Malay - Questions

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Lesson 1 of 5

Questions in Malay might be different from English and sometime you might able to ask a question simply with one word only with the help of:

  • که- / -kah

/kah/ - a question marker

Using this is optional but this is used to emphasise which part of the question are you asking about.


.باجو کامو چنتيق

Baju kamu cantik. - Your shirt is beautiful.

چنتيقکه باجو کامو؟

Cantikkah baju kamu? - Is your shirt beautiful?

باجو کاموکه يڠ چنتيق؟

Baju kamukah yang cantik? - Is your shirt the one that is beautiful?


Cantikkah? - Is it beautiful?

ايت سوءالنکه؟

Itu soalankah? - Is that a question?

کامو فهمکه بوکو اين؟

Kamu fahamkah buku ini? - Do you understand this book?

Lesson 2 of 5

  • مان؟ / mana?

/ - where

The answer for this question will be either "here" or "there".

  • دمان؟ / di mana?

/di - where?

Used when asking the specific current location of something or someone.

  • کمان؟ / ke mana?

/kə - to where?

Refers to the destination of the location.

  • دري مان؟ / dari mana?

/da.ri - from where?

Refers to the starting location of something or someone has went before.

  • باݢايمان؟ / bagaimana?

/ - how?

Literally "like where". Used to ask a process.


دمان ريستورن ۏيݢيتاريان ايت؟

Di mana restoran vegetarian itu? - Where is the vegetarian restaurant?

کمان بوروڠ ايت تربڠ؟

Ke mana burung itu terbang? - Where does that bird fly to?

Lesson 3 of 5

  • اڤ / apa

/ - what

  • سياڤا؟ / siapa?

/ - who?

Used to ask regarding humans only.

  • براڤ؟ / berapa?

/bə - how many/much?

To ask a quantity of something or someone

  • براڤ(اکه) هرݢ …؟ / berapa(kah) harga …?

/bə - how much/what's the price …?

  • کناڤ؟ / kenapa?

/kə - why?


کامو سدڠ بوات اڤ؟

Kamu sedang buat apa? - What are you doing?

بوکو اڤ يڠ کامو سدڠ باچ؟

Buku apa yang kamu sedang baca? - What book are you reading?

اين انجيڠ سياڤا؟

Ini anjing siapa? - Whose dog is this?

کامو ماهو اڤ؟

Kamu mahu apa? - What do you want?

کناڤ کامو مناڠيس؟

Kenapa kamu menangis? - Why are you crying?

براڤ تيڠݢي کامو؟

Berapa tinggi kamu? - How tall are you?

براڤ هرݢ بوکو ايت؟

Berapa harga buku itu? - How much is the book?

سياڤا نام کامو؟

Siapa nama kamu? - What is your name (of a human)?

اڤ ناماڽ؟

Apa namanya? - What is its name (of an animal, object etc)?

Lesson 4 of 5

  • مڽوءال / menyoal

/mə.ɲo.ʔa.lan/ - to question

  • سوءالن / soalan

/so.ʔa.lan/ - question

  • مناڽ / menanya

/mə.na.ɲa/ - to ask

  • جواب / menjawab

/mən.d͡ʒa.wab/ - to answer

  • جواڤن / jawapan

/d͡ʒa.wa.pan/ - answer


.ساي تياد سوءالن

Saya tiada soalan. - I have no question(s).

.سوءالن اين تياد جواڤن

Soalan ini tiada jawapan. - This question has no answer.

کناڤ کامو تيدق منجواب سوءالن ساي؟

Kenapa kamu tidak menjawab soalan saya? - Why do you not answer my question?

Lesson 5 of 5

  • بيلا / bila

/ - when

  • مان (ساتو) / mana (satu)

/ (sa.tu)/ - which (one)

  • ماناله تاهو؟ / manalah tahu?

/ - who knows?

Eg. Who knows? You might win the contest if you try your best.

  • سياڤا سڠک …؟ / siapa sangka …?

/ saŋ.ka/ - who knows/expect …?

Eg. Who knows that he can cook well?

  • سياڤا تاهو …؟ / siapa tahu …?

/ - who knows …?

Eg. Who knows what horrible things he might do to them?


بيلا کامو منوليس بوکو ايت؟

Bila kamu menulis buku itu? - When do you write the book?

باجو مان يڠ بيرو؟

Baju mana yang biru? - Which shirt is blue?

مان ساتو ݢلس کامو؟

Mana satu gelas kamu? - Which one is your glass?

ساروڠ کاکي مان يڠ دي ڤوڽا؟

Sarung kaki mana yang dia punya? - Which socks are his/hers?

ڤيڠݢن مان يڠ کامو ڤوڽا؟

Pinggan mana yang kamu punya? - Which plate is yours?

I've made a deck for this lesson. You can find it here

Next: The King's Malay (a Malay lesson special)


April 14, 2017


Really appreciate the IPA! Great work. Lingoted all the lessons :) Maybe I'll take a look at them myself when the Indonesian course is close to beta. Keep it up!

April 14, 2017

Aww, thanks for the lingots! Well, I think IPA is the best way to know how a word is pronounced. I hope I get to finish this forum-based lesson by the time Indonesian's is closed to beta. Really hoping there will be a Malay course too in the future. Anyway, thanks again and hope to see you soon!

April 14, 2017
  • 1693

Have you considered joining the Indonesian team? I think the two language are close enough for you to be able to help them, and they seem to need any help they can get. Their progress is really slow lately.

April 14, 2017

Well, I would like to help but I don't know that much about the language since I don't speak in the language myself and so do them. Although it is closely similar both of the language but I do need to reconsider the vocabulary and the spelling used in Indonesian. I'm not risking myself to accidentally used Malay instead of Indonesian. Whenever I come across with Indonesian, I can understand a few word but mostly get clueless with their unfamiliar choice of word that they ordinarly used which we Malay rarely use it and feels that it is foreign to us. Malay and Indonesian doesn't work the same like British and American English. As a Malay Wikipedian editor, I can't really help Indonesian Wikipedian with their content due to our indifference. We just understood each other but don't really know well how their language works.

April 14, 2017
  • 1693

I see! Well, I hope we will have both languages here some day!

April 14, 2017
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