Languages are just so fascinating. If you know or speak more than one language, I’m sure at some point of the time, you are tempted to mix different languages in one sentence. I am a lecturer, teaching mainly English language and communication-related subjects. My job is to teach and ensure people use language (specifically English) the correct way for effective communication. But I have to admit, when I’m off from work, my proper English usage knock off from work too!
English is the main language of communication for both of Mr. Hubby and I. I remember when I first met Mr. Hubby, I was drooling over his sexy and exotic accent whenever he spoke. But if you have spoken with with Mr. Hubby in the past months, I bet you must be thinking that I’m lying about his sexy accent. When we went to Beijing the last year, none of the tourists in the bus realized there was an angmoh (Caucasian) seated at the far end. When people saw Mr. Hubby, they were in shock and said, “How come he speaks exactly like a Malaysian? We didn’t even realize there’s an angmoh in this bus!” Well, now I drool when he speaks Bulgarian.
So yes! After about 3 years of staying in Malaysia, I can say that Mr. Hubby is almost Malaysianized! If you don’t look at his handsome face, you are most probably going to think that you’re speaking with a Malaysian! Don’t you agree, my Malaysian friends?
In Malaysia, we speak so many different languages and dialects. But in this post, I’m going to share mostly about Manglish. For my international friends, Manglish is not the standard Malaysian English that we use in the formal context. I call it “the Malaysianized English”. Seriously, I don’t even know if it should be call “English” because it’s a mixture of so many different languages and dialects. You can search about Manglish on the Internet if you are interested.
I blame it on Mr. Hubby’s learning enthusiasm. He picks things up very quickly. Everything that goes in his ears, stays in his brain. And he usually uses it against me later. I’ll share with you some phrases Mr. Hubby uses all the time in Malaysia.
- There…zhe ge ren lo.. (pointing at me)
What is it: There + zhe ge ren (Chinese phrase for this person) + lo (a particle as a complement to a sentence used widely by Malaysians)
What it means: This person here
Where did he learn it: From me, especially when I’m talking bad things about him with my friends, right in front of his face. He heard it so many times that in the end he understood that zhe ge ren (or “this person”) is him.
- Mati signal (when driving)
What is it: Mati (Malay word for die) + signal
What it means: Switch off your turn signal
Where did he learn it: When he was taking his driving lessons in Malaysia. There was only one instructor who could teach the lessons in English. And he came home asking me what is mati.
- Cannot tahan
What is it: Cannot + tahan (Malay word that can mean resist, tolerate, take it etc in different contexts)
What it means: Cannot resist, cannot tolerate, cannot take it etc depending on the context
Where did he learn it: From my mum and my sister.
- You go chi da bian lah
What is it: You + go + chi da bian (Chinese phrase for eat shit) + lah (a particle as a complement to a sentence)
What it means: Go eat shit (in a joking manner)
Where did he learn it: From my BFF who goes by the initials CYW. Hahahaha…. I’ll tag her on Facebook (maybe).
- Siao ah you ? / Shen jing bing ah you?
What is it: Siao (Hokkien/Chinese dialect word for crazy) OR Shen jing bing (Chinese phrase for crazy) + ah (a particle as a complement to a question) + you
What it means: Are you crazy?
Where did he learn it: From me, when I’m asking my friends if they are crazy (in a joking manner).
- Sien loh
What is it: Sien (Hokkien/Chinese dialect word that can mean bored, frustrated, annoyed etc in different contexts) + loh (a particle as a complement to a sentence)
What it means: It’s boring. It’s frustrating. It’s annoying. All depending on the different contexts.
Where did he learn it: From LINE chat, there’s a Moon sticker with this phrase! I think…
- Aiya, no need one
What is it: Aiya (An interjection/expression word in Chinese for negativity) + no need + one (complement word)
What it means: Well, there’s no need to…
Where did he learn it: Erm….I have no idea. From me, I suppose?!
- Walao / Waliu
What is it: Walao or waliu (An interjection/expression word in Chinese dialect?? to express either shock or surprise)
What it means: Wow (to express surprise) or What the hell / WTF (to express shock in a very nice manner)
Where did he learn it: From my BFF who goes by the initials AT. Hahahahahhaa……
- Me meh?
What is it: Me + meh (complement word for question)
What it means: Is it me? OR Does it have to be me? OR Do you think it’s me?
Where did he learn it: I have no idea too. But he uses it a lot when I ask this question, “Did you just fart?!!?!?!?”
- Pi gu ren
What is it: Pi gu (Chinese words that mean buttocks) + ren (Chinese word that means person)
What it means: Butt person???
Where did he learn it: I don’t know. But he calls me this all the time and he claims that it’s “cute” nickname. I believe he means it the nice way…hmmm…
This is how Mr. Hubby and I communicate, usually when there are no other people or when our friends speak Manglish too. What do you think of Mr. Hubby’s Manglish? Out of 100%, how many percent would you grade him? 😀
Update: There’s a second part! Click here to read it.