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Malay Food Terminologies: Understanding and Usage

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Science Series Data Report Vol 4, No. 11;Nov 2012

Malay Food Terminologies: Understanding and Usage


Mohd Salehuddin Mohd Zahari (corresponding author),
Faculty of Hotel and Tourism Management
University Technology MARA, 40450
Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia
Tel: +603 5543 5679 Email: salehuddinm@salam.uitm.edu.my  

Khairunnisa Mohamad Abdullah, Inoormaziah Azman,


Mohd Zain Kutut, and Zulhelmi Suhaimi
Faculty of Hotel and Tourism Management
University Technology MARA, 40450
Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia
Abstract
Each ethnic group or country has its own food terminologies which signify certain meanings, either in the
preparation, methods of cooking, equipment, eating decorum and others. Within the Malay community, numerous,
vast and valuable food terminologies have been created and used since the olden days. Those terminologies are not
only associated with varieties of food names, but also with different kinds of ingredients, equipment, cooking
methods and food preparation. In spite of having very rich terminologies and owing to the lack of understanding and
usage, much of Malay foods terminologies are believed to be gradually dying out, especially among the younger
generation.  This paper reports on the empirical investigation into the relationship between Malay food
terminologies, its understanding and usage among young Malay culinarians. The result revealed that, although
majority of the young Malays culinarians agreed that Malays is rich in food preparation terminologies, they had
rather poor knowledge and understanding of Malay food preparation, methods of cooking and food names. The
levels of usage of Malay food terminologies in daily cooking activities were also relatively low. Therefore, efforts to
increase the understanding and, the usage of Malay food terminologies, as well as preserving the Malay heritage,
language and foods, especially among the culinarians, should be undertaken by the relevant authorities.
Keywods: Malay, food, terminology, understanding and usage

1. Introduction
Language is a tool of communication encompassing symbol and codes used to reserve, retrieve, shape, transfer
experiences and knowledge (Kim, 2003). Language through communication is one of the most powerful pillars of
civilization or the identity of race, and much of the cultural, spiritual, and intellectual life of a people is experienced
through language. Language is like anthropomorphic organisms and its existence is dependent on the
communicative activities and behaviors of its speakers (Lehmann, 2006). In other words, language is not a static
process, but acts as a vehicle through which culture is expressed and conveyed from one generation to others
(Grenoble, Lenore & Lindsay, 1998). Tender & Vihalemm (2009) noted that language is not only embroidered in
the fabric of every aspect of human life, bonding between generations, but also shapes the culture of nations.
Besides that, it also develops within all professional fields and acts as a mechanism to pass specific knowledge and
information through language terminologies (Lazear, 1997). Language through its terminologies denotes and
represents the specific meanings of something (Carey, 1992). Universal musical terminologies are derived from
Italian words ranging from the rhythm, key, tempo to other elements (McMullen & Saffran, 2004). Chord for
instance refers to three or four notes played simultaneously in harmony. Accelerando is a symbol used as a musical
notation indicating tempo should be gradually quickened, whereas concerto is a composition written for a solo

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instrument, or the soloist plays the melody while the orchestra plays the accompaniment. French words on the other
hand are popular in the field of fashion (Shryock, 2006). Haute Couture for instance, is a term referring to high
fashion or one of a kind fashion made to order for a particular client. It usually uses high quality, classy material and
often takes more time as it uses handmade techniques. Prêt-a-porter means ready to wear fabric and is sold in
uniform sizes so that the clothes are more available and affordable to the buyer. In the medical field, doctors use
terminologies that others might not understand, and so do lawyers. In short, terminologies exist and are used in
every kind of area, and food is no exception.
French again is the first country that developed a standardized culinary terminology, or gastronome, in the globe
(Oakes, 2002; Ko.2010) and this country is also known for its finest cuisines that inspired many chefs to create the
terminologies during the Middle Ages (Nagaral, 2009). Abu-Jaber (2005) asserted that almost all culinary
institutions use and incorporate French terminologies into culinary theory and practical lessons. In fact, some of the
most popular universal foods not only were named after several French cities, but the food preparations, methods of
cooking, equipment as well as the eating decorum also use French terminologies (Anderson, 1993). A la carte, Mise
en place, bouquet garni, croutons, julienne, casserole are some examples and most chefs and culinarians are
familiar with these common terminologies.

