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“Why use 30 words when 3 words will do?” – British Expat Shares His Funny Experience With Manglish


Collage Manglish
Source: LinkedIn & Quick Meme

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The three most common languages are Malay, English and Mandarin.

However, within every language group and ethnicity, there are many other dialects and informal languages spoken by particular Malaysians.

One language that non-Malaysians tend to struggle with is Manglish, an informal form of Malaysian English.

Andrew Martin, a British expatriate, living in Malaysia, recently shared one of his many amusing experiences with Manglish on his LinkedIn page.



It was one of those moments when he learned how in Manglish, one could say a lot in a few words.

Calling the bus driver

The incident occurred several years ago when Andrew’s son was late getting out of class, and his mobile phone had run out of battery.

So, he was unsure if his son had managed to catch the school bus home.

Being a responsible father, he dialled the bus driver’s mobile number to check on his son.

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“Hi, I am Billy Martin’s Dad. He was late getting out of class, so I am calling just to check whether he managed to get on the bus in time. Is he there with you?”

He said the answer from the other end was something like, “What ar?”

After trying a few times, the Malaysian person Andrew was with felt that they needed to help him, so they grabbed his phone and took over the call.

They said, “Got Billy ar?” and the answer was an immediate, “Yes, got!”

“I just looked on sheepishly,” Andrew admitted in his post.

Everything also can

In a separate post, Andrew shared another Manglish phrase that he has grown used to.

“Back when I was in the UK, I would have had no idea what (the phrase) meant. Now, I don’t even blink. It sounds totally normal and is the perfect way to express this sentiment!!!” said Andrew enthusiastically.

The phrase is, “Can also can, cannot also can,” which, in short, translates to “everything is possible,” or a “can do” attitude.

Looking back, Andrew says that these lessons in Manglish are what remind him of why he loves the language.

“Why use 30 words when three words will do?”

Although, he confesses that it still “took (him) some time to get the hang of it and (he) still often overcomplicates things.”

Do not worry, Andrew! As long as you are willing to learn, Malaysians are more than happy to teach you!


Also read: British Expat Jokes How Kancils Are ‘Torture’ For Scamming People in Parking Lots

Also Read 14

Source: LinkedIn
Source: 123RF

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