Saturday, February 13, 2010

Owh Goud!

The peculiar way some people pronounce words and phrases in any language can be something so intriguing, to say the least. Is there a 'right' and a 'wrong' for pronunciations?  Who are we to judge?

The way people pronounce words should not be laughed at, although sometimes we cannot help laughing. I only laugh alone, to myself, not at the speakers but the words. When do they become hilarious?..only when they're funny,

Many a time I have been tickled to stitches when I hear English words verbalized by a speaker whose phonetics & intonation are so so influenced and 'affected' by the quaintness & peculiarity of his native language or dialect.
*Yet, many a time too I have been charmed by the quintessence individuality that the words project.

There are pronunciations which sound affable and sweet. Like those French people who speak English. The English words and the ring & rhythm that accompany the sound of the words can be so charming & romantic - Inspector Clouseau's spoken English, for example.

- This brings my memory back to years ago, the 'funny' years -

There was this sexy thing from the land of the hornbills. Much older than me. I used to laugh at her singing. Not at the melody, pitching, falsetto etc for they were not bad, but more the words that came out from her diaphragm, apart from the 'sleazy' gestures projected by her body language (maybe we can call it body dialect too, heheh)..

I still remember her crooning away a then very popular number by The Carpenters  Close To You on TV [when television in this country was still in black & white & there was only one channel, Televisyen Malaysia (RTM)]. Her voice wasn't bad...

Why do birds suddenly appear
Everytime you are near
Just like me there loung to be
Claws to you

It gave me goose bumps.


No, not her singing, (as I said, her singing was 'not bad'), but  the close  which had become  claws, the they which had become there and the long which had become loung.

So bad of me to make fun, kan? Well, I was young. A bit of a snob. I've forgiven her anyway. Not her fault. She couldn't help it. Something innate, unchangeable.

This is half of her (below). I don't wanna put the image in full. Don't wanna say out her name too. I may pronounce it wrongly.  Hehehe. If you're still much much younger, a member of the Y Gen,  but  rather curious, ask your parents or grandparents for her name, they might know (if they can figure out that half image of hers that is).

- Which also now suddenly reminds me of a time when I was on one of my working visits to Miri -

I was walking with this local guy, following behind him, when suddenly the weather had become not too kind and the rain had started to pour. I overtook him to cross the street, trying to avoid getting soaked.

"Wet !!! wet for me. Its ranning. I don't wanna gate wait !!" he shouted at me.

Drenched as I was, my mind was trying to figure out what my friend was trying to say, when suddenly lightning struck

It jolted me with the answer:

Wet was wait, ranning was raining, gate was get and wait was wet!!!


Owh Goud! (I beg for your forgiveness, dear God), what next?
Yes, you can now immediately decipher what she means when a girl suddenly shouts for help saying, "Help! that's the laid who lad me!". (Chuckles, ooh that's 'noughty').

I never laughed or laugh at my friend though, even when I'm alone by myself. I just say to myself "how charming". Heheh.

Now lets not  gaw knocking (or knouking) at the 'sounds' that people treasure and hold dear to their hearts. And also, let 's not just focus our sharp tounges only on our dear fellow Malaysian brothers & sisters  across the South China Sea. We should also hear what people this side of the country blurb out when they utter English words or Malay words in their own bizarre yet mesmerizing dialects. Maybe in my future postings...

Incidentally, while we're on the subject, some people even pronounce the word pronunciation wrong. They not even pronounce it as proNOUNciation but also spell it that way.

Don't ask me why the four letters NOUN in the verb pronounce suddenly becomes a NUN when it is converted to a noun (pronunciation). The same goes with the verb denounce and the noun denunciation. Ask those English bast..ds. Heheh.

And who was it who made the mistake of pronouncing it as pronounciation and spelling it that way once upon a time?


Oh yes!!! here's wishing you GONG XI FA CAI!!! Hope I pronounce that right, used to be KONG HEE FATT CHOY  when I was young, when the Chinese here were less Mandarinised.  Easier to pronounce.



The thing is, I still can't figure out why 'X' has to sound  like the 'X'  in 'Xantium' even though it sounds similar to 'Z'  in 'Zinnia'.

Now, wait a minute, does it sound similar to 'Z' or 'S'?  I'll have to go ask my Chinese friends. Is it 'Gong zi' or 'Gong si'? 'Si' as in Singlet? My ears tell me, sometimes it sounds like 'Z' and sometimes like 'S'.

Whichever it is, my point is, why use X instead of  Z or S?  Or is it  because it is neither 'S' nor 'Z' but more  'SZ' or 'ZS'?

And also, why 'C' and not 'Ch' for Cai?  Does that mean Ah Chong is now Ah Cong and Ah Chai is Ah Cai?

Thus, why not Gong Zi Fa Chai or Gong Si Fa Chai? Why Gong Xi Fa Cai?

But then if it's supposed to sound 'Z', why is  'Xantium' spelt that way (with an X) in English, right? ...Why not just spell it 'Zantium'? Exactly. But in English a chair is still a chair,  not a cair. And 'singlet' is still singlet and not 'xinglet'.

But then again, the Chinese language is not the English language or vice-versa. Unlike ABC...XYZ, Chinese characters are not alphabets and they do not determine the phonetics or sound of words. The tongue is the determinant. The tongue will blurt out whatever image it sees in the characters. And the tongue will choose the dialect that it is familiar with.

As for the Roman alphabets of English, in particular the 'X' thingy, a friend told me that somehow the 'X' factor makes a word look more 'scientific & sophisticated'.

Is that the reason for the X? For the look of it? "So, which is which?"  I asked  "Which of the two looks more sophisticated? - Scientific looking alphabets or scientific sounding tongue?"

