Thank You In Malay Bahasa: 3 Remarkable Ways To Say

Thank You In Malay Bahasa

Have you ever wondered what it feels like to witness the eye-catching skyscrapers and breathtaking skylines in Kuala Lumpur? Or are you among the outdoor enthusiasts who crave to explore Malaysia‘s rich tropical wildlife and stunning coral reefs? If so, then you need to know how to say the most important key phrase in Malaysia – thank you! Let’s learn more about Thank you in Malay Bahasa with the rest of this article.

As the Southeast Asian country is locally known for its courteous values and ethics, it’s crucial for you to say thank you, especially if you’re planning to visit and roam around the country.

So, if you have no idea how to say thank you in Malay (Bahasa language), this is literally the perfect place for you

Thank You In Malay Terima Kasih

How Do I Say Thank You In Malay?

Frankly, the Malay language is one of the easiest languages to learn and speak. The language, conversational Malay in particular, is simple, straightforward, and clear-cut.

Do not worry if you’re neither a native Malaysian nor a born linguist because the only phrase you need to know to say thank you in Bahasa Malaysia is these two magical words; terima kasih.

Here I include the spelling of thank you in Malay and its phonetic transcription (like the ones you see in dictionaries, to help you figure out how to pronounce it!)

Terima kasih     =    /tərɪˈmə kɑːse̞h/

Literally, the word terima means to accept while kasih refers to love and affection in Bahasa Malaysia. When put together, it figuratively implies an expression of appreciation and gratitude towards someone.

For your information, the phonetic sound above is transcribed based on how the native Malaysians usually say it. Simply put, the transcription teaches you how to pronounce the phrase rather colloquially, casually, and conversationally. Typically, this is how terima kasih is verbalized in almost every context of life, including professional settings.

But then, you might want to be careful when it comes to a highly formal, prestigious ceremony. On official occasions involving very strict ceremonial or royal protocols, the phrase terima kasih will be articulated in its standard, formal way.

So, in such context, it would be best if you pronounce it as /terimɑ kasih/, instead of /terimə kasih/. The figure below shows how the vocal sound ‘a’ in terima changes when the setting is strictly formal:

Informal Formal
/tərɪˈmə kɑːsh/   /tərɪˈmɑ kɑːsh/    

Informally, the vocal ‘a’ in terima, is often pronounced with an ə sound (like the vocal sound in the).

Yet, in a highly formal context, the vocal ‘a’ in terima is articulated with an ɑ sound (like the a in spa).

Congratulations! Now you know the secret on how to pronounce terima kasih in Malay properly!

But hold on! Why does it seem too easy? How about the syllables, is there any tonal features or gender attributions that we need to know about?

Well, since the Malay language is again, easily comprehensible, the phrase terima kasih can be used by anyone and everyone – there’s no short form to it, no masculine or feminine connotations, no tonal features, and no synonyms.

In Malay, if you ever want to articulate your thankfulness, just say the word terima kasih!

What Is Selamat In Malaysia?

If you’re studying what thank you is in Bahasa Indonesia, you might have encountered a similar word in Malay. Selamat is peace or safe (safety) in both Indonesian and Malaysian terms. Hence, you will hear this word alongside other phrases used for greetings. But does it mean thank you in Malay Bahasa? Actually, is not used for saying thanks to anyone from Indonesia or Malaysia. Instead, Selamat is a false cognate of the word Salamat in Tagalog and other Filipino languages, which in fact means, thank you! Uncanny isn’t it? So, remember those tips so you won’t jumble the languages when speaking to your Malay friends!

How Do I Reply “You Are Welcome” In Malay?

Now, as you have understood how to say thank you in Malay Bahasa, what should you reply in return if someone said thanks to you?

There’s only one word for thank you in the Malay language and identically, there’s only one word for your welcome as well.

If a person said terima kasih to you, you should say “sama-sama” in return.

Sama-sama =    /sɑmə sɑmə/

The sound of the end vocal ‘a’ in sama-sama carries the same conditional attribute as the word terima. You can try pronouncing the word sama-sama according to the phonetic symbols above, to sound exactly like a native Malay speaker.

Responding to someone’s thank you by saying your welcome, or in Malay, sama-sama, is a basic form of manners, courtesy, and respect. So, when a person says terima kasih, don’t forget to say “sama-sama” back in return!

When Do You Say Thank you in Malay Bahasa

When Do You Say Thank You In Malay?

If you are still wondering when should you use the phrase terima kasih and sama-sama, here’s a few examples:

A: Here you go, this is the item you ordered.B: OK, thank you!


A: Your welcome.

A: Nah, ini barang yang kamu telah pesan.


B: OK, terima kasih!

A: Sama-sama.

A: Thank you for inviting me today.B: Your welcome/don’t mention it. A: Terima kasih kerana menjemput saya hari ini.


B: Sama-sama.

A: Here’s your present.B: I like it, thank you very much!


A: Your welcome.

A: Ini hadiah awak.


B: Saya sukakannya. Terima kasih banyak-banyak!

A: Sama-sama.

Clearly, the use of terima kasih and sama-sama phrases are directly used in almost all existing contexts. Malay is downright straightforward so if you want to thank people for their efforts and services, say terima kasih and in response, don’t forget to say sama-sama!

Significance Of Saying Thank You In Malay Culture

Is it a must for us to say terima kasih? Why don’t we say ‘thank you’ instead, since English is the second language of Malaysians?

Well, although the native Malay speakers indeed have no problems understanding English as the nation has made it compulsory to acquire the language, there are some key points why speaking their mother tongue will earn you a great experience.

  1. Essentially, native speakers will be impressed if you choose to express gratitude and appreciation to the local community using their first language instead of yours.
  2. The locals will feel much more related since you speak their mother tongue, which will grant you great welcoming remarks, warmth, and hospitality from the native Malay speakers.
  3. Saying simple phrases in Malay serves as a token of respect – it depicts how you, as a non-native Malaysian, highly respect the country and its citizens, striving to appreciate and use their language. This will not only shape the locals’ perspectives towards your personality; it also includes the idea and representation of your home country.
  4. If you continuously show interest in their language and culture, you may get lower prices for their products and services!
Learn Malay with Ling

Learn More Basic Phrases In The Malay Language

Learning how to say thank you in Malay Bahasa and you’re welcome in the Malay language will make you noticeable among the Malay speakers. Yet, if you want to be recognized and approached by the Malaysian community, you need to learn other Malay basic phrases and expressions.

The Ling app can definitely help you acquire the most important words and key phrases in Malay – it has the best, interactive features that will get you speaking Malay in no time! Learn Malay now when you download the Ling app on your iOS or Android phone. Don’t hesitate, just learn and practice Malay with Ling app!

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