5 Ultimate Ways To Say Yes In Malay

Yes! – Have you ever wonder how this word sounds like in the Malay language? If so, keep your screen time going because, by the end of this blog, you’ll know the words that Malay native speakers use to say yes and you’ll also learn the hidden secret of how to say the translations exactly like the Malay locals! Now, let’s not waste our time and dive right into the best ways of saying yes in Bahasa Melayu!


How To Say Yes In Malay

Saying yes is something that we can’t get away from, ever, in our daily conversations. Making decisions is a daily task and so is responding to people’s inquiries. Here are the Malay translations of the word ‘yes’ in the Malay language.

1) Ya – The formal yes

What’s the translation of yes in Bahasa Melayu? – Ya! It’s simply short, similar to its English equivalent. It’s the standard and formal translation for yes. Formally, the vocal /a/ is pronounced such as the /a/ sound in spa. But then, Malay locals don’t articulate it that way – the casual and usual way of uttering ya is exactly as how you articulate the /ɪər/ sound in the word wire.

Ya (formal) = /jɑ/

Ya (informal) = /jɪər/

2) Baik – Sure

Baik is occasionally used if people want to reply ‘sure’. Baik sounds rather formal, so people normally use it with strangers, superiors, or authorities. Simply put, it’s used in a standard-setting or with people with whom you aren’t really friendly. Also, this word is often used when you’re responding to instructions like “have a seat”.

3) Boleh – Sure/Can

This particular word is rather colloquial in usage. If someone asks you “Do you want a cup of tea?”, you’d typically respond by saying yes, in English. Sometimes, you alternate by saying sure. The translation for that sure is boleh, which literally means can. Boleh is one of the most spoken words in the Malay’s spoken context and the locals use it extensively with everyone. Feel free to respond boleh to strangers as it connotes a sense of friendliness and warmth.

4) OK

This one is definitely self-explanatory. OK is the universal word used by everyone from all over the globe and Malays aren’t exempted from that trend. In Malaysia, usually, we state OK and follow by boleh afterward; OK boleh, which means OK, sure!

5) Ha’ah – Yup

This particular word is the translation for yup in English. You’ll find this being said so many times among Malaysians, especially among the youth. And just by the sound of it, this word is often said in casual circumstances; with close friends and families.

Saying Yes In Malay – How To Use It

Ya Awak suka minum Starbucks tak?
Ya, saya suka.
Do you like to drink Starbucks?
Yes, I like it.
Baik Sila duduk.
Please have a seat.
Boleh Boleh saya duduk di sini?
Can I seat here?
Ha’ah Awak nak pergi tingkat 10 jugak ke?
Do you want to go to the 10th floor too?


Other Related Words & Phrases

1) Setuju – Agree

If you want to signify your affirmation, this is the word you need. People usually state “Saya setuju!” which translates to “I agree!” in English.

2) Betul – True/That’s Right

If you find a person’s statement to be true, you can utter betul, which literally means true. The locals normally pronounce betul tu (that’s right) whenever they agree to whatever a person is saying.

3) Mungkin – Maybe/Perhaps

This is how you utter perhaps in Bahasa Malaysia – mungkin. Do you think she’s pregnant? Mungkin.

4) Tolong – Please

In Malaysia, tolong is primarily understood as a verb, which means help. However, in this context, we’re talking about the second definition of tolong, which is, please. If you were to translate the statement “Please be quiet” to Bahasa Melayu, it will become “Tolong senyap”. This word is used in both formal and informal settings.

How To Say No In Malay

After knowing how to articulate yes in Bahasa Malaysia, let’s add some more knowledge and find out the vocabulary for no.

1) Tidak – The Formal No

Tidak is the formal way of saying no in Malaysia. And by formal, well, I mean you only hear it being said on news, conferences, and basically, everything formal.

2) Tak – Nope

Tak is the short-form version of tidak. As mentioned before, the locals don’t articulate tidak as it’s strictly formal. On daily basis, the Malaysians declare no when they want to deny or disagree.

3) Tak setuju – Disagree

Another way of signifying your disagreement is by pronouncing it out loud. In the Southeast Asian country, the term to know is tak setuju. Whenever you disagree, you can utter “Saya tak setuju!”, which translates to “I disagree!”

4) Salah – False/Wrong

Salah is the opposite of betul (true/right). If a person asks you the correct way of articulating a word and it’s proven wrong, you can utter salah, instead of saying no.

5) Bukan – Not/Nope

Bukan is mostly used when people asked questions pertaining to belongings. To answer, you can respond with bukan to convey that that particular item isn’t yours. “Is this yours?” – Bukan.

Learn Bahasa Malaysia Today

After today’s blog post, you’ve acquired the knowledge of saying yes or no in Malay. Feel free to proceed with your learning of the language with us. Learn Bahasa Melayu or any other languages you like at Ling App, where you’ll get free access to learn words, pronunciation, sentences, vocabulary and so much more! One good thing that Ling has is its vast learning resources. By having Ling, there are over 60 languages available for you to access anytime!

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