My friend replied, "neither" and then he started speaking to me in 'tongues':

"Ok go and put on your xinglets. Let's go to the xoo."  Heheh

GROWLL!!! Welcome to the Year of the Tiger!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Why & What of 'Ater..??'

This blog of mine was originally called 'Justbabbling'. I've decided to change it to Ater..??. The reason for changing it?  Well, I recently did a google search to see if my blog can be easily accessed. Little did I know that there are so many blogs with the name 'Just Babbling'. So I decided to coin a new name.

How is Ater pronounced? It's the same as the English word utter, except that it has a different meaning. It's a loghat Melayu Perak (Perak Malay dialect) actually. Heheh. It just means >> So..?? and more often than not uttered in full like thus: Ater??.. which literally more or less means: So?... 

It's a genuine Perakian slang word which is not found anywhere else in the world - only in Perak. 



Friday, January 29, 2010

Me & my 'politikusiviti'

The temptation for me to babble about and into politics, Malaysian politics in particular, is so great at times. "Tak tau lah kenapa, kenapa aku terlalu politikus?", I often ask myself, in my heart, in my mother tounge. Why are so many many org Melayu (Malay Malaysians), so into politics? But then, on the other hand, why not? Don't we have the best interest of how the country should be governed & administered at heart? In fact we should be interested in politics. We must. Its for the future of our anak & cucu.

BUT, the thing is, if this preoccupation is 'positive' then it's all well & good. The sad reality is that it is mostly the other side of politics. The one which ends with the four letter 'ing' kind. Yes, politic'king' - The bad-mouth'ing' kind. The finger-point'ing' kind. The poison pen letter'ing' kind. The mak'ing' own judgement kind. The incit'ing' hatred kind. The divid'ing' the people kind. The time-wast'ing' kind.  The negative BLOGG'ING' kind - of 'politics'.

And what is the population of Malaysia? What is the Malay population? Are the billions of Chinese in China like that? Are the billions of Indians in India like that? - maybe. Why are we like that? Why must everything be channeled into this 'dirty political mindset'?

I don't have anything against serving politicians (if they say they serve), if they serve the people rightly, if they walk their talk. But the more I think about it the more I'm inclined to conclude that at the end of the day, politicians are but mere politicians, their no 1 interest is still to win in elections and to gain power. After that, the other agendas, their 'real' personal ones, will crop up.

Can they prove me wrong? ( Let me give a hint: We need real statesmen).

As for their proclaimed motto towards the betterment of the people and the nation, towards the 'reformasi' of governance, towards bringing forth an ultra 'God-fearing, God-loving' society, towards achieving 'real democracy', personally, I prefer to take them with a pinch of 'garam kasar' (course salt) first. For me, they are still just 'slogans'. Seeing ....  is 

.... still believing.

I haven't seen anything concrete yet, not even a concrete effort, despite having been given the opportunity for them to walk their talk. I am still seeing politic'king'... & & more politic'king'.

Why, one senior 'religious leader' of a particular political party even had the audacity to say, from what I read in the papers this morning (Unless he was misquoted): "The Malays, by right, did not need any political party as Islam was all encompassing".

"Assalamu'alaikum ustaz, datuk, excuse me," I'm inclined to ask him, "anda bukan Melayu ker? anda bukan Muslim? anda bukan ahli politik? anda bukan pemimpin parti politik? anda bukan bertanding dan memancing undi? bukan kah parti anda memakai nama 'Islam'?". Oh yes, he did use the word 'did', as if to justify his and his political party's 'do's' .

I have nothing personal against this servant of Allah of course. He's still my brother... even though he's a politician fishing for votes, no matter how seemingly 'gentle' his rhetorics are -, who was it?..oh yes like that young fella Nabil the comedian says. pikir la sendiri! :)

In fact I now see the 'democrats' being accused of being 'autocrats' by the 'same camp' 'reformists' and the ultra 'God-fearing' not even sure about the significance, meaning and sanctity that the proper name of The Creator (Allah) carries. So, how to trust & believe them?

 much for my morning babblings.

Let's hope today is a blessed day.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I have my own blog now

A blog here, a blog there, a blogger here, a blogger there, a blogger gets nabbed, a blogger gets warned, a blogger gets quoted bla bla bla ... BLOG. My, aren't these 'blogging' times indeed.

Where does that word come from. What does it mean? This is what I found:

"Blogs / “weblogs” or blogging are the newest gift of Internet technology to people all over the world. These are updated posts, crop up entries or personalized life snippets, of mundane or bizarre in nature. For most, a “blog” is a personal, unedited, and authentic journal meant to be shared in an online community. A Blog Site is a place where bloggers can publish anything; his thoughts, feelings, photos, special events, experiences, comments on issues and so on. It is more of an online diary with videos, links, documents, newsletters and opinions on just about any topic you are interested in.
Blogs are made to welcome the insights and opinions of all and therefore, should not be written to sound intimidating and too formal. This kind of blog is a sure way to put off the readers. In the basics of blogging, conversational tone would be more appropriate to reach the desired audience." basically that's what a blog is.

I love the idea. I really do. I have been contemplating and procrastinating starting my own blog, and after reading a friend's latest blog (his 'mini project', he calls it)...and getting some encouragement from him to start one of my own, here I am, finally. 

Soulsinar is probably the 500,000th blogger in Malaysia & his blog Ater..?? is 'prolly' (as some young ppl say it nowadays), the 10 millionth in the world, and at this ripe age which is slowly turning gold (yup, my exact 'umur' is confidential :p), its a really nice feeling. This is 'prolly' the first time ever in my life that I am resorting to writing what i observe, feel and think and feeling glad sharing them with others.
This day, Thursday January 28 2010, is inshaAllah, the beginning of something wonderful.