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Terengganu Malay

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Terengganu Malay

Terengganuan Malay
Base Tranung
بهاس ترڠݢانو
Native to Malaysia
Region Terengganu, Mersing (Johor), Kuantan (Pahang)
Ethnicity Terengganuan Malays
Native speakers
1.1 million  (2010)
Language codes
ISO 639-3 zbg (proposed)
Linguist list
zlm-inl (inland)
  zlm-coa (coastal)

Terengganuan Malay (Malay: Bahasa Terengganu, Terengganuan Malay: Base Tranung/Ganu) is a variant of Malayan languages or dialect spoken in the state of Terengganu, Malaysia along the coastal areas of Terengganu all the way southward to coastal Pahang and Mersing, Johor and eastward towards Anambas Islands, Indonesia in the South China Sea. Highly localised Peranakan-like Chinese minority in Terengganu adopt Terengganu dialect as part of their mother tongues along with Hokkien. At the Terengganu–Kelantan border, it is not the dominant language. For example, Kelantan dialect is more popular in the northern town of Besut, district of Terengganu. It is sometimes unintelligible to standard Malay speakers, although they share a lot of similarities. Terengganuan Malay use Roman alphabets and Jawi script - Arabic transliteration for its writing. Terengganu Malay is closely related to Kelantan-Pattani Malay and Pahang Malay due to its borders between these two states. Terengganu Malay, along with Pahangese and Kelantanese-Pattani are classified as East Coast Malay languages, a branch within the Malayan languages.

Recently, Terengganuan Malay has experienced popularity in mainstream media. Many television dramas and movies used Terengganu Malay. Radio stations such as Terengganu FM and Hot FM Terengganu mainly used Terengganu Malay in its broadcast along with Malaysian.


Standard Malay Terengganu Malay Meaning
Saya Ambe/aku/saye/kite I/me
Anda/Kamu Mung/Deme/Awok you
Suka Brehi Like/interest
Ketawa Suke/Gelekek Laugh
Yang Hok That
Beritahu Kabo/Royak/Buwitahu To tell
Tak nak Tak Mboh Do not want
Tidur Tido/Beretoh Sleep
Apa Nape/Mende/Gape What
Degil Babey/Gong Stubborn
Selalu Sokmo Always
Duit/Wang Pitih/Yya/Ghiya Money
Kenapa Bakpe Why
Tidak Dok No
Ya Ho/Ye Yes
Garang Bekeng Pugnacious
Apa Khabar Ape Kabo/Guane Gamok How are you?
Tangkap Tagak Catch
Ejek Nyenyeh/Nganjing Insulting
Naik angin Mmusang Angry
Dia Ye They
Leka Ghalik Preoccupied
Letih Dok ghok Tired
Beg Plastik Supik Plastic Bag
Kawan Saing Friend
Sempat Dang Make it
Berani Tebeng Brave
Kerap Keghek Many times
Azan Bang Adhan (Islamic call to prayer)
Jangan Doksoh/Soh Beng/Beng/Mbeng Do not
Kedekut Kupik Stingy
Biar Lok Let
Cuba Ce/Tra Try
Sekarang Lening Today


Numerals in Terengganu Malay is closely related to those of neighbouring Kelantanese Malay, however it differs in terms of pronunciation especially the end letter.

Standard Malay Terengganu Malay English
Satu One
Dua Duwə Two
Tiga Tigə Three
Empat Pak Four
Lima Limə Five
Enam Naŋ Six
Tujuh Tujɔh Seven
Lapan Lapaŋ Eight
Sembilan Smilaŋ Nine
Sepuluh Spulɔh Ten
Seratus Sɣatɔh One Hundred
Seribu Sɣibu One Thousand
Sejuta Sjuta (no scwa) One Million


Terengganu Malay also had distinct words for some animals, mostly in terms of pronunciation.
Standard Malay Terengganu Malay English
Kerbau Kuba Buffalo
Ayam Ayang Chicken
Ular Ulo Snake
Ikan Ikang Fish
Labah-labah Llabe Spider
Ketam Ketang Crab


People in Terengganu usually pronounce Terengganu as "Tranung" (with guttural r like Arabic "gh"), Teganung, Ganung or Teganu. Terengganuans rarely pronounce "Ganu" and is misunderstood by people from west coast of the peninsula as how Terengganuans pronounce Terengganu. The word itself is actually of Kelantanese-Besut origin referring to Terengganu and Terengganuans.

