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View Full Version : Malaysia's English standard is really down and out!



FreeThinker
20-03-2007, 10:46 AM
Before I read this piece from Kit's website, I thought my English is pretty good(I am a product of the new Malay Agenda school) as compared to my other former classmates. But after reading this piece, I think I have to brush up my English again.

http://blog.limkitsiang.com/?p=71

Hmm...maybe I should consider sending my children to Singapore for education as well?

hhtee
20-03-2007, 11:05 AM
why you saying malaysia english got no good?

i thinking malaysia english very ok lah

don't believing all the blog you readed

hhtee
20-03-2007, 11:11 AM
why send your children to singapore.

remember that if the child wants to study, he will.
so, encourage them.

if a child doesn't want to study, and you send them to the best schools, it wouldn't help at all.

sulynx
20-03-2007, 11:48 AM
Before I read this piece from Kit's website, I thought my English is pretty good(I am a product of the new Malay Agenda school) as compared to my other former classmates. But after reading this piece, I think I have to brush up my English again.

http://blog.limkitsiang.com/?p=71

Hmm...maybe I should consider sending my children to Singapore for education as well?

the letter is grammatically sound, but it is not exactly something malaysians are incapable of writing! a lot of factors goes into a person's proficiency in english. you don't have to send your children to singapore, but it's important to expose them to reading, which is the one of the basis of good grammatical english.

hhtee
20-03-2007, 12:01 PM
the letter is grammatically sound, but it is not exactly something malaysians are incapable of writing! a lot of factors goes into a person's proficiency in english. you don't have to send your children to singapore, but it's important to expose them to reading, which is the one of the basis of good grammatical english.

and watch lots of Sesame Street

coleslaw
20-03-2007, 12:12 PM
if one can spend years learning english, why can't you learn malay as well or any language for that matter...don't always blame the education system. it's not perfect but it's not that screwed up as its make out to be. majority of us here are educated locally and success or failure in life is yours and yours alone. don't look for excuses and scapegoat every time something don't come yr way..

hhtee
20-03-2007, 12:28 PM
speaking of english and malay.

In my line, I see English books being translated to Malay. That's ok for me because this would help us Malaysians to learn the western technology. But what baffles me is that the translated book is like in the 5th edition while the author now is publishing his 13th edition!!!

So my point is, if one wants to keep up with technology and happenings, it's preferable to stick to English.

hhtee
20-03-2007, 12:31 PM
actually, Malaysian's english is not DOWN and OUT lah.

I was in Sarawak. I met a couple from America whom I shared transportation with. I spoke to them and they told me that they were really amazed that the locals (Sarawakians) speak very good english.

Well, that's not my opinion but that was what an American couple commented!

GreyShadow
20-03-2007, 01:05 PM
Many Sarawakians speaks generally very good english, especially those from the older generation, since the official language is English during the colonial days, and it has stay such for quit a while even after Sarawak become part of Malaysia.
So don't be surprise next time if you stop by at one of the long house and the head chief speak fluent english :D

LMei
20-03-2007, 02:28 PM
The general impression I got from most people is that Malaysians speak very good English... it's the written part that's questionable.

Timo
20-03-2007, 03:33 PM
Yes, I have to agree, the article was very well written. However, I agree with sulynx, I do not see that article as beyond our capabilities. I know many people (including yours truly) who could write something similar or better, who have never ever been outside our national school system. The key is the joy of learning, and initiative. If you pick up books to read, or surf the internet for good articles, your language skills will improve.

If you sit around scratching your bum and twiddling your fingers (hopefully not in that order) all day, no amount of school education will help you.

USJ27Resident
20-03-2007, 03:39 PM
If you sit around scratching your bum and twiddling your fingers (hopefully not in that order) all day, no amount of school education will help you.

LOL! :D Now - thats funny...

dryyyap
20-03-2007, 07:40 PM
My 2 cents: Apart form grammar, vocabulary is a sign of intelligence. In my line of work, I meet with foreigners who have great difficulty forming sentences in English but their English vocabulary occasionally include bombastic words that I rarely know how to use myself.

sulynx
20-03-2007, 07:57 PM
and watch lots of Sesame Street

i used to watch it a lot! but nothing beats books in my opinion.


If you sit around scratching your bum and twiddling your fingers (hopefully not in that order) all day, no amount of school education will help you. :eek:

the things some people can imagine! :D


My 2 cents: Apart form grammar, vocabulary is a sign of intelligence. In my line of work, I meet with foreigners who have great difficulty forming sentences in English but their English vocabulary occasionally include bombastic words that I rarely know how to use myself.

that's like having the most canggih weapons for war but don't know how to operate... :confused:

chin_wan
21-03-2007, 12:25 AM
the letter is grammatically sound, but it is not exactly something malaysians are incapable of writing! a lot of factors goes into a person's proficiency in english. you don't have to send your children to singapore, but it's important to expose them to reading, which is the one of the basis of good grammatical english.

