Monday, August 10, 2009

Are You Speaking??

One of the things I would really love to blog about is on the story of how both of us communicate here. It is an interesting thing. Obviously coming from a commonwealth country such as Malaysia, it is a given that most people from here would have a certain level of comprehension in the English language. Ok don't let me start on the government's stand to revert to teaching Maths and Science in Malay! With time, we will be nothing but a country that doesn't speak English at all.

Speaking the language daily both at home and in work or school, we can consider it as our main language. Its a shame though (for me) as I consider English somewhat my mother tongue rather than other languages spoken in Malaysia like Malay or Chinese (note: there's many different and widely spoken Chinese dialects too). My Mrs though, is "normal" that puts me as exception - she speaks Chinese and the Cantonese dialect. Being a banana and in country who's main language is English, the only way that I could converse with my wife without other white folks understanding us is to use Malay to communicate :)

And speaking it out aloud is what we did. Its funny though, we sometimes try to figure out what to say in Malay when in actual fact, we got it all thought out in English. Even if I were to speak Chinese, it would be a better idea to simply speak in Malay. Why? There's lots of folks from China studying in this area here. In fact, lots of people from China go to lots of other places in the world. Being a country with the largest population in the world, its not surprising to see them in large numbers. The same goes for Malaysia too - there are lots of Chinese students there.

Back to speaking in Malay, we're slowly getting use to it. We've used alot in Niagara and in Toronto. Its ok for us as there's no one else around who understands and would be able to judge how well we speak or how terrible we sound. Its no kidding, sometimes when I play back the conversations we had in Malay, I start laughing to myself silently. Its humorous, at least for my funny bone. Probably some smart Malaysian playwrighter may want to use this idea as a story back home - maybe for a local scit like "Jangan Ketawa" or something more current like the new shows on NT7. Why don't you try it out when you go overseas with a friend whom you'd normally speak in other language rather than Malay. Try it. I am sure its fun and more over helps one to improve on the language. Now, given time, I'll have to help my wife with her peranakan pronunciation, but not until I perfected mine though - YIKES!

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