[Learn Malay] Lesson 1: Basic Greetings

So you’ve decided it’s worth your time to learn Malay? It’s time for a Malay lesson then!

As with learning any other languages, the first step to learning Malay is to learn some basic greetings.

Some of the words I cover in this lesson are:

  • Selamat pagi – Good morning
  • Selamat petang – Good afternoon/evening
  • Selamat malam – Good evening/Goodnight (it’s not a bedtime greeting as is “Goodnight”
  • Apa khabar? – How are you?
    • Khabar baik – I’m fine.
  • Terima kasih – Thank you
    • Sama-sama – You’re welcome
  • Maafkan saya… – Excuse me…
  • Selamat jalan – Goodbye (literally translates into “Have a safe journey” – a farewell greeting said TO the person who is leaving the place)

Other basic greetings in Malay are:

  • Selamat tinggal – Goodbye (in contrast with “Selamat jalan”, “Selamat tinggal” is a farewell greeting said BY the person who is leaving)
  • Selamat tengah hari – Good afternoon (given at noon between 12pm and 2pm, latest)


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