Monday, October 26, 2009

.: Trailing behind :.


Brother:: Aren’t you afraid to go out on your own?
Me:: Who’s in charge? *index finger pointing to the sky* :P
Brother:: Haha~ Back at me, eh? Fine fine, be careful. 

This brother self-adopted himself as my mum’s son and as my older brother. Don’t ask me why. Anyway, the “who’s in charge?” line is distinctively his, and was used on several occasions. One of it was when I was taken ill. In an attempt to lighten things, he uttered these sentences:

“Remember who’s in charge. He is the one that tests you and he will be the one to take it away. Be strong and patient little sister. You have my du’a.”

Sometimes, I find myself reiterating those very words.

“Who’s in charge?”

And a feeling of assurance will sweep pass me.
4.15pm Malaysian Time

Friday, October 23, 2009

.: Tumbled view :.

Clearing up.

While leveraging; should or should I not attend another conference, I ditched the thought for a post.

Throughout the course of 2 weeks, the mind was cluttered over a series of things. Some are thought to be exceedingly mind-boggling to comprehend. Alhamdulillah, the solutions came soon enough. Periodical execution lies ahead. Moreover, the timing now is seemingly apt to produce a 360 turnaround effect.

Meanwhile, I haven't acquire the knack to immerse myself completely in the Mandarin language. In accordance to that, there are numerous humongous hiccups encountered in each passing day, although friends are making it worth the while. Without a doubt, my Mandarin today is several notches higher than how it was a month ago. I do not expect a miracle to happen, therefore realistically, I hope to make some major leaps and bounds progress in the next couple of months if only I can allocate more time, effort and focus into it. 

:: 谢谢你们的鼓励和打气,我慢慢读书哦~! 

Yet again, the blogging passion has dwindled further. I haven't been able to churn out any good posts, or any hogwash posts in particular. Excuses are kept aside. A friend predicted the demise of the blogging culture. Perhaps, that is the phase I am going through. Does anyone else feel this way? Having the urge to blog, yet unable to salvage the contents? Or do you concur this entirely?

Have a nice weekend everyone!
3.58pm Malaysian Time

Saturday, October 17, 2009

.: Deepavali :.

Or Diwali.

Wishing everyone a blessed Festival of Lights!

Photos of chicken tikka and chicken something tikka courtesy of Al-Karim restaurant, New Delhi, India.

They and another Pakistani guy were kind enough to allow me to snap some quick shots of these delightful skewered chicken pieces. Malaysians may have to wait another year before they make their 2nd visit. At least, that was what I was told. Or that was what I understood. *haha~* There's no point in cross-checking with my sister since she couldn't make any heads or tails of what they had said. I extend my gracious thanks to my former colleagues from India. Because of you guys, I can actually understand their thick Indian accent.  

Note :: Don't ask me which is which. I have clearly forgotten as I was too focused in trying to snag the recipe from the Pakistani guy. haha~ Anyone care to shed some light?

Another holiday. :)
8.08am Malaysian Time

Sunday, October 11, 2009

.: Bahasa Melayu :.

Posting in my mother tongue.

Considering I hardly write in Malay, and even though I speak the language everyday, the conversations are mostly conducted colloquially. Didn't take long for me to notice that I am actually losing my grasp in the language, therefore this is quite a brave attempt on my part to sort of get in touch with it again. Having gone down the path thereby I had been dubbed a non-Malay due to my incompetence in the language many years ago, I prefer not to endure it again.

. ~ .

Standard Malay *as far as I can remember ... to my Malay language teachers, please send me a detention slip if you notice more than 10 errors.*

"Terus-terang, Aja tidak boleh ingat kali terakhir Aja menulis di dalam Bahasa Melayu. Terasa kekok dan payah sangat. Kalau diikutkan, Bahasa Melayu sering digunakan sebagai bahasa perantaraan baik ketika bersama-sama ahli keluarga mahupun sesama sahabat-handai. Namun, bahasa tersebut telah dicampur-adukkan dengan bahasa asing. Tambahan pula, tidak dinafikan wujudnya penggunaan bahasa pasar dikalangan generasi muda. Sesungguhnya, keadaan ini amat membimbangkan lebih-lebih lagi apabila segelintir daripada kita tidak mampu untuk menilai keindahan menulis di dalam bahasa ibunda."

