English as my second language..

I wrote my entries in manglish..i’m a criminal who merosakkan bahasa..ahhaha..shoot me…i don’t give a damn about using proper tatabahasa on peraturan samada..‘di’ jarak or rapat..debat or bahas?..the bottom line about knowing more language than our mother tongue is, to understand and to be able to convey the meaning we intend the other party to get..without having to resort to too much hand gestures..

I was born and raised in rural area. Felda Palong 6. I rarely get out to the town. The nearest takes 45 min bus journey. The farthest i had been from my home was when i went to MRSM Jasin. Fortunately for me,more on my own personal interest than anything, i always love to watch english drama and to listen to english radio. In school, i always ace at my English test more than in Bahasa’s and many more things associated with English, spelling,story telling, you named it. i was the jaguh kampung for english language, well, at my kampung sahaja la. However, my speaking skills is something of a problem to me. The reasons, I am afraid to sound stupid and i don’t really have someone i can talk to in english for practice.But there’s this one incident that i think increase my insecurities

UPSR

I was attending on of the English Seminar for UPSR student in MRSM Serting. One evening, as we are going into the lecture room, i shyly greet the speaker..

“Good night,teacher”

She smiled to me.

Dear readers, what’s wrong with the story until now? If you can’t figure it out, that is what i innocently thought at the moment. But to my dismay, the speaker during her program that evening points out the correct way of greeting somebody in different time of the day..

I should correctly greeted her by saying

“Good Evening, teacher”

not

“Good Night”

since good night is used to greet somebody when its time for bed and not at the beginning of any function held in the evening.

I was so embarrassed by this because some girls who happend to be at the scene earlier, realised how stupid i am greeting the speaker “good night” and giggles among themselves. I was so humiliated and swore to myself never again would i speak in english in public, coz i am that girl who greet her teacher goodnight instead of good evening.

During my years in MRSM Jasin, my english teacher would try her best to encourage me to speak in english in class. If there’s fee,imposed for speaking in Malay during English class, i will kept quiet and just smile..hehehe..this pattern continues.

A-level

When i was attending the A level program, my whole classmates are either Chinese or Indian. I am the only Malay, yes Afiq is Malay but he can’t speak malay,so he’s not really a Malay..sma la mcm you olss panggil Banana kat kawan cina you yg tak pandai ckp cina..hahahaha..My speaking skills was used considerably during the 2 years. Though, hehehe..not queen english..but Manglish..You guys know la..pura pura don’t know pulak..Academically, I can write essays in Sociology class,marked outstanding or Economics arguments e.g on fiscal vs monetary policy in length but still couldn’t write my personal statement for UCAS in the correct tone. My English teacher commented that my personal statement sound ‘chatty’ as if i was chatting with the admission officer of my educational aspiration. It was not toned to sound professional. Nigel help me with that. Thanks Nigel.  i got all the offers from 5 University i listed in the form and i got an interview for admission to Cambridge , to read Law.

I failed my interview for Cambridge..

I can still recall the look he (my interviewer) gave me when i answer his question…but i couldn’t remember the question or the answer i gave him..but the look..i remember..it was like pity..like annoyance..i don’t know..but i know i answer the wrong thing than those being asked or even things completely not being asked..hahahaha..and then, i know..Cambridege is out of question..

Cambridge was my dream..still is..always had been..ever since some teacher ask me where i want to study..at this time I never knew we had UM USM UKM or whatever Malaysian University..but i know i want to go to Cambridge..i dunno how i get this name..haha..TV maybe..

Thats my biggest blow…my kampung english is not enough…sometimes i blame my parents..for being poor and we had to stay in rural area..and i had not being exposed to English more..sometimes i blame the teacher who long ago humiliate me for using the wrong greetings..sometimes i just blame God for He give other the advantage for one that is impossible for the other to get but these two person must compete in the same battle..

Then..I come to term with that..It is me who was lazy..We had those english class every weekend..but i didn’t pay much attention..yes, i had been deprived the English-speaking environment during my childhood but i had those classes..There’s always a way to catch up..if i want to..if I want to

My english skills was boosted up termendously during those few months after the failed interview..I digged up all those wonderful essay stories that i had to read back in MRSM Jasin , i read NST and really seach for meaning of new words..i tape the english radio station during discussion and listen to it intently,trying to transcribed whatever they are saying..if you think i still sound terrible now..imagine how was i during the cambridge interview?..kalo aku interviewer pon aku tak kasik aku masuk Cambridge..buat rosak rekod je..

