Language of Knowledge

9 11 2012

 

 

Bahasa Melayu Versus English As A Vehicle Of Knowledge For Malays

  • We are trying to make Bahasa Melayu a language of knowledge. (It has to be Bahasa Melayu because there is no such thing as a Bahasa Brunei or Bahasa Singapura where Bahasa Melayu is also the official language and spoken by the people).
  • The success or failure of making Bahasa Melayu a language of knowledge does not depend on  the number of new technical terms and scientific words which Dewan Bahasa Dan Pustaka has  succesfully ciplak from the English language. The success or failure of any language of knowledge depends on whether the people who speak that language (the Malay people) have become knowledgeable and sucessful in the sciences, arts, commerce and trade.  
  • Todate we are not satisfied yet with what has been achieved by the Malays. That is why we are still continuing with the affirmative action policies. That is why Proton is still pulling us down. That is why the former CEO of Proton who used to have ‘sembahyang hajat’ in the factory now (reportedly) runs a religious school. So we are not there yet.
  • And at the pace at which the rest of the world is galloping, it looks like the Malays are getting left even further behind. If not for Petronas’ oil money pouring into the Treasury, then we would be like Indonesia.
  • Everything is relative. The time taken to achieve something is also relative. Relative to what? Relative to the time taken by other people to achieve the same objectives.  When we take twice, three times or four times the amount of time as other people to achieve the same thing, then what we are doing is  WE ARE WASTING A LOT OF TIME, ENERGY, MONEY, RESOURCES AND OPPORTUNITY.
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  • After 27 years Proton is still not going anywhere. We pay the highest car prices in the world to support Proton and other local car producers. Also to keep the AP industry alive. The question is for how many more years or how many more decades are we going to suffer this? Another 5 years, 10 years, 15 years, 25 years?
  • Similarly, we can still take our time developing Malay into a language of knowledge, science and technology but how many more years is it going to take? It will happen eventually – but how many more years will it take? 20 years, 30 years, 50 years?
  • Please do not forget that Malay was a language of empire, world trade and it was a powerful language of the sea – the Malays were a global seafaring people – to New Zealand, Madagascar and up to Taiwan. In the Malay language of the Peninsula there are thousands of words that have been borrowed from Tamil, Sanskrit, Arabic and lately Portugese (there are about 1000 Portugese words in Malay including kereta and kerbau).  But that was a slow natural process that must have taken centuries to evolve. We dont have the luxury of centuries to do what we have to do.
  • Dr Kassim Ahmad says it is going to take about 90 years to forge a true Malaysian identity. He says 48 years have gone by. So there are 42  more years to go.  We always need more and more time.  (I think the Singaporeans have done a better job – in just 40 years).
  • When we finally develop Malay into a language of knowledge, the rest of the world will already be 50 years ahead of us again. We will forever be playing catching up. 
  • Remember folks, the objective is not just to make Malay a language of knowledge, science and technology. It is more important that we make the Malay people a society of knowledge, science and technology in the quickest possible time. People first. The people should always come first.  That is more important.
  • Isnt there a shorter method? Do we have to waste so much time? Do we have to give Proton another 25 years? Do we have to wait another 25 years for the Malay language to evolve?
  • To make Bahasa Melayu a language of knowledge the Dewan Bahasa & Pustaka and the other Bahasa Melayu warriors have gone into overdrive to ciplak English words into the Malay language.
  • Here are some examples just from the letter ‘A’ alone in the “modern” Malay dictionary or kamus “moden” :
  • autobiografi, audit, audio, astronomi, astrologi, asimilasi, asimetri, aset, artistik, arkeologi, aristokrat, aposisi, apati, anuiti, antonim, antologi, antitesis, (tesis), antisosial, (sosial), antiklimaks, (klimaks), antik, antidot, anemik, anekdot, anatomi, anarkis, analogi, analisis, anakronisme, (kronisme), anagram, amplitud, amnesia, amatur, amalgam, almanak, alibi, akuatik, akuedak, akaun, agregat, agresif, afirmatif, afidavit, aerobatik, aerodinamik, (dinamik), akademik.
  • I think you get the idea. This is less than half way through just the letter ‘A’ from one Malay dictionary.  If you look up other Malay dictionaries (Kamus Am, Kamus Oxford, Kamus Dewan Bahasa etc) you will find thousands of other words that are basically ciplak from the English language into Malay.
  • The Malay language warriors especially those guys at the Dewan Bahasa & Pustaka say that by doing this they are fighting to ‘memperkasakan Bahasa Melayu‘. Obviously they are talking through their @$$.
  • Now here is the problem when you ciplak thousands of English words into the Malay language. It will actually slow down the process of understanding and acquiring new knowledge for the Malays.
  • This is because every word in any language has a meaning that is usually supported by some larger concept behind it, which is peculiar or specific only to that language.  In short, each word has a short story behind it unique to that particular language.
  • Lets take the English word fermentation.
  • You can say that alchoholic drinks like wine and beer are made through the ‘process of fermentation’. 
  • When food goes bad you can also say, ‘it has begun to ferment’. 
  • When the Arabs run riot in the Arab Spring you can say, ‘it has been fermenting for some time’. 
  • Fermentation is used to describe something (food, drink, people) who are undergoing a change from one state to another state.
  • Every word has its short history, a larger concept, its nuances in its original language. The same goes for Malay, Chinese, Japanese, German etc.
  • Now, anyone who speaks in that language will quickly understand the nuances and the short story of each individual word.  It does not matter if you are a Punjabi learning Russian, a Malay learning French, an Italian learning Malay or a Chinese learning English – you will soon understand and appreciate how the words are used in that language.
