Introduction to the Malay language and culture

The Malay language is the official language of Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei; and it is spoken extensively in Singapore as well. Like other languages in the area, such as Indonesian and Tagalog, it belongs to the Austronesian language family. The Malay language is renowned for its complicated system of honorifics, which are used to convey respect to others, and for its rich literary legacy.

The Malay culture is a fusion of indigenous, Indian, Chinese, and Islamic elements. The epic poem “Hikayat Hang Tuah” is a well-known example of traditional Malay literature, and the country has a long history of telling stories orally. Herbs, spices, and coconut milk feature prominently in Malay cooking, a style that draws inspiration from its neighbors. Malay culture places a premium on family and community, and several festivals are held throughout the year to honor these tenets.

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What are the challenges of Malay to English translation services?

There is a number of challenges when translating between English and Malay. These include:

1. Vocabulary

Words and phrases in Malay may not always have a direct English translation due to differences in vocabulary and idiomatic expressions.

2. Grammar

The grammatical structures of Malay and English are quite distinct from one another, which makes it challenging to translate between the two languages.

3. Cultural references

To an English speaker, it may be challenging to explain the precise meaning of a Malay term or idiom due to the language’s lack of familiarity with the culture’s distinctive practices, beliefs, and allusions.

4. Idiomatic expressions

In Malay, there is a wealth of idiomatic expressions, proverbs, and sayings that are unique to Malay culture and may be challenging to translate.

5. Register

The context, audience, and connection between the speaker and the listener all influence the register, or degree of politeness, used in Malay. There are often no clear equivalences in English, making this a challenge to translate.

6. Technical terms

There are many technical and specialist terminologies in Malay that may not have an exact translation into English. This can make it quite a challenge to come up with accurate alternatives the deliver the same meaning in the English.

Tap into Malaysia’s growing economic potential with our assistance

In recent decades, Malaysia has established itself as one of Asia’s fastest-growing economies. It’s understandable, then, why much of your firm’s business may take place within the Southeast Asian country’s jurisdiction. However, if it does, this situation runs an array of risks.

For example, you may need various legal documents translations between English and Malay. That’s when inaccuracies could creep in, potentially leaving your company or another it serves with a costly bill it never really should have had to face.

This lingering possibility puts a strong onus on you ensuring your legal documents are translated to an impeccable level of accuracy. If any of your documentation’s terms are misunderstood as can easily happen in the event of mistranslations, reputational and financial damage could result for all parties involved.

Malay to English translation
legal translation english to malay

Why you can rely on our Malaysian legal translation solutions

Whether you would like us to complete a legal translation from English to Malay or in the opposite direction, you can expect the translated text to faithfully impart the original document’s terms and clauses – and so prevent causing confusion in any English or Malaysian readers.

One big reason why is that, when you trust us with translating your documents, we will hand that work only to native Malaysian translators in our team.  We can also provide certified translations – with, at your request and for an additional fee, notarisation provided alongside that service.

Our Malaysian legal translation services fall into two broad categories. These are the categories of post edited machine translation, where a machine-based algorithm does much if not quite all of the translation work, and translation undertaken strictly by a human member of our staff.

While our machine translation service will see your legal text initially translated by an algorithm, a human will still take over to correct any errors left over by this AI-based system. This is crucial because the algorithm can translate the text’s meaning only in an approximate sense.

No matter which of our Malaysian legal translation services you choose, though, we will make sure multiple proofreaders look over the translated text before we pass it onto you. Our tried-and-tested process of translating, editing and proofreading is ISO-certified, which has helped us to achieve our stellar 99% client satisfaction rate.

We can translate legal text quickly without compromising on quality

When you contact us to discuss your Malaysian legal translation requirements, we can provide multiple quotes with different delivery options customised specially to meet your requirements, in terms of both cost and turnaround time. Regardless of your exact needs, we keep our quotes competitive and can also complete work to tight timescales.

This means that, even if you need a quick turnaround, you can use our expedited service – the accuracy of the translation itself will not be affected. It also helps that we are available right around the clock – on a 24/7/365 basis – to assist you with time-sensitive matters.

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Case Studies

LingArch has helped many Legal firms over the years, here’s some of our Legal industry case studies.

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