Done a test.
New Teacher:: What is your name?
New Teacher:: Hajar? *scribbles my name in Arabic at the whiteboard* Hajar?
Me:: Yeah. *does he have a problem with my name?* My name is Hajar.
New Teacher:: It is Haajar. :)
Me:: Haajar. :)
New Teacher:: *:) starts explaining to the class* Haajar is a very very old Egyptian name...
Since kindergarten, I had grasped the idea that people are bound to mispronounce my name. I’ll introduce myself as Haajar, but they’ll end up with Hajar, Aja, Ja, and to cut this short, they just never call me Haajar. I figured that it must have been agonizing for these people; therefore I localized my name to suit their pronunciation to plain ole Hajar.
Took just about 19 years of my life till an outsider eventually got it right whereby the only ones that made justice to it are my Middle Eastern friends. As on that day, I wasn’t focused on my Arabic class, I had somehow rather neglected the fact that my new teacher is a Middle Easterner. I only snapped out of my trance when he accentuated the “Haa”. Nevertheless, the blame can’t be placed entirely on me as he sporadically slips in Malay words in the lessons; resulting to the off track moments.
My previous teacher *the one that picked on me, and still does when he has the time* is now occupied with the level-2 students, so the new teacher stands-in. If I associate my previous teacher as Santa Claus, sis dubs the new teacher as the BFG [Big Friendly Giant]. *coughs ... what are the likelihoods eh? coughs*
He is extremely particular in pronunciation.
New Teacher:: Quiet brothers. Let the sister speak. :)
Me:: --- Uttered an Arabic word.
New Teacher:: No no no. You need to put your tongue out.
Me:: I did.
New Teacher:: You did? But I don’t see it. :)
Me:: I did. *awkward, awkward moments*
New Teacher:: Ok ok. Then say it again. :)
Me:: --- Arabic word, take 2.
New Teacher:: Try to do this. *starts making a hissing sound*
Me:: --- Did a pathetic attempt at it. Sounded like an intersection of an asthmatic attack, and a pup whimpering for mercy. One of the gags of the day for the class.
New Teacher:: LoL~ No no. You have to put your tongue out, leave a little space to allow the wind to come out between your tongue and your teeth. :)
Me:: I did. I can’t do it. *more of, I won’t do it, but why risk an argument or explanation?*
Sis:: Put your tongue out.
Me:: I can’t. :(
New Teacher:: Ok ok. You’ll practice at home ok.:)
Couple of hours after reaching home.
Sis:: Mum, little sister refused to stick her tongue out when the new teacher wanted her to pronounce the words.
Me:: I did! The tip of my tongue was out.
Sis:: You have to stick it out more. Like this! I stuck out my tongue when he asked me.
Me:: That is just rude. Mum always say we’re not supposed to stick out our tongues. It is disrespectful and he’s a teacher. Even if the culture permits it or the language requires it … I will not condone it in the presence of people. Period.
Dang! I miss Santa.
10.55am Malaysian Time