  • But when you simply take English words and force feed it into the Malay language by adding a ‘i’ or ‘k’ or ‘t’ at the end (inovasi, dinamik, audit) it does not mean that you instantly also import the short story or the larger concept behind that English word also into the Malay language. That will not happen immediately. It is sometimes impossible.  Even though the new word appears in the Malay dictionary, it is still an alien word to the Malays.
  • Yes I know, if we can wait a few centuries, then of course these words will eventually be absorbed by the Malay people. Just like Arabic, Tamil, Sanskrit, Portugese have all been absorbed by the  Malay people – but that is a process that took centuries.  In multi racial, multi cultural Malaysia THE MALAYS do not have the luxury of waiting for so long.  Sampai bila pun cannot catch up.
  • Then the other reason why these English ciplak words cannot expedite the absorption of knowledge, commerce, science and technology by the Malays is because thse ciplak English words do not form any part of the everyday conversation between a mother and daughter in the house. Or between a father and son in the house. Or between neighbours in the kampong. Or between Malay people in the surau, in the towns, in the condominiums and the housing areas.
  • Rarely are words like  “antidot, anemik, anekdot, anatomi, anarkis, analogi, analisis, anakronisme, (kronisme), anagram, amplitud, amnesia, amatur, amalgam, almanak, alibi, akuatik, akuedak, akaun, agregat, agresif” used in everyday conversation.
  • Do you want to know why? Because these are English words kawan. That is why.  You cannot go back home to Tembeling or Parit and say anarkis, analogi, analisis. Orang tak faham. These are English words lah !  So when people insist that these ciplak words from the English language will now magically become Malay words and make Bahasa Melayu a language of knowledge – it is not going to happen. You are terribly confused.
  • And you are denying the Malay people a fast track towards becoming a modern and scientific society.  Ok I agree, kalau nak tunggu a few centuries to become a scientific society boleh lah but by that time the human beings may have colonised the planet Mars.
  • The faster and cheaper option is to use English on a very widespread scale.  Especially the learning of science based subjects, mathematics based subjects and management subjects in the English language.
  • Only then will words like asset, annuity, equity, dynamics, aerodynamics and fermentation be easier to absorb. These words form the everyday usage of the English language. As you use the English language you will automatically understand the wider concepts, the history and the usage of these words which is part and parcel of the language. And MOST IMPORTANTLY you will faster gain the knowledge that is being conveyed.
  • If there is such a ciplak  word as ‘fermentasi’ in the Malay dictionary, it will only refer to the fermentation of alchohol.  But if CNN says, ‘the Arabs have been fermenting..’ then people here might understand it as ‘Arab dah jadi arak’. That would be incorrect.  This is why people may end up saying, ‘you can come to my State and eat fish burn (ikan bakar)‘.
  • Pasal apa budak Melayu tak boleh belajar Inggeris? Habis macam mana depa boleh jadi expert bahasa Arab pula?  Depa boleh hafiz Quran dalam bahasa Arab? Budak umur enam tahun boleh belajar Arab. So why cant they learn English? English is much simpler to learn than Arabic.
  • In English there is a car, a pencil, a hill and a bag. In Arabic the car is female, the hill is male. There are different words in Arabic for one car, two cars, many cars. It is more difficult. There are different words for one female gender object, two female gender objects and plural female gender objects. The same repeats for male gender objects. Yet Malay students have no problem learning Arabic in the sekolah agama or the kelas agama.
  • Habis pasal apa depa tak suka, tak mahu atau tak boleh belajar Inggeris? There is no excuse. If the Malays can learn Arabic, then they can learn any language on the surface of this earth. There is no excuse.
  • In Singapore and Brunei, the Malays speak perfect English. In Singapore the Malay girls are the English news anchors on their TV.  Not only do they just read the news but they also analyse events and superbly interview people in English on TV.
  • The Malays in Brunei, especially their Civil Servants speak very good English. Of course knowledge of good English, plus being well read in English, makes it easier to have a conversation with them. They seem to know more of the real world.  Both in Brunei and Singapore their education system is English based, just like we were until the late 1970s.
  • Which is why some of our GLCs and some of our banks have started hiring English speaking Singaporean Malays for top jobs here, especially Malay women from Singapore. And consultants as well.  I can point names and name fingers too.  A Melayu Singapore can now be quite an asset in Kuala Lumpur. They can speak English.
  • Finally let me repeat again why we must teach Mathematics, Science and other subjects in English in our schools. In Malaysia (as in most developing countries) less than 2% of the population goes on to higher education after high school.
  • Even if 200,000 students per year enter degree, diploma and certificate courses in all our universities, colleges, institut kemahiran and institut latihan, that is LESS THAN ONE PERCENT  of our 28 million population. And dont forget in this less than 1% it includes Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans and others.  Folks, less than 1% of the country’s population is NOT going to pull the remaining 99% forward. We need to seriously upgrade the skills and the competitive ability of the 99%.
  • These are the SPM leavers, the school leavers, the PMR leavers, the sekolah pondok kids and the sekolah agama kids. We have to raise the general ability and knowledge base of our school leavers. These are the 99%.
  • I have said this before : the makcik who runs that food stall in Cheneh in Terengganu should be able to email or sms or Twitter Fareed Zakaria on CNN with a question on the South China Sea conflict.  Why do I say this? Because that is what is happening on Fareed Zakaria in CNN. He answers emails, smses and Twitter messages in English from people who are located all over the world.
  • They can communicate and have a conversation in English. They need not be the 1% who go to university to do this. They must be the 99% who can speak and use English effectively.  We do not understand just exactly how much we are losing.

