English in Malaysia : Attitudes towards Malaysian English and Standard English

University essay from Karlstads universitet/Fakulteten för humaniora och samhällsvetenskap (from 2013)

Abstract: In Malaysia what was at first Standard English has over time changed and a variety called Malaysian English has arisen. This variety of English is full of colloquial expressions and the grammar also differs slightly from that of Standard English. This paper surveys Malaysian speakers’ attitudes towards Malaysian English and Standard English. A questionnaire was used to collect the data. The results show that the informants consider Malaysian English useful for informal and everyday communication whereas Standard English is more useful for international communication as well as more formal purposes. A good command of Standard English is still regarded as important. It became evident that while the informers were aware of Malaysian English and its linguistic characteristics, identifying them in written sentences was not easy. The informants’ attitudes towards Malaysian English and Standard English showed that one variety does not have to exclude the existence of the other.

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