Customer Review

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Complete but annoyingly formatted, 8 Sept. 2009
This review is from: Lonely Planet Malay Phrasebook (Lonely Planet Phrasebook) (Paperback)
The phrasebook has evolved a long way since the first edition which I owned in the early 90s; though that might have been an Indonesian phrasebook (the languages are very similar). This edition (3rd) covers a vast ranges of topics with ample vocabulary. The two-way dictionary and a section on the essentials of Malay grammar are included.

My only gripe is the format, which is English, followed by the corresponding Malay phrase in Anglicised spelling, followed by Malay. Like Spanish, Malay is written phonetically. Anyone who has an average sized brain will easily be able to pronounce a Malay word from the way it is spelt. Therefore I am not convinced the pronunciation for each phrase and dictionary item in Anglicised spelling* is even necessary. I personally find Malay spelling easier to read than the superfluous Anglicised spelling they've used. At least it should have been shunted to the side of the page so you can ignore it.

* They call it a 'transliteration system', but normally that means representing words in an entirely different script.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 11 Apr 2011 14:58:30 BDT
J. Lehtinen says:
Not everyone has what you call an average sized brain, and the anglicized spellings can be useful as reminders of how to pronounce the words for people who are more used to how the English writing system works - even though Malay spelling is already largely phonological.

As a linguist speaking another phonologically spelled language (Finnish) I see no hurt in giving for each word the anglicized form (you're right though, it should be called a transcription rather than transliteration).
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