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17 responses

11 11 2012
Sinaran

The Malay language is an important language as it is the language of some 350 million people spread over more than a third of the world, in the Malay Archipelago and beyond – Madagascar, South Africa, Australia Christmas Island, New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, Cambodia, Vietnam, Taiwan and up to the Hawaian islands.

Below is a c&p of an earlier comment for the benefit of new readers:

THE MALAY LANGUAGE FAMILY –

From the book, “The Malay Civilization”, by Mohd Arof Ishak, published by the Historical Society of Malaysia, 2007:

The Malay Language Family spoken in the Malay Archipelago or Gugusan Pulau Pulau Melayu, and beyond, are spoken by about 350 million people. There are as many as 1,200 languages in the Malay (Austronesian) language family, making it the 2nd largest language family in the world. The Malay languages account for 22% of the languages of mankind.

The dialects are more numerous still. The existence of so many dialects is one of the lively characteristics of the Malay civilization. Dialects share more than 80% basic vocabularies with one another thus making them more intelligible.

The scientists have studied the languages of the Malay Archipelago since the time of the British Captain Cook’s voyages to the Pacific Ocean. Since then the experts have listed out the number of Malay Languages in some of the areas where Malay is spoken, as follows:

Malay Peninsula: 1 (+4 Aboriginal Malayan languages)
Borneo: 153
Phipippine Islands: 160
Sulawesi: 114
Sumatra Island: 22
Java Island: 3
Taiwan Island: 23
Madagascar Island: 11

Here are examples of the words that have basic similarities in Malay, Tagalog (Filipino), Fijian, Samoan, etc – see if the native language you speak have them:

dua, empat, lima, enam, mata, jalan, pandan, nior. There are of course so many others.

