May 1, 2010

False friends

In English language, we have some things called 'false friends', which are some English words that look similar to words from other language, but actually have different meanings in that other language. These are some examples:

French false friends

Preservative (préservative - condom)
Liquid (liquide - cash)
Agenda (agenda - diary)
Trespass (trépasser - die)

Spanish false friends

Cafe (café - coffee)
Argument (argumento - story)
Constipation (constipado - suffering from cold)
Editor (editor - publisher)

************

But believe it or not, in Malay language, we do have some words that look like they are adapted from foreign languages, such as Arabic or English, but actually they have different meanings in those languages.

Arabic false friends

Pinggan (finjan - cawan) <-- i think this has to do with the Arab businessmen who did trading in Tanah Melayu back in the days.. They pointed to cawan and said, "Finggaan, finggaan," but somehow our ancestors misunderstood and thought that the plate is called 'pinggan' (^_^) hehe

Makan (makan - tempat)
Ayam (ayyam - kata jamak kepada 'hari')
Biadap (bi adab = beradab) <-- totally opposite meaning


We also have some English false friends, like Air (air - udara) and Jumpa (jump - lompat).

But i noticed some of the English words that are widely misused by Malaysians, like 'slang' which is used interchangeably with 'accent'.. Slang actually means words that are used exclusively by some people in a certain area, whereas accent is a way of pronouncing words that indicates the place of origin or social background of the speaker.

Like in Kelantan, they have this very distinctive accent, but in Johore, we have these slang that other places don't really use, or even understand:-

Gembeng - kememeh / kuat nangis
Ghobok - almari
Aleh2 - tiba2
Pergi saing - pergi sama2
Berjejes - (ape ek? dripping?) mcm aiskrim yg cair menitik jatuh ke bawah.
Lada - cili
Sangap - menguap (but interestingly 'sangap' is registered in Kamus Dewan as an official word!)
Kecek/mengecek - mintak sikit

9 comments:

princess kacang said...

it never crossed my mind word listed kat akhir paragraph tu bahasa johor yg xdigunakan di tempat lain..
tQ for assembling them all.heheh~

Effy Saiful said...

cikfizah paham tak semua tu? ;p

Sayer Best said...

hahaha..nice2....
I got one example,perkataan biasa dlm arab,tapi dalam malay jadik bahasa maki hamun

Arabic:babi(pintuku) dalam malay jadik bahasa org melayu memaki lak

norfarhana said...

may i add some. these are some words that singaporean use which i believe that johor people also use them too (kalau x,sori guyz =P)

1) tolong 'anu' kan baju tu = tolong 'pass' kan baju tu
2) epok-epok = karipap
3) bedek = tipu
4) nanti aku 'bilang' sama dia = nanti aku 'bagitau' sama dia

i remember the first time i heard 'pergi saing',i was so confused and i thought that my friend wanted to race with me-like bersaing or sumthing.haha

and even though johor does not have many slang words,the way u guyz cakap sometimes bole tau,'hmm..org johor ni'.kan fizah?hehe ~

Effy Saiful said...

Sayer best: itulah.. i was gonna write that..tp mcm inappropriate plak..hehe

norfarhana: owh, some of us still guna lg..but i don't use 'bedek' n 'bilang'.. that's kinda old-school la..org tua2 pakai la kot..hehe

Muhammad Warouq bin Qamar said...

aku tak puas ati sampai skrg pasal lada-cili. lagi satu sangap-menguap. ahaha. org KL tak bole lepas ngan org johor. nanti salah faham.

"weh..aku nampak imam kampung sangap tadi.."

ha,kan haru tu.

Effy Saiful said...

hahaha sangap is menguap, ok! cek kamus dewan~ it's a slang for non-johoreans.. kami masih mempraktikkan bhs melayu baku..hehe

lada = cili hidup tu.. tp kalo sos, kitorg takdela pggil 'sos lada'.. hehehe

noor ANIAH azmi said...

omg. this is a very interesting article. ada aje idea nak tulis eh.

Effy Saiful said...

thanks kak niah..hehe biasa la dah nk exam macam2 idea keluar~