Written in slangs and abbreviated forms as how I would speak with my peers.

"Terus-terang, Aja tak bleh igt bile Aja last tulis dlm BM. Rase pelik; susah sgt. Ikutkanlahkan, BM ni kite slalu gak pakai bile sembang dgn famili & kawan. Mungkin sal dah campur dgn base laen kut. Pun sal, kitorang slalu gune base pasar. Tp, mmg sedeylah bile kite dh taktau nilai laie."

English translation.

"In actual truth, I can’t remember the last time I wrote in Malay. It feels exceedingly peculiar and strenuous. If I were to contemplate on it, the Malay language is regularly used as the communication language with family and friends. However, its' usage has been influenced by foreign languages. I do not deny, there is also the usage of slangs amongst the younger generations. Hence, the situation becomes tremendously worrisome particularly when some of us aren’t able to value the beauty of writing in our mother tongue."

Losing the proficiency.
8.20pm Malaysian Time

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

.: Vanished leaves :.

Shifting sands.

It is said that the reason leaves fall off the branch is to allow new leaves to grow ...

No matter how sad the fallen leaves look ...

There will always be new sprouts to take their places ...

Perhaps the emptiness in the heart is something similar to that ...

Crosses space and time.
8.15pm Malaysian Time

Sunday, October 4, 2009

.: Our lingo :.

Breaking the code.

I came across this article several days ago. The context addresses some of the most common 'expressions' used in Manglish; Malaysian English; which is basically a bastardization of the English language. Using it, is like a secret code that is generally understood amongst Malaysians and Singaporeans. Foreign friends, find it perplexing, yet at the same time utterly fascinating. 

Hence, I present to you ...

The Adorable Lah - Authentically Malaysian

By Lee Su Kim

If you are walking the streets of London or sipping coffee at a sidewalk cafe somewhere in Paris, and you hear in plain English, "So expensive-lah" or "So hot-lah", just turn around in the direction of the voice and I guarantee you that ten out of ten, the person who just dotted his or her sentence with a lah is Malaysian.

If you are feeling homesick in a foreign land and suddenly you overhear a conversation full of Yes-lahs and No-lahs, your homesickness can be assuaged for it sounds just like home and the speakers can only be Malaysians (or Singaporians, which is close enough when you're homesick!).

Just where did this lah come from and how did it creep into the English spoken by Malaysians? It is inevitable that Malaysians, living in a multi-lingual, multi-cultural setting will inter-borrow phrases and expressions from one language to another. Thus the very unique lah, used only in this part of the world (Malaysia and Singapore), could have originated from Malay, or any of the local dialects or languages.

Only a Malaysian born and bred in this country will know how to use the lah. A Malaysian who has been away for a while can slip back into using it quite comfortably but a Malaysian who has been away for a long time, say, seven to ten years, with little contact with fellow Malaysians, may find great difficulty as to exactly when to pepper his speech with lah. Just going lah, lah, lah every first or third word doesn't quite qualify. Malaysians will be able to sniff you out in a second and tell that somehow, sorry-lah, you just don't make the grade. For example, try saying the following sentence aloud:

"I-lah tell you-lah how-lah many times-lah but-lah you never-lah listen."

Any true blue-blooded Malaysian would cringe and tell straight-away that any person who speaks like that is an impostor.

Foreigners newly arrived in this country will find it quite baffling at first. Sure, these Malaysians are speaking English but what on earth is that strange musical note that they place at the end of their sentences every so often?? It does take some getting used to. An article in the Malaysian Trade Quarterly (Jan-March 1995) states that many foreigners have the mistaken notion that adding a lah to the end of every sentence lets them get away with a fairly good impression of a Malaysian accent.

