Language

Mr. Hubby is more Malaysianized than I thought!

Last week, I shared some phrases Mr. Hubby uses all the time in Malaysia. You can click here to read the post. Even though we’re in Bulgaria now, he still uses these phrases frequently. And, he is using more Manglish than I thought! Like, seriously?!

Today, I’m going to share with you 10 more phrases/words that Mr. Hubby loves using all the time, even when he’s in Bulgaria. I think the major reason why he likes using Manglish phrases here in Bulgaria (as a weapon against his friends) is because his friends don’t know how to retaliate. By sharing this and the previous post, I hope Mr. Hubby’s friends can understand what is he talking about. You can also have fun by attacking Mr. Hubby with these phrases/words. Haha, fun attack I mean. 😀

1. Ham sap
What it is: Ham sap (a Cantonese/Chinese dialect phrase that means perverted or dirty-minded)
What it means: Perverted or dirty-minded (we usually use it in a joking manner)
Where did he learn it: Definitely from me, especially when guys checked on me when I’m wearing short pants or short skirt.
Sample sentence and what it means: Walao, that guy is super hamsap! (Yikes, that guy is very perverted!)

2. Bo jio
What it is: Bo (a Hokkien/Chinese dialect word for no) +  jio (a Hokkien/Chinese dialect word for ask)
What it means: You didn’t ask me to go with you. OR You didn’t invite me.
Where did he learn it: From my friends who constantly attack each other when one of them didn’t invite the others for some outings.
Sample sentence and what it means: Walao, why you bo jio? (Hey, why didn’t you invite me?)

3. Want to pengsan
What it is: Want + to + pengsan (a Malay word that means faint)
What it means: Literally, it means I want to faint but it doesn’t make sense because who chooses when to faint? It can be used as an indication of frustration or as an indication of being speechless or as an indication of the facepalm action. (Depending on different contexts)
Where did he learn it: From me, when someone annoys me (usually).
Sample sentence and what it means: Seriously, I want to pengsan! (Seriously, I’m speechless!)

4. Lao sai 
What it is: Lao sai (a Hokkien/Chinese dialect phrase for diarrhea)
What it means: Diarrhea
Where did he learn it: I have no idea! 😛
Sample sentence and what it means: Eeerr, don’t eat this, later you lao sai! (Yikes, don’t eat this. Later you’ll get diarrhea!)

5. Pantang larang 
What it is: Pantang larang (a Malay phrase that means taboo/taboos)
What it means: Taboos
Where did he learn it: From me, as a metaphor when somebody does something I dislike, not necessarily a taboo.
Sample sentence and what it means: Eeerr, I very pantang larang to see people write like shit. (Yikes, it is a taboo for me when people don’t write properly.)

6. Lai… (with draggy intonation) 
What it is: Lai (a Chinese word that means come)
What it means: Literally, it means come. It can also mean here you go or here it comes, especially when somebody is giving you something.
Where did he learn it: From a waitress in a cafe we frequently had our lunch at. Everytime when she was serving our food, the waitress would say “lai….”
Sample sentence and what it means: Lai… your coffee. (Here comes your coffee. OR Here is your coffee.)

7. Sayang 
What it is: Sayang (In Malay, it can be used as a noun that means love or sweetheart. Alternatively, it can be used to describe love or affection.)
What it means: To show love, care, concern, affection etc. Sometimes, the word is used together with the action of a gentle pat.
Where did he learn it: From my friend who goes by the initials SS.
Sample sentence and what it means: You must always sayang Jenny, ok? (You must always show love/concern/affection to Jenny, okay?)

8. Da bao (can be “da pao” or “ta pao”)
What it is: Da bao (a Chinese phrase that means takeaway)
What it means: To buy a takeaway meal. Occasionally, as a metaphor to give the meaning of “keeping all things and go away.”
Where did he learn it: From me, everytime I crave for my bubble tea.
Sample sentence and what it means: I’m lazy to eat out. Let’s da bao McD. (I’m lazy to eat out. Let’s get a McDonald’s takeaway.)

9. Don’t kacau me
What it is: Don’t + kacau (a Malay word that means disturb) + me
What it means: Don’t disturb me. Sometimes it can mean “don’t make fun of me”.
Where did he learn it: I have no idea. I don’t remember using this against him. Hmmmm…
Sample sentence and what it means: I’m playing Warcraft, don’t kacau me please! (I’m playing Warcraft. Please do not disturb me.)

10. Lao (+ the name of someone)
What it is: lao (a Chinese word that means old)
What it means: Old. However in this context, it doesn’t necessarily mean old. Usually the elders use this word together with the surname of their friends when they address each other. Nowadays, people from the younger generation use this word together with their friend’s surname to show close friendship or solidarity. Chinese surnames are usually one syllable, so it goes like this lao wang, lao chen, etc. However, Mr. Hubby’s friends’ surnames are usually more than one syllable, he usually uses the word lao together with their first names instead.
Where did he learn it: From my BFF’s husband’s friend. My BFF’s initials are CC. Hahaha…
Sample sentence and what it means: Hello, lao migger! (Hello, “old” Milen! – to show solidarity) 😀

I’m sure all these phrases or words are easily understood by my Malaysian friends but I’m sure my international friends will need some time to digest what is going on. Well, at least now you know what Mr. Hubby is talking about and you can use these phrases/words for future communication with him. Hahaha! 😀 By the way, if you’re interested to know how exactly he learnt all these phrases/words, you might want to ask him directly! 😀 😀 😀

Note: Some of these phrases/words may have more than one meaning. This list of phrases/words is solely based on the communication between Mr. Hubby and the author. 

