Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The difference between 'kita' and 'kami'

In Malay, there is a difference between 'kita' and 'kami' although the English equivalent is 'we' for both words.

I usually ask my students to remember the last letter in 'kita', that is 'a' as 'all'. Hence they should know that 'kita' means 'all of us', including the person who listen to us. For example, the sentence 'Kita berada di dalam bilik ini." means 'We (=All of us) are in this room."

As for 'kami', I encourage my students to link it to 'The King and I' with the letters 'k', 'a' and 'i' representing 'king', 'and' and 'I' respectively. 'Kami' means 'My friend (The King) and I', not including the listener. A sentence to illustrate this word is as follows:
"Kami berkelah di Pantai Merdeka kelmarin." [We (My friend and I) had a picnic at Merdeka Beach yesterday."

I hope you can now tell the two words apart after reading the above explanation.


hky said...

thanks... i always can't seem to remember

MMirshekari said...

Thank you, much obliged