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Datin nak sindir-sindir dan dengan ghairahnya menghentam orang seperti saya yang kononnya mengagung-agungkan bahasa Inggeris dalam penulisan dan pertuturan seharian, Datin tahu kah saya ini sebenarnya fasih dan lancar dalam kedua-dua bahasa? Dalam Bahasa Melayu, saya yang berketurunan Cina dan India ini berpantun boleh, bersajak boleh, bersyair boleh. Malah bergurindam pun saya boleh. Cuba Datin minta secara rawak rakyat Malaysia untuk berpantun. Saya yakin, pembayang pantun daripada kebanyakan mereka adalah…

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Pak Ali pergi ke kedai,
pergi ke kedai membeli…

Sentiasa saja Pak Ali kita ini hendak pergi ke kedai membeli something. Dan inilah realitinya kalau ada orang kita yang masih boleh berpantun. Lihat saja pantun-pantun di media cetak, atau dengar saja pantun-pantun meski di saluran radio Klasik Nasional sekalipun. Naik malu saya membaca dan mendengarnya.

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Dan something seperti penggunaan Bahasa Inggeris saya ini yang Datin kecohkan sangat, kenapa? Atau barangkali Datin sebenarnya hanya hendak menutup kelemahan Datin berbahasa Inggeris?
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Datin…
Bahasa Inggeris itu kerjaya saya. Perkongsian ilmu saya. Periuk nasi saya. Rezeki saya. Jiwa Malaysia saya tak usahlah Datin pertikaikan hanya kerana kefasihan, kebiasaan dan kerjaya saya. Daripada Datin mengecam orang-orang seperti saya, barangkali lebih bermanfaat jika pejuang bahasa dan budaya seperti Datin betulkan saja anak bangsa Datin yang semakin tidak pandai mengeja. Mereka ini lah yang kurang diajar dan kurang ajar.

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Tapi kalau Datin nak saya ajarkan Bahasa Inggeris… pun boleh.

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 Pantun ku ini....

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I go check all place. From bedroom to carbird. Inside all drawer oso looking. One by one. Oready so long I buy the book. Before I go Kuching wif chudren that day. Two book I buy. One toury guide, one this Singlish book. Because I like broken English. Naymine, dis day who care grammer what? English got class. Stardy from book oso can get diploma loh. Easy busy.

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So I look-look, still cannot remember oready how the book look alike. So many book, so sayang, but wana read all oso got no time. Keep here, keep there. Never read. For display ony. Book carbird oso no have in my house. Keep every where. If reading book got no time, how can writing got time? Impossiber.

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But got English class next week, I tell you. Because English got class, got standard. Must learn one. Broken oso can repair.

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Sayang baca apa tu?

Buku citer lah.

Sayaaang…

Iyer.

Abang ada soalan ni.

Tanya lah.

Sayaaannnggg…

*letak buku* Okay kay kay. Shoot baby!

Not yettt. Tunggu lah warm up dulu. Sayang niii.

Ishhh! Tsk. Abang niii… ask away je lah. Ngader.

Abang ada soalan about grammar ni tau.

Okaaay.

Kalau Abang nak guna past tense, boleh ada have tak?

You mean simple past tense?

Eh, ada simple ada complicated ke sayang?

Hehehe. Takde lah. Just that kalau Abang nak describe things in the past, ada dua. Simple past dengan present perfect.

Tsk. Alaaaahhh, complicated lah sayang.

All right right right, ignore that. Apa soalan Abang tadi tu, boleh ada have tak?

Ha’ah. Boleh guna have tak?

Contoh ayat please?

For example kalau Abang kata, “I have done you.”

Errrkkk? You mean, “I have done it to you” ke?

No. Simply “I have done you.”

Errr… well, that is present perfect. Yes, boleh guna have kat situ. Tapi…

Dari segi grammar betul tak?

Mmm grammatically, well… betul tu betul. But the sentence, “I have done you” has its own connotation. Ada makna lain tau.

Tauuu. But we’re not talking about the meaning of the statement. Abang nak tau ayat tu betul tak grammar nya.

Betul tu betul sebenarnya.

Tapi?

Takde lah tapi. It’s just that, guna lah ayat contoh like, “I have done it” ke, “I have done it with you” ke “for you” ke.

Eleh! Suka hati Abang lah ayat Abang. Hehehe. And the truth is, the statement is not true. I haven’t done you in three weeks kan?

Wellllll, you were away for three weeks! Hehehe.

But tomorrow morning kan sayang, grammatically… can I say, “I have done you last night?”

Nope. Tak boleh. That’s not grammatical. Sebab kalau Abang sebut ‘last night’ tu, Abang kena guna, “I did you last night” instead. Tak boleh have done.

Oh okay. So esok pagi the statement “I did you last night” will be grammatical lah ye sayang?

Yup. *dengan wajah tak bersalah dan sangat confident*

But will it be factual? *dengan wajah serious dan formal*

Hah? *dengan wajah seperti PC yang dah lama tak upgrade*

Ha ha ha ha ha! Ni lah yang Abang rindu sayang nihhh tiga minggu.