If you have missed the first part, you can click here to read it!

Differences between Bulgaria and Malaysia

1. “What do you miss the most about/in Malaysia?”
2. “What do you like about Bulgaria?”
3. “What do you think about Bulgaria?”
4. “What are the differences between Bulgaria and Malaysia?”

I’ve answered the first 3 questions in my previous posts. Click on the links above if you haven’t read them. In this post, I’m going to share about a few differences between Bulgaria and Malaysia.

There are 3 significant differences between these 2 countries: the climate, the languages, and the food. There are definitely more than these but I’m going to share just these 3 points in this post.

1. Climate

  • The climate in Malaysia is equatorial. In short, it has either sunny or rainy days. The humidity level is quite high. During sunny days, it can be hot and stuffy that you can hardly breathe. During heavy rainfalls, the thunder and lightning can strike so hard that you feel like they’re just next to you.
  • The climate in Bulgaria is continental. There are several regions in Bulgaria that have the Mediterranean climate. In short, it has 4 seasons – Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. Spring and Autumn can be chilly at times but I think the weather during these 2 seasons are the best (or I should say, more “humane”). Winter can be drastic and temperatures can drop down to -20° (or less). Summer can be so hot that you feel your skin burns under the sun.
  • Side notes: 1. No weather is perfect (haha!). 2. I’m not a climate expert. You can search for more information on the Internet if you are interested to know more.

2. Language

  • In Malaysia, we mostly use Bahasa Malaysia (BM) for government-related matters and both BM and English for official matters. However, Malaysians use different languages/dialects at different times, in different contexts and to different people. We usually speak “properly” when we are at school or at work or when we are talking to the elders, but most of the time, we prefer to use Manglish among friends to show solidarity.
  • In Bulgaria, the Bulgarian language is the main language. English is not necessarily a second language for Bulgarians and it is not widely used here. German, French and Russian languages are among the common choices for Bulgarians as a second language.

3. Food

  • I have problems describing this part. I’m not sure if they are called the “Malaysian cuisine” but we usually call it the “typical Malaysian food”. If you ask me what kind of Malaysian food I like, I’ll tell you that I like char kway teow (literal translation: stir-fried ricecake strips, from Chinese cuisine), nasi lemak  (literal translation: rice fat?? – fragrant rice cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaves, from Malay cuisine) and roti canai (some kind of flat bread, from Indian cuisine). It’s really complicated. You should really search for more information on the Internet.
  • Pizza and pasta are common in Bulgaria, but most people stick with the typical Bulgarian cuisine. When you mention “Bulgarian food” (or beverage), you immediately think of musakakebache, sarmi, banitsa, tarator, gyuvech, ayran, boza… 
  • A side note: I know better “to eat”, and not “to explain”. Haha! 😀

In addition to these, I’m also going to share about other differences in lifestyle I’ve experienced in my daily routine.

4. Nodding vs. Shaking your head 

  • In Malaysia, nodding generally means “yes” and shaking your head generally means “no”.
  • In Bulgaria, it is the complete opposite.
  • I’ve mentioned this in one of my previous posts, click here to read about it.

5. Rice vs. Bread

  • In Malaysia, rice is essential in almost every meal.  Bread is mostly eaten during breakfast or as a snack.
  • In Bulgaria, bread is essential in every meal. Even if your meal consists of rice, you still eat it with bread. Rice is like a side dish.

6. Fork vs. spoon

  • In Malaysia, except in the case of fine dining where more than one utensil is used, we generally use spoon when eating. I use both fork and spoon but most my family members use only spoon when eating. Some Malaysians prefer not using any utensils at all.
  • In Bulgaria, again with the exception of fine dining or when you are drinking soup, usually only the fork is used. Yes, I eat rice with fork here! 😀

7. Alcohol vs. Non-alcohol

  • In Malaysia, alcoholic drinks are only allowed for non-Muslims. People usually consume alcoholic drinks (beer, wine or liquor) during night time or during special occasions.
  • In Bulgaria, people drink alcoholic drinks all the time, at any time of the day. In the restaurant menus, alcoholic drinks can take up more than 5 pages. Non-alcoholic drinks usually take up only about half a page. Alcoholic drinks are considerably cheap here. And many people own a vineyard and they brew their own wine. Every year, my father-in-law brewed his own wine, on average 200 litres per year.

