Bahasa Melayu Singapura

Bahasa Melayu Singapura 2000

Copyright © Sonja Lang 2018
Version: 2018-11-20 13:55
Status: alpha (sharing with friends, not ready for full public distribution)
Send feedback to sonja@lang.sg


Contents


Project Team

Editor-in-Chief  Sonja Lang
Malay Language Consultant  Tina Amir
Corpus Digitizer  Fizza Mohsinally
Special thanks to:  Zahra Aljunied, Ibrahim Ariff, Niel J. Jaime, Michael Campbell, Yukihiro “Matz” Matsumoto, Syarafina Abdul Halim, Abdul Halim Yusof, Lin Yu Cheng, Victor Berrjod, jan Wako, Sharifah Narimah

1. This Dictionary

Malay is the national language of Singapore.a This dictionary lists the 2000 most common words of Malay, based on a wide collection of texts from Singaporean sources. We scanned 1.6 million words from local books, news stories, film scripts and public signs.


1. About the Malay Language

Broadly speaking, Malay (or Malay–Indonesian) is a group of closely related languages or dialects that are spoken across the Malay Archipelago (Nusantara) in Southeast Asia. In each country, speakers call their standardized form of the language a different name, but they can generally understand each other without any special effort.

This particular dictionary is based on the variety used in Singapore.

Local Name
of Language
Total Speakers Native Speakers
Singapore Malay (Bahasa Melayu) 0.55 milliona 0.46 millionb
Malaysia Malaysian (Bahasa Malaysia) (before 1986 and after 2007)
Malay (Bahasa Melayu) (1986–2007)
   
Indonesia Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia) 198 million (2010 census) 43 million (2010 census)
Brunei Malay (Bahasa Melayu)    
Thailand Bahasa Melayu    

a According to the 2010 census, 550,485 of the resident population aged 15 and over are literate in Malay. If we extrapolate for children under 15. Does this number include foreigners living in Singapore, e.g. Indonesian maids?
b According to the 2010 census, 12.2% of the Singapore resident population (3,771,721) use Malay as the language most frequently spoken at home.

Number of Speakers

Dr. Uli Kozok gives a conservative estimate of 215 million fluent speakers (University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa website, 2012). In Bahasa Sanskerta dan Bahasa Melayu (2009), James T. Collins gives a conservative estimate of approximately 200 million, and a maximum estimate of 250 million speakers of Malay.

If we list the world’s languages by total number of speakers, Malay-Indonesian ranks as #6. That’s more than Russian, French, German or Japanese!

  1. English (1.39 billion)
  2. Mandarin Chinese (1.15 billion)
  3. Spanish (661 million)
  4. Hindi-Urdu (544 million)
  5. Arabic (422 million)
  6. Malay-Indonesian (281 million)
  7. Russian (267 million)
  8. Bengali (261 million)
  9. Portuguese (229 million)
  10. French (229 million)

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_languages_by_total_number_of_speakers (retrieved in April 2018)

In many cases, Malay-Indonesian serves as a unifying language (bahasa penyatuan). For example, there are over 700 living languages spoken in Indonesia. Not surprisingly, only 22% of those who speak Malay-Indonesian declared it as their native language in the 2010 census. A person’s first language might be Javanese, Sundanese or Buginese, but Indonesian serves as the bridge to communicate with fellow Indonesians from other ethnic backgrounds. That is also why, as of 2007, Malaysia prefers to use the term Bahasa Malaysia for its standardized version of Malay, to emphasize its role for all citizens of Malaysia, not only ethnic Malays.

In Brunei, Standard Malay is specified as the national language in the 1959 constitution and preferred in formal contexts, however a local dialect called Bahasa Melayu Brunei is more widely spoken in informal settings.


Dictionary of Singaporean Malay

This dictionary lists the 2000 most common words of Malay, according to a corpus containing over 1.6-million words of text generated from exclusively Singaporean writers and sources. Click on any Malay word to show usage examples.

