Things to Ponder : Malaysian English, should be standardize or not?




1. Pillai – There has been no concerted effort to establish an endonormative model for Standard Malaysian English pronunciation.
2. Schneider’s Dynamic Five Phase Model of the Evolution of New Englishes (2003: 243)



English is now a medium of communication worldwide. In Malaysia, English has been commonly used
1. In the urban city
2. In business field
3. Conversation with foreigner(particularly with diplomat, ambassador from different countries)
4. Certain places ( in airport, tourism hotspot)
5. Service field (F&B,, Beauty, Fashion, Sales)
6.In most of the established companies (As those established company would most likely to expand internationally or have international employees, such as oil & gas field, electricity, general motor field)



GENERALLY, it could be seen that Malaysian English usage has been divided to 2 dimension of English.
1. English for International Communication
2. English for Intra-Malaysian, Ethics Communication


When conversing with foreigner, the English used contain less marked features.
Marked features (note: not all the examples are here)
1. particle ‘lah’ , ‘kan’, ‘liao’ , ‘lo’ usage
2. direct translations of English to BM, BC
3. nativited intonation, speech rhythm
4. pronunciation (Mahir & Jarjis, n.d.)
5. Malaysian colloquial phrase or is it Singapore colloquial? (lim beh is sleepy, don’t be like Lim Beh)

As those less marked features is only understand by those who has little, or moderate understanding of Malay and Mandarin spoken language in Malaysia. The used of less marked feature also exist in academic field, particularly when student wants to has presentation in the class. However, when conversing among Malaysia, esp during informal context, speakers tend to use Malaysian English (with marked features) to show solidarity and as an identity marker.



Now, the problem is that , according to Pillai (The Monophthong & Diphthongs of Malaysian English), there has been no concerted effort to establish an endornormative model for Standard Malaysian English pronunciation. Malaysian is currently using the model of RP as target instead of reference model. Meaning, in term of pronunciation, Malaysians educator has refer to RP as standard, instead of a reference.
Which in fact is less feasible. New generation in Malaysia has slowly incorporate American English in daily conversation. This include the engagement of
1. certain American phrases,
2. intonation
3. vocabulary



With these consideration in regards, should Malaysian English established Malaysian own set of Pronunciation? With RP is reference model rather than Target.

If Malaysian English should have it’s own authority establishment away from native English.
I feel like if there is Pustake Bahasa Malaysia to established Bahasa Melayu in Malaysia. Bahasa Melayu in the official language of Malaysia. There should be some authority institution to established English in Malaysia (or else, the English educator in Malaysia would continue to use British English, RP as the standard English. )