15 October 2016

UBD Convocation

At the UBD Convocation yesterday, I was interested to hear how many English words occurred in the Sultan's titah, which you would expect to be entirely in Malay. I noted the following, though I am sure there were more: marketability, employability, life-long learning, knowledge-based society, relevance, professional and global. That is in addition to the following, which might all nowadays be regarded as words of Malay: program, ekonomi, institusi, inisiatif, graduan, identiti, kualiti and senat.

Are there no Malay equivalents for these terms? Although it is no doubt possible to express marketability in Malay, it's probably true that there is no easy equivalent; so use of the English word is more efficient.

Some people might decry the lack of indigenous words for these concepts; others might celebrate the flexibility of Malay that allows it to absorb words from other languages so easily. Anyway, perhaps marketability soon will be regarded as a word of Malay (in which case, presumably, it will be spelled with a final 'i').