Thursday, January 13, 2011

Let's Learn Kelantan Malay

It is the Kelantan Malay language. When a Kelantanese gives you lima, he isn't giving you five; he is giving you a juicy limau! Five is limo in his language.

Long Consonants

What I like best is the language's tendency to make words shorter. A Kelantanese that wants to mmusing, wants to go for a walk. You see, originally, the intended word is 'memusing' and Kelantan Malay prefers to condense words of three syllables into words of two syllables. So the imbuhan 'me' becomes 'm' and then you read the 'mm' as a lonnnng consonant sound. It's sort of like pronouncing 'moosing' in English but actually the elongated accent is on the letter 'm'.

Other examples: " Bimbe katok lopat ddale kain sarung." is " Bimbang katak lompat di dalam kain sarung." 'Di dale' is 'di dalam', which is condensed to 'ddale'. "Nak kkeda?" is " Nak ke kedai?" "Ggocoh" from "begocoh" for " bertumbuk". "Nnari" is "menari"."Ssilat" is from "bersilat"."Ccapat" for "cepat-cepat". "Llamat" for "lambat-lambat".

Say These Vowels Through Your Nose

We have "dale" for "dalam" from the examples above. What do you think of the following?: "male", "tele" and "minu". They are " malam", "telan" and "minum". How about: "kapo", "gunu" and "bate"? Yeap, they are "kampung" or "kunci", "gunung" and "batang".

A woman lovingly addresses her husband as "abang" so the Kelantan dialect is "abe". I heard that a lady who calls her husband " a-be" ended up calling him " ah-bear" and finally...Bear! :-)

Absent Diphthongs

The diphthongs missing in action in Kelantan Malay are "ai" and "au". "Keda" and "paka" are " kedai" and "pakai" respectively. "Pisa","pula" and "kuba" are " pisau", "pulau" and "kerbau" respectively. Now can you understand why "lima" is "limau"? :-)

From 'A' to 'O'

"Limo" is "lima". Guess what is "bilo","duo", "tuo", "pulok", "budok", "dio", "betino" and "kkuro"? They are: "bila", "dua", "tua", "pula", "budak", "dia", "betina" and "kura-kura". Hey, they even make a video of "katok gilo" --"katak gila".

Thai Influence

Then there are other words: "Ambo", "bewoh", "kecek", "kelih", "hok" which mean "saya", "kenduri", " cakap", "tengok", "yang" respectively in standard Malay. No wonder I was entirely lost the first time I heard "baso kelate" or bahasa kelantan. At least I am comforted it's not due to the poor standard of my Bahasa Malaysia.

Kelantan is not only physically close to Thailand. Intermarriages between Malays and Thais are common and accepted. Not surprisingly their languages--Kelantan and Pattani Malay, come to be closely related.

Anok Kelate

Five robbers tried to cover up their identities by speaking Indonesian dialect as they were robbing a rich businessman. However, a security guard whom they subdued also overheard some part of their conversation in...Kelantan Malay. There was no doubt about their place of origin. That's briefly from a news item " Penyamun Kelantan berlagak Indon." That illustrates the distinctiveness of the Kelantanese dialect.

Kelantan Malay , still widely written in Jawi, is spoken by everyone in Kelantan itself and extending its influence to the borders of Thailand, Perak and Terengganu. In fact, even the minority Chinese speak Kelantan Malay fluently like a native. Ah, the spirit of anok kelate!

credit to Kelantan Malay

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