While Malaysia and Indonesia are similar in many ways, it’s important to remember that each country has roots tied to its respective traditions, be it food, music, and even languages.
However, one Indonesia content creator named Juarez gave his take on the intrinsic differences there are between communicating in Indonesian and Bahasa Malaysia, sharing his opinion on his TikTok page @juarezaprio.
At the beginning of the clip, Juarez stated that Indonesian people are not as familiar with the Malay language as it is vice versa. He added that since Indonesians are not exposed to nor consume content in the Malay language as much as Malaysians do when it comes to Indonesian entertainment, their ability to understand the basic speaking of those who use Bahasa Malaysia are not the same.
“Indonesian artistes do perform in Malaysia, Malaysians also consume Indonesian music, so Malaysians do have a better understanding of Indonesian in terms of of sounds. It can also bear some similarity to how those in Sabah and Sarawak speak too“, said Juarez in the TikTok video.
Carrying on, Juarez conveyed instances in Malaysia where he had issues understanding the Bahasa Malaysia spoken by locals. Bringing up an example he personally experienced at a printing shop, Juarez stated that when he was asked, “Colour ke hitam putih?” he had no understanding of what was being said.
Translating to mean “In colour or black and white?” in English, Juarez stated that the issue was also exacerbated when the shopkeeper spoke too fast. However, after the shop owner repeated himself slowly, Juarez realised that he misheard the word “Colour”, and that he knew it was “Warna”.
In a separate instance when Juarez purchased doughnuts, he shared how he was also stumped when an employee asked him “Nak asing ke sekali?“, meaning to ask whether he wanted the doughnuts packed together or separately.
“After she spoke to me in English, I realised she tried to say ‘Gabung atau pisah?’,” said Juarez, which also meant the same thing when translated to English.
At the end of his video, Juarez stated accurately that while the Malay and Indonesian language is fairly similar, its meaning as it pertains to semantics, can be different.
“For those who say the language is fairly similar, maybe you are very good at the language, or maybe you know a lot of languages. But not everyone will understand it or move at the same pace, so don’t judge people who are learning the differences in their meaning when it comes to semantics,” said Juarez at the end of his video.
Many commenters saw valid points and had similar experiences to Juarez. Some mentioned that the instances they faced were also tied to semantics.
“That’s why I prefer to speak English with my Indonesian cousins rather than bahasa. I understand Indonesian but it gets really awkward when I speak it,” wrote one user.
However, multiple Malaysians also stated that complications in understanding can also ensue right at home, relating it to the matter of different dialects practiced in different states.
“Sarawak and Kelantan accent will be your final boss level to survive,” wrote one user in a light-hearted manner.
Watch the full TikTok video below:
Sebenarnya language shock, haha. Sumpah lah awal gua di malaysia banyak banget hah hah hah nya ☹️☹️☹️☹️??✨ tapi tergantung logat, logat sabah gua faham banget, logat KL juga masih lah, banyak logat2 aneh lainnya di telinga gua, logat kelantan, logat kedah, logat penang, rasaanya duhh pls kill me i dont get what u say ??? tpi insyaallah faham nnti wkwk #cultureshock #cultureshockindonesia #cultureshockmalaysia #bahasamelayu #bahasaindo #bahasamalay #malay #indo #bahasamalaysia #bahasaindonesia #bahasamalaysiaindonesia #indomalay???? #indomalay #indomalaysia #malaysia #indonesia #malaysiatiktok #indotiktok
No matter Indonesian or Bahasa Malaysia, both languages possess their own complexities and intricacies, so respect each of it at all times!