Despite the universal terminologies established within particular disciplines, every ethnic group or country also has
also has its own food terminologies which signify certain meanings, either in the preparation, methods of cooking,
equipment, eating decorum and others (Al Tamimi, 2011). For instance, although America embraced, accepted and
used certain French culinary terminologies, they also created, possess and practise their own food terminologies
using American English language (Sundari, 2008). These include the essential cooking methods like stew, simmer,
poach, deep-fry, and food names such as Caesar salad, Pastrami, sundae, Waldorf salad, jacket potato, and many
others. The Spanish also have their own culinary terms like blando, cocer al horno, rociando,escalfado denoting
methods of cooking, whereas cazuel, plancha, comal refer to types of utensils and equipment. Similarly, in other
countries in this way, their own food language is used in the culinary realm for the purpose of preserving their own
food culture and traditions (Fischler, 1980).

Within the Malay community, numerous, vast and valuable food terminologies have been created and used since the
olden days (Sharif et.al, 2008). Those terminologies are not only associated with varieties of food names, but also
with different kinds of ingredients, equipment, cooking methods and food preparations (Omar, 2011). Sangai for
instance refers to a method of cooking whereby dried spices are fried without oil, whereas racik and mayang are
categorized as methods of cutting which simply means thinly sliced. Torak, on the other hand is a cooking tool
denoting a rolling pin. Other kitchen equipment such as kendi (a water pitcher with a muzzle and handle, made of
ceramic or tin) and Nyiru (typically made from bamboo or rattan, used to separate the rice and bran, as well as a
place to dry fish and other foods, are used. In regard to food names, words like nagasari, penderam, serabe, lompat
tikam, and many others were named by Malay ancestors (Yoshino, 2010). Those are some of the Malay food
terminologies that are familiar and used among the older peoples, not only in their daily cooking activities but
during traditional feasts and weddings ceremonies.

In spite of having very rich terminologies, and owing to the lack of understanding and usage, many of the Malay
food terminologies are believed to be gradually dying out, especially among the younger generation. Many Malay
terminologies are no longer being learnt or used by the new generations. This phenomenon occurs not only among
the ordinary youngsters but also among the young professional chefs and culinarians. It is no exaggeration that
many of the young Malay professional chefs, culinarians and even chef celebrities did not use or understand many of
the Malay food terminologies during their food demonstrations and television cooking shows (Lee, Wong, and
Ya’acob, 2010). Malay food terminologies are being replaced by other foreign terminologies such as English and
French. According to Sariyan (2010), the biggest single threat to the Malay food terminologies is the modern culture
and society that marginalizes traditions of the past. This has brought concern and anxiety to many people including

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the older generation, the government and linguistic experts (Priya, 2008). In other words, if no action is taken, the
Malay language will only be a language for communication or everyday vernacular, but not a language for technical
or professional fields, as compared to Japanese and Korean.

To date, the available studies relating to food language have mostly concentrated on linguistic issues such as the
grammatical, pragmatic and semantic systems of language (Usuromo, 2000; Agbo, 2009; Harianja, 2010) with none
looking at the understanding and the usage of food terminologies in particular. With the highlighted issues and the
study gaps, this study therefore aims to investigate: a) the general perception of Malay food terminologies among
the young Malay culinarians; b) the levels of understanding of Malay food preparation, cooking methods and food
name terminologies; c) the level of usage of Malay food terminologies, and d) the relationship between Malay food
terminologies attributes and the usage.

