Malaysian English

Malaysian English

Some local expressions and words which are not standard English:


Local use:

The man horned loudly.

Standard English:

The man sounded his horn loudly.

In standard English, horn is a noun, not a verb.


Local use:

Chop this form, please.

Standard English:

Please stamp this form.

In standard English, chop means “to cut into pieces”.


Local use:

Please off the lights when you leave the room.

Standard English:

Please switch off the lights when you leave the room.

In standard English, on and off are not verbs.


Local use:

We cannot cut buses on this busy road.

Standard English:

We cannot pass (or overtake) buses on this busy road.


Local use:

Open the lights. Open the screw.

Standard English:

 Switch on the lights. Loosen the screw.

In standard English we cannot “open the lights”, though we can “open the door”.


Local use:

I will follow you to the party,

Standard English:

I will go with you to the party.

In standard English, follow means “to go behind”.


Uncle Teng

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