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A basic course in the Malaysian and Indonesian languages in 64 lessons  ©pgoh13.com
These lessons are copyrighted and their publication in any form is strictly prohibited.

  Lesson 44  Short forms: nak, tak, dah, etc.  

Click to listen  

A second reading (by Muhammad Nor Ismat, a native speaker)
Anda nak keluar? (nak = hendak)
Tak. (Tak = Tidak)
Mau beli apa, tuan? (Mau = Mahu)
Or Mau beli apa, encik?
Saya dah makan. (dah = sudah)
Dulu dia kaya, sekarang dia miskin. (Dulu = Dahulu)
Jauh tak? - Tak, dekat saja. (saja = sahaja)
Do you wish to go out?
What do you want to buy, sir?

I have eaten.
Previously he was rich, now he is poor.
Is it far (or not)? - No, it's really near.
The answer to the last question can also be Jauh, Tak jauh or Tak berapa jauh (= Not too far). Note that jauh (far) is pronounced in two syllables: ja-oo.

More sentences:
Nak jumpa doktor PUN tak ada masa (I don't even have time to see a doctor.) Note that there is a pause after the word pun which has got to be stressed to bring out the full meaning of the sentence. The little word pun has the sense of "even to the extent of" in this sentence. (By the way pun has got quite a number of other uses and if you'd like to learn more about these I have put them together in one page, following an email inquiry from a student. Go here for Various uses of the Malay word pun.)
Suka tak? (Do you like it or not?) to which the answer can be Suka, Tak suka or Tak berapa suka (= Not too much).
Other examples:
tak ada means "don't have"
tak mahu means "don't want"
tak tahu means "don't know"
tak guna means "useless"
tak sempat means "don't have enough time"
buat tak tahu means "pretend not to know about something"
tak nak means "don't want" and comes from tidak hendak

tapi = tetapi
saja = sahaja
depan = hadapan
kau = engkau
ku = aku
baru = baharu
tu = itu
mak = emak
tau = tahu
sikit (also dikit) = sedikit
mu = kamu
kan = bukan
kat = dekat
tak nak = tidak hendak

Even if you yourself prefer to use the full form of the words (these being the words you learnt) the main purpose of this lesson is to make you aware of their contracted forms so you will understand them when you hear them spoken. As a matter of fact, the short forms are very frequently used in speech.
So do make use of them in conversations. An example is in the use of saja instead of sahaja in the following answers. The usual meaning of saja is "only" but note how it is used in the following expressions. Thus, to the question:
Apa nak minum? (What do you wish to drink?) the answer could be Apa saja (Anything at all)
Bila boleh kita makan bersama? (When can we eat together?) the answer could be Bila-bila saja (Anytime)
Di mana anda nak tidur? (Where do you wish to sleep?) the answer could be Mana-mana saja (Anywhere)
Note also the following conversational question forms:
Ada pen tak? (Do you have a pen or not?) to which the answer can be Ada or Tak ada.
Mau keluar tak? (Do you wish to go out or not?) to which the answer can be Mau or Tak mau.
Dah makan belum? (Have you eaten?) to which the answer can be Dah or Belum.
Boleh masuk tak? (Can I come in or not?) to which the answer can be Boleh or Tak boleh.

yg = yang
spt = seperti
dgn = dengan
dsb = dan sebagainya
utk = untuk
sj = saja
shj = sahaja
sbg = sebagai
pd = pada
spt = seperti
kpd = kepada
dr = dari
drp = daripada
lwn = lawan
tdk = tidak
bhg = bahagian
bkn = berkenaan
dll = dan lain-lain
blm = belum
jgn = jangan

doctor dokter doktor
What do you want to buy, sir? Mau beli apa, pak? Mau beli apa, encik?
When can we eat together? Kapan bisa kita makan bersama? Bila boleh kita makan bersama?
Do you have a pen (or not)? Ada pena tak? Ada pen tak?

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