2. Literature Review
2.1 Food Terminologies
Food works as a system of communication and is part of the social framework and used to convey certain messages
(Kwik, 2008). Food is like a bridge that connects peoples with the culture, history, identity, sustainability,
intercultural contact, and power (Wenying, 2008). Rearick (2009) argued that food is a language with a structure
and meaning that through its own words is related to individual feelings and beliefs about human relations, as well
as one’s own identity, while food language is expressed through its numerous terminologies (Nagaral, 2009). Food
terminologies are used in describing its various operations and understanding of it is essential to the people of a
particular country, especially those individuals who are involved in the culinary field (Cook, 2010). Lowinsky
(1992) posited that food terminologies are the standardized way to communicate and defined cooking techniques or
methods of preparation; therefore using the right terminologies is important in the culinary field. He added that
ethnic cuisines often have their own vocabulary and terminologies which are unique to their culinary traditions.
Food terminology could have one set of terms for everyday cooking and another for ceremonial cooking (Parnell,
2003); therefore without food terminologies, secrets of cooking, techniques and skills may not be transferred and
people may not acquire the knowledge of cooking through the generations, and cultural continuity will not exist
(Lowinsky, 1992). On the other hand, terminologies of food may not be static but constantly growing and the
changes which occur signify cultural swings in the way the terminologies are used and practised by people (Matt,
2010).

2.2 Food Preparation, Methods of Cooking and Food Name Terminologies


Food terminologies which signify certain meanings are closely associated with either preparations, methods of
cooking, equipment, eating decorum or others (Al Tamini, 2011). Terminologies are used in all steps of preparation,
methods of cooking food, including those that do not involve the application of heat, ranging from the assembling
and preparing of all the ingredients, equipment and serving pieces (Ternier, 2008). The preparation of food for
cooking or serving often involves knives or other sharp tools and specific terminologies or terms are applied to
describe different types of cutting styles (Kroll, 1994). Since the definition of cutting terms and carving are based on
the types of operation and functions, Marttila (2009) divided cutting methods into three divisions, namely dividing,
removing and penetrating cuts. She further added that dividing cuts include terms that describe the division of a
foodstuff into roughly homogenous pieces of varying sizes using a bladed implement, either for processing or for
serving. Removing cuts consist of terms that refer to the removal of unwanted parts from a foodstuff include
peeling, coring and boning. Scoring, incising and opening refer to penetrating cuts and describe the cutting of a
foodstuff with a bladed tool for either aesthetic or functional purposes, without dividing it or removing anything
from it. Darrell (1998) viewed cooking method terminologies from two broad categories, namely dry and moist heat.
Fillet (a boneless piece of meat or fish), mise en place (preparation, to get ready), chop (to divide into small pieces
with a knife or other sharp tool and mince (to cut into very fine pieces using a knife, food grinder, blender or food
processor) are the undeniably universally used food preparation terminologies, while grilling, barbecuing, baking,

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roasting, boiling, stewing, casseroling, poaching, braising steaming and various frying techniques represent dry and
moist cooking.

Muhammad et al (2009) posited that different cultures of different countries have different styles of preparing food
and different techniques of cooking. Tagalog, the official language of the Philippines, provides interesting examples
of food preparation terminologies. Each type of food preparation has its own words which bring a specific meaning.
Paksiw for instance, is a fish or meat dish stewed using ginger and vinegar, while ginataan is a fish or meat dish
stewed but using coconut milk. The terminologies will change depending on the ingredients used and the cooking
methods. Li, Hong, Zheng & Chua (2010) noted that Japanese and Chinese are also rich in food preparation
terminologies. One popular example is ryou-ri which refers to beautiful and well presented cuts of food items for
Sashimi; therefore knowing the food preparation terminologies for cutting is essential for sashimi cooks. Japanese
also has a number of terminologies to denote their cooking styles such as komu which means to cook something for
a long time carefully and hanmusinisiru which means to half steam

