As one of the major languages used and spoken in Southeast Asia, Malay—also known as Bahasa Melayu or Bahasa Malaysia depending on where you are—is spoken by a population of over 300 million distributed across Malaysia, Indonesia and in parts of southern Thailand.

With a population of more than 32 million, Malaysia makes up one of the biggest markets for the language. However, even though English is widely used there, it is recognized as a second language. Instead, Malay is the national and first language. Hence, English to Malay translations, as well as English to Malay translations should be an essential part of any company’s strategy as they expand their presence into this part of the world. In doing so, global companies will have greater reach into the region, and be able to effectively communicate and connect with their target audience. Furthermore, companies in Malaysia will also be better able to bring their ideas, products and messages to the world.


As with translations between language families, one key challenge in English to Malay translations is non-equivalence, in which there is often no direct equivalent term for a certain word in English, and vice versa. Additionally, the two languages also differ grammatically, particularly in the construction of sentences/

Hence, to ensure that you are getting an accurate and authentic English to Malay or Malay to English translation, you would need someone who has an understanding of both languages, rather than just knowledge of one. And when it comes to achieving good translations, you would need the right English or Malay translator with sufficient training and professional experience to produce translations in either language that are fit for their purpose.

A skilled translator with an intimate understanding of both languages will also be able to ensure that your message is effectively communicated to your target audience, without any embarrassing misunderstandings or errors.