Malaysian English/ Manglish

Manglish are examples of a phenomenon called first language interference. To simply put, speakers of a second language will express things in the language the same way they express in their mother tongue. So, if the two languages are closely related, it may produces expression that are either incomprehensible to the speakers unknown to it or understandable indirectly to the known speakers.

Generally, we somehow understand the way the speaker is trying to express but not in the way like what the Britain, Australian or even the American expresses. Manglish is in fact a variant or a variety of English known worldwide. You can also have New York American or Scottish; and the likes. If used in the right place and to the right people/community, Manglish is actually fully operational on its own as an effective tool of communication.

Hence, a lot of questions are asked about the origin of this Manglish. Simple. It hails from the many local languages and dialects of the rich ethnic diversity in Malaysia. The fabulous diverse combination includes Cantonese, Malay, Mandarin, Hokkien and so forth.

For instance, to express the inability to perform, we say “can(not)” which equals to (tak) boleh in Malay language. The same goes to “off-ing” and “on-ing” if referring to switching off and on a light respectively.

The many examples of Manglish are:




Of course, we take pride in speaking the language in the most informal way as possible such as our everyday chat. Manglish has established itself as a strong identity to the nation and become a modern language that unifies all people. It is so deeply rooted that foreigners would have to learn the language (and culture) in order to mingle the people in Malaysia.

Hence, in short, Manglish is Malaysian English. This is the standard expressions commonly used by Malaysian speakers. I hope you enjoy reading and knowing the many special characteristic of Manglish. Cheers!


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