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Introduction to Malay Language

Start learning Malay today: learn the basics of speaking and writing in the Malay language and explore Malaysian culture.

5,451 enrolled on this course

Beautiful trishaw found on the streets of Melaka
  • Duration

    3 weeks
  • Weekly study

    2 hours

Discover Malay language and experience Malaysian culture

This online Malay language course is an introduction to the Malaysian language for beginners. The course is 3 weeks long and by the end, you’ll be able to:

  • introduce yourself and things around you
  • understand basic Malay grammar
  • greet people and ask simple questions
  • learn about writing in Malay
  • understand conversations about food and places

Start to speak, listen, read and write Malay language

During the three weeks of the course, you will learn some of the vocabulary and phrases you need to help you interact with Malaysian people at a basic level.

You will start to develop the four language skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing through a range of activities that introduce the language in authentic settings. You will also learn some essential Malay grammar, including some basic verbs, personal pronouns and adjectives.

One of the ways you’ll learn is through video resources that’ll show you the language in action. The course videos will be conducted in Malay with English subtitles to offer better exposure to the language while still providing support.

Explore Malaysian culture while you learn

We’ll introduce you to the Historical City of Melaka, a UNESCO world heritage site in Malaysia. Learn some of the famous Malaysian foods that locals love to eat.

In Week 2, you’ll learn about Penang, the food capital of Malaysia with sandy beaches along the coastline. You’ll discover the most interesting places to visit in Penang and learn about popular foods.

Finally, you’ll explore Langkawi, an archipelago made up of 99 islands on Malaysia’s west coast. We’ll take you through the most interesting places to see in Langkawi to round off your journey through Malaysia.


  • Week 1

    Introducing Yourself & Things Around You

    • Getting Started

      Learn how to use FutureLearn, meet your Malay tutors and find out what's coming up in the course.

    • Introduction to Week 1

      We will describe what we are going to do in Week 1.

    • Introducing Yourself & Things Around You

      In this section, we will listen to dialogues about how to introduce and describe yourself, and also how to explain about things available around you.

    • Language Focus: Malay Grammar

      In this section, we will learn about basic components of Malay grammar. We will focus on pronouns, verbs, plurals and adjectives, which are the backbones in the construction of Malay sentences.

    • Summary of Week 1

      What did you learn in Week 1

    • Introducing Malaysia: Melaka

      Get introduced to the Historical City of Melaka, one of the UNESCO world heritage site in Malaysia. Learn some of the famous Malaysian food that are favored by locals and tourists.

  • Week 2

    Talking About Interesting Places & Foods

    • Introduction to Week 2

      What are we going to do this week?

    • Talking About Interesting Places And Foods

      In this section, we will listen to dialogues about interesting places in Melaka and Penang, also about various kind of foods in Penang.

    • Language Focus: Malay Grammar

      In this section, we will about some of the elements which are used to form sentences in Malay. This week, we will focus on conjunctions, prepositions and auxiliaries.

    • Summary of Week 2

      Whar did you learn in Week 2?

    • Introducing Malaysia: Pulau Pinang (Penang)

      Learn about another famous place in Malaysia, Penang.

  • Week 3

    Talking About Interesting Places & Events

    • Introduction to Week 3

      A quick look on topics that will be covered this week. Share with us the interesting places in your country.

    • Interesting Places & Events

      This section contains dialogues about interesting places & events in Langkawi. Learners will then be asked to practice several words and phrases related to the dialogues.

    • Language Focus: Malay Grammar

      In this week, we will learn on how phrases are composed in Malay language. We will focus on four basic phrases in Malay; noun phrases (NP), verb phrases (VP), adjective phrases (AP) and prepositional phrases (PP).

    • Summary of Week 3

      What did you learn during Week 3

    • Introducing Malaysia: Langkawi

      Langkawi is one of the main tourism attractions in Malaysia. Get to know some of the famous spots in Langkawi visited by local and foreign tourists.

    • Completing The Course

      Completing The Course

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Identify common words and basic phrases about yourself, family and friends for communication purposes.
  • Identify regular nouns, words and simple sentences around you, for example on notice boards, posters or in a catalog.
  • Apply simple phrases and simple sentences to describe where you live and people you know.

Who is the course for?

This course is for anyone interested in Malaysia, languages or learning Malay. You don’t need any previous experience.

Who will you learn with?

Hello. My name is Ab. Razak and I am one of the lecturers in the Department of Malay Language , the Academy of Malay Studies, University of Malaya. I have worked here since 1985.

Associate Professor at Malay Language Department, Academy of Malay Studies, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Specialises in Malay Semantics, Malay Intonation and Pragmatic- Politeness.

Hi, I am a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Malay Language, Academy of Malay Studies University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. My field of expertise is the discourse analysis.

Who developed the course?

Universiti Malaya

Universiti Malaya is the premier research university in Malaysia, committed to advancing knowledge and learning through quality research and education for the nation and for humanity.

  • Established

  • Location

    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • World ranking

    Top 60Source: QS World University Rankings 2021

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

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