Tuesday, 10 July 2007

That's mean kah? That means?

How literate is Brunei Darussalam in English Language? People would guess that those kids who go to government schools would have bad english, and kids who goes to private school to have better english. That seems to be a popular opinion. Wrong. That would be a generalisation, a misconception. Well, it is not entirely wrong, and not entirely correct at the same time.

I came from a private school, The PGGMB School (which seems to go down the sewer nowadays). Did the school make me ace my english exams? NO. No matter how many Caucasian refugees they had there as teachers. I actually had bad english in primary school. I remember intending to ask my maid "Berapa umur aunty?" in english which came out to be "Aunty... how... much... eh many... years... you already live?" Only to be replied: Jirin, you speak broken English! My English was so bad, I had to ask what broken English meant.

Even when I was in MS, my English was still quite bad. I still had to think whether an 's' or 'ed' was neccesary to use or not at the end of some words. But my English gradually got better. English is hard to learn. What with past tense, past present tense, verbs, adverbs, to name a few. If you notice by my writings, I often use short words and arrange them in short sentences. Just keeping it 'safe'.

Back to the main question. Not all of us Bruneians have good english. You know, some people actually have 'good english' in their dating criteria. I am not going to lie to you, but I sometimes laugh to the basic grammatical errors people make. It is funny sometimes. Mean, yes. But I do think that to have preference in people with good english equals being sombong (kan! it would take me hours to actually figure what sombong is in english).

Most Bruneians use 'That's mean' when they actually want to say 'That means'. It is so common that new english learners actually think it is correct. When I think of it, it actually doesn't matter. You still understand what they are trying to say; which is the most important thing really - to bring the message across.

I think there is enough Bruneians with good english, so maybe we shouldn't complain if a certain shop attendant might have said "You phone would be ready in 2 hhhours."

Bruneians can speak english, maybe not great english, but yes it is still english. Maybe it can be made an international slang. Like Singlish. Maybe we can define it as Brulish, which can either mean Brunei English or Bruken englis. I am starting to talk crap now.

So the answer is... YES. BRUNEI IS LITERATE IN ENGLISH!

(Oh by the way, if you have a new maid coming into your household, PLEASE tell her to NOT iron on plastic imprints on t-shirts. Burn a plastic fork with a lighter in front of her if you have to. Kalau atu pun babal, balikkan tia tarus.)

12 comments:

r&al said...

lol, we just got a new maid.. and she burned the new beatles t-shirt my brother sent me from australia.. sigh..

Jirin said...

TELL ME ABOUT IT!!!!

War186 said...

Brulish. Nice one Jirin! Lol. And it is mean to laugh at 'that's mean'. But then cannot help it kadang2 right? I agree though that being able to bring the message across is the most important thing. ;)

Ka Nudge said...

Baik lagi atu lai, there's thisguy who used to confront gf nya pasal the gf was chesting on him.. he said to her.. "Are you seeing someone kah.. Come on eh.. tell me the TRUE!!".. HAhahahahha.. theee TRRUUUEEE!! Mun bf ku lama sudah ku bunuh diri kali!! lol.. jahat jahat but we can't help it jua kan..yang banarnya baik tah CAKAP BRUNEI!! heheh

Ka Nudge said...

CHESTING eh.. CHEATINGG.. typooo menaip luan laju banar..

Juan Pablo said...

Seriously Jirin.. kalau amah atu pandai.. nda ia keraja jadi AMAH. At a price we pay.. that is what we get.
kalau gaji nya $2,000..inda ia jadi amah.. jadi executive assistant..hahahaa.. apakan

Thanks for ur best wishes.. That was the reason for inviting u to the gadering 2 weekends ago.. tapi kau atu LAME>>hahaha.. macam2 excuse mu..

Ani..sia2 pun kan bekenalan.. maana tau aku ada niece lawa yg kau boleh tepikat. boleh jua buat kau jadi menantu.. hahaaa. apakan.

Bah! bertadarus ku dulu..hehehe...take care dude!

Jirin said...

hey war!
awu aku pun kadang2 sasak pulang tu org te thats mean thats mean atu, tapi biar tia bah, suka ati drg hehehe..

ka nudge,
hahaha tell me the TRUE eh!! Awu iatah kan baik tah cakap brunei, tantu lurus ah! ani silahau saja lidah!

pablo,
aiiii aku kana ucap membagi lame excuse! actually ur function atu tah ku paling iski mengaga tapi ganya yang awal2 invite ani saudara ampir iatah susah sedikit. hahaha.. awu i was just gonna say, inda sampat jumpa, was gonna figure out how we are related, but yeah i think i know how we are related now. nanti tah cerita hehehe..

Tina said...

Hahahaha, si Jirin ani! Baru jua kana bagitau do not use Rojak language by the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports. :P

Payah tu, aku pun inda brapa pandai inda pakai rojak language. Ku campur Malay and English.

Seriously, though, kalau inda pandai cakap English tu.. I would appreciate it if they spoke in a language that they are comfortable in.

My last ex-boyfriend was like that. Ku suruh sudah cakap Melayu saja. Paham ku kali ah. Inda jua mau-mau. Bukannya apa, aku yang inda paham kalau ia cakap English!

And please. "Must speak English" as a dating criterion? Bari malu saja to the other English-speaking Bruneian-Malays. Eseh. Lurus kah tu? Am I representing the right group? LOL.

rabz said...

woo jirin. terlepas chance mu kan be jodoh sama anak buah pablo. hehe lain kali sja la ah. hehe and dont u go blaming me saying jgn pigi sana :p coz abg ijin invited u first. kan? kalau nda, my bad...

Maurina said...

*puts on very authoritative linguist tone* actually, the term Brulish is valid in linguistics. in fact several researchers have actually written papers on it.

some features i remember:

- the incessant use of the "s" form such as "thats mean"
- malay suffixes with english words such as.. "mengappreciate" "berdrug"
- redundancies transfered from Malay: saying "the colour red" (warna merah) when in fact "red" already carries the meaning of colour.
- cannot tell difference between past tense and past perfect.
- lupa

you should really look them up. siuk dibaca. makes brunei feels very unique and changed my perception of the supposedly "bad english"

banci ku eh exboipren si tina LOL. memajal ya kan cakap englis bah eh. dulurrr saja.

Jirin said...

Tina,
heyy! hehe oh didn't know that we were discouraged to use 'rojak' language. well, i think there's nothing wrong with it. heheh, dulur saja tia cakap english bah! haha!

Rabz,
do you realise that I could most probably be not single right now if I did go to Pablo's function?! No lah, yeah, ijin did invite first, also i had a tahlil earlier that night jua.

Maurina,
really?? I'd love to read that, do you have a link to it? ada rupanya brulish ani. kambang ku sudah kononnya memulakan some kind of phenomenon hahahahapakan. awu yatah ngangku, dulur saja tia bah ia ckp english. hahaa.. begelurat saja krg

Dalila said...

Even my teacher says thats mean instead of that means. Yes, I laugh to myself kadang2. Teacher kali ah. Karang kana pancar kilat ku. Hahahahhaa.

I miss you, Jirin! Lama sudah ku inda masuk blog mu. Lupa ku :P