Lesson 55 Dia kata... (He said that...)
Passing on messages is such an important aspect of life that I am devoting a whole lesson to it. Just remember that if you have a message to deliver in Malay (after mentioning the name of the person who came eg. Peter datang tadi. or who phoned eg. Mary telefon tadi.) you always start with Dia kata ... (He said ...)
More illustrative sentences:
By now you would know that only the context will show if dia refers to "he" or "she" though for practical purposes "he" is used in all the above sentences.
1. In colloquial Malay bilang is often used for kata. You will often hear people saying Bilang sama dia... which means "Tell him..." (The correct form would be Beritahu dia...)
2. Meaning of balik kampung:
Balik means "to return" and when you ask someone where he is going for his holidays or for Hari Raya and he says Saya akan balik kampung he means to say "I am going to my hometown" (where probably his parents/relatives are still staying).
By the way one of the most pleasant words in Malay (or in any language for that matter) is cuti (pronounced choo-ti). It means "holiday" or "leave". Don't confuse it with curi (pronounced choo-ri) which means "to steal". In any office you will often hear workers asking each other Bila nak cuti? (When are you going on leave?) or Cuti pergi mana? (Where are you going for your holidays? Literally it is "Holiday go where?")
Actually the verb for "to go on a holiday" is bercuti though it is often used without the prefix in conversations.
Since this is quite a short lesson I'm taking advantage of it to introduce two words which could come in handy in a conversation. These two words are bakal and bekas. You can consider them as opposites as bakal means "going to be" or "future" and bekas means "ex" or "former". Both words are used with nouns only. These illustrative sentences will show you how they are used:
Peter akan berkahwin bulan hadapan. Bakal isterinya adalah seorang jururawat. (Peter is getting married next month. His wife-to-be is a nurse.)
Jiran saya adalah bekas guru saya. (My neighbour is my former teacher.)