When i was studying in Australia, i was still very insecure about my english..i didn’t dare to ask question in class, and resort to ask question later by email..Most fortunately i was being tought by then Miss Caitlin Ruddock (now dah Mrs ..but i think she kept her maiden’s name..never mind about that). I usually get a reply in 5 minutes times…email her..wait 5 mins..refresh page..wallah!!..the reply is there..yeah..she’s that quick and efficient..(i think i’ll write about her in another post to be fair)..so back to my original story..

I once voice out my concern about my english to her and she give this  sweetest reply

“Marlena ( she called me that), don’t be discourage. Your english is not so that bad. Your written english is good. You’ll just have to get used to speak in English. With practice you’ll be just fine. Hey,you’ll make me the happiest woman alive if you ask question in class tomorrow..can you do that. Don’t worry. I am sure you will not sound stupid coz you’re not. Come to class tomorrow and make me happy ok?”

Well, i started to ask question in class..first in hers and then in others..started to participate in class discussions..i become myself..talkative..and i started to make friends with people other than Malaysians… People from Macedonia, Australia, Philipines, Singapore, China, Sri Lanka..

“Hey, where have you been. It was so quiet and boring when you are not here la. You ‘pontang’ ye.” said my Singaporean desk mate when i skip the  previous week’s class.

“Its ‘ponteng’ la..not ‘pontang’.. don’t let any Malaysian heard that ok..it’ll make me look bad, bad teacher..hehehe..You miss me ekk”

” As if!..hehe..so have you done this weeks tutorial?..lets compare..”

Another funny story which might not fit this post but i want to write it here anyway..hahaha..

I was accompanied by my Philipines friend, Mauen when i was to get some wedges with sour cream at Badabagan. On the way there we met some Malaysia Hall Residences  and we said hi to each other..then come another group of Malaysian..we said hi..and then jumpa plak dgn budak australian comey dari kelas econs..then..

” LO SAI!!!!!” Kai-ee was calling  from the other end of the courtyard. Sumer org pun pandang..kuat kot dier jerit.She get to me running and grining all the way to the place i was. Lama tak jumpa coz she has moved out from Hall that semester..

“Hey, what la you. Told you not to call me that in Uni. So loud some more. Haiyooh.”

“Hehe. Lama tak jumpa ma. Rindu loh sama Lo Sai..hehe”

“Hey, this is Mauen. She from Philipines”

“Mauen, this is Kai-ee. My crazy fellow Malaysian. just so you know, she’s not from the Malaysian general population..hehe..”

Then we borak sikit. Kai-ee pun kene rush coz her class kat lower campus.Jauh lagi perjalanan.

” Wow, you are quite popular eh , you know lots of people..” Mauen commented after kai-ee left. And i laugh..

“Mauen, they are all Malaysian and we once live together in some sort of residence hall for Malaysian Student. So we know each other. And that OZ girl is from my econs class, we did our projects together. No big deal la… i bet you know more people aside from your fellow philipines..”

Klaka giler dgn Mauen ni..die nih sgt rajin and pandai..we had our lecture together for two semester..try the tutorial together..Its good to have someone you know in an accounting lecture coz,the lecturer usually gave in class exercise, so you can cross checked your answers..and sometimes you need someone to poke you when you’re getting sleepy..hehe..or someone you could ask for correct english expression on something you would like to say..

“Hey, how to respond to people when they thank you for help you’ve given them?”

or

“What to say eh when you want to sound modest after someone complimenting you?”

Mauen..Mauen..Ade ke aku nih dikatakan popular..hahaha..ingat sampai biler2 komen dier tu..

During the summer of the end of second year. I went back to Malaysia and hehe..i had some difficulties adjusting for the first weeks..

I need a few seconds more to find some malay words.

When i want to get adapter plug..in carrefour

” Can you help me find the adapter plug..ahem..boleh tolong carikan adapter,plug international ,for malaysian wall soket..untuk soket kat dinding tuh…” tergagap-gagap cam orang bodoh..konon la kat OZ ckp omputih sepanjang masa..poyo poyo je..

But seriously, it happens..nak beli gula pun..sugar..haha..senyum sendiri..

Actually this entry has been written since last week. I pon mcm dah menyimpang..hehe..baik aku postkan entry nih..kang terbengkalai lagi..nnt sambung lagi..ade citer best last weekend..hehehe..til then…

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