In another context, food name terminologies are developed from the names of places, noble people and special
occasions to common history associated with the production of the food itself (Kulenkampff, 2008). Binns (2003)
asserted that foods named after specific persons are usually in honor of their memory, as a tribute to their lives, or
because the person is the inventor of the food. Caesar salad was not named after Julius Caesar but named after its
creator, chef Caesar Cardini, who invented it when his San Diego restaurant was low on food and he had to make do
with what he had on hand. Similarly, Beef Wellington is often believed to be named after the first Duke of
Wellington, Arthur Wellesley, who defeated Napoleon at Waterloo. The famous favorite dessert in homes and
restaurants across the world, Pavlova was named after Prima Ballerina Anna Pavlova (Labensky & Ingram, 2001).
Zhifang (2002) named three factors that may play a role in naming a Chinese dish, namely the appearance of the
dish, the person who supposedly created the dish, and how the food is made. One of the most famous examples in
Northern Chinese cuisine is stir-fry potato, tomato and green pepper, which in Chinese is normally called Hong
ludeng, meaning red and green light, or traffic light.

2.3 Malay Food Terminologies


Malays, as the major ethnic group in Malaysia, also possess their own food terminologies, from the preparation,
method of cooking to numerous unique food names (Omar, 2004). Mohamed et al, (2010) claimed that Malay food
terminologies have been shaped by cultural transmission over generations and the average Malay parents would
usually pass the skills and processes of cooking on to their children through the terminologies that act as the medium
of transmission, which occurs not only during daily cooking activities and traditional events, but also during
wedding ceremonies (Kassim, 2008). In Malay food preparation, the ingredients used are often described as spicy
and flavorful and include spices, herbs and roots. Strong, tangy and flavorful fresh herbs like serai (lemon grass),
pandan (screwpine), daun limau purut (kaffir lime leaves), kemangi (a type of basil), kesum (polygonum or laksa
leaf) as well as dried spices jintan manis (fennel), jintan putih (cumin)and ketumbar (coriander) buah pelaga
(cardamom), bunga cengkih (cloves), bunga lawang (star anise) are often used (Omar,2004). Sangai, racik, siang
mayang are some of the popular examples of Malay food preparation terminologies. Another important aspect of
Malay food terminologies is the equipment and utensils used (Chan et. al, 2011). Despite the appearance of modern
appliances, several types are still relevant, such as grinders called lesung batu (pestle and mortar), batu giling (stone
roller), and the batu boh (mill) which are still used for preparing spices and pastes. Similarly, landas (wooden
board), torak (rolling pin) and papan penorak (pastry board) are still considered essential in this modern day
(Kamaruddin et. al, 2010).

On cooking methods, Marttila (2009) mentioned that different cultures and languages tend to have their own unique
ways of cooking and each of them has different terminologies which often come from historical necessities.
According to Rahman (2010) numerous methods of cooking terminologies are used in Malay cooking which

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consists of dry and moist methods. Tumis (the use of a small amount of oil or fat in a shallow pan over relatively
high heat), salai (smoked or grilled food on the fire, such as dried fish where the ingredients are usually cut into
pieces or thinly sliced to facilitate fast cooking), sangai (frying the dried spices without oil), layur (warming the
leaves over low heat) are examples of terminologies for dry-heat cooking methods. On the other hand, moist-heat
cooking methods include the terms such as tanak (cooking in a pot especially rice), jerang (boiling or simmering
and normally used of liquids), celur (blanching or dipping something such as vegetables into the hot water) and
reneh (simmering or boiling food) (Hassan, 2011). Food names also play an important role in Malay food
terminologies (Leong et.al. 2009). Some of the most famous and unique Malay food names include buah Melaka,
lompat tikam, badakberendam, tahiitik, cekmekmolek, serabe, beriani gam, cakarayam, nasi dagang and many
others.

2.4 Usage of terminologies


The ways people use terminologies convey a great deal of information about themselves, their audience, and the
situations they are in and indicate their social status, age, sex, and motives (Ahlam, 2010). Groups of people
throughout human history have molded individual ways of life, complete with their own words and terminologies,
although many are in danger of being overrun by the modern age (Carey, 1992). According to Cabré (2003), the use
of terminologies is influenced by: 1) words of languages: some terms might have a problematic structure, i.e. they
do not fit into the wording system of a language; 2) related terms: if a term is already well established, a new term
will probably not be used and finally; 3) frequency of use: if a term can be so specific that it is hardly used by
anybody it will not be well-known. Constantly using and practising the words and terminologies are important to
prevent these terms from being forgotten, and are especially crucial for terms created by minority groups who have
been marginalized in their country of residence at some point in history (Theophano, 2002).

