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Friday, July 07, 2017

5 Useful Online Malay Dictionaries Or Translators

Many kids in Malaysian schools learn 3 languages from young. They are English, Bahasa Malaysia or Malay and Chinese Mandarin. Having a good dictionary or translator helps. Here are 5 useful Online Malay Dictionaries or Translators you can use for helping your kids with homework.

Before we even start on the 5, you should know that you can easily use "Google Search" as a dictionary or translator. For example if you want to translate the word "makanan" to English. Just type in "makanan in English" and you will have your answer. You can do this to translate from any one language to another.

1. Kamus Dewan Bahasa Dan Pustaka from the PRPM website. The acronym PRPM stands for Pusat Rujukan Persuratan Melayu. This is by far the best and most detailed online Malay dictionary I have found online. You will find very detailed information here. You can do a normal search or a Smart Search (Carian Bestari) which is a more refined search. It is useful to favourite this site. 

Tips: #1. After getting your search results when you make a search (using "Cari", not "Carian Bestari"), try clicking on the links at the side as shown below. They will open up more detailed information about the word you searched for. I especially like the link called "Khidmat Nasihat" as it opens up questions and answers pertaining to your searched keywords. Very useful as you may find answers to your own queries listed in there.

Tips: #2. To use this site as an online Malay dictionary, click on the tab named "Gerbang Kata" to go to the ekamus dbp to find the meaning of words in Malay. The meaning of the words are very detailed as taken from the Kamus Dewan Edisi Keempat at the time of writing this post.

I am not very sure what is the difference when you do a search on the main page or when you use search on the Gerbang Kata tab, so I did a search for the word "makan" and here are the results so you can see for yourself. Meaning of the word "makan" as listed on the main search page as compared with the meaning as listed on the Gerbang Kata search results page. Both are equally detailed with examples of simpulan bahasa, peribahasa and puisi with the words "makan" in them. 

2. My Kamus is a free online dictionary that provides free online translation service from Malay to English or English to Malay. Useful to have for learners of Malay as a second language.

3. Malay Oxford Living Dictionaries which is still in Beta. I could not find some of the words I was searching for. Perhaps it is due to the fact that it is still in Beta plus it is a "living" dictionary which is updated regularly by contributors (rather like wikipedia) so it is still being developed. They have a Facebook page which is updated with interesting snippets or words from the Malay language. Useful for Malay learners generally or for looking up newer words or internet jargon words for which there is a section on. For example, Did you know that the word "selfie" is called "swafoto" in Malay? Two way translation Malay-English-Malay is available. 

4. Malay Cube helps you easily translate Malay numbers to English. It also translates words from Malay to English and from English to Malay. According to the site, the number of words available for search in this dictionary has already reached 500,000 and is still growing.

5. Lexilogos Malay Dictionary is another alternative for searching for the meaning of Malay words or for translations. It allows you to pick the dictionaries eg Cambridge, Glosbe or search engines eg Google, Bing, or get results from Wikipedia or Google Search easily from the same page. It also has suggested links to more dictionaries. 

These 5 online Malay dictionaries or translators is very useful indeed to any student both primary and secondary and to parents helping their kids with homework. Remember to bookmark this page for your easy reference. 


  1. Tat's quite informative. A must read for all parents and grown-up children.

    When time permits, please visit my channel for kids art...


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