Ha ha ha ha ha! Abanggg! You tricked meee! Menchiii tauuu!

I missed you too. Hehehehe.

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This is no English tutorial. But I would just like to post a little reminder to myself and to those who find English Grammar difficult. Well, tell you what? It is challenging. But we are doing not too bad actually. Okay ladies and gentlemen, here’s the gentle reminder:

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DO QUESTIONS are those that use ‘do’, ‘does’ and ‘did’, such as:

  1. Do you have anything planned for the holiday?
  2. Does she really change her Facebook status every half an hour?
  3. Did you see Tron with your kids last Sunday?
  4. Why do you say things you don’t mean?
  5. Where does he get his supply of keropok every month?
  6. How did you two meet?

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If you noticed, all the underlined words are in the base form. And that’s the way they should be. “Do Questions” do come with another verb that should remain in its base form – not past tense, not present singular, not participle or progressive tenses.

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But how many of us do this:

2. Does she really changes / changed / changing her Facebook status every half an hour?

3. Did you saw Tron with your kids last Sunday?

5. Where does she gets /got / getting his supply of keropok every month?

6. How did you two met ?

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Well, now that you know you shouldn’t be changing the verbs in ‘Do Questions’, it is up to you to be grammatical or non. I still catch myself making mistakes. And that is before YOU catch me. And if you can catch me, catch me gently ya? Hehehehe 🙂

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Sorry Selorry

It has nothing to do with my ego, but I don’t say sorry unless I mean it. From as simple as saying sorry when I accidentally hit something or someone, to saying sorry when I hurt somebody’s feelings. I say sorry when I mean it. Only.

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So when she said sorry because she couldn’t speak English in front of an English-speaking audience who was going to potentially make donation to the orphanage she was representing… I felt awfully sorry for myself for not knowing her much sooner. I could have given her a mini course on Public Speaking and Communication, or some translation service… courtesy of Enida Consultancy & Services.

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But then, she could have asked for help if she had done her homework. Afterall there were Bahasa-and-English-speaking committee members who could have translated her speech. She could have done it in both languages. The expat donors could have paid more attention and be more enthusiastic about where their money was going.

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The other thing I was sorry about was when she had to apologize for what the orphanage didn’t have, for the condition of the orphans and for everything else that was no fault of hers!

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“Saya mintak maaf lah atas semua yang serba kekurangan dari pihak Rumah Anak Yatim XYZ ini.”

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Well, logically, if the orphanage had everything it needed, nobody would have organized such charity event, would’ve they? But that’s beside the point! I simply think people apologize and say sorry when they don’t know what else to say.

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Yes, humility is my number one policy. That was why it was almost embarrassing when my name was mentioned as the contributor who rounded the collection that night to the seventh grand of Ringgit.

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Even that is beside the point. Just imagine this:

“Saya minta maaf kepada tuan-tuan, puan-puan, saudara-saudari yang membaca Questa e Enida, kerana saya tidak memiliki kereta BMW di usia saya yang menjangkau 50-an ini. Saya juga tidak berkerjaya hebat dengan syarikat minyak dari Belanda, jadi maafkanlah saya yang berada dalam keadaan yang serba kekurangan ini.”

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I sound almost ungrateful if I am adamant on counting what I am not yet blessed with, don’t I? Uh am I exaggerating it, or do I actually have a point here?

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Well, whatever it is that is beside the point… I am not sorry for not sleeping at all the last 25 hours. I am especially NOT sorry for having two happy and healthy Monchies who are very interested in visiting orphanages to hear about ‘babies being put in a basket and left on the doorstep’ stories.

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Postlude:

Dan saya tidak merasa sedikit pun kekesalan di malam itu apabila berada di dalam dewan yang sama dengan Mrs. X (Mrs. Shower Cap). Malah saya berasa sangat terharu akan diri saya yang sudah tidak merasa apa-apa pun apabila memandang beliau yang nampaknya dikurniakan kesihatan yang agak berlapis-lapis.

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Dabal You

What’s with the new spelling? Or shall I call it a trend? I notice that a lot of bahasa words now are spelled with an added ‘W’  or ‘EW’ at the end.


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Contoh Perkataan:

  • itu => itew
  • gitu => gitew
  • ke => kew
  • je => jew

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Contoh Ayat:

  • Sepaklah si penjual karipap yang debab lagi biadap itew!
  • Kiter sajew jew nak panggil abang tu hemcem, tak leh kew?

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Now, how am I supposed to pronouce these words with the ‘w’ or ‘ew’ added on? Humor me, please? I could really use some scatterbrained jokes language guidance right about now.

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Last Last

The last hot drink you had:
Earl Grey with Honey
Thanks to Rozie, for reminding me all the way from Klang, “Sebaik-baiknya di solstis musim sejuk (cikgu Geografi la konon) ini banyak-banyaklah makan madu, supaya badan lebih segar, selain mengurangkan kahak dan selsema.” And I honestly did feel like tea with honey tonight. It at least refreshed my campus memories with dear Rozie.

