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It’s official: Your favourite Kuey Teow is now spelt “Kuetiau”

Changing an iconic dish's name.

KUALA LUMPUR – The Institute of Language and Literature of Malaysia (DBP) has officially standardized the Malay spelling of the flat rice noodle dish loved by Malaysians as “kuetiau” instead of “koay teow” or “kuetiaw“.

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The popular noodle dish from Maritime Southeast Asia, most notably in Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore is commonly spelt as kuey teow, but other variations include kuih tiew, kueh tiao, kueh tiaw etc.

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According to its Facebook post, DBP noted that kueh tiaw and koay teow are all wrong under the formal Malay writing format.

In the comment section, some recalled their teacher always saying koay teow verbally, but never saw it appear in their Bahasa Malaysia textbook, which caused confusion while growing up. Others noted that there weren’t many food stalls using the term “kuetiau” correctly.

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It's official: your favourite kuey teow is now spelt "kuetiau"
Famous Penang Char Kuetiau (Kuey Teow). (Photo courtesy of IG/Esther Ying)

Netizens also commented that schools used to call the dish koay teow or mee goreng in the past, but some said they won’t bother about the spelling as long as it stays delicious.

The post has since garnered 9.2 likes and 4k shares at the time of writing.

DBP also clarified that fried noodles in Malay is “Mi Goreng” instead of “Mee Goreng” or “Mie Goreng”:

About the Institute of Language and Literature of Malaysia (DBP)

DBP is a government body responsible for coordinating the usage of the Malay language and Malay literature within Malaysia. It is also the publisher of Kamus Dewan, a dictionary which teaches one about the national language.

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Sources: (Fb/Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka Malaysia)

Editor: Raymond Chen
Proofreader: Sarah Yeoh

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