BASIC VOCABULARY LIST (500 words)
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(A mastery of this selected list of the most commonly-used Malay words should help you to carry out a very simple conversation in Malay.)
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Lesson 43 Berapa harganya? (What's the price?)
Click to listen
A second reading (by Muhammad Nor Ismat, a native speaker)
Note that Berapa harganya? is only used when you are asking the price of an article. When you ask a taxi-driver the cost of the fare you would say Berapa tambangnya? (How much is the fare?)
You have learnt that Berapa means "How many..." or "How much..."
We have seen (in Lesson 2) nya tagged on to nouns ( keretanya = his car or her car). Here harganya would mean "its price" and tambangnya "its fare".
Words you will use or hear when you go shopping or when you are in the market:
murah = cheap
mahal sekali (or sangat mahal) = very expensive
tidak mampu = cannot afford
harga yang tinggi = a high price
harga mati or harga tetap = a fixed price
tawar = to bargain (as an adjective tawar means "tasteless")
The Malay word for money is wang though duit is frequently used too eg. Saya tidak ada wang or Saya tidak ada duit (I don't have money) and
Wang ini adalah untuk beli makanan or Duit ini adalah untuk beli makanan (This money is for buying food.)
On festive occasions (Hari Raya, Chinese New Year, etc.) you might hear the term duit raya. This is money put in a tiny envelope and given to children as a gift. It originated from the Chinese custom of giving "angpow" (red packets containing lucky money called ya1 sui4 qian2 in Mandarin) to children on the occasion of Chinese New Year.
Apart from ringgit and sen you might hear the following terms used in some states in Malaysia:
rial (used especially in Kelantan) meaning ringgit
kupang (used especially in Penang) meaning 10 sen. Thus dua kupang would mean dua puluh sen