 

The last ‘I Love You’ you said to:
KaCher, on sms.
If I could make up for the loss of many more I-love-you’s we were supposed to hear from Mom, I would. But I believe that every thought we think and every word we write is an ‘I love you’ tribute to Mom, sis.

 

Me Monchies, after saying good night.
Kitreena would usually say, “Sleep tight Mom, make sure you go straight to bed.” Yeah right! Who’s going to run the dishwasher? Who’s going to refill all the 3 humidifiers? 🙂 Who’s going to post an entry on Questa è Enida? Who’s going to bermimpi bercanda di pasiran pantei ama Kang Broery? And Edrick would say, “Good night Mommy. Don’t let the bug spread! I love you.” Every night for the past 3 months I have been trying to  correct him… bite, not spread. But I think the bug has spread and he won’t recover from his own quote for a long while. Quote unquote.

 

Your last frustration:
Peeling Onions
The skin was unbelievably thin and dryer than the thirstiest nomad crossing Rub’ Al-Khali on kamikaze cum harakiri mode (luper lalu mbawok bochowng air, awok nte). If onion skin can go soft like Nori (sushi wrap) when cooked, I would have gladly stir-fried a full 2 cups of it with my bean curd tonight.

 

The last flattering thing you heard:
Good cooking, Mommy. Deeleeeeeecious!
Edrick would only eat rice if it comes with tofu, or bean curd or fish. Rice porridge to him is only edible if it comes with tokyu (soy sauce), chopped spinach or steamed broccoli. So you can imagine how flattering the word ‘deeleeeeeecious’ is… coming from a not-so-big-of-a-fan of rice.

 

The last smart idea you came up with:
A Krazy Lazy Cooking Method

 

 

 

 

Well, well, well… what can I say. My krazy lazy mind-set has truly plagued me these days. So horridly krazy-lazily lazy, that the only thing I am not lazy doing is thinking of ways to be even lazier. And another thing you have to know about me is, I dislike cooking anything that would make me smell like what I just cook. A divorcee friend once disclosed to me about his ex-wife, “She always smelled like bawang goreng (sautéed shallots/garlic). I don’t mind that smell in the kitchen or dining room. But not in my bed.” Yeeessshhh, crazy but true. A woman is supposed to be tasteful, not tasty!

 

So yesterday, out of desperation to guttle my newly bought salted dried old fish, I came up with this idea: instead of pan-frying or deep-frying the stinky-o-smelly fishies, I oven-broiled them! To avoid from having to scrape the baking pan in case the fish would stick to it, I shaped a piece of baking paper into a ‘bowl’, poured half the amount of oil I usually use into the baking-paper bowl and voila! Into the oil the fishies swam and into the oven they broiled for about 25 minutes at 200°C. No stirring, flipping, flapping, spattering, splattering, and spatula-ing involved the whole 25 minutes.

 

And the tiptop feat of this krazy lazy methodology was not only that I saved the whole house from the smell, I saved myself from smelling like fried salted dried fish! My husband is not home this week anyway. By the way, ladies and some gentle men… did you ever notice that of all that we wear when cooking, the aroma’s favorite part to stick to and stick on is our bra? So ehem, did you sauté any shallots or garlic today? Ahak ahak ahak ahak! *gelak ada makna, tu yang kening sebelah dok teghangkat tu*

 

Your last Facebook status:

 

 

An Original Quote
I know many people who do not share my principle of ‘keeping it right’ grammatically and grammatolatrily. Well, I worship words, alright. While I don’t speak many languages, those I do speak and write in I make sure I speak and write in relatively properly. And that means no saying that’s mean when I mean to say that means. You know what I mean? Whats make it uncorrect and disproper are ones’ attitude towards improofment itself, usualy…………………… Espfcially if 1’s  is rspnsiblty to educates de lang. 2 de yang ones, k???!!!

 

I believe that the beauty of learning (and using) a language is mastering it so one can ‘manipulate’ it while keeping a high respect for the language itself. Of course it applies to learning anything, really. Cooking, for instance – just like a language – is a skill one first has to master before one can create new recipes. Wiz and Lish – language trainers turned bakers  friends of mine – I bet can vouch me on this. (Wiz & Lish, ken lee tulibu dibu douchu, ken? Too loon.)

 

Nobody says it is easy teaching a language, especially a language that should be spoken the way it is written. Nobody. I still keep catching myself making mistakes with the ‘third-person pronouns’ she and he when I speak in English. Not that I have to give this excuse, I know,  🙂 but in my mother tongue (Bahasa Malaysia) third-person singular pronouns are not gender-specific. She is dia, he is dia. So unsuperciliously, I keep correcting myself. Appreciatively, too, I keep being corrected by people who care and who have genuine passion for correctness. Though I don’t believe that I can achieve perfect bilingualism, I do have faith that bilingual correctitude exists.

 

Thus, Enida says… 
“Those who have no desire to learn from mistakes should not fake their passion for correctness.”

 

Eh enough already! I really should go straight to bed before the bugs spread.

 

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