Sundari (2008) examined the terminologies’ formation, structure and types of food names in restaurants. He
suggested that restaurant owners better understand and frequently practise the English language structure if they
want to use English food menu names in their restaurants. In Japan, the topic of food is discussed in nearly every
aspect of life. Some terminologies are mentioned on almost every TV station, on the radio and discussed during or
after a meal (Meyers, 2001). Agbo (2009) affirmed that an understanding of the food terminologies is important
because the more food terminologies and related words are understood, the better they will be communicated and
used in daily conversation.

3. Methodology
With its ability to collect large amounts of data from large samples more quickly and in an economical way, a
quantitative research approach was used in this study. A questionnaire survey was developed to assess the
understanding and the usage of Malay food terminologies among young Malay culinarians. Those young Malay
culinarians, who had a formal culinary education, were in the age range of 25 to 30 years and working directly in
food sectors, either in independent restaurants, hotels restaurants, cafes and cafeterias, were chosen as a sample. A
self-completed questionnaire contained four major sections. Section A elicited the general perception of Malay food
terminologies among young Malay culinarians. Respondents were required to translate their views on five type
Likert scales ranging from 1 = Strongly Disagree, 2 = Disagree, 3 = Neither, 4 = Agree and 5 = Strongly agree. The
understanding of Malay food preparation terminologies were directly investigated in Section B, while Section C
examined the level of understanding of Malay food name terminologies with both sections using the interval scale
ranging from 1 = very poor, 2 = Poor, 3 = Fair, 4 = Good and 5 = Very Good. Finally, the levels of usage of Malay
food terminologies were asked in Section D using five-point interval scales with 1 = Never, 2 = Rare, 3 =
Sometimes, 4 = Often, and 5 = Very often. The reliability and validity of the items were checked and confirmed
through a pilot study which was carried out among the thirty selected young culinarians.

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Owing to geographical dispersion and large sample size, the young Malay culinarians were identified through
Facebook. Upon their agreement, the questionnaires were emailed to them and 50 questionnaires were successfully
collected through this technique. On top of this, the young culinarians who worked at the independent restaurants,
hotels restaurants, cafes and cafeterias within the Klang valley were also contacted to undertake the survey. With
their permission, the survey questionnaire was personally administered at each identified restaurant. Two weeks
were spent on the survey and, as a result of the positive feedback, 150 responses were obtained. A total of 200
usable questionnaires were obtained from both techniques. Based on the result, both independent variables were
highly reliable. The reliability test was undertaken for Sections A, B, C and D separately. The result showed that the
instrument and items used were reliable with a coefficient alpha value of 0.86 for Section A, 0.90 for Section B, 0.90
for Section C and 0.86 for Section D. Cronbach Alpha Coefficient values of above 0.70 over all sections indicated
that the data received were suited for further analyses.

4. Analysis and Results


4.1 General Perceptions of Malay Food Terminologies
Frequencies showed that 64 percent (n= 128) of respondents were males compared to 36 percent of (n=72) females.
Descriptive analysis was than undertaken looking at general perceptions of Malay culinarians toward Malay food
terminologies. The magnitude of mean scores ranging from 4.05 to 4.96 indicates that the majority of them agreed
with all items used. As such, they agreed that there is no doubt that Malay is rich in valuable and unique food
terminologies, in either food preparation, cooking methods or food name terminologies. They were certain that the
Malay recipes, techniques and secret cooking skills can be learnt through its food terminologies. They felt that the
understanding and the usage of Malay food terminologies are very important for Malaysian culinarians as regular
usage could preserve the Malay culinary heritage. With that feeling, they felt that it is important to pass down the
Malay food terminologies to the young generation and to teach and use Malay food terminologies, apart from
English and French, in culinary institutions (Refer to Table 1)

