I was teaching Shirley Geok-lin Lim‘s “Monsoon History” in my Form 4 English class the other day and in a desperate attempt to arouse some interest in Literature, I decided to draw on their knowledge of Malaysian History. After all, they had just sat for their PMR Examination and all of them scored an A for Sejarah.
I asked them who ruled Malacca before the British and somebody said it was the Portuguese. I told them that was wrong and all attempts to get another response failed. Eventually, a girl said that she could not tell me the answer in English. When I asked her to give me the answer in Malay, she said, “Belanda.” By jove! She’s got it!…Glory be! Praise the Lord!
Then I told them that eventually the Dutch exchanged Malacca with some place in Indonesia with the British. I definitely was not surprised that they could not tell me it was Batavia (Java)…and that they did not seem to know anything about the Perjanjian British-Belanda or what I studied as the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824…and THAT was some 30-40 years ago. The issue here now is not the language. They studied Sejarah in Malay and just look at how much they know in less than a year after the examination.
Then there was this part of the poem that goes: “…Where termites built their hills of eggs and queens zoom in heat…” and the pathetic Science stream students did not have the slightest idea as to what the “duties” of the Queen ant are and that the hardworking ones are all male. Come to think of it, I wonder why the all-girl school in Sibu has chosen the ant as its mascot…assuming that it is a female one – the Queen! LOL!!!…Oops! Sorry I digress!
Getting back to what all this is leading to, I received this from a friend via email quite sometime ago. Look at the following translation of English words into Malay:
hardware – barang keras
software – barang lembut
joystick – batang gembira
plug and play – cucuk dan main
port – lubang
server – pelayan
client – pelanggan
Now, try and translate this into Malay:
That server gives a plug and play service to the client using either hardware or software joystick. The joystick goes into the port of the client.
This is what you may end up with:
Pelayan itu memberi pelanggannya layanan cucuk dan main dengan menggunakan batang gembira jenis keras atau lembut. Batang gembira itu akan dimasukkan ke dalam lubang pelanggan.
Muhammad Haji Salleh in his poem, “si-tenggang’s homecoming“, wrote: “…the knowledge that sweats from it is…from one who has learnt to see, think and choose between the changing realities…” Catch the drift? But then again, as they say, there is none so blind as they who will not see…
Have a nice day, everybody!