8. (On a sunny day) Shopping malls vs. Beaches 

  • In Malaysia (except on long weekends or during school holidays), on weekends when you have nothing to do, most people go to the mall. After all, the malls are air-conditioned and you can find everything there. And you don’t have to suffer under the hot sun!
  • In Bulgaria, everyone goes to the beach. If you don’t go (or haven’t gone) to the beach, they think you’re weird. (Yeah, I’m weird). I know people who can go to the beach everyday for a month. Apparently, people here like to “suffer under hot sun” (a.k.a to get tanned)!

It’s so interesting to see the differences in the lifestyle of different people in different countries. I think the most interesting difference for me is eating rice with a fork. Which do you think is the most interesting?

Phrases that Mr. Hubby uses all the time in Malaysia!

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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).
  5. 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).
  6. 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…
  7. 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?!
  8. 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……
  9. 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?!!?!?!?”
  10. 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.

Bulgarian words that don’t mean as you see or hear them

Ever since I’m in Bulgaria, all my friends in Malaysia keep telling me to learn the Bulgarian language. I can assure you that learning a new language is not an easy task and it really depends on a lot of factors.

Nonetheless, I love the Bulgarian language. Bulgarian language uses the Cyrillic alphabets. Sometimes I wish I have already learnt them by heart. But, because I don’t understand them, it makes them twice as mysterious. Every word or sign that I’m seeing makes me feel like I’m deciphering some cryptic messages. And seriously, if everyone has a deep voice like Mr. Hubby, the Bulgarian speech can be so sexy. I can listen to Mr. Hubby blabbering in Bulgarian all day.

A few of the Cyrillic alphabets resemble the Latin alphabets but these alphabets are pronounced very differently. However, I must say that my brain sometimes cannot work properly to distinguish them.

These are some words I see them frequently. Eventhough I already know what they mean, I sometimes still have the urge to pronounce the words as how I see them and then define them based on my “personal pronunciation” (or perhaps “opinion”).

  1. Нягослав
    How I see it: Herocrab
    What I think it is: Hero + Crab?
    How is it pronounced: Nyagoslav
    What it actually is: This is Mr. Hubby’s first name!
  2. Аптека
    How I see it: Anteka
    What I think it is: Antique?
    How is it pronounced: Apteka
    What it actually is: Pharmacy
  3. Вход
    How I see it: Boxr?
    What I think it is: Boxer? Box? Boxing?
    How is it pronounced: Vkhod (Yes, V-kh-od). Seriously, how do you pronounce this?!?
    What it actually is: Entrance
  4. Гараж
    How I see it: Tapak? (A Malay word which means site or footprint. Please google it for more information.)
    What I think it is: I don’t know what to think of it.
    How is it pronounced: Garazh
    What it actually is: Garage
  5. Може
    How I see it: Move? Moxe?
    What I think it is: Move
    How is it pronounced: Mozhe
    What it actually is: May / Might
  6. Джени
    How I see it: Dxehn?
    What I think is it: I have no idea what is this.
    How is it pronounced: Dzheni
    What it actually is: Jenny (Yes, it is my name!)
    (I guess it was kinda sad to see Джени written everywhere on documents, not knowing that it’s actually my name. But of course, I know it now.) 😀

When Mr. Hubby’s family talk, I sometimes mimic their speech. Well, that’s how I learn what is what. Here are some words which we often use it at home. Although I already know what they mean, I’m still guilty of defining them in their “alternate meanings”…sometimes…

  1. Сок (Seriously, don’t be hamsap (perverted), it is not what you think it is.)
    How is it pronounced: Sok
    What I think it is: Sock?
    What it actually is: Juice. (Yeah, as in fruit juice). Can you imagine how weird if you have like sok? As in sock juice?!? Hmmmm…
  2. Мед
    How is it pronounced: Med
    What I think it is: Med as in medicine?
    What it actually is: Honey. (Yes, honey from the honey bees.)  Can you imagine when my father-in-law (a doctor) is like offering med to me and I was like “No, no, I don’t need med. I’m not sick.” Actually he is just offering me honey for my pancakes. I should dig a hole and hide. Hmmm…
  3. Хора
    How is it pronounced: Hora
    What I think it is: Horror? As in horror movie? :O
    What it actually is: People. (Yes, people as in human beings.) Well, sometimes people can be a horror too. Anyway…
  4. Жъне
    How is it pronounced: Zhune (pronounce “u” as in “cut”) like Zherne
    What I think it is: Jenny? Are they calling me? Well, it does sound a little like my name isn’t it?
    What it actually is: To harvest (a 3rd person singular)
  5. Няма (This is the most fun word, ever. But please, I forbid you to use it in Malaysia.)
    How is it pronounced: Nyama (Okay, ni-a-ma, which sounds like a vulgar word people use in Malaysia?)
    What I think it is: I think I shouldn’t write it down here.
    What it actually is: There isn’t. Yes, it means there isn’t. If you wanna say there isn’t any problem, you say in Bulgarian nyama problem. Again, please don’t use it in Malaysia because if you use it, you are going to have a lot of problems.

I love languages. They are just so fascinating. What do you think of Bulgarian language? Do you think it’s easy or difficult? Share your thoughts with me.