This is hardly the case. The use of lah is, in fact, quite an art for those who were not born into the language. Here are a few sophisticated variations of its use:

"No fun-lah, you!" (You're really no fun at all!)

"You see-lah, like that also you cannot do!" (Can't you even do such a simple thing?)

What are the functions of the lah? What are the rules regarding its usage? How would you teach your orang puteh friend or spouse how to use the lah if he demands desperately for some help along the way ? Well, I'm afraid one can't learn it formally. Like sambal belacan or cincalok, it's an acquired taste. You've got to be around for sometime, and gradually you'll acquire a taste for it.

If you think the lah is baffling enough as it is, Malaysians have more tail words up their sleeves or in this case, off their tongues. A great favorite is the 'aaa', which has an entire repertoire of meanings, depending on how it is used. A simple 'thank you' to a Malaysian may sound too curt and most Malaysians, in informal settings, would prefer to say 'thank you-aaa' as it sounds softer and friendlier. A 'Yes lah' and a 'Yes-aaa' response are also subtly different in meanings.

If someone were to ask you a question such as, "Are you coming along?", a 'Yes-aaa' response would be inappropriate whereas a 'Yes-lah' response would be acceptable.

If your friend informed you that he's bought a brand new car, then a "Yes-aaa" response would be fine, meaning "Oh really?" The "yes-aaa" could cover a whole gamut of responses ranging from being a question to a reply dripping in sarcasm depending on the intonation.

Another popular tail word is one, as in,

"I don't know what to say-lah. This kind of things very hard to say one." or

"I'm so fed-up one, you know. I explain how many times in simple English, still cannot get through one."

Sometimes if you use one once too often, it can backfire. Your listener may find it hard to resist and may pun on your one. For example:

Lady: "I don't want one, but he wants so what can I do?"

Friend: "You don't want one aaa, but you want two, yes or not?"

Yet another tail word is man, as in "I say, man. Long time no see" or "I donno, man." This is an interesting adaptation from American culture rather than an influence of the mother tongues. Malaysians can add man to any sentence arbitrarily and even to exclamations such as "Wah man! Solid!"

To confuse things further, sometimes, Malaysians don't use single but double tail words at the end of a sentence, for example, "He's so bodoh (stupid) one lah!" or "Why your dressing so Ah Beng one-aaa?"

And sometimes tail words do not appear at the end of sentences but somewhere in the middle, such as in sentences where the subject is delayed, for example: "So action one man he!" or "Terror one lah she!"

Malaysians generally speak two types of English -- proper English particularly in business and professional settings, and Malaysian English with its charming and unique expressions. Just as the French have their oo-la-la, the Italians their Mama-mia, and the English, endearing expressions like "By Jove" or "Well, jolly good", may our Malaysian lah live a long and healthy life! Say yes-lah to that!

Glossary :: Orang Puteh [White man], Sambal Belacan [A Malay style sambal made of chilli, shrimp paste, lime juice etc.] and Cincalok @ Cencaluk [A traditional sauce famous in Malacca; baby shrimps preserved in brine].

What lah ...
9.25am Malaysian Time

Saturday, October 3, 2009

.: 中秋節 :.

Mid-autumn festival.

Wishing family and friends a wonderful Mid-autumn @ Lantern @ Mooncake festival!


I just returned from attending an open house. On my way back, neighbors were lighting lanterns and having idle chit-chat with family and friends. However, the atmosphere here in Kuala Lumpur differs vastly as compared to my Southern home. Back there, I can see tens to hundreds of red lanterns floating up to the sky. As of now, I have only seen one. And there aren't as many people playing with lanterns. Perhaps I will see more later. 

PS :: In case people may want to know how the packages look like and what are the flavors available here, here's a brochure. *I'm not promoting the brand* Please click on the image to enlarge it.

Alhamdulillah, these days, it's really easy to get Halal mooncakes.

Off to eat more mooncakes. ^^
9.03pm Malaysian Time