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


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!

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Khadijah 2008-04-16

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

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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'.

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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).

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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".

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