29 October 2016


I have sometimes previously discussed the tension between use of a native word of Malay and an equivalent borrowed word (e.g. petua vs. 'tips'). Sometimes the relevant authorities promote an indigenous word even when speakers actually use a borrowed word.

This is from a news item broadcast by Berita Suria in Singapore on 6 March 2015. The speaker, Ahmad Md Tahir, a local writer, says that, in order to promote their works, "there must be cooperation between writers, publishers, lovers of language, students and organisations."

The words at the bottom suggest he uses the indigenous word pertubuhan; but in fact, he uses the borrowed word organisasi. It is interesting that Berita Suria think it is appropriate to replace organisasi with pertubuhan even though most people would accept the former as a word of Malay, given that it is generally included in Malay dictionaries and its pronunciation and spelling have been adapted for Malay.