Importance Of Manglish In Malaysia

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English was introduced in Malaysia during the British Empire colonialism in Tanah Melayu in the 18th century. According to Prof. Dr. Shanta Nair Venugopal, a professor in School of Language Studies and Linguistics UKM (2000), the learning of English language in Malaysia began as a tool of socio-economic mobility and education enhancement. After independence of Malaysia in 1957, English language has been recognised as the second language in Malaysia. Since then, the role of the English language in Malaysia has expanded to medium for communication and knowledge exchange. Due to the government’s desire to push our country into globalisation, the Malaysian government has been improvising the English language
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Manglish is a form of non-standard English that has been heavily-influenced by the national language of Malaysia, Bahasa Melayu and other languages like Indian and Chinese. The need for acquiring English language vary from the second language for the Malays and the third language for the Chinese and Indians, with Bahasa Malaysia as the official language. Hence, Manglish was naturally developed to be the lingua-franca that is used in informal settings in this multiracial society. For example, a Malay speaker would speak Manglish with certain words and phrases that are understandable by the Chinese and Indians. In addition, Manglish is the simpler version of Malaysian or Global Standard English. For example, instead of speaking the standard English form for “It should be done like that!”, the Manglish speaker would say “Like that one”. Manglish also has different vocabulary than the standard English which consists of words originating from English, Malay, Mandarin and Tamil. However, most of the words that are derived from English would bring a different meaning than its original meaning. For instance, in standard English, the word “action” means an act or things done, meanwhile in Manglish, “action” refers to being arrogant or show-off. Some examples of Manglish word that are derived from local words are “yamcha” which is originally a Cantonese word and “tahan”…show more content…
Malay Malaysian English carries the dialectal influence on the use of English language. This dialects influence on English language among Malay speakers has resulted to the development of Kelantanese English, Kedahan English, Perakian English. Malay Malaysian English acts as an intra-state communication tool of English. For example, “gostan” which means to reverse is apparently derived from a nautical term “go astern” that is commonly used in Terengganu and Kelantan. Besides, Malay Malaysian English with dialectal influence also features the nativised intonation, speech rhythm and pronunciations. On the other hand, Malay Malaysian English also acts as inter-state communication tool of English among Malays. This is because there are similarities in Malay Malaysian English used among Malays despite of the state. Malaysians make abundant use of suffixes -lah and -kan as well as direct translation from English to Malay and vice versa. In most cases, suffixes –lah and –kan are not only used by Malays but are also common among Chinese and Indians.
Another sub-category under Manglish is the use of slang. Slang is the words or expressions that are very informal and are not considered suitable for more formal situations. Some slang is used only by a particular group of people. Slang is formed under various influences. For example, “abuden” is a combination word of Malay word "apa" and the English word "then".

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