Bahasa Malaysia is Malaysia's national language and is formerly known as Bahasa Melayu (Malay language). It is not only spoken in Malaysia but is also widely spoken in Indonesia, Brunei and Singapore. Some people say that Bahasa Malaysia is an easy language. To a certain extent it is, but believe me, it is not so easy that you can afford to study it while listening to your favourite music at the same time!
The truth is there is no EASY language in the world. Everything is relative so when people say that Malay is an easy language what they really mean is that it IS easy when compared to studying a language like English, French or Mandarin, for example. Thus if you might need to spend at least 300 hours studying English, French or Mandarin before you are able to use it in a simple conversation, you need only spend say, 100 hours studying Malay before you are able to do so. This is because in Malay there is no past tense or past participles of verbs to study as in English, the verbs are not conjugated as in French and you don't have to worry about getting the tones right in order to be understood as you have to in Mandarin.
Lesson 12 Warna (Colours)
Click to listen
A second reading
(by Michelle Nor Ismat, a native speaker)
Kereta saya biru (= My car is blue)|
Apa warna kereta anda?
(= What is the colour of your car?)
Note: The colour name is sometimes preceded by the word warna
"colour" eg warna biru
for blue or warna kuning
THE COLOURS IN MALAY:
For orange, you can use the same word warna oren (though you can also say warna jingga).
1. (warna) merah
2. (warna) biru
3. (warna) hijau
4. (warna) kuning
5. (warna) hitam
6. (warna) oren
(or warna jingga)
7. (warna) unggu
|Another exercise: Name the four colours in the rectangle below?|
|For those who want to know more:
To make a colour darker all you have to do is to put the adjective tua (literally "old") after it. Example:
dark red = merah tua
dark blue = biru tua
dark yellow = kuning tua
dark green = hijau tua
Similarly to make a colour lighter all you have to do is to put the adjective muda (literally "young") after it. Example:
light green = hijau muda
light blue = biru muda
light yellow = kuning muda
light red = merah muda
By the way the Malay word for "pink" is also merah muda or merah jambu, "jambu" ("guava" or "rose apple" in English) being the name of a Malaysian fruit that is pink in colour (on the outside at least).
At times you might want to say that something has the tinge or shade of a certain colour (eg. reddish, yellowish, greenish, bluish, etc). It's quite simple to do this in Malay. Just repeat the colour word and add the prefix ke and the suffix an to it. Thus:
reddish = kemerah-merahan
yellowish = kekuning-kuningan
greenish = kehijau-hijauan
bluish = kebiru-biruan
Just as coklat takes its name from the colour of chocolate, the same is true for oren, which takes its name from the colour of orange. There is another word for this colour though and that is jingga.
Apart from coklat there is another word for "brown" in Malay and that is the word perang. Since chocolate is brown in colour I have used the word coklat but if you prefer the word perang make sure you pronounce it as pay-rang (if you know French it will help your pronunciation to see it spelt as pérang). Unfortunately in Malay you don't have the é to help you with the pronunciation and the same word perang, if it is pronounced pərang (pə has the schwa vowel sound ə as in "per cent") means "war" . So watch out, if you are not going to start a war, pronounce the word for "brown" as pay-rang and not pərang. But why take the risk when you can use coklat for the brown colour?
Di sini Zidane mendapat kad kuning.
(= Here Zidane gets a yellow card.)
Di sini Zidane mendapat kad merah.
(= Here Zidane gets a red card.)
Orang putih means a person of the white race (see Lesson 4). It's not really pejorative or insulting, I can assure you. There is another word often used in conversation for a Caucasian and that is mat salih. While on the subject the word for "foreigner" (i.e. anyone who is not a Malaysian) is orang asing.
More Exercises: Can you name the colours in the following flags?
The Malay word for "flag" is bendera (pronounced as burn-day-ra). If it helps for the pronunciation think of this sentence: The day they burned the flag. The names of the countries have already been dealt with in Lesson 4, remember?
|Apakah warna yang terdapat dalam bendera negara Perancis?|
(What colours are found in the French flag?)
|Apakah warna yang terdapat dalam bendera negara Jerman?|
(What colours are found in the German flag?)
|Apakah warna yang terdapat dalam bendera negara Rusia?|
(What colours are found in the Russian flag?)
|Apakah warna yang terdapat dalam bendera negara Itali?|
(What colours are found in the Italian flag?)
|Apakah warna yang terdapat dalam bendera negara Belanda?|
(What colours are found in the Dutch flag?)
|Apakah warna yang terdapat dalam bendera negara Lithuania?|
(What colours are found in the Lithuanian flag?)