Getting by in Malaysia
The official national language of Malaysia is Malaysian. It's quite similar to Indonesian. However, because there is a large population of Indians and Chinese, not to mention the influence of Islam, several languages are spoken in this very multicultural country. English is recognised as the second or third most spoken language so if you can't get by in Malay you can always speak English!
Read the notices!
I learned a lot by reading restaurant menus and notices in the street. Malaysian uses a Latin alphabet so it's easy to read and recognise some words. Some words are often repeated and there is a logic to the Malaysian language so you begin to get familiar with certain words. In addition, the Malays are very kind and patient with you during your trip to Malaysia.