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What’s the struggle with Malaysia’s common languages?

What’s the struggle with Malaysia’s common languages?

Anne Dorall

Just a week after Twitterjaya discussed speaking in a common language when part of a group, Twitter was again lit up with another discussion about why some Malaysians only stick to using their mother-tongue.

Twitter users Hubert Ian Lee and PU Soul posed a question for their fellow Malaysians, asking why they struggle with the common languages they should have learned in school.

Hurbert goes on to further claim that the national language is what shapes society [in a country], and Malaysians should be proud of their national language.


The most common answer was that certain communities (regardless of race) are active in their own small pockets within the country, which makes it easy to only stick to one language and disregard the rest.


However, netizens were quick to point out that many people pick up the language on their own, so the environment is not entirely at fault.


When contacted, Hubert told us that the discussion helped open his mind.

He also learned that customers often ask people in the hospitality and service industry to speak in a different language or call a colleague who does.

Hubert concluded that people are weak in other languages because they don’t practice it, often due to their social circle or the lack of importance of other languages in the workplace.


He also urged us to mix with people of different cultures and races to expand our worldview.

Ease of language comes from constant use, so consumption of media in many languages certainly helps to make people more comfortable in other languages.


So the next time someone complains about you watching too much TV, tell them you’re practicing your language skills!

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