Page:Malay-English vocabulary.djvu/7

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PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION.

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This vocabulary has been prepared for use in connection with my "Practical Malay Grammar." It was originally intended to incorporate with the Grammar an English-Malay and a Malay-English Vocabulary, each containing some three or four thousand words, but in view of the fact that most people require a vocabulary containing as large a number of words as possible and are subjected to much disappointment and annoyance when they find that their vocabulary does not contain just the very word which they require, it has been thought better to publish the vocabularies separately and to make them as complete as is consistent with the low price at which such works are expected to sell.

The list of words which is here offered to the public contains over six thousand words and phrases. In such a list it is of course impossible to include all the Malay words which may be met with in even a very limited range of Malay reading, and the student will no doubt meet with some expressions in conversation with Malays which will not be found in this vocabulary. Great care, however, has been taken in the selection of the words, and it is hoped that very few which are in common use or are likely to be needed by the student in the first two or three years of his study of the language have been omitted.

In this vocabulary, as in the "Practical Malay Grammar," the Malay words are printed in roman letters only. Comparatively few Europeans make any serious attempt to learn the Arabic character, and those who do will no doubt require a dictionary rather than a vocabulary. The omission of the Arabic characters has enabled the printers to put out this work in a very compact form and at a cost considerably below what it would otherwise have been.

The great defect of Malay vocabularies printed in the Roman character has always been the difficulty of finding many of the words owing to variations of spelling. This has been particularly the case in regard to the romanization of the short vowel sound, which even in the same work has been represented by different letters in different words, according to the derivation of the word or the fancy of the author, so that in many cases the student has had to hunt for a word in two or three different places before he has been able to find it.

This difficulty has been obviated in this work by the adoption of the same system of romanization which has been used in my Grammar and in all the other Malay publications of the Methodist Publishing House.