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 20 Maafkan saya
Click to listen
A second reading
(Please excuse me)
(by Michelle Nor Ismat, a native speaker)
For those who want to know more:
The standard reply to sentences one and two is: Tak apalah. (It doesn't matter.)
Maafkan saya kerana datang lambat.|
Maafkan saya, saya sudah lupa.
Maafkan saya, tuan. Apa nama jalan ini?
Itu bukan sengaja. Maafkan saya.
Please excuse me for coming late.
Please excuse me, I have forgotten.
Excuse me, sir. What is the name of this road?
That was not done on purpose. Please excuse me.
kerana = because|
lambat = late
lupa = to forget
tuan = sir
jalan = road
sengaja = purposely
This is one sentence you have to use each time you don't understand something to avoid misunderstanding: Maafkan saya. Saya tidak faham. (= Excuse me. I do not understand).
Please note that there are three syllables in the word Maafkan (ma-af-kan).
To tell someone that you feel sorry for another person's plight you can say Saya kasihan sama dia (= I feel sorry for him/her).
To say that you regret having done something you can say Saya menyesal perbuatan itu.
(menyesal comes from sesal meaning "to regret")
To excuse oneself for something unimportant you can say Jangan marah ya? (Please don't be angry) and to put it in an even lighter vein (this often works with a woman), you can say Jangan marah ya nanti lekas tua! (Please don't be angry or you will get old in no time!)
If you should trip someone up, or just as bad, step on his toes make sure you say Maafkan saya or Minta maaf. Malaysians are a friendly and forgiving race and such an apology will always be accepted with good grace (provided you don't repeat the accident the minute after in which case you'd better watch out!)
Either of these two expressions or just Maaf is also used when interrupting someone or being obliged to make one's way between two people holding a conversation.
When you are unable to accept an invitation you can say Maafkan saya tetapi saya tidak dapat datang pada hari itu. (Please excuse me but I will not be able to come on that day).
Note how the verb dapat which usually means "to get" or "to obtain" is used here. When followed by another verb (as in this sentence) it has the sense of not being in a position to do something.
When used in this way it can always be replaced by boleh. Thus instead of saying Maafkan saya tetapi saya tidak dapat datang pada hari itu you can say Maafkan saya tetapi saya tidak boleh datang pada hari itu.
The word Tolong! usually means Help! (try shouting this out when you are drowning!) but when it precedes another verb (as in the final sentence in the table) it can be translated as "Please". (Tolong maafkan saya = Please excuse me.)