Monday, April 17, 2006

Buka.. Sekarang !!

I was raised and born in Malaysia. I attended my entire school years in Malaysia. I was nuts back then when it comes to English, because everything back then was taught in Malay Language. Yeah, guess that right, Malaysia, the national language is Malay. Yes, I speak Malay, I am considered fluent in it, since that was the core medium for all the currcilum taught in the school except English of course.

If you think that I am a Malay just because I can speak Malay and was raised in Malaysia, go can go stick your head in the toilet bowl and flush it down repeatedly.

The sad truth about Malay Language is... the lack of originality. Most of the words are stolen borrowed from other languages, like Indo and worst of all.... English. The language can be considered 80% similar in composition to the Indonesian language. Now, speaking of plagiarism.

Malay language just lacks the critical ooomph when it comes to swearing. You see, those words like pukimak and celaka are just not up to the standards of Chinese swearing phrases like KNNCCB and well... many others which this blog does not endorse. I believe profanity is a fine form of art, though I suck in it. But hey, just making my point here.. Malay language still sucks in profanity. Is that a good or bad thing?

Weird things do happen there and here from time to time when people try to translate English phrases to Malay, or vice versa. On my way back from lunch today, I saw something out of the ordinary.

For those of you who are blind in this language, "segera dibuka" can be translated as "being opened quickly", which surprisingly differed significantly from the original meaning of "opening soon". Creative? Or lame? I think its funny.

I guess it just does not quite work out that well when translation is made directly from a language to another, any languages at all. Somehow, somewhere, something usually goes wrong.

Let me illustrate with yet another example. Guess what I had for lunch today?

Mi Telur Kering Dengan Itik Bakar tanpa tulang. (Dry Egg Noodles with boneless Roasted Duck)

How does that sound to you?


  1. Malay and Indonesian actually have similar language roots. It's just that the spelling of Malay was standardised by our DBP into bahasa baku to make spelling and pronunciation better.

    Also, pure Malay is actually quite beautiful. I dunno about everyone else, but I thoroughly enjoyed our Komponen Sastera, and found the classical Malay there to be quite poetic. Also, we had to read real Malay Malay for research for a Sejarah project, and it was pretty nice too. If you have time, go check out the historical books in the state library, or some of the well written Malay prose there too.

    As for the general standard of Malay in Malaysia, honestly, the grammar and technicalities aren't always there, because like English, it does get corrupted.

    And as for the "borrowing" of words from English, I personally think that it's demeaning the language itself. I do honestly believe that there are many words in Malay that can easily be used; just that they've fallen out of everyday use, and some people think that it's "cool" to use Inggeris influenced words.

    My Malay isn't that fantastic, but based from what I've learnt up till SPM level, I actually think that Malay is a very beautiful language in it's purest form.

  2. hey charmaine,
    Yeah, i do agree on the bit that Malay is a unique language. I was involved in State Malay Public speaking as well as inter school BM debates from form 3 to form 5. I would not say my command in that language is that good, but I have always felt that I am more of the language kind of person.
    But like many other languages, Malay has its flaws. especially being a relatively NEW language, being around only for decades. Of course it is not fair to compare with other languages which are around for centuries, but hey, there is always room for improvement.
    btw, I hated satera. I never liked literature back in school days.

  3. Between Malay language and our very own Bahasa Sarawak, I think I prefer the latter. I don't know how it became a language in itself - and a rather unique one too!

    But it's a rather harsh languge lar. "Opening Soon" would probably be "Mok Bukak Dah Tok".

  4. yo dude, you're No. 5! congrats!

  5. aiyah, tidak tahu bahasa malayu, ada ingeris translesion kah?

  6. on a different topic..

    Do you ever cook at home? I am impressed at the level of lifestyle you guys hold as students!! I could only afford 2-3 meals out a week and I worked 3 nights at restaurants to have a decent social guys are in a whole new standard of life!!

    Just wondering..

  7. hey saykhia..
    of course, Bahasa Sarawak rocks !

    hey laksa...
    Thanks so much !!! Glad that I did not do so bad after all...

  8. hey wuching,
    i thought i included all the translations....

    hey chan gang,
    I usually only eat out once a week, the most would be twice. I take turns to cook with my other 2 housemates. we eat out on weekends, or special occasions like birthdays.
    Do my blog look like I eat out everyday?? gosh...

  9. Dude,have you ever noticed all those posters of movies in our local cinemas in Malaysia have a direct translation to every english movie title and they actually sounded horrible??Some you can even laugh at...or just simply doesn't make sense at all.

  10. sounds good! I'm hungry!
    I don't care! ;)

  11. oh no... not another

    what-I-ate-for-lunch post!

  12. hey arth,
    the most interesting translation so far i noticed about the movies would be The Lord of the rings, Mount Doom translates as.... GUNUNG CELAKA !!!!

    hey FH2o,
    Huh... hungry eh?

    hey another robin,
    guess I am a food lover, cant help it.

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