How should we judge a government?

In Malaysia, if you don't watch television or read newspapers, you are uninformed; but if you do, you are misinformed!

"If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing." - Malcolm X

Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience - Mark Twain

Why we should be against censorship in a court of law: Publicity is the very soul of justice … it keeps the judge himself, while trying, under trial. - Jeremy Bentham

"Our government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no
responsibility at the other. " - Ronald Reagan

Government fed by the people

Government fed by the people

Career options

Career options
I suggest government... because nobody has ever been caught.

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?
Corruption is so prevalent it affects English language?

When there's too much dirt...

When there's too much dirt...
We need better tools... to cover up mega corruptions.

Prevent bullying now!

Prevent bullying now!
If you're not going to speak up, how is the world supposed to know you exist? “Orang boleh pandai setinggi langit, tapi selama ia tidak menulis, ia akan hilang di dalam masyarakat dan dari sejarah.” - Ananta Prameodya Toer (Your intellect may soar to the sky but if you do not write, you will be lost from society and to history.)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

A bit on English words misspelt or mispronounced

If we think our English spelling is bad because of confusion with Bahasa Malaysia, India is even worse because of their different pronunciation of English words...

In Malaysia, 'air' in BM means 'water' in English. Imagine the confusion of a British new to Malaysia at a petrol service station where there is air for pumping tyres and water in case of fire and for washing hands. Looking for paint? You might have to rely on your familiarity with names of international paint companies like Jotun, ICI, Nippon and the like. Otherwise, you have to  look for 'cat' which is 'paint' in BM. These are just a couple of words of the same spelling but which have different meanings in BM or English.

There are many words in BM which are borrowed from English (just like English borrowing from Latin, French and other languages), but given different spellings.  Examples which come to mind are restoran (restaurant) and bas (bus); with many which have spelling of the last syllable changed: institusi (institution) and universiti (university).

I can always remember the hilarity of direct translation from English to BM often seen in subtitles of films on television.  'Have you lost your marbles?' become 'Kau dah hilang guli ke?' Imagine there was a shooting scene when a commander shouted, 'Fire!' and it was translated to 'Api'!

Since English language was sidelined in national schools, the standard of English teachers had dropped to an appalling level. Many have difficulties in pronunciation and in urban schools, many students are actually more proficient in English than their teachers.

Since my breakfast 'kakis' are mostly retired English school teachers, I am exposed to many instances of wrong pronunciation, for words like 'crocodile' and 'lettuce' (crocodili and letoose); slightly more refined would be words like 'plumber' (pronounced with 'b' instead of silent) and the controversial 'flour' which is often confused with 'flower' in pronunciation.

Where foreign words used in English are concerned, it is understandable that most people (including some retired English teachers) have problems. For eg., the many Latin words used in medical and legal training which such professionals are expected to know better than us. But there are some words of French origin which many local teachers could not pronounce unless exposed to them (some did not bother to find out for years) : 'facade' (pronounced as 'fersard'), bourgeoisie ('boozwah') and debut ('daybiu'). Btw, I am not professionally trained, so please excuse my own way of spelling the pronunciations.

Update: Some selected examples from Donplaypuks:

In particular, for proper nouns, e.g. if a person’s name is Chandran, you may not spell or pronounce it ‘Candran,’ or spell it as ‘Cina’ when you mean the country ‘ China.’. Don’t pronounce ‘Canada’ as Chanada. It should be ‘Chit Chat’ not ‘Cit Cat.’

‘Isn’t it’ cannot be used in ANY of the following types of sentences:-

‘You were going home, isn’t it?’ - WRONG!! Since ‘were’ is past tense, the question should be ‘weren’t you?’

‘Lingam was going to make a phone call , isn’t it?’ - WRONG!! Since ‘was going’ is past continuous tense - the question should be ‘wasn’t he?’

‘The children will be playing football, isn’t it?’ - WRONG!! Since ‘will be playing’ is future tense - the question should be ‘won’t they?’

‘You think I am a trolley-dolly, is it?’ – WRONG!! You think I am a trolley-dolly, do you?’

Now, the Chinese. You cannot include the word ‘one’ wherever you like in a sentence e.g. ‘I wish to deposit some cash in my bank account one.’ Or, ‘Why you so like that one?’ or ‘When you talk like that one, I don’t know what to say one. ’The word ‘one’ should be left out completely in these instances.

Also, get this right!! ‘Rai’, ‘Latok’, ‘Can I lend your badminton racket’ or ‘Eh, borrow me your pencil’ should be Right. Dato. Can I borrow your badminton racket. Eh, lend me your pencil.


1 comment:

sheyla perdomo blanco said...

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