According to Dewan Bahasa & Pustaka, The Official Spelling Is ‘Kuetiau’ Not ‘Kway Teow’

source: Food Advisor

Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) has officially standardised the Bahasa Melayu spelling for the popular flat rice noodle which is based on a Chinese dialect.

DBP, the country’s authority on Bahasa Melayu, announced it on Facebook by posting an image with the correct Bahasa Melayu spelling which is ‘kuetiau’.

While we know what the dish is, there have been many different spellings for the noodles ranging from ‘kuay tiaw’, koay teow’ to ‘kueh tiaw’. You might not like the standard spelling, but some people in the F&B industry welcomes it.

“I was not aware that the government body has posted a clarification on the ‘kuetiaw’ spellings but I believe it is a good move,” Kuching Coffeeshop and Restaurant Owners Association committee member Kapitan Tan Yit Sheng told The Borneo Post.


Posted by Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka Malaysia on Sunday, 28 February 2021

Tan, who also operates a coffeeshop said there are many versions out there in the market and thinks the government should create better awareness on the correct spellings. He also said it could be extended to other dishes like ‘kolo mee’, ‘laksa’ and ‘tauhu soup’.

A ‘kuetiaw’ seller, known as Lai told The Borneo Post that the standardisation spelling for the dish name could get rid of the confusion especially among foreign and non-Chinese customers.

“I welcome the standardisation of the spellings so that all customers would not be confused about the dish they are ordering due to different spellings,” said Lai, who runs a ‘kuetiaw’ stall at a coffeeshop.

He also said that standardised spellings will be very convenient and if he were to open another stall, he would gladly use the latest spellings.

Whatever feelings you have for the official spelling, a good kuetiaw goreng would make the day better.