Manglish (1)

Manglish 2_副本

This is apparently a phrase we use in our daily lives, ‘macha’ is the word from Tamil language (an Indian language) means brother, which original means brother-in-law. ‘Jom’ means let’s in Malay language and ‘yum cha’ means drinking tea in Cantonese dialect. So, ‘jom yum cha together-gether lah!’ literally means let’s have a tea together.

Malaysian English is considered as one of the creole (rojak) versions of English appears in our daily lives. We tend to assimilate some Malay, Chinese and Tamil vocabulary into spoken English which really “impressed” our foreign friends.

For English native speakers, they might be able to understand part of the conversation, but most of the time, they were trying to figure out what are we trying to convey. In Malaysia, non-English speakers often use Manglish on the social media due to the ease of typing and most Malaysians could generally understand it.


This is a great example of how we combined the Cantonese final particles with “Can” to express more than 10 different emotions in our daily lives. Additionally, changing the tone of these endings creates a slightly different expressions such as “Can lah!” with high tone implies a rushing or frustrating emotion, whereas “Can lahhh..” with a dragged r sound means someone is reluctant or lazy to do something they are asked to do.

The trend of using Manglish has grown rapidly as we share our feelings and status in social media such as Facebook, Tweeter, etc. In just a few minutes, our brain would translate everything from our mother tongue to our target language as short as it could be. Some ending words might be added to the phrases to amplify our feelings to the maximum, which could hardly be expressed in certain languages such as English.

4 thoughts on “Manglish (1)

    1. Hi Ben, thank you for your comment. I just found that my images din’t work well, so I just updated this post with some graphic examples. Another example of creole is Singaporean English. We tend to call Manglish and Singlish as ‘Rojak’ language which generally mixed two or three languages in spoken and written English (on Facebook/Twitter/SMS).


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