Prof. Wang Xiaomei Publishes Dictionary of Malaysian Chinese (Huayu)


Research Management Center congratulates Prof. Wang Xiaomei from XMUM Department of Chinese Studies on publishing a dictionary entitled Dictionary of Malaysian Chinese (Huayu) (《马来西亚华语特有词语词典》) with the United Publishing House, a leading publisher in Malaysia and Singapore.

This is the first dictionary on the lexicon of Malaysian Chinese (Huayu) at both local and international level. The well-known linguist Prof. Chew Cheng Hai, who is also a consultant for this dictionary, has written the dictionary’s preface, which has been featured on both Lianhe Zaobao and Sin Chew Daily. 

With Chong Siew Ling and Tang Zhixiang as the co-authors, the dictionary illustrated and annotated 2,182 entries of Malaysian Chinese lexicon. To help readers compare different forms of the same word, variants from other regions including mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan are provided. The dictionary also features a “knowledge window” to explain the cultural and historical background of the chosen words.

According to Prof. Chew Cheng Hai, the dictionary will “significantly contribute to the interaction among Chinese language regions, draw attention from the international academic research communities and influence other regions to publish their own dictionary on Chinese lexicon”.

This dictionary is a summation of the team’s ten-year research on Malaysian Chinese lexicon. According to the editors, with this publication, Malaysians may build up linguistic and cultural confidence in their language use and its readers will be able to gain a better understanding of the use of Malaysian Chinese lexicon and its differences from other regions.

As written by Prof. Chew Cheng Hai in the preface, “I hope this is a start for Malaysia to involve in the internationalization of the Chinese language”.

Link to the preface on Lianhe Zaobao: 

Link to the article on Sin Chew Daily:

Prof. Wang Xiaomei, Chong Siew Ling and Tang Zhixiang (from left to right)

About Prof. Wang Xiaomei

Prof. Wang Xiaomei is Head of the Department of Chinese Studies, XMUM. Her research fields cover sociolinguistics and Malaysian Mandarin. She has published nearly 80 research papers in both Chinese and English on international academic journals (SSCI, CSSCI, Scopus) and serves as the editorial board member of Global Chinese, RELC, etc, as well as an Academic Committee Member of the Research Center on Overseas Chinese Language.

Her English monograph “Mandarin spread in Malaysia” was published by the University of Malaya Press in 2012; the Chinese monograph “The Sociolinguistic Studies on Malaysian Chinese Community” was published by the Commercial Press, China in 2021. In 2017, with Prof. Zhou Minglang, she edited the special issue on multilingualism and language planning in Malaysia for the International Journal of the Sociology of Language. In 2019, she organized the Forum on Malaysian Chinese Language at XMUM. Papers from this Forum were published on a special issue of Global Chinese (Scopus) in 2020.

In the past few years, Prof. Wang Xiaomei has been committed to the research and promotion of Malaysian Chinese and endeavours to bring the study of Malaysian Mandarin into the global Chinese community. She has participated in the high impact projects of the Chinese Social Science Funding Global Chinese Grammar Research, Overseas Chinese Resource Database Construction and Application Project, and Overseas Chinese Grammar History and Database Construction.

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