“The national language shall be the Malay language and shall be in the Roman script […]” (Constitution of the Republic of Singapore, PART XIII)


Etymology

The Malay language passed through many stages of loan words.

  1. Austronesian roots
  2. Period of Indian, Hindu and Sanskrit influence:
  3. Period of Arabic and Islamic influence:
  4. Period of English and Western influence:

Phonetic Transcription

Six Vowels

Malay has six vowel phonemes:

Malay
Spelling
Dictionary
Spelling
Phonetic
Symbol
Examples
aa/a/akan, aku, dan, dengan, kami, kepada, tidak, yang
ee/ə/dengan, Encik, engkau, ke, kerana, lebih, menjadi, seperti, telah
é/e/bésok, boléh, hébat, keréta, meréka, oléh, téngok
ii/i/dari, di, dia, ini, itu, kami, tidak
oo/o/boleh, golongan, oleh, orang, polis, sekolah, tengok, tolong
uu/u/aku, itu, juga, kamu, lalu, pula, satu, sudah

The letter e is used for two distinct vowel sounds:

Examples of minimal pairs: perang (war) vs. pérang (light brown).

In this dictionary, the /e/ sound is always written é in Malay headwords, except some proper nouns and loan words, e.g. Aljunied, ASEAN, Balestier, Facebook, Geylang. Students must learn which words actually contain /e/. See Words with /e/.

Diphthongs

Sonja must decide which transcription! aʊ̯ aw etc. Malay has three gliding vowels:

Malay
Spelling
Phonetic
Symbol
Examples
ai/aj/ 
au/aw/ 
oi/oj/ 

Sonja needs to record and analyze: What about /aʔi/ or /aʔu/ ? When is diphthong, and when is two syllables with glottal stop? Is glottal stop optional? Need to record speakers saying words like: laut, air, mempunyai, cincin

Special Cases

Some vowel sounds change in certain environments.

AllophoneContextExamples
/ɑ/near uvularized consonants in loan words from ArabicAllah, qari
/ɐ//ɐ/[ə]   informal pronunciation
/ɐ/[a]   formal pronunciation

There is no distinct [ɐ] sound in Malay! This is a compromise symbol introduced by this dictionary as a convention.

The reduction to [ə] in informal speech only occurs:
  1. at the end of a word
  2. at the end of root or morpheme (and before a suffix)
  3. in the ending -aha
The reduction does not occur in singing. There are also a few exceptions where [a] must be kept even in informal pronunciation. These words are always transcribed with /a/ in this dictionary, e.g. anda, wanita, panda, asrama.
  1. ada, apa, dia, kepada, mereka, pada, saya
  2. menggunakan
  3. usaha
[ɪ]In closed syllables, /i/ becomes [ɪ], almost identical to /e/ baik, Encik, Islam, lebih, tinggi
[ʊ]In closed syllables, /u/ becomes [ʊ], almost identical to /o/ belum, betul, datuk, mungkin, untuk

Sonja needs to record and analyze: other Arabic loan words tend to use o or a e.g. solat, Soleh. Long vowels?? Generate list of -a words and seek others that don’t reduce to [ə]. Also words like pintu, Jepun,

