PETALING JAYA, Sept 6 — The national language isn’t just a source of pride for many Malaysians.
It can also save us in a pinch whenever communication barriers pop up, even when amongst members of the same race.
Twitter user Azfavrovski recently shared his experience of witnessing two Malaysian Chinese men conversing in Malay after discovering that neither of them could communicate in any other shared language.
“One couldn’t speak English, the other couldn’t speak Mandarin, so they settled for Malay,” he wrote.
Have you ever seen two Chinese men talk in Malay?— Az-发-ரொவ்- سكي (@Azfarovski) 5 September 2019
One couldn’t speak English,
The other couldn’t speak Mandarin
So they settled for Malay
The post has gone viral with more than 7,300 retweets so far, prompting other Malaysians to share anecdotes of non-Malays using the national language to speak with each other.
Malaysian Chinese Twitter user G_Kay5 explained how she once visited an elderly Chinese lady and ended up talking in Malay with her since they both couldn’t understand each other’s Chinese dialects.
I once visited an old lady. She & I are both Chinese. She spoke Cantonese but I didn't understand it. So, I tried speaking Mandarin but she didn't understand it. I tried the only other dialect I knew (Hokkien). She didn't understand that too. So we both gave up and spoke BM. 🤣— Grace (@G_Kay5) 5 September 2019
A similar incident occurred when moeenuddin_ witnessed an Indian doctor-patient duo speaking in Malay after English and Tamil failed to provide a middle ground for them.
I've seen my Indian doctor talk to an Indian patient.— معين الدين (@moeenuddin_) 5 September 2019
The doctor couldn't speak in Tamil.
The patient couldn't speak in English.
They converse in Malay
What’s more, it’s not just our fellow countrymen who have turned to Bahasa Malaysia to break down language barriers.
Twitter user VRoce_R even recalled seeing a Japanese man and Caucasian man conversing in Malay after realising that it was the only common language that tied them to each other.
I saw org putih and japanese talk in malay. One couldn't speak japanese, the other couldn't speak english. So they settled for malay— RocelenEyot (@VRoce_R) 5 September 2019
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