Protect, conserve our own language

National 2 minutes, 23 seconds


ALTHOUGH English terminologies have been adapted into the Malay language, the Language and Literature Bureau (DBP) reminded that it should not be an excuse for overuse of English terms.

The bureau acknowledged that some technical jargons require the adaptation of English into Malay language, however, there are still terms where the Malay equivalent is appropriate for use.

“We should protect and conserve our own language… these words have their own cultural value.

“If we rarely use them, eventually these words will be lost. That is worrying,” DBP Director Hjh Aminah Hj Momin said.

In an interview with _The Brunei Times, _Hjh Aminah said that since its involvement with the Language Council of Brunei Indonesia Malaysia (MABBIM) in November 1985, many Malay terminologies have been introduced, especially for technical jargons such as aviation, doctoral and law terminologies.

Hjh Aminah Hj Momin said that DBP is currently in the process of compiling basic words typically used in hospital settings into a guidebook, to help foreign doctors have a stronger relationship with their local patients.

This method has been used by the Malaysian state of Kelantan to help foreign doctors, to learn and use Kelantan words in their daily work.

She added that with the advancement of technology, more English terminologies have to be adopted since there are no Malay words that can accurately express the meaning.

“For example, teknologi maklumat (information technology), there is no accurate Malay word that can explain technology. So we have to adopt it 100 per cent, with the only changes being spelling and pronunciation,” the director said.

Facebook, Instagram and other new terms that came along with technological innovation also has to be adopted completely in order to keep up with the times, she said.

There are some English words that are adopted due to their Malay equivalents failing to capture the true meaning, words such as innovasi (innovation), transformasi (transformation) and kreativiti (creativity), which when used sound more impressive and sophisticated.

Hjh Aminah urged for the preservation of Malay words and terminologies with the use of adapted English terms proving to be more popular in today’s society.

Words such as aktiviti (activity), informasi (information) and komunikasi (communication) thrives over their other Malay variations namely _kegiatan, maklumat _and perhubungan.

“This will not only lead to us forgetting these words but it also encourages the ‘mixing’ of Malay and English words in conversation. Eventually these Malay words will be ‘classic’.”

DBP has published more than a hundred books on Malay terminology covering topics such as Fisheries, Clinical and Agriculture as well as their sub-topics and these will be on display during the annual Language Month coming up on July 5.

Hjh Aminah also shared that the Malay terminologies, monographs and glossaries produced by DBP will be used by government officers and even schools, to widen knowledge and raise awareness on the Malay Language.

The Brunei Times