The research and studies explained in the book stated above have been carried out scientifically by scores of experts in the relevant fields since the 19th century, even earlier, as Captain Cook brought a scientist who studied the languages of the Polynesian islands.

11 11 2012
Setia

Contrary to what’s said in the article above, I don’t see any problem in DBP “ciplakking” English words. What is important is that the terms used can explain clearly what they mean and are understood by all parties.

Isn’t it easier if these words are also known in another language that we are familiar with? Isn’t it more difficult to understand and to remember words that are coined anew?

The writer uses the word “ciplak”. Though it’s been used for many years now, I still am not clear what it exactly means, beyond “copying”. In fact, the words “copy and paste”, which became current with the advent of the Internet, are understood by a vast majority of the educated people in this country.

And remember, even the English use Malay words. The word “amok” is in the Oxford English disctionary.

26 11 2012
Tuah

Dear Setia,

I agree with you about English also borrows Malay words. There’s about 50 Malay words and counting are in English vocabulary – you should check it out. But he does not aware about that because he seems to believe the opposite. He seems to say everything came from foreign influences, not created by Malay own minds. That should mean Malays are not civilized people and live in caves (because we can’t think at all to create something and words especially).

Setia,

I have commented Syed about this matter especially regarding the “kerbau” word which he claims it to be a Portuguese word (but then he “putar belit” and change his statement inside the comment by saying the “kerbau” came from “caribou” in French.)

b>FYI, there’s no word of “caribou” in Portuguese bcoz in Portuguese it means/called as “carneiro”, “rena”, and “rangífer”. Whereas the buffalo (which means “kerbau” in Malay) is called as “bufalo”.

Let me tell you, “caribou” is a French word which means a “reindeer” (subspesies rusa) in North America. He “putar belit” or trick that by saying ostensibly the word “caribou” became localized to be “kerbau” in Malay. That’s so insane and arguably because it’s not a fact which supported by the linguists (but only by his guess). And how come a reindeer became a kerbau (buffalo).

“Kerbau” is a type of cow in Malay whereas “caribou” is a type of a deer in French. But how is this related to the Portuguese loanword? Before, he told that the word “kerbau” originated from Portuguese not Malay, but then he told in the comment that it is French’s.

I think he is experiencing the “inferiority syndrome” came from the “White Man’s Burden” colonization syndrome concept which he believes everything’s came from the West or the White Man. Plus, he also supports PPSMI. Another thing, maybe it’s because he is an Arab descent, so he dare to insult the Malays which are Austronesian descents.

p/s: – -Inside his post comment, my first comment has been deleted by him after that. I sent a second comment but he might not approve it since it may embarrass him because he’s not writing based on the facts.

27 11 2012
Sinaran

Fellows who say or imply that Malays are not civilized people should read the following books, one of which I have referred to in my comment above –

1. The Malay Civilization, 2007
2. Tamadun Alam Melayu, 2009

published by The Historical Society of Malaysia (HSM), available at the HSM’s own 5-story building called Wisma Sejarah, opposite IJN, Jalan Tun Razak, KL.

HSM was established since the British colonial days by local and expatriate Officers of the then Malayan Civil Service and others, and its current members include Professor Emeritus Tan Sri Khoo Kay Kim (Professor of History – a member of the Executive Board for a few years), Professor Emeritus Tan Sri Mohd Taib Othman (Malay Studies), Professor Dato Zainal Abidin Wahid (History), Professor Dato Nik Arifin Shuhaimi (Archaelogy) and others of relevant discipline.

The books explain the many research and studies scientifically done since Captain Cook’s expedition in the 18th Century (he brought a scientist who studied the languages of the places visited), continued into the 19th Century, and heightened since the middle of the 20th Century, which by then had involved many archaeological excavations by both foreign and local experts, in this region known as the Malay Archipelago, including in the Lenggong Valley, Perak.

The book entitled, “The Malay Civilization” tells of people in the Malay Peninsula as cultivating and eating rice even earlier than the Chinese in mainland China – page 14. Rice grains, associated with pottery, were discovered in a cave in the northern part of the Malay Peninsula, which in modern times was delineated as a part of southern Thailand. They were interpreted by the experts that the ancient people at the settlement, which has been dated to between 9,270 and 7,620 years ago, had been cultivating and having the rice eating culture since that time. Whereas the earliest signs of rice in China has been dated at between 8,500 to 7,800 years ago.

