[Learn Malay] Lesson 2: Introducing yourself

A huge part of social interactions involve talking about yourself. Now, we’re not talking about bragging about yourself, making up stories about yourself and hogging conversations. Surely, people would be interested in knowing some basic information about yourself.

Different cultures have different levels of boundaries when it comes to personal information and privacy. In general, Asians may be considered more intrusive and think it’s normal to ask information which may be deemed personal, such as their parents’ occupation, how much their rents cost, etc. I am speaking from personal experience after having experienced reverse culture shock upon returning from the US and going for job interviews where the interviewers asked what my parents did, etc.

Yes, some of these questions were asked to gauge your economic and social status. The income divide in Malaysia, for example, can be pretty wide. And the wealthy are sometimes regarded with a certain level of admiration or envy or jealousy, or all three. As with many developing countries, people are materialistic and practice conscious consumerism. There, I said it. As harsh as these statements sound, they represent the truth, which prevails not only in Malaysia, I believe.

Nevertheless, there are some basic pieces of personal information that you wouldn’t mind sharing, right? If so, then learn these basic words and phrases that help you introduce yourself to your local friend.

Some words and phrases I cover in this lesson are:

  • Siapa nama kamu? – What is your name?
    • Nama saya ialah… – My name is…
  • Kamu berasal dari mana? – Where are you from?
    • Saya berasal dari… – I am from…
      • Jepun – Japan
      • China – China
      • Lubnan – Lebanon
      • Mesir – Egypt
      • Jerman – Germany
      • Belanda – the Netherlands
      • Perancis – France
      • Amerika Syarikat – USA
      • most of the names of countries in Malay are the same as in English
  • Adakah kamu bercakap bahasa…? – Do you speak… (a certain language)?
    • Ya – Yes
    • Tidak – No

Check out this video for the lesson and more explanation:

 

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