As one who teaches English, I try to avoid speaking in Malay with students.
I would say that 99.9% of the time, English is used in any lesson or conversation. It should be 100%, really.
On VERY rare occasions I use Malay, purposefully, to get a point across, and this in turn leads to peals of laughter from students.
Somehow that makes me feel embarassed. Like I've done something wrong. Or funny. Not.
But hey, I can speak in Malay of course, and they must surely know that that's the lingo used when not in teaching mode...
Anyway, as English has been such a big part in my life.. (I was already speaking fluent English since I was 4 and with a hint of British accent too!) and has been the reason why I went into teaching, I sometimes feel guilty of not enriching my Bahasa as well. I have not read a Malay novel since Form 5, I think! I read English newspapers. Listen to English speaking radio channels. Watch English movies. Buy English novels. Even cook western food more than Malaysian food..Even my blog posts and facebook statuses are most of the time in English. Hmm.., I could be accused of leading such an `English' life!
Yet, I do still enjoy listening to Malay songs.. I do watch Malay dramas, I of course love Malay food.. I wear the Malay traditional baju kurung throughout most of the year, goreng pisang is top on my list of afternoon delights and I would like to name my future children with Malay names like Melati or Melor.. ;)
All in all, going back to the point of this post.. I realize I should take the time to give more attention to the Malay`ness' of things in my life.. starting with language maybe. I harp on students to understand the culture of a society in order to be more attune to the language they use. So, I may need to go back to basics again and appreciate my own mother tongue once more.
Ok, my Malay is a little rusty I think so don't laugh.. Here goes..
Catatan kali ini sebenarnya telah diilhamkan oleh kata-kata seorang anak murid yang berkata baru-baru ni : 'peliklah dengar teacher cakap Melayu'.. Apa yang peliknya kan.. sebenarnya memang itu bahasa kita..
Kalau tidak kerana tugas sebagai guru Bahasa Inggeris, mungkin BM akan digunakan sepanjang masa.. Hakikatnya, telah lama bahasa itu ditinggalkan dan mungkin tiba masa untuk menggunakannya semula - paling kurang pun dengan membaca bahan dalam bahasa.. hehe.. ok tak?
Ok, does reading my thoughts in Malay sound weird too compared to hearing me say it?
I will try to love Bahasa Malaysia and appreciate it. So I'm ending my post this time with 2 Malay poems/ pantun:
Tingkap papan kayu bersegi
Sampan sakat di Pulau Angsa
Indah tampan kerana budi
Tinggi darjat kerana bahasa
Cuaca gelap semakin redup
Masakan boleh kembali terang
Budi bahasa amalan hidup
Barulah kekal dihormati orang
Sehingga bertemu lagi di lain masa.. :D