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By William Edward Maxwell

Sir William Edward Maxwell (1846-1897) of the internal Temple, Barrister-at-Law; Assistant Resident, Perak, Malay Peninsula, was once the writer of A handbook of the Malay Language (1882).

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Xliii. 8. “Innovations of such magnitude, we shall venture to say, could not have been produced otherwise than by the entire domination and possession of these islands by some ancient Hindu power, and by the continuance of its sway during several ages. Of the period when this state of things existed we at present know nothing, and judging of their principles of action by what we witness in these days, we are at a loss to conceive under what circumstances they could have exerted an influence in distant countries of the nature here described.

Malay is written in a character which has been borrowed from a foreign literature in comparatively modern times, and which but imperfectly suits its sounds. With the introduction of the Muhammadan religion, the Malays adopted the Arabic alphabet, modified to suit the peculiarities of their language. In Malay literary compositions there is great diversity in the manner of spelling many words. The accentuation of the spoken dialect differs so much from Arabic, that it is difficult, even for native writers, to decide when to write the long vowels and when to leave them out.

Either their synonymous native terms have been lost, or the Malays, at the period of Indian influence, had not reached that stage of civilisation when man commences to analyse and name the emotions he experiences and sees experienced by others. Good and bad qualities, in the same way xxv and for the same reason, seem often to bear Sanskrit appellations. The following list does not profess to be complete:— English. Malay. Sanskrit. Other Languages. , and D. suka suka-chita Sorrow, grief Do. Care, anxiety, concern dûka duka-chita chinta sukha-chit (chit = thought, the heart) duhkha (pain) duhkha-chit chintâ (thought) Passionately in love berâhî Angry murka Hope Love Avarice, covetousness âsa âsmâra lôba virahin (suffering separation) mûrkha (stupidity) âçâ smara lobha Wisdom, understanding Stupid, foolish Wise, learned bûdî buddhi bôdoh pandei abodha paṇḍita Lazy Charity, benevolence malas dermâ alasa dharma Generous dermâwan dharmavant xxvi J.

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