Consonants
Malay
Spelling
Phonetic
Symbol
Examples
b/b/bagi, boleh, lebih, berkata, baik
c/tʃ/Encik, secara, macam, cukup, mencari
d/d/dan, di, dengan, tidak, kepada
g/g/lagi, bagi, juga, sebagai, tiga
h/h/telah, boleh, hari, lebih, sudah, bahawa
tahun, mahu (not pronounced when between two different vowels?? or only ahu?)
j/dʒ/juga, sahaja, menjadi, jangan, jalan
k/k/aku, ke, mereka, kita, kau
(beginning of syllable)
/ʔ/tidak, tak, untuk, nak, mak (end of word)
waktu, cikgu, teksi, doktor, terpaksa (end of syllable)
l/l/Almost always: dalam, lagi, telah, boleh, kalau
/ɫ/Only in one word: Allah
m/m/
n/n/
ng/ŋ/Beginning of word: ngeri
End of word: yang, dengan, orang
Middle of word: ingat, ingin, bingun, merungut
(like English singer, without adding a /g/ sound!)
ngg/ŋg/hingga, tinggal, tinggi, menggunakan, minggu, tunggu
(like English finger)
ny/ɲ/banyak, hanya, mempunyai, nyata, tanya
p/p/apa, pun, pada, dapat, seperti
/p̚/End of word: cukup, setiap, hidup, terhadap, cakap
End of syllable: hidupnya, mengucapkan, mengharapkan, siapkan, ditetapkan
r/r/ or /ɾ/?
s/s/
t/t/Most cases: itu, tidak, kita, untuk, telah
/t̚/End of word: dapat, buat, tempat, melihat, tersebut
end of syllable: mendapatkan, tatkala, menyelamatkan, mulutnya
w/w/bahawa, walaupun, awak, wajah, waktu
y/j/yang, saya, ayah, you, Melayu
Non-Native Consonants

These only appear in words borrowed from Sanskrit, Arabic, English, etc.

Malay
Spelling
Phonetic
Symbol
Examples
/ʔ/Al-Quran
f/f/Firdaus, firman, filem, fikiran, telefon
kh/x/akhirnya, khabar, nakhoda, khayalan, akhbar, khas
sh/ʃ/Most proper names: British, Aishah, Shafiqah, Hashim, Shariff
/sh/Some Arabic names only: Ishak
sy/ʃ/masyarakat, syarikat, Syurga, syarat, asyik, televisyen
(loan words from Sanskrit, Arabic, English)
v/v/ or /f/universiti, video, individu, televisyen, Deepavali, November
z/z/ustaz, ustazah, zaman, berbeza, Haziq, Maizatul

Verify: kh > k, h?, gh > ɣ, z > z or ð
s > s or θ, Written th before 1972.

Special Cases

Some consonants change at the end of a syllable. k > ʔ, p̚ > t̚. Need to describe.

Sonja must record and analyze: if /ŋ/ and /r/ can have no audible release. Uvularized consonants sʶ tʶ lʶ ? Long vowels aː ? Test minimal pairs with kh and h. investigate if n > ɲ before c and j

Contrasting ng and ngg

Practice these sets to hear the difference between ng and ngg:
ingat, singa ≠ hingga, tinggal
ingin ≠ tinggi, ringgit
bingung ≠ minggu
merungut ≠ tunggu, sungguh
langit, angin ≠ panggil, canggih


📈 Frequency Index

The frequency index is a number from 1 to 10, showing how common a Malay word is (according to our text corpus). Examples:
rumah 📈 9.7 house
air 📈 8.8 water
wanita 📈 7.8 woman
kapal 📈 7.3 ship, vessel
buku 📈 7.9 book
agama 📈 6.2 religion
pejabat 📈 6.3 office
stesen 📈 5.6 station
bumbung 📈 4.4 roof
sepupu 📈 4.6 cousin
pedang 📈 4.2 sword
ugama 📈 2.9 religion (less common spelling)
falsafah 📈 2.8 philosophy
kimia 📈 1.8 chemistry
akuarium 📈 1 aquarium


Abbreviations and Symbols

See other words from same root.
Compare with similar, related or opposite words, which may have different meanings.
esp.especially
lit.   literally, word-for-word translation

Word Order and Sentence Structure

Compound nouns consist of a head noun and a second noun that describes the head noun or adds more precision, e.g. orang kampung (person of the village, villager), kereta api (fire car, i.e. train)

Adjectives go after the noun they modify: anak kecil (small child), kopi panas (hot coffee). Sometimes yang is needed, especially if describing many things about a noun. This also applies to possessive adjectives, e.g. rumah aku, and demonstrative adjectives, e.g. buku itu (this book), gadis itu (that girl, the girl).

