Thursday, April 29, 2010

Manglish - What language is that?

I never like language classes when I was in school. I found it very challenging to understand the fundamental of tata bahasa or grammar and I do admit until today, I do have that problem. I rated myself to be average in commanding these two languages in writing and in communicating. But I will never admit this during interview.

When I was young, I spoke Malay (with local dialect) all the time but I started to mix English and Malay when I was teenager. Now it becomes natural for me to speak in Manglish. What is Manglish? It is a combination of English and Malay words within a sentence. Eg: I'm going to MidValley masa (during) lunch. Nak ikut (Do you want to follow)? Normally I used Manglish when I'm conversing with family members and friends. In office, normally the conversation will be all in English except when we want to gossip about our IBM partner. We will mix English with Malay or Chinese as these people are from India and they have no idea what we said.

So when do I converse in Malay. Well, normally with my mother but she also know Manglish and my aunties or whenever I go to government office. I always started my conversation in Malay but somehow it either ended in English or Manglish.

Because of my frequent use of Manglish, my children are also slowly picking it up this bad habit. This is bad for them as they need to learn proper Malay or English. Otherwise, they will have problem constructing sentences in good tata bahasa. I still remembered when my eldest son in primary school. He constructed sentences such as Doktor itu check (periksa, is the right word) abang saya. Saya berenang di swimming pool (kelam renang). Ibu saya drive (pandu) kereta pergi kerja. He was using some of the regular words that I used when he wrote those sentences and his teacher commented this when I went to see her during report card day. However he has no problem constructing sentences in English.Now my little girl, who is 4 years old, is also slowly picking up the habit. Will I corrected her? Maybe...

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