27 11 2012
Setia

Dear Tuah,

Any blog owner worth his salt would not deny dissenting views from being published in or be removed from his blog. It only tells the arrogance and the undemocratic character of the man.

I have also tried to submit opposing comments in his blog but were not published. And I’ve read several others complaining the same.

I’ve ceased visiting that blog since a long time ago. And I’ve adopted the stand that it’s useless to talk about the useless.

But I will talk about language in my next comment, in a short while, below.

And do feel free to talk to me here any time you want. I do pop in from time to time.

29 11 2012
Tuah

Dear Setia,

Yes, I totally agree with your statement. Also, please feel free to read my comment under Sifar.

Especially about the word “kerbau” which claimed by OutSyed The Box to be originated from Portuguese even though he changed it to the French later in his comment compared to his post.

I found out that the “caribou” is only exist in French lexicon but none in Portuguese. It does not mean “buffalo”, instead it means “reindeer” in French.

However, there is a word in Spanish which has 100% exact meaning as buffalo which is “carabao”. Etymologically, this word is borrowed by Spanish from Visayan language in Samar & Leyte of Philippines. It is karabáw or kalabaw in Visayan language & Filipino language. Anyways, it is also borrowed by English as “carabao”.

Please refer here for the etymology source:
Carabao in Merriam-Webster

and

Carabao in Wiktionary

I believe you know that the Phillippines are Austronesian (Rumpun Melayu) and we share so many words such as “ako” (aku), ikaw (kau) & etc. Even the Visayan tribe (also called as suku Bisaya in Malaysia) is believed to be a descendant of Srivijaya Malay Empire.

Somehow, some Malaysians do not aware of the situation in which English or the West is also influenced by the Malay especially in terms of language & a little bit of Malay culture. They tend to look the Western countries as superior than themselves.

28 11 2012
Sifar

Aiseh, kalau si Arab tu tak mahu bahasa lain dalam Bahasa Melayu, amacam Bahasa Arab dalam Bahasa Melayu? Mengarut dia.

Btw, the Malay word “amok” is there in the Concise Oxford Dictionary 1975 edition.

29 11 2012
Tuah

Sifar,

Pak Arab tu maksudkan semua bidang ilmu harus diajar & dipelajari dalam bahasa English kononnya dengan itu Melayu takkan ketinggalan & boleh cepat maju. Ini mungkin kerana dia ingin PPSMI dikembalikan kerajaan (berdasarkan pos penulis OutSyed The Box itu sendiri yg cenderung ke arah itu).

Tapi, peliknya Pak Arab tu tak sedar yang banyak negara maju di dunia ni cepat jer maju dengan hanya ajar & belajar semua bidang ilmu termasuk Sains & Teknologi dalam bahasa kebangsaan negara mereka. Antara negara itu ialah Korea Selatan, Jepun, China (sedang tuju negara maju), Jerman, Perancis, U.K., U.S.A, Rusia, Sepanyol, dsb.

Okey, U.K dan U.S.A guna & ajar/belajar semua bidang ilmu dalam bahasa English kerana English ialah bahasa kebangsaan mereka. Samalah juga negara2 maju lain yg menjunjung tinggi bahasa kebangsaan masing2 tapi mereka tetap capai status negara/bangsa maju dgn amat pantas.

Tentang istilah pinjaman, bukan “amok” saja dipinjam oleh bahasa English, banyak lagi – berpuluh-puluh istilah Melayu kini ada dalam kamus English.

Bercakap tentang pinjaman, betul seperti kata Setia yang setiap bahasa di dunia ada buat pinjaman kata. Bahkan Jepun juga pinjam kata2 dari bahasa English, Perancis (French), Belanda (Dutch), Portugis, Cina dsb untuk pelbagai bidang.

Kita juga dapat lihat English banyak pinjam kata/istilah asing dari pelbagai bahasa termasuklah bahasa Latin, Jepun, Melayu/Jawa, Perancis, Sepanyol, orang asli Amerika, dsb.

Tapi apa yang saya kritik sebelum ini terhadap OutSyed The Box adalah kerana dalam pos ditulisnya, dia dakwa kononnya bahasa Melayu pinjamistilah “kerbau” daripada bahasa Portugis.

