Last year I had a post about the complex system of Malay pronouns; now Jordan F. MacVay of MacVaysia has posted an extensive if not exhaustive list sent him by Nizar Ismail. Here’s the (comparatively short) list of 1st person plural pronouns, just to whet your appetite:
Kami – “we”, plural of “I”, listener excluded.
Kita – “we”, “you + I”, “you all + I”, listener(s) included.
Kema – “kami/kita”, in Perak.
Sēpa – “kami”, in Kedah/Penang.
Iboq – “kami” in Semang (an aborigine tribe in Pahang/Terengganu).
Manira – classical “kami/kita”, probably from Sanskrit.
Kita orang or simply kitorang – informal, broken, very common, daily speech. Not used in Indonesia/Brunei.
The list of 2nd person pronouns is truly mind-boggling; the most common in Malaysia is awak, but Nizar says:
Jordan was right about “awak” being a nasty choice when talking to someone older. It’s most suitable for someone in the same level, husband and wife, friends that are not so close. To the children, you can use “kamu” instead. You won’t have much problem like this in Indonesia, but in Malaysia, I suppose you can try using “pakcik” (uncle) and “makcik” (aunty) when talking to someone old enough to be your parents, or just “abang” or “akak” to someone who is old but not old enough to be your parents. Confused? Heck, me too!
The comments are full of additional information, unfortunately much of it in Malay. But the post is quite enough to try to assimilate. Thanks for posting it and letting me know, Jordan!