Numerals and quantifiers go before the noun they modify: tiga kawan, banyak perkara

intensifiers go before the adjective they modify: lebih tinggi (higher)

Parts of Speech

abbabbreviation, contractionkependekan (kep.), singkatan
adjadjectivekata sifat, kata adjectif (adj.)形容词
advadverbkata keterangan (k.kt.), adverba (adv.)副词 fùcí
auxhelping verb, auxiliary, modal verbkata bantu (k.b.)助动词
circcircumfixapitan (per…an)
clfclassifier, measure word, counter wordpenjodoh bilangan量词 liàngcí
compcomplementizer (She noticed that it’s raining.)
conjconjunctionkata hubung (k.h.), kata penghubung, kata sendi???连词
copcopula, linking verbkata pemeri (k.pm.)
infinfixsisipan, e.g. tapak > telapak -el-, -er-, -em- -in-
intintensifier, adverb of degreekata penguat (k.p.)
interjinterjectionkata seru (k.s.), seruan (sr.)感叹词
lockata arah
nnounkata nama (k.n.)名词
negnegationkata nafi (k.nf.)
nprproper noun, proper name专有名词
numnumeralkata bilangan (k.bil.)数词
partgrammatical particlekata bantu (-kah, -lah, -pun)
phrasphrase, idiom, expressionungkapan (ung.)
posspossessive adjectivekata ganti nama kepemilikan
preprefixawalan (awl.)
prepprepositionkata sendi nama (k.s.n.), preposisi, kata depan介词, 前置词
propersonal pronounkata ganti nama代词 dàicí
ptclparticle, modal particlepartikel, kata penegas
qquestion particle, question markerkata tanya (k.ty.)疑问词 yíwèncí
qntquantifier, adjective of quantity (before noun), indefinite number
relrelative pronoun, relativizerkata sendi??...
statstative verbkata kerja keterangan静态动词, 状态动词
sufsuffix, endingakhiran (akh.)
titletitlegelaran? panggilan?
vverbkata kerja (k.k.)
viintransitive verb
vocform of addresspanggilan
vttransitive verbkata kerja transitif

Register or Style Labels

infinformal, colloquial, slangbahasa percakapan, bahasa basahan, tidak rasmi, slanga口语, 俗话 súhuà
frm  formal rasmi正式 zhèngshì
old-fashioned, dated, poetic, literarysastera lama, usang, perkatan lama, mungkin tidak lagi digunakan 过时 guòshí
can be considered rude, disrespectful, offensive, vulgarkasar, kesat, kurang ajar, bahasa yang menyinggung perasaan无礼 wúlǐ, 粗俗 cūsú
trademarktanda dagangan
(UK)  British Englishbahasa Inggeris British英国英语 Yīngguó Yīngyǔ
(US)American EnglishBahasa Inggris Amerika北美英语 Běiměi Yīngyǔ, 美国英语 Měiguó yīngyǔ, 加拿大英语 Jiānádà yīngyǔ

Sound Changes with me- and pe-

The prefixes me- and pe- trigger sound changes, depending on the letter that follows. This also applies to circumfixes that begin with me- or pe-.

Following LetterSound ChangeExamples
l, m, n, r, w, y, zme- (no change)
pe-
lihat, melihat
a, e, i, o, u, g, hme- → meng-
pe- → peng-
ambil, mengambil
kme- + k… → meng- (with deletion of k)
pe- + k… → peng-
kata, mengatakan
c, d, jme- → men-
pe- → pen-
jadi, menjadi
tme- + t… → men- (with deletion of t)
pe- + t… → pen-
tarik, mengarik
b, f, vme- → mem-
pe- → pem-
buat, membuat
pme- + p… → mem- (with deletion of p)
pe- + p… → pem-
pandang, memandang
sme- + s… → meny- (with deletion of s)
pe- + s… → peny-
sambut, menyambut

Loan words (from English, Arabic, etc.) are only partially affected by this sound change. The prefix will change, but the consonants p, t, k are not dropped, and -ns- is used instead of -ny-.

