Have you ever confused between Bahasa Indonesian and Malaysia (Malay)?
If you have, it is very normal, because both derived from same root ancestry (similar to Dutch and German case), which is Malay (Melayu) family language even though they moved on different path. To help you understand differences between Indonesian and Malaysian Language, this article will try to explain as much as it can with several examples. Moreover, although both language is like siblings, I recommend not to get mistaken with one and another because of political interests.
Bahasa Indonesia is a part of Malay family language as well as Austronesia family language, Melayu-Riau to be exact. Therefore, you may found some commons between language like Indonesian, Malaysian, Javanese, Tagalog, and so on. Especially in Sumatra, you may found similar dialects and accents of Indonesian with Malaysian. It happened because most of them still has culturally-strong bond with Malay culture, Malay heritage or its culture.
Furthermore, he prime difference between Bahasa Indonesia and Malaysia was caused by their own history of colonialism. While Indonesian had long history with Dutch, the Malaysian had more special relation with the British. Therefore, many loanwords in Bahasa Indonesia were derived from Dutch, even though recent new words mostly derived form English or ‘English adjusted’.
Moreover, because Indonesian consists more diverse ethnic, they also absorb many words from local, such as Javanese, Balinese, Sundanese, even Hokkianese and so on, as well as Sanskrit from Hindu and Buddhist era and Arabic form Islam era.
1. Same Meaning, Similar Spelling
Here are several examples of words that has similar spelling. Therefore, both Indonesian and Malaysian could understand each other even though both words are not same. Take a look!
You could see that most of Malay words derived from English pronunciation. On the other hands, most Indonesian words are following the Dutch alphabet pronunciation (especially before revised to English spelling), such as in Indonesian ‘es’ (derived form Dutch ‘ijs’) compared to Malay ‘ais’ (derived for English ‘ice’). Both refer to ‘ice’.
2. Same Words, Different Meaning
Here are several words that both languages have. It is very interesting part when you learn about differences between Bahasa Indonesia and Malaysia because some have very completely different meaning, such as pusing (turn in Malay, headache in Indonesia, while it equivalent with the word ‘turn’ in Bahasa Indonesia).
In addition, a few of them is appropriate in one language, but not too much in the other. Please give more attention.
|Kereta||Train||Car||(In Bahasa Indonesia, ‘car’ is mobil)|
|Cocok||Perfect match, fit||Having sex||(In Bahasa Indonesia, ‘having sex’ is bercinta)|
|Shop||Toko||Kedai||Kedai in Bahasa Indonesia refer to shops, like coffee shop (kedai kopi)|
|Cakap||Small chat (not serious)||Speak/talk (serious)||equivalent translation of Malay ‘cakap’ is bicara|
|Banci||Drag/man-woman||census||(In Bahasa Indonesia, cencus is sensus)|
|Bercinta||Having sex||Expressing love||Just do not get mistaken|
|Bisa||Poison (snake), could||Could|
|Boleh||Got permission, could||Can||equivalent translation of Malay ‘can’ is dapat|
|Budak||Slave||Kids, youth||equivalent translation of Malay ‘kids/youth’ is anak-anak/pemuda|
|Butuh||Need||Penis||Just be careful|
|Gampang||Easy||Bastard||In Bahasa Indonesia, bastard is anak haram|
|Pelan||Slow(ly)||Plan||(In Bahasa Indonesia, ‘plan’ is rencana)|
|Pejabat||Person in important position||Office||(In Bahasa Indonesia, ‘office’ is kantor)|
|Percuma||Useless||Free||(In Bahasa Indonesia, ‘free’ is gratis)|
|Pengajian||Learning Quran||Education||(In Bahasa Indonesia, ‘education’ is pendidikan)|
3. Different Words, Same Meaning
Here are the list of both language words that you may not found or had been abandoned in the the other language. Take a look!
|Head Office||Kantor pusat||Ibu pejabat|
That is all things you should know about differences between Indonesian and Malaysian language. Hopefully, it is become more clear to distinguish both language. You could also check each of both television program to know more about the difference and compare them, such as ‘Si Unyil’ (Indonesian) and ‘Upin and Ipin’ (Malaysian).
To enhance your Indonesian vocabulary, you may also check these following articles
- Indonesian Words Similar to Tagalog
- Sanskrit Words in Indonesian Language
- Persian Words in Indonesian Vocabulary
- Indonesian Words Derived from Arabic