My mom encouraged us to speak more English at home since young but it was a failure. We tend to speak Hokkien more because that was the dialect that we grew up speaking. Imagine speaking to my brother and sister in English as if we don’t have a dialect! Hey.. I am a proud Hokkien, you know! We turn out just fine! I think our English isn’t so bad – thanks to Mom for sending us to Sunday School when we were young to learn the language; knowing Jesus is secondary since now, I am a total backslider.
So now, mom is instilling the habit to the children at home – Sasha, Lok Lok and Quan Quan. As usual, Sasha is ok to learn but not Lok Lok. That one is a typical cina ah pek. You speak to him in English – he would either look aloof or answer you in Mandarin. As for Sasha, she tends to mix English with Malay. Quan Quan by far is the better one because he is now being sent to an English kindergarten. He taught my mom new words yesterday – mucous!
Just now my mom was trying to speak to him in English, so here, we are going to learn some Hokkien translated English.
“Wait you” – Gua Dan Lu (Meaning: I will wait for you)
“Wait me” – Dan Gua (Meaning: Please wait for me)
“What happen you?” – Cho Mik Soo Lu (What’s going on with you?)
“Pu-er boy!” – Budak miskin (This is malay! Haha! Instead of saying poor boy, she would say Pu-er boy like the Chinese tea).
“Too Date!” – Uuwa liao. (Too late actually!)
“Too leg!” – Uuwa liao (Another blunder when we tried to correct her – too late)
“Teli ma” – Teddy Bear (My aunt wrote next to the ABC chart, next to T for Teddy Bear in Hokkien pronunciation. “Bear” (as in horse character in Mandarin) to be read in hokkien)
“Sampah man” – Pia sampah lang (Garbage collector)
“Faster Faster wake up!” – Kin kin ki lai! (She always has to say this because QQ always has problems waking up in the morning)
I simply dare not think of what might have happened to me if I were to speak such improper English at home since young. I could be writing an Ah Lian blog now! Haha!