Malaysians are lucky to live in a multiracial country, because with different races come different languages, rendering Malaysians in general with the ability to mix a few languages into one sentence. We call it Manglish, and all of us use it in our day to day lives.
For example, “Wei macha, you want to makan here or tapau?” meaning, “Hey brother, do you want to eat in or takeaway?” consists of Malay, English, Tamil and Hokkien phrases.
So, it’s only normal for a foreigner to be confused upon encountering Manglish. A Russian netizen, NFKRZ @Hospital (@roman_nfkrz) pointed this out when he shared his experience of stumbling upon the Malaysian Twitter scene in a now viral Twitter posting.
Accidentally stumbling across malaysian or indonesian twitter is weird af, they’re speaking english and then mid sentence they just go bhek somyg zjyrb tkdifys tkdlgk sgahf glfowf fodgfk afrbdisk kgo wcqxa mfbsa jglh sfagqjf ahr
— NFKRZ 🇷🇺 @Hospital (@roman_nfkrz) July 5, 2019
NFKRZ writes, “Accidentally stumbled across Malaysian or Indonesian Twitter, it’s weird af. They’re speaking English and then mid sentence they just go, “bhek somyg zjyrb tkdifys tkdlgk sgahf glfowf fodgfk afrbdisk kgo wcqxa mfbsa jglh sfagqjf ahr.”
Maybe that’s not the most appropriate or accurate representation of how we mix our languages in our daily speech, and Malaysians took notice. The comments section of his thread ended up being riddled with not just Malaysians but also Indonesians, Indians, and netizens from other Asian countries trolling and poking fun at NFKRZ while helping him try to make sense of it.
This comment goes, “Don’t you talk shit about Malaysians or Indonesians, you idiot (mangkok actually means bowl), if you get slapped then you’ll know. Damn idiot. I’m kidding, of course.”
This comment says, “Brother, you’ll get used to it once you’ve dwelled more on our side because sometimes we’re lazy to write everything in English. There are words we don’t know or words we’re lazy to type out. Yeap, that’s all.”
This comment reads, “It’s common in Malaysia. And we haven’t even added the Northern dialects and the East Coast dialects in one sentence. Suddenly our spelling ends up like those kids on WeChat. You can try to Google Translate it and you’d still not be able to understand the whole tweet.”
This one, on the other hand reads, “Brother, if you don’t understand the languages, you can Google Translate it, right? You want to learn Malay? We’ve got the dictionary of language and literature though I don’t know if it can help!”
I guess it’s safe to say that no matter how divided us Malaysians get sometimes over misunderstandings and other issues, we’ll always come together to defend our beloved Manglish.
NFKRZ’s posting has since garnered over 5,600 retweets.
Never mess with the Nusantara Twittersphere and our Manglish.
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