Exactly.

Point #1 - Why send your children to a country who have a "Speak Good English" campaign? IMHO, the word Speak Good English itself is grammatically wrong. The correct word should be "Speak proper English". Good is an adjective used mostly to describe physical things like boy, book, etc.

English is a language i.e. you cannot hold on to it physically.

Point #2 - Why send your children to a country who cannot differentiate between stay and live. We do it here in Malaysia as well. I always hear people asking me "Where do you stay?"

Hello...I don't stay in Malaysia. I live in Malaysia so the proper way to ask is, "Where do you live?".

Stay is used when you are going to be staying for a short term. When you go for a holiday in New York, you stay in the Plaza Hotel.

Note: I am not an expert in English but are open for debate on point #1 above. I could be wrong about point #1 so please forgive me if I am.

Teeque
21-03-2007, 04:32 AM
Exactly.

Point #1 - Why send your children to a country who have a "Speak Good English" campaign? IMHO, the word Speak Good English itself is grammatically wrong. The correct word should be "Speak proper English"...
Note: I am not an expert in English but are open for debate on point #1 above. I could be wrong about point #1 so please forgive me if I am.
'Speak good English' when one already has a proper grasp of the language. But when one has a poor grasp of the language, then one has to learn to 'speak proper english' (in Malaysia's case)...

the writer's level of english, unsurprisingly, stemmed frm the wide usage of the english language in his entire education and now in his career life. i also do not doubt that the level of english in the lion city is considerably better than the usage of english by the general population of this tiger country, simply becos BM has been mandated as our national language. but we hv digressed frm the gist of the article really. its abt a skewed political landscape and national policies that chose to divide Malaysia and Malaysians. its abt a Malaysia that professed itself as democratic but its policies and practices goes against all the framework and concepts of a democracy. its abt a Malaysia where certain classes of their ppl who are borned in this motherland and are proud of it but treated like an outcast. its also abt a Malaysia who proclaims itself to be young nation in the throes of nation building into a beautiful country, but the reality of it is the country's leaders and its elites are in the ugly habit of 'wealth-building' in every imaginable ways.

sulynx
21-03-2007, 06:02 AM
the letter is grammatically sound, but it is not exactly something malaysians are incapable of writing! a lot of factors goes into a person's proficiency in english. you don't have to send your children to singapore, but it's important to expose them to reading, which is the one of the basis of good grammatical english.

i just realise that the bolded part in the quote is grammatically wrong!! aiyoh so paiseh... :(

edit: wait, should it be that 'goes' correspond to factors or 'a lot'? as in

a lot... goes
or
factors... go

Teeque
21-03-2007, 06:17 AM
when in doubt, try another verb...

ie. a lot of factors affect....

but u could rephrase that sentence better. :)

chin_wan
21-03-2007, 06:37 AM
Good point, Teeque. I never looked at using "proper" that way. :)

Teeque
21-03-2007, 06:43 AM
nah, theres no right or wrong in that. its a dynamic language thats all...

sulynx
21-03-2007, 05:34 PM
when in doubt, try another verb...

ie. a lot of factors affect....

but u could rephrase that sentence better. :)

that means must use go la, cos you replaced go/goes with affect. :p

iml109
21-03-2007, 06:01 PM
if one can spend years learning english, why can't you learn malay as well or any language for that matter...don't always blame the education system. it's not perfect but it's not that screwed up as its make out to be. majority of us here are educated locally and success or failure in life is yours and yours alone. don't look for excuses and scapegoat every time something don't come yr way..


For reason 1. BM sucks!! (j/k). But honestly? I guess one will take into account how useful that particular language will be e.g. compare between BM and Mandarin, I will choose Mandarin.

Education in Malaysia IS very **** up. In other countries where one is allowed to think and write freely, ours are constricted into 'directed' skeletons/frames. Not to mention until your secondary lvl ur still being streamlined into 2 majors - art / science. Do u know that by the age of 7 kids in countries like UK can think like 12 yrs old in our own country? (by this major contribution is HOW u allow them to explore their mind / speak up). 5 yrs is a lot of difference if you put into context of 15 and 20 yrs olds.

nevertheless, no country is perfect. Malaysians' English might not score that high, but I believe our written English is much better than those who speaks English as their native tongue (e.g. between bare and bear), and our spoken English is better than Singaporeans!

Its really about your perception of your life! Its either half full or half empty.

lynndhia
21-03-2007, 06:26 PM
Malaysians' English might not score that high, but I believe our written English is much better than those who speaks English as their native tongue (e.g. between bare and bear), and our spoken English is better than Singaporeans!

It depends on which area in Malaysia you look at as well, majority of us living in the Klang Valley speak rather good levels of english but when you move out to the rural areas, that's where the situation is not quite the same anymore.

