Malaysian Mandarin

Malaysian Mandarin

Malaysian Mandarin

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Malaysian Mandarin () is variation of Mandarin (Putonghua) spoken in Malaysia by ethnic Chinese but very much different in tone. The difference can be as similar as British English and Malaysian English. Malaysian Mandarin and Singaporean Mandarin are very close, the language was widely used in films created by Singaporean movie director Jack Neo.

Malaysian Mandarin speakers seldom translate local terms or names to Mandarin when they speak. They would prefer to say, for instance, the street name "Jalan Bukit Kepong" to better communicate with local Malaysians, whereas a citizen of China would most probably pronounce it as "Re-lan Wu-ji Jia-tong" to communicate with Chinese citizens.

In comparison with Chinese, Taiwanese or even Singaporean Mandarin, Malaysian Mandarin is clearly distinguished by its relatively tonally 'flat' sound as well as its extensive use of glottal stops and 'rusheng' which often replace what would be in standard Mandarin 1st and 4th tones. This results in a distinct 'clipped' sound compared to other forms of Mandarin.

Some Differences between Malaysian Mandarin and Putonghua (Mandarin in China)

  • Jalan Bukit Kepong - 惹兰武吉甲洞 rělán wǔjí jiǎdòng
  • Raja Abdullah - 拉惹亚都拉 'lārě yàdūlā
  • Kuih Talam - 达兰糕 dálán gāo
  • Roti Canai - 印度人的面包 Yìndùrén de miànbāo


Early Ming and Qing immigrants

The majority of ethnic Chinese people living in Malaysia came from China during the Ming and......
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