100 English Nursery Rhymes Translated into Malay | From National Library Board of Singapore

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How will popular nursery rhymes sound like when translated from English to Malay? The National Library Board of Singapore shares not 1, not 10, but 100 nursery rhymes! 

Senior librarian Juffri Supa’at shares "Haji’s Book of Nursery Rhymes", a unique compendium of 100 popular English nursery rhymes translated into Malay verse, published by A. W. Hamilton in 1939.

Enjoy universal classics such as “Hot Cross Buns” (Roti Manis Hangat) and “Ding, Dong, Bell” (Dang, Dang, Kong) presented in a bilingual format, accompanied by vibrant hand-drawn illustrations depicting local scenes from Singapore’s diverse and rich past.

The Book - Haji's Book of Nursery Rhymes

The book features Malay translations of 100 popular English nursery rhymes and to appeal to its readers (in the 1930s), some words were replaced with local equivalents to give the translated versions a distinctly Malayan flavour.

The book presents the English nursery rhyme followed by its Malay translation and is filled with illustrations of multi-racial characters and settings typical of the era. Additionally, the book contains a glossary of Malay words to help readers with a rudimentary knowledge of Malay to have a better understanding of its contents.

You can find the books for reference only at the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library. 


This article is prepared by

Jiarong Yu
Daddy to 2 adorable little ones. Misses them the moment they are not around, regrets missing them the moment they are around.

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