The national language of Malaysia is Malay, apart from being one of the two official languages. Also called Malaysian Malay or Malay, it is spoken by over 80% of the population. The second official language of Malaysia is English, which is also one of the most commonly spoken languages. The three main Malaysian languages are Malay, Mandarin and Tamil. The diverse Malaysian country is home to a diverse 137 living languages!
Officially known as Bahasa Malaysia, Malay is the official language of Malaysia and is spoken by over eighty percent of its population. There are a variety of ten different dialects of this language spoken throughout the country. Of these various dialects, Bahasa Indonesia, common to the southern Malay Peninsula, is the most important and widely used by all. Also, not to be forgotten, the national anthem of Malaysia is also written in Malay language.
Along with Malay, English is one of the most common languages spoken in Malaysia. It is used widely as a medium of education, communication and government houses. The examinations held here are all based in British English. To crack business deals at an international level, Malaysians have grown prone to the usage of the most commonly used language in the world. It has also been helpful in establishing useful relations between different cultural groups and has helped render harmony. There has also been a steep rise in English speakers with about fifty percent of the people who are literate in English.
Standard Chinese i.e. Mandarin and its adapted Malaysian dialect comes under the category of Malaysian Chinese and is spoken by quite a number of the country’s population. About ninety three percent of Chinese families based in Kuala Lumpur not only speak Mandarin but are also fluent in some of its adapted dialects. Although Mandarin is generally spoken by the Chinese in Malaysia, Hokkien is the most popular dialect used in the country.
A good number of Indians who occupy the Malaysian population speak Tamil as their native language. There are more than five hundred Tamil medium schools spread throughout Malaysia. Other South Asian languages in Malaysia are Bengali, Hindi, Punjabi, Malayalam and Telugu.
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