A basic course in the Malaysian and Indonesian languages in 64 lessons  ©pgoh13
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Lesson 4 Orang Inggeris (Englishman/woman)

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A second reading (by Michelle Nor Ismat, a native speaker)

Dia orang Inggeris.
Saya orang Malaysia**.
Anda orang Peranciskah?
Mereka orang Sepanyol.
Suaminya orang Jepun.
He/She is English.
I am Malaysian.
Are you French?
They are Spanish.
Her husband is Japanese. .
orang Inggeris = English
orang Malaysia = Malaysian
orang Perancis = French
orang Sepanyol = Spanish
suaminya = Her husband
orang Jepun = Japanese

1. As you have seen earlier the pronoun dia (third person singular) can refer to a woman as well as a man. Thus:
Dia orang Amerika. = He/She is American.
Dia orang Jerman. = He/She is German.
Dia orang Belanda. = He/She is Dutch.
Dia orang Rusia. = He/She is Russian.
Note that the pronunciation and spelling of Russia is changed to conform with Malay pronunciation (roo-si-ah) and spelling (only one S).
Dia orang Singapura. = He/She is Singaporean.
Dia orang Thai. = He/She is Thai.
Dia orang Mesir. = He/She is Egyptian.
Dia orang Israel. (pronounced in 3 syllables i.e. Is-ra-el) = He/She is Israelite.
A more common word for this is orang Yahudi (Jew).
A word to describe a person's race is bangsa eg. Dia bangsa Cina. = He (or She) is Chinese or Dia bangsa Melayu. = He (or She) is Malay.
2. Note how a question can easily be formed from a statement by adding the question tag kah at the end. Thus:
Anda orang Perancis. (= You are French.)
Anda orang Peranciskah? (= Are you French?)
Do note however that you do not really need to add the suffix kah to turn the statement into a question. As in most languages, a rising tone on the last syllable of the statement is sufficient to turn it into a question. Thus Anda orang Perancis? (= Are you French?)
3. Note also that in this type of sentences the verb "to be" is not needed in Malay and that kah is tagged on to the word preceding it and does not stand by itself.
4. The word for a foreigner is orang asing but you might often hear people talking about orang putih (literally: white person) or mat salih. They are referring to Caucasians (as opposed to Asians). Note that Caucasian is used here to mean one of the main ethnic divisions of the human race or what is loosely called the white race.
Incidentally, with the large number of Africans (mostly from Nigeria) living in Malaysia over the past decade or two, a new term has been created to refer to them. You will learn about it in the lesson on colours later.
5. You should find the word Inggeris very easy to remember as it is the Malay spelling for "English" (ok, I agree with you, it is not an exact phonetic reproduction as the final "sh" sound becomes "s"). This is because in the Malay language the "sh" sound must always be followed by a vowel eg. syarat or mesyuarat. More of this in Lesson 49.
6. Saudi Arabia in Malay is Arab Saudi.
7. Morocco in Malay is negara Maghribi.

After studying lessons 2 and 4 you would have noticed that names of languages always start with the word bahasa and nationalities with the word orang or rakyat (see note below). The same principle applies to the names of countries. These start with the word negara or negeri . The following table will help you understand better. And if you don't find your country here the chances are the name of the country is retained as it is and used with the appropriate word eg. if you are from Sweden you are orang Sweden or rakyat Sweden, your language is bahasa Sweden and your country is negara Sweden or negeri Sweden. The spelling though is sometimes changed to be in line with the Malay sound thus Canada becomes Kanada, America becomes Amerika and German becomes Jerman.
The word bangsa is also sometimes used to describe a person's nationality though it is best to keep it to describe his race eg. a Malaysian can be Malay (bangsa Melayu), Indian (bangsa India) or Chinese (bangsa Cina) but they are all rakyat Malaysia.
But perhaps it is easier (and clearer) if you just ask the person where he comes from. In Malay this would be Anda berasal dari mana? The full answer would be Saya berasal dari Perancis (if you are from France).

NOTE: If you want to stress that you are a citizen of your country just replace orang with rakyat.
Under the column Name of country you can easily replace negara with negeri. The two words are quite often interchangeable.

Spain/Spanish/Spanish or Spaniard
the Philippines/Filipino/Filipino
Thailand/Thai/Thai Portugal/Portuguese/Portuguese
Name of country
negara Malaysia*
negara Perancis
negara Sepanyol
negara Belanda
negara Jerman
negara Rusia
negara China**
negara England
negara Amerika***
negara Itali
negara Jepun
negara Filipina
negara Thai
negara Portugal
Its language
bahasa Malaysia
bahasa Perancis
bahasa Sepanyol
bahasa Belanda
bahasa Jerman
bahasa Rusia
bahasa Cina
bahasa Inggeris
bahasa Inggeris
bahasa Itali
bahasa Jepun
bahasa Filipina
bahasa Thai
bahasa Portugis
Its people
orang Malaysia
orang Perancis
orang Sepanyol
orang Belanda
orang Jerman
orang Rusia
orang Cina
orang Inggeris
orang Amerika
orang Itali
orang Jepun
orang Filipina
orang Thai
orang Portugis

Note that as negeri is also used for each of the states in Malaysia eg. negeri Pinang (Penang) or negeri Kedah perhaps it is better to stick to negara Malaysia for the country.
*The final syllable of the word Malaysia is pronounced variously as "siah", "seer" and sometimes "sheer". The first two pronunciations are the most common.
**In the case of China the name of the country retains its original spelling but the language and the people are spelt according to Malay spelling rules (i.e. Cina). Note that this rule is not always observed and the country is often spelt as Cina too.
***More usually referred to as Amerika Syarikat (United States of America).

United States of America Amerika Serikat Amerika Syarikat
Spanish Spanyol Sepanyol
Japan Jepang Jepun
Sweden Swedia Sweden
Swedish orang Swedia orang Sweden
England Inggris England
Italy Italia Itali
As you will notice there are not too many differences in the names of the countries mentioned in this lesson. However while Malay normally retains the English spelling of a country, Indonesian often changes the spelling a bit. Examples are: Skotlandia (Scotland in Malay) and Irlandia (Ireland in Malay). One country that you might not recognize is "Selandia Baru", which is Indonesian for New Zealand (Malay retains the English name).

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