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Old 03-06-2013, 10:22 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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Why Some Parents are Worried About the Decline of English in Malaysia | PRI's The World

I was shocked to learn that apparently only 25% of Malaysians can speak English, although I'm wondering what criteria they use to qualify who can speak English or not. Some other sources say 50-70% can speak at least basic English. From personal experience most people under about 65 can speak basic English, of all races, but I think I have heard that English is on decline in Malaysia, largely due to the Malay education system. It seems, however, that there might be a reversal of this process, as more and more people in Asia want to learn English (go to Taiwan for instance and you'll see countless English-language schools) and Malaysian graduates are becoming less employable due to their lack of English language skills.

I'm wondering if anyone has noticed the decline in English-speaking ability among the younger generation. While English is unlikely to ever become the main language in Malaysia, I think it's possible this might happen in Singapore, although it faces stiff competition from Mandarin, which is still probably spoken slightly more as a first language in the city state.
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Old 03-10-2013, 03:06 AM
 
Location: Macao
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It seems fairly high to me, when I've visited.
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Old 03-10-2013, 07:22 AM
 
Location: Singapore
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I visit Malaysia quite often mostly KL, I feel that the English is decent I actually don't see much difference between Singapore and Malaysia in terms of how well they speak English.
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Old 05-22-2013, 02:45 AM
 
Location: Czech Republic
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I always thought almost everyone can speak English in Malaysia.
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Old 05-22-2013, 03:35 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hermosaa View Post
I always thought almost everyone can speak English in Malaysia.
I do think most young people can speak English, but the standard seems to be slipping.
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Old 05-22-2013, 10:20 AM
 
Location: Washington State
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I've worked all over the world and there are 2 pay scales in play, those that speak English well (High Pay) and those that don'te speak English (low paying). That's why you see such an effort in Asia to learn English. When I was in malaysia, it seemed most people spoke English. I know that the Malay people of Malaysia are pushing to have everyone learn Malay language possibly at the expense of learning English...this may have benefits as far as unifying the country but will be a detriment to the opportunities of its citizens imo.
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Old 05-22-2013, 10:36 AM
bg7
 
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projecting forward, it would seem Mandarin would be more important to know than English for the younger population.
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Old 05-22-2013, 02:33 PM
 
Location: Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bg7 View Post
projecting forward, it would seem Mandarin would be more important to know than English for the younger population.
Next century?

The U.S will be the largest Spanish-speaking country within decades.
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Old 05-22-2013, 03:11 PM
bg7
 
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Originally Posted by Ag77845 View Post
Next century?

The U.S will be the largest Spanish-speaking country within decades.
It may do, but Spanish is alrweady dying out amongst 3rd generation, anfd in any event Spanish is not going to suddenly become the language of science and technology, business and aviation, so its not so relevant. Mandarin, on the other hand, is already a very important business language.
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Old 05-22-2013, 04:37 PM
 
25,059 posts, read 23,157,510 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ag77845 View Post
Next century?

The U.S will be the largest Spanish-speaking country within decades.
People keep saying this, but I personally know and have hung out in Hispanic majority neighborhoods in new York City, this argument does not hold water at all. The stereotype among Hispanic-Americans in the US is that, "I can't speak Spanish but abuelito/a does".
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