This sound change is unique to me- and pe-: other prefixes such as ke- and se- do not behave this way.


No Double R with ber-, per- and ter-

These prefixes drop the r when:

  1. the root begins with r, or
  2. the root’s first syllable ends in er

Field Labels

⚕️anatomy, human body, medicine
🎭arts, entertainment
🌿botany, plant
👲🏻Chinese name
👕clothing
💻computer
💰finance, business, economics
🎲games, cards
🌏geography, country, state, city, etc.
⛏️geology, minerals
🕋Islam, Qurʾān
👪kinship term, family
law, legal
📚linguistics, grammar
?Malay tradition and folklore
👨🏽man’s name, boy’s name
🎵music
⛵⚓nautical
🏛️politics
🙏religion
⚗  science, engineering
sport
🚙🚃transportation, vehicles, automobile, aviation
🧕🏼woman’s name, girl’s name
🐾zoology, animal

Corpus Source Texts

Novels, novellas, short stories and plays over 1,335,000 words.

(aaa)  1 novel: Catatan Perjalanan
(abc)  1 novel: Song Sang
(Ahmad Awang)  1 novel: Pemindahan
(Aidli Mosbit)  1 novel: Chantek
(Anthology)  1 novel: Penawar
(Azizfakir)  2 novels: Senja Di Pantai, Senja Di Pantai
(Berita Harian)  1 novel: articles from Berita Harian, Singapore’s largest Malay-language newspaper (over 189,000 words)
(def)  1 novel: God A
(Djamal Tukimin)  1 novel: Luman-Luman Zaihasra
(Isa Kamari)  1 novel: Satu Bumi
(Ishak Latiff)  1 novel: HP
(Ismail dan Yaacob)  1 novel: Riwayat Laksamana Melaka Hang Tuah
(Leyla Shuri)  3 novels: Pagi Semerah Daun Momiji, Pulut Sakura Serunding Kasih, Terbelah Bintang Subaru
(Manaf Hamzah)  4 novels: Jati Lestari 1, Jati Lestari 2, Seruling Perak, Suzan
(Maria Mahat)  1 novel: Ada Biji Saga di Dalam Saku Kami
(Mohamed Latiff Mohamed)  1 novel: Nostalgia Yang Hilang
(MRT)  1 novel: MRT
(Muhammad Ariff Ahmad)  1 novel: Adat dan Tradisi
(P. Ramlee)  1 novel: scripts of 17 movies produced by P. Ramlee, transcribed by Wiramanja Abdul Rahman Ahmad Hanafiah (over 120,000 words)
(Rasiah Halil)  1 novel: Hikayat Sri Anggerik
(Rohani Din)  5 novels: Kemelut Hati, Kereta Api Terbalik Langgar Kerbau Di Rembau, Ku Tunaikah Janji, Kucari Penjuru Bintang, Masih Ada Yang Sayang
(Sejarah Melayu)  1 novel: Sejarah Melayu
(Siti Hanifah Mustapha)  1 novel: CPF dan SMS
(Suratman Markasan)  1 novel: Subuh Hilang Senja

 



Most Common Words with /e/

These words use the /e/ phoneme instead of /ə/. Be aware that some of these may have a near-homonym with /ə/, e.g. pérang (light brown) vs. perang (war), sépak (kick) vs. sepak (whack).

