Monday, July 23, 2007

J-English Speed Limit

We know that the speed limit in our highway is 110km/hour. As for when having sex, it would be 69km/hour. But have you ever figure out what's the speed limit when you're talking to a Japanese? Let me share with you my experience. This is one of my kisah benar entry in Japan. I'll try to minimise my ketam-ing throughout this entry.
It happened during my first English class which was more than 3 months ago. As usual, new class, new students and hence, the self-introduction part is common. But this time, we didn't go something like
"Good morning ebelione lor. My name is XXX. I am XXX years old. Bla, bla, bla…"
Instead, it was my lecturer (I'll refer it as sensei after this) who did all the questioning part. At first, when I saw him, I thought, "Wah this fella, looks like his English must be damn keng one". I was hoping I was right, until he started introducing me and my another friend (Malaysian too) to the rest of the class.
"Okay class, this year we will be having this two guys as the foreign students in our class. I hope you all will give them co-operation and help them if they need any help."
After explaining all those stuff like the sylabbus and etc, he walked to us. Again I began to kan cheong already. What English should I use? If I use Manglish, guarentee he kiong wan. But if I use those ang moh English, I pulak khiong. Kinda like splitted for choices actually. In the end, I decided to use standard English without those 'meh', 'lah', 'nia', 'mah', 'liao' and 'lor' (sounds like Mehlah Niamah Liao Lor) but at the same time, throw in as much bombastic words that I know even though I know that my vocab just sucks.
This is how he started the conversation. "You're Calvin, right? So Calvin, tell me, where did you studied before kambing (coming) here?"
Mind you, the grammar was okay, but the slang was KO. That time, I started thinking of laughing already, but I still tahan myself not to do that. I didn't wan to offend him on my very first day with him.
So I answered him, "Err…well, we did our preparation centre for almost 2 years in Kuala Lumpur before kambing here. There, we studied a few subjects like Japanese, English, Maths, Physics and Chemistry. When we were in the second year, all was conducted in Japanese though."
Then I noticed his face like turned lain macam. I stopped immediately.
"Wait, hold on, Calvin. What pleasant centre?"
"So you can get massage at that place? I think it should be a very pleasant place hor?"
So, I explained the same thing to him again. But again, he looked blur. I thought, this one really confirm got problem already. But never mind. I give him a break. So, I explained to him again for the third time. But this time, I learned my lesson already. Never beat the speed limit when talking to a Japanese. So, I go really slow with him.
At last, he nodded his head. I'm not sure whether that's a sign indicating that he understands my explanation or he's trying to say "Okay, I've had enough already. Don't make my brain suffer anymore".
After that first day incident, I hardly speak English with him during his English classes anymore. I would rather prefer talking to him with my half-passed Japanese rather than hearing him talking England with me.
If your sensei can't talk decent English already, how about the students? No prize for guessing it correctly. My Japanese friends always asked me to use English when I talk to them. Not wanting to disappoint them, I usually will use the simplest English I could everytime. But mana tau, after a few exchanges (three being the maximum) they will reply me in Japanese.
Even when I talk to them in the first few exchanges, I still must keep the speed limit thing in mind. This time, it's even stricter. I got to say a word, then stop for 20 seconds before continuing with the next word. By the time I'm done with my final word, even me myself will never have any idea about what I was trying to talk about. And for my friend, all I will get is this!
A sesat-ed face!
Moral of the Story: Speak and talk safely and remember your loved ones. Making people to go blur isn't the best thing to do.

17 comments:

t@ng_y1! said...

my eng teacher speaks oni japs in class.
so, I'm wondering tht
aren't I supposed2 belajar eng, but it turned up i study jap instead...

Calvin said...

tang yii: the subject english is just by the name only. but the reality is they're not learning much.

michelleg said...

really sad case.. ur english must be like the best over there eventho ur not the best over here.. :P

Calvin said...

michelleg: nope, not the best. neither second best.

michelleg said...

haha no? i tot the rest of them can't even speak english well..

Calvin said...

michelleg: aiya, i didn't mean when comparing with japanese la. there's still other malaysians here ma :)

dodo said...

hahaha. wat a lark! hey japjap! i still manage to laugh though im havin bad day here coz of ur entry. this is sooo funny man! reading ur blog is like reading comics pulak. wat "Mehlah Niamah Liao LOr" hahaha. wat da heck! i thought ive owes been the one gd in inventing new words n who knws u're better than me heh.

n ur that *tut* lec ar. haha damn *tut* one huh. damn *tut-ter* than me ler. (mind me pinjam tat word). kambing = coming. n n n ...this one lagi funny. preparation = pleaaaaasant!!! i was like wat!!!!!!.. till i pronounced it slowly i then realised that it sounds like pleaaaaasant. hahaha ..this is soooo funny!

lonehunter88 said...

pleasant centre.... omg! so memalukan.. haha.. crazy..

Calvin said...

dodo: this is a blog, not a comic la. you think you was reading calvin and hobbes isit?

you got to kesihan the japanese too coz whenever you say out a word abit longer than usual, they will cut-short that word and in the end, it will become a new word. just like preparation became pleasant :P

Calvin said...

lonehunter88: your kosen don't have such thing happening meh? i think my sensei frequents pleasant centre. that's why he could come out with that word! :P

Innocent^^Guy said...

i think the other msian students there can opt to be the tutor for english classes or something..fire the lecturers and get some pay la!

Calvin said...

calvinsenpai: that job is a sure no no to me. i don't want to get a heart attack so fast in my life being tutored or should i say being tortured by those jitpunkia. sure damn pening if want to teach them!

-waiwai- said...

haha... damn funny lah ur lecturer... if like that... i think u also can become a lecturer leh...

i wonder if we speak manglish they will understand or not... hahaha...

GANBATTE neh....

Calvin said...

waiwai: very easy nia. if we speak manglish with the japanese, they will reply you with janglish lor! :P

-waiwai- said...

haha... *faint
okok... acceptable answer...

~*♥*~ÄmèLïâ~*♥*~ said...

LOL....nice entry weiiii =)

haha...yea, i met japanese students before...every year there'll be a bunch of students from Japan TOYOTA HIGASHI high school...visit my ex-school.

ermm...frankly, it's really hard to communicate with them..THe worst part was...SWT...they expect we(m'sian student) understand japanese languange.. cause when we talked to them in simple single word...then..OMG~ they answer us in japanese..

Calvin said...

amelia: next time you answer them like this:

"nihongo ga wakarimasen. hanasemasen" :P