Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Relating your reading ‘input’ to the real world is a great output. Just like a student always tries to relate what they’ve learnt at school to something more realistic. Your world is certainly getting much better. Even your profound understanding makes the educational process more enjoyable and pleasing. Aha, this is such a key point because I’m gonna share with you shortly my previous reading that’s closely connected to the world I live in.
Before that, I’ve got a question here: Have you ever heard the adjective ‘bilingual’? If never, please go look up the word in dictionary. Oxford dictionary is an excellent choice. By the way, you would’ve less time and hope me for help. Alright, then. I’d looked it up FYI. The definition given in my Oxford Advanced Learner’s dictionary (International Student’s Edition) is ‘being able to speak two languages equally well because you’ve used them since you’re young’. Aha, you’ve got it? I hope so.
Now, let’s take your mind off the definition for a while. If not, this could possibly be irrelevant to the main focus of my writing (in fact, typing). Speaking about the issue bilingualism, it does occur in most countries all over the globe either in the continents of Asia, Africa, the US etc. Guess what? MALAYSIA is inclusive. Ah, excuse me? Yeah, you can be thinking about the Malays who occupy 65% of Malaysia’s entire population. Do accept my apology in that I’m not the least bit thinking so.
Frankly speaking, I’m talking about other nationalities that exist in Malaysia besides the Malays. Some of these nations initially came as immigrants on this land and the rest are Bumiputras such as the Melanaus, the Orang Aslis, the Ibans, the Kadazans and many others. As Bahasa Melayu has become the national language in this region, in other words, the non-Malays are required to study the subject Bahasa Melayu at school and compulsorily pass it. The need to pass the language subject is vital for a job seeker within the country whether they aspire to work in the government sector particularly.
Of my observation, what’s so unique is that the non-Malays seem just lucky for being bilingual indirectly. Not only can they speak in their mother tongue so well, but are also fluent in Bahasa Melayu. At present, there’s no big deal when a Chinese Malaysian is able to speak both Mandarin (or other Chinese dialects) and Bahasa Melayu properly. Seeing that the English language is officially the second language here, the non-Malay citizens have one more specialty with their proficiency in speaking English. That makes them multilingual. How amazing! It’s undeniable that such a circumstance is mostly undergone by immigrants.
Hang on a second! Are there any bilingual Malays too? What about a multilingual Malay? Absolutely, there surely are. Taking Malaysians living in a foreign country like the United Kindgom, Australia and whatnot for instance, they’re among the bilingual and multilingual – but nevertheless on one condition, namely they must be able to speak two diverse languages to be a bilingual and more than two languages to belong to the multilingual.
Well…what if we can speak Bahasa Melayu and English pretty well? Do we belong to the bilingual as well? Hmm… sounds good, doesn’t it? I guess why not? We definitely are!