4.2 The Levels of Understanding of Malay Food Preparation Terminologies


Although in the previous section analysis the majority of the young Malay culinarians agreed that Malay is rich in
food preparation terminologies, the results of this section analysis were slightly different. It was apparent that the
young Malay culinarians generally had slightly poor knowledge and understanding of Malay food preparation
terminologies, Malay kitchen equipment terminologies, cooking ingredients terminologies and Malay cooking
ingredients terminologies. It was evident that they had a fair understanding of certain examples of Malay food
preparation terms like landas (board for cutting or chopping food, tungku (equipment used for empat sekawan
(combination of spices used in Malay cooking, including star anise, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves) racik
(chopped), mayang (slicing thinly) and siang (process of cleaning and cutting food, especially vegetable and fish).
This can clearly been seen in the mean rating illustrated in Table 2.

4.3 The Level of Understanding of Malay Cooking Method Terminologies


The results of the descriptive statistics (refer to Table 3) revealed that, although Malay is loaded with cooking
methods terminologies, the young Malay culinarians still had a fair understanding of them in general. This can be
seen through the moderate mean scores given to the understanding of Malay dry-heat cooking method
terminologies, understanding of Malay moist-heat cooking methods terminologies and understanding of Malay
combination cooking method terminologies. These results were further supported by the moderate mean scores
given to some examples of cooking terminologies like sangai (food, mainly dried spices, fried without oil), tumis

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(using a small amount of oil or fat in a shallow pan) lengat (cooking rice or food with vapor or steam) and reneh
(simmering or boiling food).

4.4 The Level of Understanding of Malay Food Name Terminologies


Similarly to previous analyses, respondents possessed little understanding of Malay food name terminologies in
general. They did not have a good understanding of how Malay foods acquired their names, whether from a special
event or incident, or were named after people or titles. Despite these, the mean scores indicate a relatively good
understanding of the terms Nasi Dagang, Beriani Gam, Badak Berendam, Cek Mek Molek. This is probably because
respondents are familiar with and aware of the food names, but the result does not indicate that they know about the
origin of the foods or how the foods are actually acquire their names (refer to Table 4)

4.5 The Level of Usage of Malay Food Terminologies


Owing to the low level of understanding of the Malay food terminologies, therefore it is not surprising that the levels
of usage of Malay food preparation terminologies, Malay cooking method terminologies and Malay food name
terminologies in daily cooking activities among the young Malay culinarians were also relatively low. They
admitted that they only used a few Malay food terminologies during their culinary studies or culinary exposure and
this possibly reflected the relatively low usage of Malay food terminologies among their working colleagues, as well
as in recipes and menu writing (refer to Table 5).

4.6 Correlation Between Food Terminologies Attributes and the Usage.


To test the relationship between the independent variables (food preparation, cooking methods and food name
terminologies) and the dependent variable (usage of Malay food terminologies), a Pearson Moment Correlation
analysis was used. As the values obtained were between ± 0.41 and ± 0.71, thus there is a moderate (.410), positive
correlation between understanding of food preparation terminologies and the usage of the terminologies. Results
also revealed a small and moderate correlation between understanding of cooking methods (.378) and food names
(.424) terminologies and the usage of the terminologies. In other words, the less the culinarians understand the
Malay food terminologies, the fewer the terminologies which are used in their daily cooking activities (refer to
Table 6)

4.7 Relationship Between Malay Food Terminologies Attributes and the Usage
The relationship between Malay food terminologies attributes (food preparation, cooking methods, food names) and
usage of it among the young Malay culinarians was further confirmed with standard multiple regression. The beta
value under standardized coefficient was evaluated in comparing the contribution of each of the independent
variables to the dependent. The result signifies that Malay food terminologies attributes which include the food
preparation, cooking methods and food name terminologies were able to clarify 19 percent (R2 = .61, F-change =
52.25 , p<.001) of the variance in the usage of it. Food name terminologies (β = .28, p = 0.000) had a slight impact
on the usage of Malay food terminologies. This was followed by a beta value for food preparation terminologies (β
=.23, p =0.05) which even showed less contribution to the usage of Malay food terminologies. The lowest
contribution to the usage was the understanding of cooking methods terminologies with standard beta coefficient (β
= .18, p= 0.000). This result indicates that all of the three variables had a small significant influence on the usage of
Malay food terminologies (refer to Table 7).