Regarding the issue that most people think that Singaporeans speak better english than Malaysians, watch this video and tell me what do you think about it. Watch the middle part of the video especially (at about 3:43), where they ask the locals there to pronounce some rather common words. You might be surprised. Take into account that this was filmed in the middle of orchard road.

<object width="425" height="350"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/WQlmY_BwC6k"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/WQlmY_BwC6k" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"></embed></object>

tntn73
21-03-2007, 06:54 PM
Don't u guys know even people with broken english can earn more? What's the big deal i think what comes out from your mouth is something you should be more concerned about :D :rolleyes:

orchipalar
21-03-2007, 07:10 PM
majority of us here are educated locally and success or failure in life is yours and yours alone. don't look for excuses and scapegoat every time something don't come yr way..
Don't u guys know even people with broken english can earn more? What's the big deal i think what comes out from your mouth is something you should be more concerned about :DErr buddies...Orchi can-a agree with that-a...lot-sa people who don't speak-a or write-a...good-a n powderfull-a england...are more successfull-a...

Ahem...there are over 6 billions of people in the world's populations...ONLY 2 billions or so(India has over 1/2 of this total figure)...speak n write the england as the official language of their respective countries...BUT not necessary speak n write the england well enough...

Take for examples...the Japanese...Koreans...Taiwanese...Middle East countries...Germans...Italians...French...Swiss... Swedish...Dannish... Finnish...Spanish...Russians...n China....err...the england isn't even their official language...

Most of these people don't even speak the word of england.

So does anyone get the ideas...?

kwchang
22-03-2007, 12:22 AM
...In other countries where one is allowed to think and write freely, ours are constricted into 'directed' skeletons/frames. Not to mention until your secondary lvl ur still being streamlined into 2 majors - art / science. Do u know that by the age of 7 kids in countries like UK can think like 12 yrs old in our own country? (by this major contribution is HOW u allow them to explore their mind / speak up). 5 yrs is a lot of difference if you put into context of 15 and 20 yrs olds.

nevertheless, no country is perfect. Malaysians' English might not score that high, but I believe our written English is much better than those who speaks English as their native tongue (e.g. between bare and bear), and our spoken English is better than Singaporeans!...
HehHehHeh, since this is about good or bad English, I'd like to poke some of you in the ribs for your 'excellent' English. Did you mean to say that your written English is better? Aiyoh, please check the red marks (wrong word or bad choice of word) and blue marks (grammatical error or poor sentence construction) ... Sorry iml, I suppose you did that on purpose to fit the current theme of discussion? ;)

mon
22-03-2007, 12:24 AM
Oh Oh..now I'm afraid to make my next post. :p

scorgio
22-03-2007, 12:53 AM
I'd like to add.
In everyday observation, I found that the number of M'sian who can speak fluent English outnumbered those who can speak fluent Mandarin.
Well, if you know Mandarin, try listening to Chinese radio station. :)
You'll get what I mean.

Sugarfree
22-03-2007, 01:07 AM
Well, if you know Mandarin, try listening to Chinese radio station. :)
You'll get what I mean.Hehehe...which station are you referring to? 988? Or all? :D

iml109
22-03-2007, 01:36 AM
HehHehHeh, since this is about good or bad English, I'd like to poke some of you in the ribs for your 'excellent' English. Did you mean to say that your written English is better? Aiyoh, please check the red marks (wrong word or bad choice of word) and blue marks (grammatical error or poor sentence construction) ... Sorry iml, I suppose you did that on purpose to fit the current theme of discussion? ;)

Chang, actually ah, no oh!? I just write what I thought ler?

tupai
22-03-2007, 07:08 AM
10 yrs i speeking malaysia english, long time aledy lah.
2 years i speakin' singapore english. Wah lan, too ears only ah? pai-seh, seh.
10 yrs, cor blimey! that long already? i speaking cockney, welsh, gaelic, scot and irish english not to mention the queen of the lost empire inglis laced with a pint of bit-er chasing down bang-ur fried on but-er.

Yang Amat Berbahasa beruk lato tupai

scorgio
22-03-2007, 10:25 AM
Hehehe...which station are you referring to? 988? Or all? :D
ALL.
And I'm not just referring to DJs, the call-in listeners as well.

iml109
22-03-2007, 05:00 PM
10 yrs i speeking malaysia english, long time aledy lah.
2 years i speakin' singapore english. Wah lan, too ears only ah? pai-seh, seh.
10 yrs, cor blimey! that long already? i speaking cockney, welsh, gaelic, scot and irish english not to mention the queen of the lost empire inglis laced with a pint of bit-er chasing down bang-ur fried on but-er.

Yang Amat Berbahasa beruk lato tupai

Awesome Tupai!!! ROFLMAO