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!
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!
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:
|/tərɪˈmə kɑːse̞h/||/tərɪˈmɑ kɑːse̞h/|
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!
Now, as you have understood how to say thank you in Malay, 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!
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: Thank you for inviting me today.B: Your welcome/don’t mention it.||A: Terima kasih kerana menjemput saya hari ini.
|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!
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!
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.
Learning how to say thank you and your 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!