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5. Implications, Recommendations and Conclusion


The summary of the preceding section clearly indicates that preserving the Malay food language is critically
important, as it can help to enrich and preserved the Malay culture, tradition and language at the same time.
However, it is likely that the influence of other food languages such as English and French among the young Malay
culinarians, reduces the awareness of the importance of Malay food terminologies in the culinary field. Besides that,
attitudes towards cooking, especially among the young generation, can also be seen as a barrier to acquiring or
improving their knowledge of food terminologies and cooking skills. Furthermore, the advancement of processed
foods, which enhances the varieties of new ingredients and products for Malay food, becomes a growing concern as
many believe that this is leading to the unwillingness to learn and use traditional Malay food terminologies. That
situation causes the young people to no longer have to rely on cooking knowledge and understanding to produce
meals and becomes one of the reasons why the traditional Malay food terminologies are becoming more and more
disregarded and forgotten.

In this sense, transferring the Malay food terminologies and knowledge pertaining to Malay ingredients,
preparations, equipment and cooking methods from generation to generation is the most effective way of achieving
preservation of them. With regard to the ways of retaining the Malay food terminologies, together with the
traditional food, every mother should encourage her children to help her in the kitchen, introduce the name of the
foods, ingredients and the way to prepare foods, as well as teach them how to cook, especially before they leave the
house for higher education, to be married or for work. Besides that, this can be done through passing down the
knowledge of food terminologies, through the involvement in cooking processes during religious and cultural events
with older people. From this, young people can learn many of the Malay food terminologies from their seniors. In
addition to that, the Malay food terminologies should also be taught and introduced in culinary institutions, apart
from English and French food terminologies, so that the culinary students will be aware of and understand the
functions as well as the meaning of the terminologies. Therefore, efforts to increase the understanding of Malay food
terminologies, especially among the culinarians will be most likely to increase the level of usage and consumption in
their daily cooking activities.

In addition to the above statements, the relevant authorities, either in the public or private sector should help to
increase the awareness of and disseminate information on the importance of preserving the Malay heritage, language
and foods through the media and food events. Such actions would at least encourage the young generations,
especially the culinarians, to better understand and appreciate Malay foods, language and heritage. Besides, this also
can be done through increasing the use of traditional Malay food terminologies in Malay recipe books as a source of
references for future generations.

In conclusion, knowledge and understanding of Malay food terminologies are very important, especially among the
young generation. This is because, the more Malay food terminologies are understood, the better people will be able
to communicate and use the, in their daily life and at the same time will be able to sustain and constantly use the
terminologies in the future. Besides that, by preserving and enriching the Malay food terminologies, they not only
can be used as an everyday communication or vernacular language but also as professional or technical
terminologies that are comparable to other languages which already have a strong position in the culinary field such
as French, English and Japanese.

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Ahlam, A. (2010). Mother Tongue Maintenance and Second Language Sustenance: A Two-Way Language
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Table 1: Mean Score of the General Perceptions of Malay Food terminologies.


Item Items Mean Std.
No. Deviation
1. Malay is rich in valuable and unique food terminologies. 4.26 .652
2 Malay is rich in food preparation terminologies. 4.96 .704
3 Malay is rich in cooking method terminologies. 4.05 .693
4 Malay is rich in food name terminologies. 4.06 .738
5. Malay recipes, techniques, secret cooking skills can be learnt 4.06 .685
through the food terminologies.
6. Understanding and usage of Malay food terminologies are 4.30 .671
very important to Malaysian culinarians.
7. Regular usage of the Malay food terminologies by culinarians 4.43 .705
will help to preserve the Malay culinary heritage.
8. Important to pass down the Malay food terminologies to the 4.43 .733
young generation.
9 Important to teach and use the Malay food terminologies, 4.24 .877
apart from English and French terminologies, in culinary
institutions.
Scale: 1=Strongly Disagree, 2=Disagree, 3=Neither, 4=Agree, 5=Strongly Agree

Table 2: Mean Score of Understanding of Malay Food Preparation Terminologies.


