Malay - Common Phrases

Previous: Basics 2

This lesson will be pretty handy when you encounter any Malay speakers.

As a start, when you meet someone, say:

هيلو - hello = helo



هاي - hi = hai


Since most Malay are muslims, they greet themselves with:

السلام عليكم - peace be upon you = assalamualaikum


To respond to this, you say:

وعليكم السلام - upon to you be peace = waalaikumsalam

/wa.ʕ - it is highly important to respond to the 'salam'

As a conversation starter, say:

اڤ خبر؟ - how are you? = apa khabar?

/ - lit. what news?

If you are feeling well, say:

ساي باءيق. - I am fine = Saya baik.

/sa.ya baiʔ/

If not, say:

ساي يدق باءيق. - I am not fine. = Saya tidak baik.

/sa.ya ti.daʔ baiʔ/

It is morning, greet the people with

سلامت ڤاݢي - good morning = selamat pagi


It is afternoon/noon now, say:

سلامت تڠه هاري - good afternoon = selamat tengah hari

/sə.la.mat tə.ŋah ha.ri/

Now, you are jogging in the park in the evening, try greeting with:

سلامت ڤتڠ - good evening = selamat petang

/sə.la.mat pə.taŋ/

It is dark outside and it is night already, say:

سلامت مالم - good night = selamat malam

/sə.la.mat ma.lam/ - "مالم" here means exactly between sunset until sunrise. Therefore, any events that are happening during this period will still be called "مالم" and not "ڤتڠ".

You were given a gift, you should say:

تريما کاسيه - thanks/thank you = terima kasih

/tə ka.sih/ - lit. receive care/appreciate

You are agreeing with what your friend had said to you, say:

يا - yes = ya


Wait, on second thought, you are not agreeing with your friend, say:

تيدق - no/not = tidak

/ti.daʔ/ (used before verb/adjective)


بوکن - nope/no/not = bukan

/bu.kan/ used before noun/conjunction


ساي بوکن بودق للاکي.

Saya bukan budak lelaki. - I am not a boy.

ساي تيدق باءيق.

Saya tidak baik - I am not fine.

You did something wrong, better say:

مينتا معاف/معاف - sorry = minta maaf/maaf

/min.ta ma.ʕaf/


معاف. ساي مينتا معاف.

Maaf. Saya minta maaf. - Sorry, I am sorry.

You are leaving now or someone is leaving, say:

سلامت تيڠݢل - bye/good bye = selamat tinggal

/sə.la.mat tiŋ.gal/ - lit. well leave

Someone is leaving on a trip or went anywhere far, say:

سلامت جالن - bon voyage = selamat jalan

/sə.la.mat d͡ʒa.lan/ - lit. well road

To say that you can speak in certain language say:

بربهاس - to speak (in certain language) = berbahasa


For example:

ساي بربهاس ايڠݢريس.

Saya berbahasa Inggeris. - I speak in English.


برچاکڤ - to speak/talk = bercakap



ساي تيدق برچاکڤ دالم بهاس ملايو.

Saya tidak bercakap dalam bahasa Melayu. - I do/did not speak in Malay (language).

If you think that you can do something, say:

بوليه - can/could = boleh



بوليه! - I can do it! = Boleh!

ساي تيدق بوليه بربهاس ملايو.

Saya tidak boleh berbahasa Melayu. - I could not speak in Malay.

If you like something, say:

سوک - like = suka

There are two ways to express 'love' in Malay, which is:

سايڠ - love = sayang

/sa.jaŋ/ - eg. for family members, etc, low degree of love

چينتا - love = cinta

/t͡ʃin.ta/ - eg. for soulmate, boyfriend, etc, high degree of love

You can't simply say "saya suka kamu" like you think. You need to add:

اکن - of = akan

/a.kan/ - used after any 'emotion' words (similar to Swedish "om" in "tycker om")


ساي سوک اکن وتي.

Saya suka akan roti. - I like bread.

دي تيدق چينتا اکن للاکي ايت.

Dia tidak cinta akan lelaki itu. - She/He do/did not like the/that man.


  • Malay uses hypernym followed by hyponym.

  • Example: hypernym - buah (fruit), hyponym - epal (apple), mangga (mango) etc.

  • Saya makan buah mangga. - I eat a mango. (lit. I eat fruit of mango)

  • Some hypernym could be drop out if the hyponym alone did not make any confusion (homonym).

  • For example, using the word Melayu (Malay) alone could refer to Malay people, language etc unlike English.

  • So, orang Inggeris would be English people and bahasa Inggeris would be English (language).

Do ask!

Next: Food


February 10, 2017



February 10, 2017

Hai! (hi in Malay)

February 10, 2017
Learn a language in just 5 minutes a day. For free.