Kelantan Malay


It isn't nasi dagang, nasi kerabu, kapak kecil that does away with an enemy instead of keris or the sole opposition state government that distinguishes Kelantan from the rest of Malaysia.




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!





Share a Thought. Ask a Question.

Please fill in the form below to contact Wan. If what you have written merits an answer, I'd get back to you A.S.A.P.

Enter Your Title


Back to Top of Kelantan Malay

Back to Malaysia Map

Homepage



Berkabung untuk MH370 & MH17

States of Malaysia: Say their names





From Kelantan...

"The Exquisite Mak Yong"



"Delicious blue coloured rice "



Katok Gilo a Song in Kelantan Malay



alternative image text