Kemudian dalam komennya dia putar belit pula dgn dakwa dia tak terkejut kalau “kerbau” juga berasal drp bahasa Portugis. Tapi nak tau tak sumber dia? Sumber dia ialah “tourist guide” kat Melaka tu lah.

Adakah dakwaan “tourist guide” ialah “reliable source” (sumber boleh dipercayai)? Mungkin juga apa yg dimaksudkan “tourist guide” tu ialah istilah “kereta” saja & tak termasuk “kerbau”.

Dalam komen tu dia dakwa dirinya tahu “caribou” ialah istilah Perancis (French) yang merujuk “reindeer” (subspesies rusa) di Amerika Utara, padahal sebelum ni dlm pos dia, dia kata “kerbau” drp bahasa Portugis. Pelik, kan?

Tapi dia betul2 keliru nampaknya. Istilah “caribou” tak wujud dalam kosa kata (vocabulary) bahasa Portugis. “Caribou” hanya wujud dalam bahasa Perancis tapi ia bermaksud “reindeer” (sejenis rusa). Tak ker pelik nama sejenis rusa dikaitkan dgn nama sejenis lembu (kerbau – yg asli bahasa Melayu)?

Sebenarnya, kerbau dalam bahasa Portugis ialah “búfalo” yg sama makna & hampir sama ejaan dgn bahasa English – “buffalo”. Manakala “kerbau” dalam bahasa Perancis ialah “bison”.

Untuk info, terdapat istilah “carabao” dalam bahasa Sepanyol. Tapi, istilah “carabao” ini berasal dari Alam Melayu sendiri, yg bermaksud ia dipinjam oleh orang Sepanyol (Spanish) drp suku Bisaya (Visayan) di Samar & Leyte di Filipina. Dalam bahasa Bisaya ia disebut “karabáw”.
Rujuk sini: Carabao dalam Kamus Merriam-Webster

Tengok, bukankah itu tunjukkan bahawa pengaruh Melayu juga boleh meresap ke dalam masyarakat Barat? Suku Bisaya termasuk dalam keluarga Rumpun Melayu (Austronesia). Ia dikatakan berasal drp kerajaan Sriwijaya (Melayu).

Daripada pos dia, jelas terlihat yg dia berfikiran semuanya yg ada dalam Melayu datang dari luar atau Barat. Kononnya tiada yg asli dlm diri Melayu – semuanya ciplak. Tapi itu jelas tunjukkan kecetekan pengetahuannya dlm etimologi & linguistik sebab dia cenderung membuat andaian & bukan dapatkan fakta dr “reliable sources”.

30 11 2012
Sinaran

Buku buku “The Malay Civilization” dan “Tamadun Alam Melayu” yang di terbitkan oleh Persatuan Sejarah Malaysia itu ada menyatakan bahawa orang orang Filipino adalah sebahagian dari “Keluarga Besar Melayu atau “Rumpun Melayu.”

Sebenarnya, orang Filipino ada menulis buku memberi penghormatan kapada pahlawaan kemerdekaan mereka Jose Rizal sebagai “The Great Malayan” dan “The Great Malay Hero” dan menjodolkan buku itu seperti itu.

Bahasa Tagalog ada lah satu daripada 160 bahasa di Filipina yang termasuk di kumpulan lebih 1,200 bahasa yang di namakan “keluarga Besar Bahasa Melayu”. Itu ada lah mengikut penyelidikan, kajian dan pendapat berbagai pakar bahasa (linguists) antara bangsa dan pakar kita sendiri.

Maka tidak ganjil lah jika perkataan “carabao” berasal dari Alam Melayu sendiri .. drp suku Bisaya (Visayan) di Samar & Leyte di Filipina .. Dalam bahasa Bisaya ia disebut “karabáw”.

Buku buku itu juga mengatakan pendapat bahawa bangsa Melayu bermula di Gugusan Pulau Pulau Melayu (The Malay Archipelago) ini lebih dari 6,000 tahun dahulu. Masakan bangsa Inggeris, Spanyol, Peranchis dll ada lah lebih jauh kemudian dari itu. Oleh itu, saya sokong pendapat Sdr bahawa mereka yang meminjam berbagai perkataan dalam bahasa kita, bukan kita dari mereka, seperti perkataan “kerbau” itu. Mungkin kerbau lah sesiapa yang berkata sebaliknya.

