Making A Video in Bahasa Malaysia - My National Language

I have just dropped a new video, and it was fully presented in my own national language, Bahasa Malaysia. I have been actively making YouTube videos for more than 3 years now, all the videos have been fully spoken in English. I decided to try something different and experiment with Malay because I feel that it can be a way to connect better with the local audience. Of course, this is just a trial, my English speaking content will continue to come and there is no change to the way I share my content on YouTube, but I thought it would be fun to do something completely different, and pushed myself out of my own comfort zone. You can find the video which is live now here (click). 

In that video, I was discussing about why old compact cameras are better than even the latest smartphones from today. I was using a Canon Powershot G1 X from 2012, and I did a POV street style shooting, to show what happened around and in front of me before I clicked the shutter button. I guess, the video format was consistent with what I normally do for my POV style videos, the only difference was that this time the video was fully spoken in Malay, instead of English. All images in that video, and in this blog article were shot with the Canon G1 X. This was my first outing with that camera. I will explore this camera a little bit more before I make another video to talk about it in depth. 

I was brought up in a Malay stream (Malay language as the formal language) in all my earlier education, from primary to secondary school. The only time everything was taught in English was in college where I studied diploma in Civil Engineering, and subsequently I managed to get full credit transfer to Western Australia and did my degree there, which obviously was all taught in English. Speaking Malay was almost like second nature to me growing up.

From college days onward, I have stopped speaking Malay on a regular basis, and English has become the dominant language. This continued on until my working life, both in my engineering days working in a consultant firm in Kuala Lumpur, as well as in Olympus Malaysia later. It was no surprise that my command of the Malay language deteriorated drastically over the years. The fact that I was away from the country for almost 5 years in Australia did not help maintain my Malay literacy. 

Being back in Malaysia since the beginning of my engineering career helped me recover my national language proficiency bit by bit. I had Malay colleagues, and they were more than happy to converse in Malay with me.  I have MANY Malay friends, even among my photography circle of friends, but the choice of language for speaking has always been English. I guess it is easier to refer to certain terminology like Shutter, Aperture, ISO, White Balance, RAW, all of that in English, than having to translate or just mix the English originated words and stringed them into a Malay sentence. They just work better and more naturally spoken in English. 

I chose to speak in English when I started making YouTube videos because my main audience was not from Malaysia. This has been true since my blogging days (this blog). Most of my readers come from the US, EK and European countries, where English is the first language. While my English needs a lot of work, I am aware of that, speaking in English allows me to connect to a much wider, world-wide audience, and this helped the growth of my platform many-fold. It is also no secret that YouTube/Google ads money pays a lot higher if your audience comes from higher income nation. Therefore, my focus has always been making more content in English. 

I have been thinking to myself on how to do things a little differently, and if I were to survive here in Malaysia, my place of residence, I also have to think about the local audience here. The one plausible solution to that is to create videos in Malay. I also acknowledge that my current level of Malay language command still has some distance to go. Nevertheless, if I keep telling myself I am not ready, I will never be ready. I said to myself, screw it. My Malay speaking is not perfect, I know that my audience will see that, and I cannot care too much about this at the moment or else nothing will get done and I do want some progress. So, I dived right in, with all my flaws and mistakes, and difficulties in making this very first video, fully spoken in Malay. 

You know what? It felt good. 

I am not sidelining the fact that I need to improve my speech and use of language, but hey, cut me some slack, and you got to see I am trying! If the response is positive, I may do more future videos in Malay, but as for now, let's just celebrate this small win, and I could not believe I just did a full video in Bahasa Malaysia! Congratulations to this small kampung boy from Kuching, yo!

Please support me & keep this site going:

No comments: