People in Glass Houses…

You know how journalists, especially foreign ones, like to poke fun on the natives’ use of the English language?  Unspun remembers the time he was in Hong Kong where Nury Vittachi made a decent living out of it in the well read (by expats mainly) Lai See column.

All good sport Unspun supposes. But as the saying goes, people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Why?

Here’s the latest e-mail notification by the esteemed Jakarta Foreign Correspondents Club. The subject field of the email reads:

Panel Discussion on  Forest Sertification, Thursday August 7, Intercontinental Hotel

*tuneless whistle*

3 replies to “People in Glass Houses…

  1. Most of us find it amusing, especially in Malaysia, where the natives brag that they speak “British English”. However, when confronted face-to-face with a real-life Brit, the two parties barely understand each other. (Worse, if they are from Scotland, or speak Cockney)

    What the locals fail to understand is that their “Manglish” and “Singlish” is barely comprehensible outside out Malaysia and Singapore. Bar the Oxford Dictionary spelling.

    Grammatically inept, and severe colloquialism taught by well-meaning school-teachers has perpetuated this problem. Around the Globe, most label Manglish and Singlish as a form of “sing-song” version of the English Language. Who cannot help but steal a snigger….

    Look at it this way, (sing it in your head if you wish)

    A for air-pearl
    B for Poy
    C for Care-Mel

    And if it’s taught incorrectly at the Kindergarten level, these younglings will perpetuate this sing-song English into adulthood, completely convinced that they are speaking the “Queen’s English”.

    Get a Malaysian or Singaporean to correctly pronounce “tree” and “three”, Tai-land and Thai-Land and so on. In Bali, I was so confused when the doctor asked me if I had “Dia Horr Ria” instead of “dire-rhiya” (phonetically spelled) Finally “Berak tak berhenti-henti” (Pang Sai No Break) solved the inability to understand “Dia Horr Ria”. Drugs were administered, and I left, a happy camper…

    … nuff said


  2. BTW, the Japanese pronouce “Buttery not Included”, so it’s not limited to Singlish and Manglish only….

    Japanese phonetics:
    A, I, U, E, O IS pronounced
    Ah, Ee, Oo, Eh, Oh.

    Much like Indonesian/ Bahasa Baku in Malaysia. Hence, the Japanese can read/ rattle off perfect Bahasa without understanding a single word of it.

    Just my 2 Rupiah…
    (which is not worth much really…)


  3. aduh unspun,
    this is the feshen of indonesia, you know? if we talk fis tu fis kan certification sounds like sertification? i ting it is feri normal.

    (read with indonesian accent and intonation.)


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