Eye on Asia

Languages in Malaysia

This is a selection of resources on languages in Malaysia available from the NLB catalogue or the Internet and is not meant to be an exhaustive list. If you know of or come across more useful resources, please drop us a note so we can share them with our readers.

NLB print resources

Language choices and discourse of Malaysian families: Case studies of families in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

This book examines the choice of languages used in Malaysian homes. It also explores the use of English as first language, bilingualism as well as the cultural norms that govern interactions in Malaysia.

All rights reserved, Petaling Jaya: Strategic Information and Research Development Centre, 2006.

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Language choice and communication in Malaysian business

This book presents an ethnographic account of language choice and communication avenues of business organisations in Malaysia, particularly how organisations balance the language choice between English and Bahasa Malaysia in their daily operations.

All rights reserved, Kuala Lumpur: Penerbit Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 2000.

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Language policy challenges in multi-ethnic Malaysia

This book highlights the political, socio-cultural, economic and knowledge economy factors behind decisions made by the government with regard to language policy. It examines decisions made on the selection of the national language, the medium of instruction in educational systems, the changes in language policy in the field of science and technology and the maintenance and sustenance of minority languages.

All rights reserved, Dordrecht: Springer, 2014.

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National language planning & language shifts in Malaysian minority communities: Speaking in many tongues

Malaysia is a melting pot of many different cultures and ethnicities. Analysing the language varieties therein will aid the  understanding of the country and its people. This book compiles the work of researchers working in the field of language change in Malaysia for over two decades.

All rights reserved, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. 2011

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What languages are spoken in Malaysia?

This website provides an overview of the languages in Malaysia. These include the national language Bahasa Malaysia, as well as others like English, Chinese and Tamil.

Visit website