Language Acquisition in a Foreign Country: Malaysia

If you have just got the news that your company is transferring you to Malaysia and you are panicking about the differences, language and culture, stop. Yes, English is not the native language of Malaysia but English is spoken by many due to Malaysia’s popularity as a tourist destination. So, if you do get lost chances are you will find a friendly English speaking local to guide you on your way.

Learn the local language

You can also boost your ability to get around and make friends by learning the local language. The national language of Malaysia is known as Bahasa Melayu or Malay but you will hear other languages such as Since Malaysia is so diverse, there are also many other languages (Asian) and dialects Cantonese, Hainanese, Hokkien, Hakka and Teochew are the main Chinese dialects with Telegu, Tamil,Punjabi, Malayalam, Hindi, Gujarati and Urdu being some common India languages. You can add any of these languages to your skill set to make your move easier.

Terrified? Don’t be

Learning a language is easier than you realize, you just have to find the right learning method for you. Some people learn better by listening to audio tapes while some require visual cues. You might also learn better by combining the different techniques. If you are a visual learner, create cue cards using common words and phrases to absorb the language.

If you are an audio learner, listen to words and phrases and repeat. You can learn the language by repeatedly repeating various words and phrase and their meanings. This form of language acquisition can also help with proper pronunciation provided you are listening to a native speaker or a master.

If you require a more formal setting to absorb a language join a class. This will give you access to a professional teacher. It will also give you access to a ready support system of learners. If you feel you might absorb more by combining techniques, you can study written language, vocab and grammar through a school or books and utilize the internet to find native speakers. You can practice and test out your linguistic skills. This form of learning can help you fine tune pronunciations before you even step off the plane in Malaysia.

These are just some ways you can add a new language to your skill set before you move to a new country. If moving to Malaysia, start of with Malay before to master any other of the common languages spoken.

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