Sunday, December 28, 2008

Malaysian English and British English

(a list shamelessly lifted off wikipedia)

This is a list of words and phrases that have one meaning in British English and another in Malaysian English

Word / Phrase Malaysian meaning American / British meaning
last time previously on the previous occurrence
a parking lot a parking space, e.g. "That new shopping mall has five hundred parking lots." a parking garage (from US English)
an alphabet a letter of the alphabet, e.g. "The word 'table' has five alphabets." a set of letters used in a language
bungalow A mansion for the rich and/or famous; or a fully detached house, regardless of the number of floors it has. Lately, some housing developers have changed the usage of this word further and we now see terms like "a semi-detached bungalow". A small house or cottage usually having a single storey and sometimes an additional attic storey that is free standing, i.e. not conjoined with another unit.
to follow to accompany, e.g. "Can I follow you?" meaning "Can I come with you?" to go after or behind, e.g. "The police car was following me"
to keep to put away or store, e.g. a parent tells a child "Keep your toys!" to retain as one's own, e.g. "I must decide which to throw away and which to keep."
to revert to get back to someone, e.g. in an email: "I will investigate this and revert to you by tomorrow." to return to a previous edit or state (although this meaning exists in BrE as well.)
to send to take someone somewhere, e.g. "Can you send me to the airport?" to cause something to go somewhere without accompanying it, e.g. "I sent this letter to my grandma."

Most Malaysians are adept at switching from Manglish and Malaysian English, but are sometimes unclear as to the differences between Malaysian English and SABE (Standard American-British English). Awareness of these differences would prevent misunderstandings when dealing with people from different English-speaking backgrounds. This evolution in the use of English follows a worldwide trend and is unlikely to disappear.


Chuan Huan said...

quite funny lolz :) how about english in japan? any major difference?

K.O.J.A. said...

I know cow piss means urine in SABE, and water in Japan

raptor_ravenlord said...

actually not water but soft drink, haha

english in japan is called ingurishu, it has a different set of pronunciations from that of standard english :P