meréka
boléh
oléh
éh
mémang
keréta
kéna
téngok
téksi
mérah
méja
téléfon
ésok
téh

bég
béta
dék
nénék
ténang
héi
lébar
nénda
béri
stésén
bébas
déwan
jendéla
léna
pérang
anéh
léga
témpoh
héh
léwat
bésok
ékor
lembu
léhér
kuda
goréng
péndék
péngsan
méter
élok

selésa
vidéo
seléndang
réhat
déwasa
hébat
sépak
amérika
sén
cerpén
istiméwa
réstoran
hotél
létak
pétak
ékonomi
tikét
présidén
réla
daérah
média
béngkél
mésin
prosés
sérai
sérius
pérak
sési
kés
projék
léman
gérai
témbok
khémah
télévisyen
okéy
séwa
kecéwa
réndang
potrét
téknologi
réda
lokét
séri
méwah
énjin
méi
tauké
idéa
téater
médan
inspéktor
léha
koléj
gét
é
sét
pakéj
sébak
émosi
sémak
génerasi
pésta
seléra
nékad
énak
disémber
comél
réaksi
hém
sétan
Séptémber
péna
éléktrik
kréatif
éhwal
kilométer
agénsi
majistrét
jakét
séng
mél
profésional
épal
rékod
léréng
internét
cék
téwas
locéng
molék
déstinasi
fébruari
méséj
pendékar
séktor
pélan
éléktronik
faédah
profésor
tékan
kék
pér
éksékutif
hélah
kelédék
péning
tragédi
témbak
serémban
désa
réntak
stratégi
réaliti
léka
ménu
novémber
kaméra
pékak
bendéra
apék
jéngkél
sébat
éra
merdéka
béngkok
koméng
béca
tékad
déwi
objék
samséng
kerénah
sukaréla
réspons
saké
akadémik
suspék
sénior
lébam
lémpéng
térés
konsép
josé
karaoké
ém
fésyen
jém
imigrésén
bésén
édisi
pelékat
aspék
béla
éksprés
hésy
mékanik
téma
kabinét
préstasi
épisod
térapi
gélang
monyét
ponténg
émpayar
sérang
modél
mémori
melését
légénda
négatif
kémpén
ponjén
kaédah
sénario
éndah
bérés
koléksi
ténis
pén
berés
diléma
kocék
kelédar
kagét
méntal
trénd
céf
politéknik
féri
téks
téknikal
komén
bérang
orén
keméja
bélok
rélevan
strés
cérék
sukarélawan
éditor
geréja
drébar
idéntiti
pakét
hélo
éstét
bérak
selékoh
lélong
léngah
pénsél
agénda
fénoména
diabétés
kékok
sélok-bélok
lésén
métro
lavénder
véteran
géng
aséan
tésis
ségak
réka
téras
héro
séksa
élak
lopés
bogél
sélébriti
dékad
saté
dompét
séks
tembérang
planét
protés
aréna
sérah
kosmétik
kaléndar
sél
tébak
bédak
setém
lénsa
éjén
séksual
mentéga
kolék
éséi
pélat
dén
bécok
kéju
krédit
ceréwét
bérék
jogét
lédang
sénsitif
opén
péncén
sépét
réban
céték
soléh
kontéks
trém
poténsi
korék
lokék
réjim
séntiméntal
béza
réka bentuk
asét
éla
téknik
simén
strawbéri
rokét
péka
éhém
sélak
téori
kongrés
étika
ceréka
pendéta
kém
mémber
intégriti
koktél
markét
persén
perspéktif
pétah
légar
oriéntasi
kécak
rémpah
tarékat
karénah
jéli
kompléks
pék
kérang
bélang
océh
séngét
borék
tér
déwani
prémium
léwa
stéréng
jét
égo
én
bénténg
inteléktual
iméj
dongéng
mélik
éléh
kécoh
karpét
rélaks
lécak
bélot
mélankoli
nukléar
céti
idéalisme
téja
omél
héboh
rébén
révolusi
jéti
pédal
kadét
kafé
ambén
solék
méntol
posmén
lépak
subjék
pétroléum
lémpar
mélodi
géngster
séntiméter
éksklusif
dépa
doméstik
indéks
teréndak
déwa
séksyen
orkéstra
sérak
prosédur
spagéti
témpo
mongél
démokrasi
anéka
séti
belék
tulén
lémbék
képoh
téléton
sengkéta
mémo
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