please
Perkenalkan – Introduce
Diri – Self
Anda – You/Your
By now, you’ll see and learn the necessary vocabulary you need to know so that you can use it later when introducing yourself to the local Malays. As you can see, perkenalkan is indicated to mean the English word, introduce. The word kan at the back of perkenalkan is actually a suffix, as perkenal already means introduce in Bahasa Malaysia. However, when used in a phrase, usually it’s accompanied by the suffix -kan. The other words like sila, diri and anda is quite self-explanatory. Their meanings are precisely the same as their English counterparts.
If you’re taking a Malay course or just started working in Malaysia, you’ll be hearing this phrase a lot, especially in job interviews. It’s normally said by other people as this specific phrase is imperative – it’s a form of instruction where people want you to introduce yourself.
2. Pengenalan diri (Self-introduction)
Compared to the imperative phrase before, this particular term is mostly used in Malay written contexts. A common practice you’d see in Malaysia’s primary schools on the first day of school – the first-day lesson would be writing a page of their biodata, explaining who they are. In short, primary school kids often write their pengenalan diri on the first day of school. The English translation to this term is quite clear too. Pengenalan is a noun, which is identical to its English equivalent, introduction. Plus, the word self is translated as diri. So, if you want to say myself in Bahasa Malaysia, it becomes diri saya (as you guess it, saya means I/me/my in Malay).
3. Nama saya (My name is)
This is the start of the most important part of today’s lesson. Let me quickly translate this phrase for you.
Nama = Name
Saya = My
That’s it? How about the word is? In Bahasa Melayu, there’s no equivalent to the helping verb is because the words in Malay are already sufficient in carrying and showing the meaning of the English auxiliary verb, is.
So, if you want to introduce yourself by saying ‘I am Annie’, you can simply use this phrase – Nama saya Annie. There you go, the first key aspect in introducing yourself in Malay!
4. Umur saya X tahun (I am X years old)
This next part teaches you how to show your age through words. Let’s say you just meet a local friend and want to send him information pertaining to your age. You can do that by simply saying “Umur saya 30 tahun“, which translates to ‘My age is 30 years old‘. Here’s the breakdown to show what each word actually means:
Umur = Age
Saya = My
Tahun = Years old
The direct translation of the above phrase is “my age is X years old”. If you want to precisely say “I am X years old”, you can opt the word umur out and just say “Saya 30 tahun“. But still, both ‘Umur saya 30 tahun‘ and ‘Saya 30 tahun‘ mean the same, so feel free to use either one!
5. Saya suka (I like/I like to)
If you want to include your pastime in your self-introduction, you can use this particular phrase. It can also be used to signify your favorite food and color.
Saya suka berenang = I like swimming/to swim
Saya suka warna merah = I like red colour
Saya suka nasi lemak = I like nasi lemak
6. Saya seorang (I am a + occupation)
Next, if you want to inform people of your job, you can easily follow this tip:
Saya seorang guru = I am a teacher
Saya seorang atlet = I am an athlete
Saya seorang pemasar digital = I am a digital marketer
If you’re wondering what seorang means, it’s the equivalent to the English ‘a‘. To make it even more clear for you, se in Bahasa Melayu means one, while orang means person. So, logically, when combined together, the word indicates a person. As you use seorang in a sentence like the ones above, it figuratively means you’re this type of person.
Hence, typically, when an English sentence has its singular auxiliary verb that’s followed by an article (am + a), its Malay translation is seorang.
In any case, if somebody asks you what do you do, it’s adequate for you to answer “Saya atlet“. This is a new lesson you should keep in mind – when you’re answering someone’s inquiry about your job, simply say “Saya + your job” (however this only applies in a casual, informal context). Don’t worry about the meaning because it means exactly as the English “I’m a + job”.
7. Saya ingin menjadi (I want to be + ambition)
You can also use this phrase to tell people your aspiration.
Saya ingin menjadi seorang jurutera = I want to be an engineer
Saya ingin menjadi seorang penterjemah profesional = I want to be a professional translator
Saya ingin menjadi seorang usahawan yang berjaya = I want to be a successful entrepreneur
Since Bahasa Melayu is straightforward, you might be able to guess which means which.
Saya = I
Ingin = Want
Menjadi = To be
Seorang = A
*pro tip: the word ingin has a synonym in Malay, which is mahu.
8. Saya tinggal di (I live in/at)
In English, people are commonly confused with the option of using in or at when referring to a certain place. In Bahasa Melayu, you can slip the concern out of your mind. If you want to make references to the place you live, either the house, city or state, you use saya tinggal di.
Saya tinggal di Kuala Lumpur = I live in Kuala Lumpur
Saya tinggal di 30, Jalan Desa Ria, Taman Anggerik = I live at 30, Jalan Desa Ria, Taman Anggerik
9. Saya lahir di (I was born in/at)
This one is exactly the same as the previous example. If you want to refer to the hospital, city or state you’re born in/at, its Malay equivalent is just di.
Saya lahir di Selangor = I was born in Selangor
Saya lahir di Hospital Langkawi = I was born in Hospital Langkawi
10. Saya lahir pada (I was born on)
If you want people to know when is your birthday, you can tell them when you were born.
Saya lahir pada 30 Mac = I was born on March 30th
Saya lahir pada 2 Disember = I was born on December, 2nd
11. Saya boleh bertutur dalam X bahasa (I can speak in X languages)
Finally, if you want to let others know that you’re bilingual, trilingual, or quadrilingual, you can use this particular phrase.
Saya boleh bertutur dalam empat bahasa = I can speak in four languages
How To Introduce Yourself In Malay?
So, as you have learned all the necessary phrases, you can now introduce yourself in Malay.
|Q: Sila perkenalkan diri anda.||Q: Please introduce yourself.|
|A: Nama saya Adam.||A: My name is Adam.|
|Umur saya 20 tahun dan saya lahir di Hospital Kuala Lumpur.||I am 20 years old and I was born in Hospital Kuala Lumpur.|
|Sekarang saya tinggal di Melaka.||Currently, I live in Malacca.|
|Saya suka bermain bola speak dan saya mahu menjadi seorang pemain bola profesional.||I like to play football and I want to be a professional football player.|
|Saya boleh bertutur dalam tiga bahasa; Bahasa Melayu, Bahasa Inggeris dan Bahasa Jepun.||I can speak in 3 languages; Malay, English, and Japanese.|
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