Sunday, March 4, 2012

Our mother language - Bahasa Rojak

These week is the 1st test of the year for Aple. I am especially concern and strict with her Bahasa Malayu and Jawi. I seldom speak English with my kids because in my opinion my kids should learn how to speak a proper Mandarin because we are Chinese.Thus, for English and Malay they can always learn it in school or with other people.

I remember that last year Aple was having a medical check up at the Rimba clinic ( a government clinic ) and at the same time I want to bring Bryan to see doctor too. Since we are not allow to see the same doctor because Aple had an appointment already and are seeing doctor at the women and babies center I left her and my Mother in law alone and bring Bryan to the other counter to take number. After a few minutes later  I saw a nurse scolding my mother in law with Bahasa Malayu: " Ini  Aple kah? Kenapa aku panggil kau punya nama kamu tidak mau masuk?" ( Are you Aple? Why you did not enter the room while I called your name?" My Mother in law look at her blankly and nodded her head saying in her broken Malay: " Minta maaf, tidak dengar." ( Sorry, I don't hear) Then I quickly approach to the nurse and apologised with her saying that old people don't understand. The nurse just don't want to stop and turn to my five years old girl and scold again in a very hush ton: " Lain kali kalau saya panggil kau punya nama kau masuk saja, Nenek tidak faham, tau kau?" ( Next time when I call your name you just go in. ) Angrily I reply to the nurse: Why you said like that to her? She is only five years old and she only start to learn her ABC. She reply: " Ahhhh... sudah la!" ( what ever.)

I was so mad and thought that I have heard a lot of rude nurses and this is the first time I met one!!!! After that I want to make sure that Aple learn her Bahasa Malayu very well so that she will not get bully again.


A friend ask me : " Why you don't speak English to your kids? My nephew speak English very well, he even know how to sing like the Musical high school." I was like @____@" !!! We are not a Caucasian, we don have blonde hair and blue eyes. Of course English is good to use for communication but if a Chinese speak English very well no one will be impress, but if a Chinese don't speak Mandarin very well a lot of people will look down on us. Hence, if a Caucasian or other races speak Mandarin  very well many will be impress.

When they post in youtube that a Eurasian child speak mandarin alot of people praise and say :that is a clever child. In my mind I thought our Asian children are more smarter because we speak Bahasa Rojak - Malay English, Chinese and some even speak tamil and tagalog or even other dialect.

When I am giving a Chinese tour for the China people a lot of people already laugh at our funny slang but envy that we know a lot of language. And I always tell them that there's is no need to envy because we are only " half bucket of water" - only know every little bits of this and that language.

6 comments:

Hayley said...

The nurse was so rude!!

Like it or not, Bahasa Rojak surrounds us everyday =_=

yvonne said...

Re the nurse, this doesn't have anything to do with languages, it's the hospitality shown that matter.

My kids speak broken English, Malay, Mandarin and Hokkien. We live in Asia, we are very versatile :)

Sheoh Yan said...

I also speak Chinese to my girls only. They will learn how to speack English and Malay in school like how their mother learned.

Coffee Girl said...

what's with the nurse, having a bad day? scolding a senior person AND a little kid with no respect for either? sheesh... and it's a government clinic u say? tsk tsk tsk... You're right, we speak a little bit of everything and think we already know so many language. but the little that we know, theyre not always correct either. sigh...

Small Kucing said...

lol...over here also bahasa rojak

YuinTing said...

My 2 elder kids are in secondary school and I insist that they have to continue learning Chinese subject. Their command of Chinese language is not so good and I try to make them read one chinese article from newspaper everyday. I regret for mixing English and Chinese in our daily conversation. You're right, it is better to speak proper Mandarin with kids.