Item Items Mea Std.
No. n Deviation
1. My knowledge of Malay food preparation terminologies in general. 2.77 .872
2. My understanding of Malay kitchen equipment terminologies. 2.99 .827
3. My understanding of Malay cooking ingredient terminologies. 2.94 .852
4. My understanding of Malay cutting method terminologies. 2.88 .900
5. My understanding of the term landas. 2.60 1.098
6. My understanding of the term tungku. 2.20 1.051
7. My understanding of the term empat sekawan. 2.78 1.378
8. My understanding of the term racik. 3.00 1.266
9. My understanding of the method of mayang. 2.94 1.304

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10. My understanding of the method of siang. 2.34 1.149


Scale: 1=Very poor, 2=Poor, 3=Fair, 4=Good, 5=Very good

Table 3: Individuals’ Mean Score for Understanding of Malay Cooking Methods Terminologies.

Item Items Mean Std.


No. Deviation
1. My knowledge of Malay cooking method terminologies in general. 2.76 .899
2. My understanding of Malay dry-heat cooking method terminologies. 2.61 .966
3. My understanding of Malay moist-heat cooking method 2.65 .996
terminologies
4. My understanding of Malay combination cooking method 2.58 1.305
terminologies
5. My understanding of the method of sangai 2.10 1.196
6. My understanding of the method of tumis. 2.56 .883
7. My understanding of the method of lengat. 2.68 1.262
8. My understanding of the method of reneh. 2.38 .969
Scale: 1=Very poor, 2=Poor, 3=Fair, 4=Good, 5=Very good

Table 4: Mean Scores for Understanding of Malay Food Name Terminologies.


Item Items Mean Std.
No. Deviation
1. My understanding of Malay food name terminologies in general. 2.85 .901
2. My understanding of Malay food names created from a special event 2.44 .939
or incident.
3. My understanding of Malay food names derived from people’s 2.66 1.025
names or titles.
4. My understanding of food named Nasidagang 3.57 .836
5. My understanding of food named Beriani Gam. 3.42 .904
6. My understanding of food named rending tok. 3.54 .890
7. My understanding of Malay food called CekMekMolek. 3.50 1.017
Scale: 1=Very poor, 2=Poor, 3=Fair, 4=Good, 5=Very good

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Table 5: Individual Mean Scores of Usage of Malay Food Terminologies


Item Items Mean Std.
No. Deviation
1. Level of usage of Malay food terminologies in general. 2.94 .920
2. Level of usage of Malay food terminologies during my culinary 2.53 .987
studies or exposure.
3. Level of usage of Malay food terminologies in recipes and menu 2.59 .925
writing.
4. The usage of Malay food terminologies among my working 2.71 .938
colleagues.
5. The usage of Malay food preparation terminologies during 2.84 1.011
my daily cooking activities.
6. The usage of Malay cooking method terminologies in my 2.82 .905
daily cooking activities.
7. The usage of Malay food names terminologies in my daily 2.84 .925
cooking activities.
Scale: 1=Never, 2=Few, 3=Sometime, 4=Often, 5=Very often

Table 6: Pearson Correlations among Variables


Food Cooking Food Usage
Prep Method Names
Food Preparation 1 .641** .520** .410**
Cooking Method 1 .530** .378**
Food Names 1 .424**
Usage 1
**. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).

Table 7: Multiple Regression Results


Independent Variable (IV) Dependent Variable (DV)
Usage of Malay Food Terminologies

Beta Coefficients and Significance Levels


Food Preparation .23*
Cooking Methods .18 ***
Food Names .28 ***
R² .19
R .43
F-Change 52.25***
Note: * P < .05, ** P< .001, *** p < .000

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