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 5 Numbers (1-9)
Click to listen
A second reading (by Michelle Nor Ismat, a native speaker)
For those who want to know more:
Note that the adjective always comes after the noun in Malay. Thus "telephone number" is translated as nombor telefon.
Once you are clear about this it is easy to understand why "your telephone number" becomes nombor telefon anda.
Learn the Malay words for 1 to 9 to perfection as you only need to know five more words (belas, puluh, ratus, ribu, juta ) to be able to read any number at all in Malay. More of this later (in Lessons 8 and 22).
The word for "zero" is kosong. It is often used for games results and for telephone numbers.
Thus Kami menang tiga kosong means "We won 3-0".
The telephone number 041695827 is read as kosong empat satu enam sembilan lima lapan dua tujuh.
In this connection a useful sentence to learn (yes it's always good to read out the telephone number a second time) is:
Saya akan baca sekali lagi. (I will read it again).
Could I introduce ordinal numbers at this stage?
In English we would say "first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth."
In Malay it's yang pertama, yang kedua, yang ketiga, yang keempat, yang kelima, yang keenam, yang ketujuh, yang kelapan and yang kesembilan.
What do you notice? Yes, I'm sure you would have noticed that all of them (except for "first") start with yang ke followed by the number in question. Quite simple, isn't it?
Okay, let's see it in practice:
You know that Fatimah has got 3 brothers and 4 sisters and you want to know where she is situated. You would ask her Fatimah anak yang keberapa?
And if she is the sixth of the eight siblings she would reply Saya anak yang keenam.
Are you ready to do an exercise? If yes, click here.