Our beloved Manglish

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

We Chinese in Malaysia have a weird sense of the English language sometimes.

My son speaks excellent English but when I accused him of finishing all the cans of Coke in the fridge today, he denied it by saying, "Where got?", which gave me a good laugh as he does not really speak the Chinese language.

"Where got?" is a direct translation of the Mandarin na li you, which denotes a denial.

Here's more of how we localize the English language:

Don't want for "bu yao", meaning I don't want it. And we say it so quickly it actually sounds like "doe one"!

Don't have for "mei you", meaning I don't have it.

No need for "bu shue yao", meaning I don't need it.

See how for "kan je me yang", meaning let's see how it goes.

Why like that? for "wei she me je yang", meaning why is it like that?

He come already and I here already for "ta dao le" and "wo lai dao le" meaning he has arrived and I have arrived.

Got meh? for "you ma?" in asking if the matter or person or whatever, is in existence or if it's happening.

I want for "wo yao" meaning I have a need for it.

You go see for "ni qu kan" meaning you go and have a look.

I'll be sure to add on as I encounter them in my conversations with my fellow Malaysians.

pearlie

Note: apologies if my han yu pin yin above is not accurate.

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