26 11 2012
Tuah

Dear Setia,

In addition, French people, British and even the United States of America have been influenced by the Malay words and cultures (a little bit especially by a Pantoum – derived from Pantun of Malay origin).

For everybody’s info too, Pantoum was introduced into French, other European countries and USA by Victor Hugo who was a poet of French origin.

I think Syed’s syndrome is also called IntoSyed’s Western Box (parody to OutSyed The Box)- because everything came from the West and the outsiders especially the West are the superiors whereas we’re uncivilized people who live in the caves – we can’t think of creating new words if based on his post.

27 11 2012
Setia

Dear Tuah,

Language “evolves”, as the linguistic experts say. The English of Geoffrey Chaucer, the outstanding English poet in such works as “The Canterbury Tales”, and that of William Shakespeare, the famous playwright, is no longer in use today.

And the Malay of Tun Sri Lanang of the 16th Century has also largely been set aside. Modern Malay is now in use, changes in grammar, syntax, spelling, even meanings of certain words and the dropping of some. “Sula” (the treatment for traitors), for example, is hardly used any more because of modern law. And they have tried getting rid of the word “oleh” (as in “di lakukan oleh”) except for certain circumstances.

The Qur’an is, according to Abdullah Yusuf Ali (the well known and highly regarded Greek History lecturer who became a translator, interpreter and commentator of the Holy Book), is in old Arabic. Such that, he said, for a safe and clear understanding of what is meant by God’s “firman”, it became necessary for him to write some 6,000 commentaries in his works entitled, “The Meaning of the Holy Qur’an”, published by Amana Corporation. He is not even an Arab but a Pakistani, yet spent many years studying the translations of the Qur’an in Eastern languages, including that done in Latin for the Pope by monks in an East European monastery. Then he spent many years in London comparing various religions, in order to fully understand what was written in the Qur’an. Yes, the Arabic of the Qur’an is no longer in use to day. The Arabic language has evolved, too.

All languages of the world adopt foreign words. It’s simply inconceivable, even nonsensical, to say that no language should adopt foreign words. And Dewan Bahasa Dan Pustaka, has since its inception, done both – adopted foreign words into Bahasa Malaysia and coined new ones. There has been a Standing Committee in DBP, comprising of qualified and experienced linguists as well as those qualified and experienced in the relevant disciplines, who think out, deliberate and decide on new words coined for Bahasa Malaysia.

27 11 2012
Isa

Connected with the above, please allow me to copy the relevant paragraphs of a report appearing in the British newspaper Guardian, to day:

“Efforts to rewrite the dictionary in the 70s and 80s to omit entries with foreign origins described as ‘really shocking’ by author

The Guardian, Monday 26 November 2012 20.17 GMT

Robert Burchfield worked on four supplements to the Oxford English ­Dictionary, produced between 1972 and 1986.

An eminent former editor of the Oxford English Dictionary covertly deleted thousands of words because of their foreign origins and bizarrely blamed previous editors, according to claims in a book published this week.

Robert Burchfield’s efforts to rewrite the dictionary have been uncovered by Sarah Ogilvie, a linguist, lexicographer and former editor on the OED.

Ogilvie worked for 11 years to research and write Words of the World, published by Cambridge University Press, which challenges the widely held belief that editors of the OED between 1884 and 1933 were Anglocentric Oxford dons obsessed with preserving the Queen’s English, and that it was not until Robert Burchfield’s four supplements, produced between 1972 and 1986, that the dictionary was opened up to the wider world.

Examples of Burchfield’s deleted words include balisaur, an Indian badger-like animal; the American English wake-up, a golden-winged woodpecker; boviander, the name in British Guyana for a person of mixed race living on the river banks; and danchi, a Bengali shrub. The OED is now re-evaluating words expunged by Burchfield, who died in 2004, aged 81.

“This is really shocking. If a word gets into the OED, it never leaves. If it becomes obsolete, we put a dagger beside it, but it never leaves,” Ogilvie said.

As well as Americanisms and other regional variations in English, there were also those which entered English globally, such as typhoon, okra, abattoir, svelte and bamboo, or those restricted to a particular region, for example pak pai in Hong Kong, which is a car used illegally as a taxi.

