Well, English is pretty widely spoken in Malaysia. In the urban areas, you can get away with not knowing the primary language of Malaysia – Malay (aka Bahasa Malaysia, Bahasa Melayu or “Malaysia”, to the less informed). While you don’t HAVE TO learn Malay and speak Malay, speaking Malay does HELP endear one to the locals.
But if you’re a polyglot or have an affinity for languages and want to be able to communicate with the locals in their local language wherever you travel to, then of course you could try to learn some basic Malay words and phrases. I guarantee you’ll get a lot of respect and admiration from the locals if you do that.
I have put up a series of tutorials on YouTube to teach you how to speak Malay. I cover not only the basic vocabulary, but also some grammar. Once you master these words and phrases covered in my tutorials, you’ll have achieved an intermediate level of Malay, because learning and speaking Malay is oh-so-easy.
Yes, that’s right. I speak a few languages fluently (I speak English, Chinese and Malay and am effectively trilingual as are most Malaysians) and have taken intensive courses (beginner to intermediate levels) in German and Spanish. While not exactly a polyglot or “worldly”, I have lived in and traveled to many countries so I have been exposed to many cultures and languages. To date, I dare say Malay is probably the easiest language I’ve ever encountered in my entire life. Of course, I’m interested in discovering other easy languages that’d challenge this so please let me know if you know of any easy languages.
So, if you’d like to add Malay to the list of languages you speak, please watch my “Learn Malay” playlist on YouTube!