Thursday, March 11, 2010

My Bahasa Melayu Officially Sucks

Having been using three languages (English, Cantonese, and Malay) a lot while growing up, I got accustomed to thinking in those languages interchangeably. When I think of an English word, for example, I would often subconsciously translate it into Malay or Chinese, and vise versa.

So here's what happened. Sometime last weekend, I was reminded of papayas.

I don't remember where or how I suddenly came to think about papayas, but that's not the point. The point is... I was thinking about papayas and was about to translate it into Malay. That's where my train of thoughts got rudely disrupted.

Papaya, papaya... (picturing papayas)... buah pisang, buah kelapa, buah rambutan, buah mangga, buah b-... The first letter had got to be "B". Or was it "M"? Hmmm...

I thought to myself, "Come on, I cannot have forgotten such an easy one!".

I refused to give up.

So I started to think hard...

and think harder....

I thought about it while brushing my teeth. I thought about it on my way to work. I thought about it while going to sleep. I even thought about it while I'm using the toilet.

The stupid tembikai keep popping up eagerly in my head and I had to keep reminding myself that tembikai's watermelon, not papaya!

All while trying to fight the urge to Google it up.

Alas, I failed. I succumbed to Google today.

It's "betik".

A big smack on my forehead later, the horror finally dawned on me. My Bahasa Melayu now officially sucks BIG. TIME.

Oh well. At least I got the first letter right.

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