Mixing more than one language into a cocktail could lead to a drastic linguistic decline.
ENGLISH has now become a rojak or cocktail language.
Words from various ethnic groups have been pumped into the language to make it sound more pleasant.
The English language is now a potpourri, thanks to the Asian trademark of adding various spices to provide a hot and spicy “flavour”, both in the spoken and written format.
Such a transformation has taken a turn for the worse. Even young and elderly professionals have fallen into this pit.
Compounded with the poor proficiency in the language of the younger generation, this cocktail language will be dragged further into the abyss.
Much has been spoken about the drastic decline of the language. There seems to be no remedy.
To overcome this defect, lawmakers must eradicate the nationalistic sense of belonging. There is no place for selfishness and personal gain.
Effective ideas have been put forward by various sectors. But these ideas are of little value unless they are followed by honest action.
It is now time for the nation’s administrators to chart the course by taking an effective step to put English back on the right track.
I must say, without fear or favour, that these administrators must not cling to false doctrine.
There should be no second thoughts about forming only one stream of language medium.
If we really want to aspire to and attain a high command of English, then this is the only option.
As long as we are the slaves of selfishness and cater only to one ethnic group, we are bound to move backward.
Malaysia is a multiracial country. So the thinking and action must likewise be multiracial. It is wrong to focus on one target group.
It is sheer folly to ignore English, as it is a universal language. To turn back the clock in the right direction, the administrators have to set up an honest framework.
The citizens depend on the master of the ship. There should be less talk, less personal agenda and less bickering. We want realistic action.
Back to the cocktail language. The use of ma, lah, nah, ah, ai yo yo, and ai ya are some of the glaring examples.
It is amusing to hear those using ma at the end of their sentences.
The word ma is meant as a question mark by the user. They even stress ma with a long vocal tone.
“He is a rich person, ma.” In reality, the person is trying to say “Isn’t he rich?” Short, simple and to the point.
Many Bangladeshi factory workers whom I met have also been influenced by the mausage.
They use ma not once, not twice but thrice within a short conversation with me.
It is also interesting to converse with them, due to their pronunciation and slang.
Ma is derived from the Chinese word, which has crept up into the English vocabulary lately. It has now gained popularity and gained a strong footing in Penang.
Lah has long been used in our country. “Don’t do like that, lah. No, lah.” These words are meant to stress the meaning of the statement.
Nah, ah, and lah are familiar words taken from the Malay dialect.
“Nah, take this. (Well, take this).
“Ah, she is so beautiful”. (Oh, she is so beautiful).
Not only English, but Bahasa Malaysia has been tainted.
One ethnic group is very fond of saying dekat (near) but they have used it in the wrong manner.
Saya cakap dekat dia. (I told him). But this expression really means, “I spoke near him.”
Inter-marriage is good. The offspring will usually be beautiful and intelligent.
But inter-marriage of language has a far-reaching effect. It becomes an element of destruction and decay.
There are also many common errors in English because of literal translation.
“Two two can go” (Both can go) is a literal translation of “Kedua-dua boleh pergi”.
Grammar is also out: “The staffs and management welcomes...” It should be: “The staff and management welcome...” This error was made by a reputable American company.