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prefixes -- awalan
malaysia // south east asia|
Prefixes (called awalan in Malaysia and Indonesia) are the elements that are placed in front of a word, for instance, in the English word impossible "im" is a prefix which modifies the meaning of "possible" into its opposite form. The following are important prefixes used in Bahasa Malaysia and Bahasa Indonesia.
According to CampusProgram.com, Malay is an "Malay is an agglutinative language, meaning that the meaning of the word can be changed by adding the necessary prefixes or suffixes. Generally the root word tends to be a verb with quantitative prefixes added to nouns which are root words."
Below I will list some of the important prefixes used in Bahasa Malaysia and Bahasa Indonesia.
According to this Internet site dedicated to teaching Bahasa Indonesia, ber is used in two different ways: "There are two types of verbs with the ber- prefix; those formed by adding the ber- prefix to a noun, and adding the ber- prefix to a root verb. When the ber- prefix attached to a verb root the resulting verb is a reflexive verb."
Using "meng" as a prefix before a verb seems to be similar to putting "to" in front of a verb in English. The Malaysian word hidap for example means "suffer", so menghidap means "to suffer". I typed this word into some Internet search engines and came up with these results:
The use of the prefix "men", the verb stem and then the suffix "kan" extends or enlarges the meaning of the verb. For example, besar means "big", and membesarkan means "to enlarge, to make bigger". Another example: kempis means "shrink", and mengempiskan means "to deflate, to make something shrink". Or kemudi means "helm, rudder" and mengemudikan means "to steer, to enhance the use of the rudder". kemudian means "after, later, afterwards". Naturally enough, mengemudiankan means "to postpone, to delay, to make later". So you see, there is a logic here, and Malaysian grammar seems especially easy to master (compared to, say, Japanese!)
The use of the prefix pen in front of a verb seems to mean "one who does this kind of verb". For example, damai is the verb which means "peace, tranquility". Pendamai therefore means "one who brings peace" -- in other words a "peacemaker or mediator." Datang is the verb which means "to come or arrive". Pendatang, a noun, means "immigrant" -- the one who arrived here!
The use of the "peng" prefix converts a verb to a noun. For example in English judge is the verb, and judgment in the noun -- the act of judging. In Malaysian hakim is "judge", and penghakim is "judgment".
The prefix ter is added to verb roots to form stative verbs. With a stative meaning -- that is, roots that refer to the state of something or of a person, the prefix ter forms a word that emphasizes the accidentally of the action by which the state came into being or that is has been possible for the state to have come into being. The following list gives stative forms that we have so far, which also occur prefixed by ter:
duduk -- be seated: terduduk -- fall into a sitting position.
tidur -- sleep; tertidur -- fall asleep.
SOME SAMPLE BAHASA MALAYSIA/BAHASA INDONESIA EXAMPLES FROM THE INTERNET:
Pada 30 Jun hingga 2 Julai lalu, seramai 20 pegawai dan staf Bahagian Keselamatan ICT (BKICT) yang baru diwujudkan di MAMPU telah berkumpul bersama untuk mencari hala tuju mengenai keselamatan teknologi maklumat dan komunikasi (ICT).
duduk-duduk. . . just sitting around.
penduduk. . . inhabitant (lit. "one who sits".
dada. . . chest.
mendada. . . to walk proudly, strut.
jalan. . . walk.
jalan-jalan. . . just out walking.
Jalan. . . street, road.
pagi. . . morning.
pagi-pagi. . . early in the morning.
daging. . . meat, flesh.
For some reason it didn't appeal to me so much. like the temples you see in Japan, only a little more rustic. Likewise, the restaurants -- the food might have looked Chinese, but there were tatami-mat areas where diners had to take off their shoes and sit on the floor, Japan-style.