Halaman:Malay-English vocabulary.djvu/14

Halaman ini belum diuji-baca



pronunciation. It is important that the student should know the source from which such foreign words have come, in order that he may be able to discriminate between synonymous words and decide which should be used in conversation with the various nationalities ly whom Malay is spoken. Thus one would not hesitate to use words of Chinese origin in speaking with the Baba Chinese, or to use Javanese words in conversation with persons who come from the Dutch Indies, whereas one should avoid words of Arabic or Persian origin except when speaking with educated Malays. It should be remembered, however, that some foreign words have become so thoroughly incor- porated in the language as to be well understood by all, as for instance such words as waktii, 'umor, smoa, burni, fikir, fakat, etc. A large number of English, Portuguese and Dutch words, however, though well understood in the Settlements, are practically unknown to native*. living in the interior, so that it is necessary to exercise some disere- tion in the use of such words.

Spelling: of Foreign Words.

Malay lexicographers have usually romanized words of foreign origin in harmony with the spelling of the language from which such words are derived rather than with the way in which they are pro- nounced by Malays. This plan of having a different system for roman- izing foreign words causes great confusion in a vocabulary and has been avoided as far as possible in this work. Such words will be found spelt phonetically according to the Malay pronunciation. Thus Sanskrit and Arabic words which are pronounced by Malays with the short vowel sound are so spelt in this vocabulary, whereas most lexi- cographers who use c for the short vowel have spelt such words with a, i, or u, as tanira, nixcJwya. and pusaka, which are here spelt in Ira. nschaya and psaka. The former arrangement, though perhaps scienti- fically correct, presents such unnecessary difficulties to the unsophistic- ated mind that a consistent system of phonetic spelling appears pre- ferable. Again it may be more accurate to write kalimat shahadu/. but as the Malays always say klimah shah a flat, it would be misleading to spell otherwise.

Accent in Root Words.

In order that one may pronounce correctly, it is just as important to know on which syllable the stress should be laid as it is to have every word spelt phonetically. A novel feature of this vocabulary is that the stress on each word is shown by means of an accent, in the same way as is done in Webster's Dictionary. It will be noticed that in root words the accent usually falls on the penultimate. When the vowel of the penultimate is short, however, the accent very fre- quently falls on the last syllable. In some two-syllable words there is an almost equal stress on the two syllables, and in such cases the