The first version of the OED, released in 1884, contained words from all round the world, from aard-vark and aard-wolf to acacia. Murray also included the rodent, the agouti; the South American howling monkey, the alouatte; and the Philippine textile, abaca.

“If a word was used in an English context, it qualified as an English word. After all, from the OED’s beginnings, it was considered to be a dictionary of the English language, not merely a dictionary written by and for the people of England,” said Ogilvie.

A spokesperson for the OED’s publisher Oxford University Press said one of the dictionary’s current policies was “to re-evaluate any terms which were left out of the supplement by Burchfield” and it was constantly adding new words “from every corner of the English-speaking world”.

“Decisions on which words to include in the OED have changed over the course of its 180-year history,” said the spokesperson. “This includes choices on which words ‘borrowed’ from other languages should be included, and where quotations should be taken from. These decisions have been influenced by a range of factors, including space constraints in print editions.”

16 11 2012
Dot3

Outside The Box mentions Dr Kassim Ahmad saying “it is going to take about 90 years to forge a true Malaysian identity. He says 48 years have gone by. So there are 42 more years to go. We always need more and more time. (I think the Singaporeans have done a better job – in just 40 years).”

I detest unfair comparison of Malaysia with Singapore. No doubt many things could be done faster in Malaysia, but this relatively sprawling country cannot be compared with “the tiny Red Dot” (Indonesian President Habibie’s words) down south. For goodness sake, do realize that the longest road they have to build across the island is only 30 miles, the population they have to rule is only 5 million, they are practically a homogeneous society, Lee Kuan Yew having chauvinistically imported Chinese from elsewhere to dwarf the percentage of Malays, the original inhabitants of the island, making Chinese some 72%. Daxx Tengku A Rahman for giving it away FOC to LKY.

And more significantly: Lee Kuan Yew ruled by the iron hand, with Big Brother always on the wall, listening and watching what the populace do, maybe even in the bedroom. Fellows taking roadside landscaping plants were made to return/ replant them on the roadside in front of the State TV cameras, Opposition politicians were sued to bankruptcy until at one time there were only 2 Opposition MPs in Singapore Parliament.

By all means ask for speedy action, bring speedy Gonzalez of the right kind to do the job etc, and for Ahmad’s sake (not Pete, we are Merdeka 55 years already), come out with some suggestions, for example on Proton.

16 11 2012
Dot3

In a democratic country being ruffled by the likes of the sodomizing, ex-convict Anwar Ibrahim whose ideas of “a true Malaysian identity” would not be based on the Constitution of the country, the job of bringing that about is easier said than done.

The DAP plugged Lee Kuan Yew’s so-called Malaysian Malaysia line upon it’s formation, wanting equality without even acknowledging the Special Position of the Malays and the Bumiputeras of Sabah and Sarawak that’s written into the Constitution under Article 153. The Ketuanan Melayu is enshrined in that Article and other Articles explaining the powers of the YDP Agong and the Malay Rulers. Anwar naughtily puts out the idea of Ketuanan Rakyat, subversive to the concept of Ketuanan Melayu. Nasty fellow.

That alone is a sufficient example of the problems Malaysian leaders have to face – DAP’s utterances and acts prior to and immediately after the 1969 General Elections had sparked race riots. LKY would have thrown the likes of Anwar into jail or detention until retirement age – note that Singapore has not repealed their ISA. But Malaysia released Anwar from prison in a show of compassion, magnanimity what have you.

But, like Anwar’s not-guilty verdict of Sodomy II and reforms including discarding ISA, Malaysia gained respect as a democratic country. So, which would you want? A Singapore LKY type of rule or a Malaysian one?

1 12 2012
Simat

By all means, “use English on a very widespread scale. Especially the learning of science based subjects, mathematics based subjects and management subjects in the English language.”

But other than for Science and Mathematics, the medium of instruction in all schools must be Bahasa Melayu. Including in Chinese and in Tamil schools. They must be absorbed into the national school system – the Sekolah Kebangsaan system. For the sake of unity and the development of a single, united and cohesive Bangsa Malaysia in this country.

23 03 2013
Keira

Right away I am going away to do my breakfast, later than having
my breakfast coming over again to read additional news.

26 05 2013
Lawerence

You could certainly see your skills within the work you write.
The sector hopes for even more passionate writers such as you who are not afraid to say how they believe.
Always follow your heart.

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