In the street street (Malay)

Some years ago when I was serving at the British High Commission in Kuala Lumpur there was a consular case involving tourists who had become lost. They couldn't remember the name of their hotel. But they did remember the name of the street in which the hotel lay. 'It's something with jalan', said one of the tourists helpfully. "Mmmh, I don't think that will help much", replied the consular officer, 'jalan is the Malay word for 'street'!'

Sent by: Chris

Comments

Anonymous 2010-10-19

A similar situation arose with my brother and a taxi driver who nearly crashed the car in his fit of laughing.
We were looking for the name of a street and my brother helped by proudly pointing out to a sign saying 'jalan sehala'....only problem is that means 'one way street' in Malay!

Flag this comment

Khadijah 2008-04-16

In Malay, jalan is also used for 'walk' or 'travel'. Perjalanan means journey or 'the travel/the walk'.

Flag this comment

Woelank 2008-02-15

The Indonesian language also has similarities with Malay. In Indonesia, jalan is not only the word for 'street' but also for 'walk'.

Flag this comment

Samuel 2006-06-05

A very common mistake in many languages. I had heard of a tourist in Germany who wanted to make a mental note of the name of the train station. The note she made? 'Ausgang station' (Ausgang means exit).

Flag this comment

Bob 2007-03-07

Ausgang again, and again. I heard of a driver, about an hour into Germany, turning to his passengers and saying, "this place Ausgang must be big".

Flag this comment

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.