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 Language in Malaysia

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kosovohp



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PostSubject: Language in Malaysia   Mon Sep 20, 2010 7:33 pm

The official language of Malaysia is known as Bahasa Malaysia, a standardized form of the Malay language. English was, for a protracted period, the de facto, administrative language of Malaysia, though its status was later rescinded. English remains an active second language in many areas of Malaysian society and is compulsory, serving as the medium of instruction for Maths and Sciences in all public schools per the PPSMI policy (which is pending reversal in 2012).[99][100] Many businesses in Malaysia conduct their transactions in English.

Malaysian English, also known as Malaysian Standard English (MySE), is a form of English derived from British English, although there is little official use of the term, except with relation to education. Malaysian English also sees wide use in business, along with Manglish, which is a colloquial form of English with heavy Malay, Chinese dialect and Tamil influences. While most Malaysians can speak English, it is actually Manglish which they are fluent in and a far lesser number are able to converse fluently in proper English. With regards to addressing this issue, the Malaysian government officially discourages the use of Manglish.[101]

Tamil is the most common language spoken among Indians in Malaysia[102], especially in Peninsular Malaysia where they still maintain close cultural ties with their homeland. However, many Indians in East Malaysia, especially the younger generation, do not speak much Tamil and speak either Malay or English as their first language.[citation needed] This is because there are far fewer Indians in East Malaysia than in the Peninsula. Thus, the Indians in East Malaysia prioritize on Malay and English because those languages are more useful in daily life in that region.

Ethnic Chinese Malaysians mostly speak Chinese dialects from the southern provinces of China. The more commonly spoken dialects in Peninsular Malaysia are Hakka, Hokkien, Cantonese, Teochew, Hainanese, and Hokchiu.[103] In Sarawak, most ethnic Chinese speak either Foochow or Hakka while Hakka predominates in Sabah except in the city of Sandakan where Cantonese is more often spoken even though most of the Chinese there are also of Hakka descent. However, many younger Chinese in Malaysia speak Mandarin as their first language and, despite understanding their native dialects, do not speak it fluently or choose not to speak it except with their family members.[citation needed] Already, some of the less-spoken dialects such as Hainanese are facing extinction in the Chinese community in Malaysia. A smaller number of Chinese youth speak English as their first language, albeit in Manglish in form. As with Malaysian youths of other races, most Chinese youth are multilingual and can speak up to four languages with at least moderate fluency - their native Chinese dialect, Mandarin, English and Malay.

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