Thursday, July 3, 2008








I noticed that I was so nervous when I had my driving test. Steve asked me, “Why?” I think I am still not used to talking alone with American strangers yet; I worry I won’t understand what they say to me.

I’ve heard that some countries like France, Germany… they stick with their language and use only their mother language. So, if you want to live there, then you better learn to use their language!

In Malaysia, Malay is the mother language. Even though the majority of subjects in school are in Malay, they also have one English language subject too. And Chinese schools have Mandarin language subjects; Indian schools have Tamil language subjects. If a foreigner speaks English to us, even if our English is not good, we still try to use English to respond. Even though some Chinese-Malaysians don’t understand Mandarin (don’t know who made the joke, calling them “banana people” – Chinese in yellow skin, but white inside), we don’t care and we use a language which both can understand.

My previous job dealt with vendors in China. I think those Chinese business people liked to have a western name like Harold, Carl, Tim, to introduce themselves to their foreign customers. Some of my friends also have a western name as a nickname. I asked one of them, “I don't understand why many Chinese want to have a western name. May I ask you why?” He replied, “Mostly, it's for the convenience of 'social communication' & 'business'.”

In the USA, I met some Chinese friends and I introduced myself. Someone asked me, “Do you have a western name?” I met some Americans and I introduced myself, and someone asked me, “Am I pronouncing your name right?”

Convenience for others is one of the virtues of Chinese people and Chinese-Malaysians! However, most races born in another country gradually lose their ancestors’ languages…

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yeap, I agree with you that most of malaysian or chinese are always give other convenient so that they sometimes think they are priority then us. However, they lost a lot of knowledge in learning other people culture and some wisdoms that important for life.