Have you heard of the term “Manglish” before? Well, if yes, you may have been using it or have heard it spoken all around you. Is it alright to use Malaysian English (the variety of English spoken in Malaysia which is acceptable when used among Malaysians) in daily conversations rather than Standard English (the variety of English spoken in the United Kingdom)? Actually, it is advisable to use Standard English with non-Malaysians and in more formal situations since Standard English is more universally understood throughout the world.
Today, I want to show you some examples of unacceptable local usage which are best avoided when speaking or writing formally. You will see that these examples break the accepted rules of Standard English grammar and others cause misunderstanding when spoken or used with non-Malaysians or foreigners.
1. Malaysian usage: Can you tell me where is the place?
Standard usage: Can you tell me where the place is?
2. Malaysian usage: My mother is taller compared to my father.
Standard usage: My mother is taller than my father.
3. Malaysian usage: He repaired his car.
Standard usage: He had his car repaired.
4. Malaysian usage: Ridzuan would be coming tomorrow.
Standard usage: Ridzuan will be coming tomorrow.
(Note: Use will to indicate future.)
5. Malaysian usage:
Lily: This pizza is tasty!
Ahmad: Thanks! I cooked myself.
Ahmad: Thanks! I cooked it myself.
6. Malaysian usage: I am having a headache.
Standard usage : I have/I’ve got a headache.
7. Malaysian usage: Fergie sang really well, isn’t it?
Standard usage: Fergie sang really well, didn’t she?
(Note: Use didn’t with verbs/ sang is a verb.)
8. Malaysian usage: My one is very good.
Standard usage: Mine is very good.
9. Malaysian usage: Both of my kids didn’t eat the pizza.
Standard usage : Neither of my kids ate the pizza.
10. Malaysian usage: Although he is rich but he is still generous.