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Old 09-30-2012, 03:17 PM
 
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In business in particular, what is the lingua franca of Malaysia? English, Malay, Mandarin? On the streets I would assume Malay (or is it? what about in Kuala Lampur) but I'd be curious to know.
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Old 09-30-2012, 07:13 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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Originally Posted by Redrum237 View Post
In business in particular, what is the lingua franca of Malaysia? English, Malay, Mandarin? On the streets I would assume Malay (or is it? what about in Kuala Lampur) but I'd be curious to know.
English is the main language of business, although Malay and the Chinese languages are used as well.
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Old 10-02-2012, 07:00 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
English is the main language of business, although Malay and the Chinese languages are used as well.
Thanks. Very interesting. I heard the government is trying to de-emphasise English in favour of Malay.

Is it that the Chinese minority are disproportionately represented in the country's business scene (even despite the racist affirmative action policies working against them), so not many of the Chinese know Malay (because of different schools and Malay being seen as an "ethnic language"), therefore English becomes the unifying language between the different race groups?
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Old 10-02-2012, 07:27 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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Originally Posted by Redrum237 View Post
Thanks. Very interesting. I heard the government is trying to de-emphasise English in favour of Malay.

Is it that the Chinese minority are disproportionately represented in the country's business scene (even despite the racist affirmative action policies working against them), so not many of the Chinese know Malay (because of different schools and Malay being seen as an "ethnic language"), therefore English becomes the unifying language between the different race groups?
I should mention that it depends what sort of business you're talking about. If you mean most of the shop-keepers, it will depend on the specific group of people. In Chinese owned businesses Mandarin, Hokkien, Cantonese, Hakka is often more commonly spoken, in Malay places of business Malay, and in Indian Tamil, Hindi, Bengali.etc. I would say yes, Chinese are disproportionately represented in business, although the government is using 'affirmative action' to get more Malays into university.etc. Actually almost everyone, at except maybe some older Chinese and Indians, can speak Malay because it is the language of much instruction in schools and is taught throughout school. More Malaysians will use Malay at least some of the time, even if they live in a Chinese enclave like Ipoh. Most Malaysians can speak English, although their proficiency ranges from native (with an accent of course) to pretty basic. In general, the more educated the better their English is likely to be. You shouldn't have trouble finding people who speak English except maybe in the smallest of rural kampongs.
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:22 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
I should mention that it depends what sort of business you're talking about. If you mean most of the shop-keepers, it will depend on the specific group of people. In Chinese owned businesses Mandarin, Hokkien, Cantonese, Hakka is often more commonly spoken, in Malay places of business Malay, and in Indian Tamil, Hindi, Bengali.etc. I would say yes, Chinese are disproportionately represented in business, although the government is using 'affirmative action' to get more Malays into university.etc. Actually almost everyone, at except maybe some older Chinese and Indians, can speak Malay because it is the language of much instruction in schools and is taught throughout school. More Malaysians will use Malay at least some of the time, even if they live in a Chinese enclave like Ipoh. Most Malaysians can speak English, although their proficiency ranges from native (with an accent of course) to pretty basic. In general, the more educated the better their English is likely to be. You shouldn't have trouble finding people who speak English except maybe in the smallest of rural kampongs.
And the rural kampongs are populated by Bumi's which are native Malays who don't speak Bahasa but their own dialect. You will find in corporate Malaysia lingua franca is English, followed by Bahasa, followed by Hokkien.
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:23 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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Originally Posted by Nugget View Post
And the rural kampongs are populated by Bumi's which are native Malays who don't speak Bahasa but their own dialect. You will find in corporate Malaysia lingua franca is English, followed by Bahasa, followed by Hokkien.
If you go to the jungle and the villages you will see the 'real' aboriginal people of Malaysia, the real 'sons of the soil'. They are 'negritos' and have dark brown skin and very curly/kinky hair.
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