Bahasa Malaysia may not sound very much like the other members of the Austronesian language family, but the family sure dress alike despite different religious influences. Think: Frangipani/hibiscus hair pin + sarong = Standard attire to woo tourists in Hawaii, Fiji, Tahiti, Indonesia and Malaysia.
During my one month stay in Holland, I was beginning to feel lost surrounded by Dutch and Surinamese ( language barrier-lah ). I was excited when my Dutch hostess introduced me to an elderly Javanese woman. Alas in the end we could not communicate because she spoke only Javanese - not a bit of bahasa Indonesia. Ceh!
While examining the core Malay region maps, I noticed Java is distinctively excluded, no wonder-lah.
Even in this other theory, they still leave out Java.
The centre of core Malay region is Riau of Indonesia. You can click on the map below to zoom into the Riau Archipelago. They call it kepulauan Riau on the map. Don't say "ceh" because the islands are so small you cannot see them on most maps, they very rich in oil. They also very rich in varieties of Malay language. All my fingers and toes are not enough to count all the different Riau Malay dialects.
Riau and Johor were part of a glorious Malay empire until powerful colonialists tore them apart. Thus they went separate ways and established different 'households'. While I am not interested to debate which one/ones of these dialects are the basis for Johor Malay which subsequently become our standard Bahasa Malaysia, we do have to acknowledge their complex existence and influence on our national language.
Then the core of Riau Malay Language is Bintan and the Malay core of Bintan is a flea-size Penyengat island beneath it. ( Ha! Core of the cores ) Penyengat is where the first Malay grammar reference book was written by one of the greatest Malay language scholars.
I listed some Malay phrases/words from different states of Malaysia, try and guess which state are the speakers from:
This one I am heard that bicycle is called " Gerek" in this state
"SayE" instead of sayA which becames immensely popular.
Great grandfather is "Tuk Chei" in which the "Chei" is pronounced "Chai".
This is a cheat question but essential. Armpit is not ketiak, it's kalatiyak, these folks are the originator of the suffix bah.
A story about one langau when said in a local accent evolved into the name of a Malaysia state today.
Click on the links if you can't figure out the answer. I would not feed them to you. Ha!
Nobody can never update faster than a Sabahan who travels to every nook and cranny in Sabah. Here's the better than Google data from mysabah.com
View My Sabah Map in a larger map
Apart from the Baba Nyonyas, this is another group of straits born creole speakers of the Malay language. Do you know who are these unique people of Malaysia?
If you are visiting Penang island, why not stay at one of the Batu Ferringhi Hotels along Penang's most popular beach resort in the Northwest of the Island?