Archive for August, 2008

Malaysian English

I find it strange that people who advocate the use of Malaysian English can be blind in certain ways to their own English as the case may show. I remember some of my East Malaysian course mates (who did their first degree in West Malaysia) being corrected by these folks for pronouncing hose as horse, and main as men. These selfsame folks were not too happy when told that theme shouldn’t be pronounced as teem. They contended that that was Malaysian English.

I do wonder why East Malaysian variety of English is never taken into consideration. If they do pronounce hose as horse, why do they need to be ridiculed? And if they drop the filler bah instead of lah, why call it Sabahan English?

What’s Malaysian English then? Some say that there’s no conjugation in the verb. So it’s alright to say ‘he go’ but then at other times they can say ‘he went’. I suppose it depends on the mood of the speaker. Or as my other friend would say in jest, it’s depend.

What about word borrowing then? It’s deemed fine by most people. So we have rakyat clamouring for their rights. And taugeh for lunch. Somehow or other, let’s go chiak doesn’t seem to go down well.

Perhaps you have other views with regard to Malaysian English. Pray tell.

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August 8, 2008 at 1:02 am 2 comments


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