If there is one ingrediant that makes Penang truly special, it must be its people. The people of Penang are noted for being friendly and helpful - though increasing urbanization has brought out a lot of ugly traits. Nevertheless, as soon as they discover that you are a visitor, you can be sure that someone will help a helping hand, some times going out of their way to assist.
English is well understood by most, more so now that many school subjects are taught in that language. You might encounter many who are not totally fluent in English, but they will be able to converse and make themselves understood. In any case, you should have no problem using English when shopping in Penang. It is only in the villages and housing neighborhoods that English proficiency drops.
About half the population is Chinese, and the main dialect spoken here in Penang Hokkien, a variation of the Min Nan dialect originating in the Fujian province of south China. Penang Hokkien is primarily a spoken language - most Chinese in Penang will read Mandarin, the Chinese language taught in school.
A big percentage of the people of Penang are Malays. You will find that, in addition to the rural areas of Penang, the Malays also form enclaves where they established the first settlements in George Town. Places such as Lebuh Acheh, Jalan Dato Keramat, Jalan Perak still have Malay villages surrounded by high rises.
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Hello and thank you for reading this page. My name is Tim. I wrote this page to compile what I discover, for my own knowledge, and also to share it with people who might find it useful. It is part of three inter-connected websites: Penang Travel Tips, TimothyTye.com and Timothy Property Mart.
I am a real estate agent, food blogger, amateur historian and travel author. This website is an encyclopedia as well as a business directory. As a real estate agent, I help people buy, sell, rent and let properties. If you have a property to sell or rent in Penang, Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru, Ipoh or Malacca, my team of realtors and I can help you. If you operate a restaurant, can write about your food and promote your restaurant. I can also help you engage other food bloggers to write about your food. And finally, if you are operating a business anywhere in Malaysia, you can add your shop to this website and be found by lots of customers. All you need to do is contact me with what you need.