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Saturday, 4 June 2011

[ ..tongue twisters.. ]

Languages fascinates me. Languages fascinates me as much as the subjects of life, death, suicides, murders, serial killers and cannibals fascinate me.

Hmm.. that's not quite the right way to start a conversation... Anyway...

I often find myself confused of my feelings towards this country. But recent years I realised I don't particularly hate this country. I just hate the politics, the hypocrisy of the politicians, the unfairness of public welfare, the terrible and incompetent study systems, and well, the racism.

Other than those, I find myself being proud to be a citizen in this country. But that does not mean that I plan to stay here forever. I still constantly planning for my future staying abroad. I told a lot of people that I do not believe in marriages but if by getting married can bring me away from this country, I will definitely dabble in a marriage so I can get a citizenship in another country. (that is, if there is an idiot who actually wants to marry me muahahahahhahaha)

Back to the subject why I love this country. It's easy. Multicultural. If I do not live here, I will not be able to speak three languages. The only things that makes me proud to be a Malaysian besides the food, is how we can converse in three languages easily.

I am by birth, a Chinese with Cantonese heritage. Yes, there are more than one dialect in Chinese. There are Mandarin, Cantonese, Hokkien, Teochew, Hakka etc. My parents speak Cantonese to my siblings and I since we were babies.

Two other major Chinese dialects in Malaysia besides Cantonese, is Hokkien and Mandarin.I do not particularly understand those two dialects until I was 10 when my mom started babysitting these kids who speak only Hokkien and Mandarin. Sometimes, I get so frustrated with them that I started to teach them Cantonese.

To this day I can understand Mandarin and Hokkien very well, can speak these dialects too but with difficulties and friends often laughed at me when I do.

I speak basically full Cantonese at home and I did not know how fluent my Cantonese were until in these couple of years when I listen to some recordings I made during some interviews with Hongkong artistes. I was kind of shock to realised that the level of Cantonese I spoke is on par with the Hongkies. Intonation and usage of words, my Cantonese is actually quite Hongky myself! wtf

Anyway, when I started schooling, I am required to learn Malay and English. For years, my Malay was better than my English. I can say that from I was aged 9 until 16, Bahasa Melayu (I refuse to call it Bahasa Malaysia. There is no such thing as Bahasa Malaysia) was my strong suit, speaking and writing wise. Then I started to head downhill when I turned 16.

Since I was a child my father had brainwashed me into thinking that I must/shall/will be a lawyer. But when I turned 16, my English teacher made me fell in love with the English language.  I was never really that interested in English until she came along in my life. To this day, I keep telling people that she was the one who changed my life entirely. I wish to tell her that myself, one day.

At that time I thought my English was stupendous too. Until I was in Form 6 that I realised my English sucks ass.

Not only that my grammar and vocabulary are horrendous (they still are, now...), I couldn't' build a proper sentence that time! Luckily, I had a year and a half chance to learn English all over again and I never regretted my year in Form 6 although I never got into any colleges or universities.

I was so into my English lessons that I neglected my Malay language. I do regret that right now. But luckily, I can still converse in Malay although I couldn't hold a conversation in Malay long enough until I start to change to English again. Sometimes, when I am speaking with my friends I do not know if I should speak to them in Malay or English.Then my tongue got tied and I start to pronouncing words wrongly.

Also a problem, I stutter. I think the only language I do not stutter in is my Cantonese. I stutter and stammers in English and Malay. It's horrible.

That is why, I feel a lot more comfortable in Cantonese than any other language. After all, that is my mother tongue. The second language I can converse easily is English.

I love being a Malaysian because you naturally can speak in three languages without much effort! If I ever had a chance to travel to other countries, I will proudly say that I am a Malaysian and I will start to show off how multicultural we are to the point that we can speak in so many languages.

I think the only language I wish we had learn since we were children was Tamil. Well, why not?!

But, speaking languages is one thing. And writing is another.

Although I am a Chinese, but I never learn how to write Chinese. I am not even sure how to write my own name in Chinese! I wanted to learn writing Chinese when I was 9 but the teacher who taught us Chinese classes in my school was a bitch. I still remember what she told my mother and I.

I walked into that class filled with 20 to 30 eager students. I was a little late. The teacher looked at me with those despising eyes. I never fully understood why she can be such a bitch. She said in her egoist voice, "Oh, sorry. AS you can see, my class is full. I cannot take another student anymore." 

She had no idea what impact she had on me that time. I was crushed and ashamed by her tone when she spoke to me, like I have no right to learn Chinese. I already bought exercise books and was so eager to learn my ancestor language! I went home and cried for hours. (so emo, wtf!) And my parents was worried, so they asked my eldest sister to teach me. She did, but after that she got busy with her exams (and boys), she stopped.

Well, about that bias teacher, one week after that day, her class reduced to 6 students. One more month, the class is canceled. She was never seen in my school anymore.Somehow, I rejoiced.

Therefore, the only languages I can write right now is English and Malay. But that is not really a problem, because as you can see right now, we are all writing in English.

I really love the power of languages. Language is like a bridge, it connects people. That is why I constantly find myself wanting to learn another language!

I wanted to learn Japanese, then I saw how difficult it is from my cousin who is learning it right now. Then my second love is French. So, I've decided to take on  French sometime in the near future. I will see how. Language classes are not cheap yo!

Well, I guess this is all I want to write here. I just want to say that language unlike some natural born skill like music and singing. Language is something you can learn and improve on. So, if you do not write or speak proper languages, go on improving and continue to learn!

I am very long-winded and I doubt there is anybody who read all this text. But meh...

Have a good day! I'm off to bathe my cat! Good evening all!


:: stitched on` ::*|20:27|

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