In Standard Malay it is called Bahasa Terengganu, in Terengganuan Malay it is called Bahse or Base Ganu/Tranung.


Terengganuan Malay is natively spoken on the most parts of Terengganu (exclude Besut), all the way down to Kuantan and Cherating in Pahang and Mersing in Johor. Terengganuan Malay dialects are still spoken on the Indonesian islands of Anambas off the coast of Pahang and Sarawak. The Anambas people are culturally and linguistically closer to Terengganuan but with more influences from Sundanese, Javanese, Buginese and Johor-Riau Malays which came from various parts of Indonesia. Terengganuan Malay are also spoken in big cities like Kuala Lumpur where there was a large Terengganuan communities.


Terengganuan Malay has various sub-dialects. Each district in Terengganu have different sub-dialects but mostly intelligible with each other. The sub-dialect spoken in Kuala Terengganu-Kuala Nerus district are the de facto standard sub-dialect of Terengganuan Malay. However, the most distinct of all sub-dialects is Hulu Terengganu Malay (zlm-inl) spoken in Hulu Terengganu district and is mostly unintelligible to Coastal Terengganuan Malays and probably considered to be a dialect of its own rather than a sub-dialect although it shared many similar words with Coastal Terengganu Malay, especially spoken by older people. People in Setiu mostly speak a mixed Kelantanese-Terengganuan Malay due to its border between Besut which predominantly use Kelantan-Pattani Malay and Kuala Terengganu which use the more prestige form of Terengganuan Malay. People in Dungun, Marang and Kemaman usually speak similar to the people in Kuala Terengganu but with few influences from Standard Malay and Pahang Malay as well.


Terengganuan Malay has a distinct pronunciation and grammar Grammatical order and Pronunciation is similar but distinct to those of the neighbouring Pahang and Kelantanese/Pattani Malay.

Pronunciation /a/ followed by a nasal consonant changes to /ŋ/ ayam ايم ('chicken') becomes ayang; makan ماكن (to eat) becomes makang

/a/ at the end of syllables changes to /ɔʔ/ minta مينتا ('to ask') becomes mitok

/ah/ changes /ɔh/ rumah رومه ('house') becomes rumoh

/a/ changes to /ə/ saya ساي ('I') becomes saye, similar to Standard Malay language

/i/ changes to /iŋ/ sini سيني ('here') becomes sining

/ua/ changes to /ɔ/ buaya بواسو ('crocodile') becomes boye

/aj/ becomes /aː/ sungai سوڠاي ('river') becomes sunga

/aw/ becomes /a/ pisau ڤيساو ('knife') changes to pisa

/ia/ before a nasal vowel changes to = /ijaŋ/ siam سيام ('Siam') becomes siyang

/ia/ changes to /ɛ/ biasa بياسا ('once') becomes bese

/s/ and /f/ at the end of syllables changes to /h/ malas مالس ('lazy') changes to malah

/m/ and /n/ at the end of syllables changes to /ŋ/ hakim حاكيم (judge) changes to hakeng

/r/ changes to /ʀ/ orang اورڠ ('person') becomes oghang

final consonants are often only pronounced as a glottal stop. bukit بوكيت ('hill') becomes buke’ (bukiʔ) words are distinguished between lengthened initial consonant

final /l/ are silent. example: tinggal ('left') becomes tingga, tebal ('thick') becomes teba usually /l/ as in /lah/ are removed and became /ah/. example: Banyaklah ('so many') becomes banyok ah.

bulang ('moon') vs. bːulang ('many months'); katok ('to strike') vs. kːatok ('frog'); siku ('elbow') vs. sːiku ('hand tool')

Some Notable Terengganuan phrases

"starang baroh" means "really"... a popular phrase used when you want to show or express something that is really serious or true.

Ambe dok tau starang baroh

As opposed to Standard Malay or West coast Malay dialects:-

Saya memang tak tahu langsung

Another famous Terengganuan Malay phrases that have been used by Terengganu people is "Senyung sokmo" which mean "Senyum selalu" in standard Malay and "Smile always" in English. It is widely used by Terengganu people to wish other people well and to brighten their days.

External links

Ensiklopedia Sejarah dan Kebudayaan Melayu, DBP Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia

Loghat Terengganu | Terengganu


Bahasa Malaysia Simple Fun - Terengganu Malay Language

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