Monday, December 26, 2011

New spelling in Malay

When Kamus Dewan 4th Edition was published, you will find that some words are given new spelling. These include jawaban (previously jawapan), pelihatan (previously penglihatan) and pelibatan (previously penglibatan). However, the old spelling of each word is still printed and can be used for the time being. For the understanding of international readers, jawaban means answer, pelihatan means eye-sight and pelibatan means involvement.

Some other common errors in spelling committed by users of the Malay language are perletakan (which should be peletakan), and perlantikan (which should be pelantikan). I shall now explain why the spelling in each bracket is correct.

The word peletakan (the act of placing something somewhere) comes from meletakkan or to place. When this verb is transformed into a verbal noun, it should be peletakan and not perletakan. Likewise, pelantikan
9appointment) is derived from melantik (to appoint). Words of the per_an group such as pergaduhan, perlawanan and perlanggaran come from intransitive verbs bergaduh (to quarrel), berlawan (to fight against), and berlanggar (to collide with) respectively.

Similarly pelihatan comes from melihat (to see) and pelibatan comes from melibatkan (to involve). As for jawaban, it is derived from jawab (to answer). I found it awkward to pronounce jawaban when all the while we pronounce it as jawapan.

So much for some aspects of the development in the spelling business of the Malay language.

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