October 1, 2008

Malaysianspeak- On The Way

This is a new section where we will be highlighting phrases and expressions commonly used by Malaysian people. You will come across these local parlances and therefore need to discern their true meaning. Let this be your guide to Malaysian vernacular.

On The Way


In a state of movement, travelling to a predetermined destination. Yet to arrive, but arrival is impending.

Malaysian Definition:

i) I will be indeterminably late
ii) I am at home but am planning on leaving soon
iii) I am at another location but will drop by should the mood strike me
iv) I won't be coming at all


Neil : I'm already here, where are you?
Alan : Ah, I'm on the way, on the way. Will be there soon.


As explained in post #17, being late is an inextricable part of Malaysian life. This phrase is indiscriminately used by Malaysian people regardless of the point they are at in their journey. You will hear this expression at least 10 times a day, the number is extrapolated by the fact that it is usually repeated with conviction.

There is a well known idiom that Malaysian people adhere to which states "Late is on time, on time is early and early is inconceivable."


synical said...

The three dreaded words in the Malaysian vocabulary.

But I avoid using the word "outstation" more.

Grace said...

definitely overused.
Although, I can add one more phrase that my parents love to use... "At the traffic light"

Q: Where are you now?
A: At the traffic light

It's as good as "on the way"

Amrit said...


Ashleigh said...

Oh man.. I've first-hand experience of this. Some of my friends are well known for this "on the way" phrase.

Trishomachine. said...

Oh. How I hate it when people say that they are on the way.

Like, hello. Of course I know you are on the way. Even if you are just outside the house you are already on the way. Tell me your exact location!


Add 8 + 4 said...

i guess on the way term is used not only for casual conversation. it's even applied in corporate lifestyle.

Boss: Nigel, where are you now? its 9.30am and work starts at 8am.
Nigel: Sorry boss, overslept. on the way now. " actually nigel just woke up."

zewt said...

hahahahaha... damn true.

putting on your socks will also amount to 'on the way'.

and i tot this only applies to my friends.