Stop saying Nasi Lomak!

Its such a pet peeve of mine when I hear people mispronounce common Malay words such as Nasi Lemak, Otak-otak and Jelak.

Here is the correct way to pronounce them :

42 Replies to “Stop saying Nasi Lomak!”

  1. Hahaha. I understand your frustation exactly. Haha. But somehow, we can’t really blame them because I bet they’d say the same thing for us pronouncing things like “ee, er, san, ser, oo, liu, chi , pa, chiu, se” We think its right when its far from it.
    I bet they think its right too when its actually far from it 😉

    Guess we should be thankful enough they try 😀

  2. Mintea

    Ehehehe … thanks 🙂


    I can prove to you that I can pronounce 1 – 10 in mandarin to be just as well as a chinese can 😛 Hehehehehe

    But you’re right, the thing about mandarin is that with different intonation, the meaning can be very different. Take for example “sui”, with different intonation, it can be “who” or “water” and others

    But when we come back to Nasi Lemak, people need to be educated that its not LOMAK but LEMAK :]




    I didnt realise that all the while I’ve been recording, was a mirror image till I lifted the cards up. Hehehe

  3. DK

    Thanks but dont ignore the main content 😛 Hehehehe


    I didnt even realise that spelling till you mentioned that. Wow thanks!

    I think spelling wise, it changes from different region to another. Like Malaysia – Singapore – Indonesia. We share similar words, spelled differently.


    Poor Zubir Said. I’m sure he’d never expect that the Singapore National song would be known as the “mali kita” song :S

  4. You should teach people how to pronounce Keropok too!
    I always hear people say Ke Lo Pok! Arrghhh….

    The other always mispronounced word is ‘terbalik’. Only in Singapore do people read it as Tom-Ba-Lik. Too much Tom Yam Soup??

  5. Oh yea, by the way, you’re tagged for a meme:

    7 random or weird things about yourself

    The rules are as follows:
    # Link to the person who tagged you
    # Post the rules on your blog.
    # Share seven random and/or weird facts about yourself on your blog.
    # Tag seven random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.
    # Leave a comment on their blogs so that they know they have been tagged.

  6. Farinelli

    Not a teacher but a public educator 😛 Hehehehe


    You really think so?

    I think that’ll be awesome! Alas, I don’t think anyone would put me in tv much less be a tv host. Lets just be content with vimeo … hehehehe 😛



    Thats so easy to pronounce. And terbalik too. I really disagree if someone blames it on having a short tongue. Because we dont need to thrill our R’s. A soft one will do fine.

    Its just when people use the wrong method, it ripples out to become more and more people misusing it.

    Nevertheless, I thought Tom Yam Soup would make a person better in their oratorical skills? Hehehehe


    I didn’t realise that when I was filming, it was in mirror image. Doh … hehehehe

    And the “horrendous quote” is directed to someone quite annoying. I wonder who he is 😛

    Anyway, what word do you use to describe the thickness in your throat when you eat a lot of rich and creamy food? We use “jelak”, in this instance.


    Yeah, the good thing is that they try to use the Malay language. Its nice to make an effort but still … its painful to hear when words become used over and over again till some people actually think that is the right method.


    Kelang Kabor? Um … that sounds a little … naughty … hehehehe

  7. Hahahahah, I love that NG portion too… Aiyoh, who came up with that horrendous quote at 00:10?

    Truth to be told, I got all the spelling right except “jelak”, because the rest of the words are similar/the same in Indonesian, but we don’t have the word “jelak” in Indonesian. 😛

  8. Slutty

    Oh yeah! Thats right, plentiful of people says ‘Hala” when its actually ‘Halal”

    When they drop the last L, the meaning of the word is completely different!


    How on earth did sambal become sampat? The pronunciation is way off! 😛


    Um, glad that I can be of service 🙂 Don’t forget to use the correct way now … hehehehe!


    All the while I was recording, I didn’t realise that it was a mirror image till I lifted the card up … hehehe

    But don’t forget the correct pronunciation! Thats the most important message 😛

  9. Bravo Rina…like you I can’t stand NASI LOMAK,OTAH and of course the national anthem being sung in a language that doesn’t sound like Malay at all…i enjoyed this video so much.Thanks for cheering me up on this gloomy Wednesday morning.

  10. ooh, i always thought it was “otah”, not “otak-otak” and i didn’t know it’s actually a malay word coz it’s so common that i didn’t actually realize.

    and what’s terbalik? is it “opposite”?

  11. rinaz: I’m not sure if we have a direct translation of “jelak” in proper (baku) Indonesian. In colloquial Indonesian, I think the closest term is “enek” (schwa for both e), but this word actually means the feeling of wanting to throw up after eating such food.

  12. Hendri

    What is schwa? “Enek” sounds cool. I remember the word “jemu” as in, “Saya jemu memakan makanan ini”

    Its not the exact translation though as “jemu” means sick of something.


    Aww … you’re welcome 🙂

    Its just when they keep on insisting on using the wrong way that it becomes annoying when it shouldn’t be, because the spelling is used phonetically.



    Thats the thing! A lot of people used the word wrongly that it reverberates and people think that that is the correct way when its not! 😐

    Terbalik means upside down. Like, the table is terbalik or the shirt is worn terbalik. 😀

  13. Yes cikgu.

    @fair Hi fellow anak teganu. I went back to Terengganu during CNY and almost forgot the way of speaking the Terengganu-styled Malay.
    “Mai kita makang nasi lemok.”

  14. Ah Wei

    Yay! Ayam Penyet! I love ayam penyet – the hotter the better 🙂


    Oh yeah, thats right. There is a different slang when it comes to different regions. Thus, they are excluded for that, but it doesn’t apply here … hehehehe


    Murid yang baik 😛 Hehehehe

  15. rinaz: Schwa is the ‘e’ sound like the one used in ‘lemak’. The other ‘e’ sound is like the one used in ‘merah’. I’ll pronounce it for you the next time we meet. 😛

  16. Nasi Lomak is the Chinese bastardization of the Malay language. I don’t quite mind it as much as Singaporeans bastardizing Genting into Jenting. It’s in Malay! Pronounce it in Malay – not in English!

  17. hahahaha.. bastardization of the Malay language.. now that’s the word to use.. =) k, i second ur opinions too on dis post! it gets on my nerves plus dere are also so many other words being wrongly used..

    ever heard ppl using the word ‘buang’ as a word to use when dey meet on a bike accident? gosh, it irritates me so much..

  18. haha, very funny. I’m Chinese eurasian and I say “Nasi Lemak” yay! I think I’m pretty good with Malay pronunciations, I don’t just say them anyhow. Oh, and I think the reason why some people say “jelat” instead of “jelak” is because of the hokkien word jialat hehe.

  19. how bout ur english by the way?u use SINGLISH.rileks ah..smua orang ada masing2 nye cara pronounciation:) takleh salahkan siapa2pun …

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