Oh the land of Saudi,
How I love thee.
In the midst of gathering thoughts for a quick update on this blog, I found nothing particularly inspiring to jot down for my own enjoyment. Sure enough, I should’ve had ton of things to share, what with my splendidly wonderful place, the beginning of my new life, the amusing culture, the bla bla bla bla, the la la la, the na na na, and more of the blahness, but needless to say, I wasn’t that motivated. Perhaps I will give my blog more justice after my hajj pilgrimage next week, so here’s hoping that my enthusiasm will still have its sparks by then. (*^^*) I’m extremely anxious for hajj now. The thoughts of…well…you know…agitates me.
I’m not sure you know exactly what I meant.
Perhaps one of the greatest charms of these Arabian countries is the language. Being a person who has always been fascinated by any language that could reach my ears, there’s nothing I like better than decoding the clandestine message that were thrown about mockingly in front of my clueless face. I hate when that happened, it made me feel left out and as if I’m not thoroughly part of their clique. Because I didn’t get the secret joke, get it?
Thus, I didn’t feel comfortable speaking my own language in front of them. I don’t want them to feel left out either.
Which is—now that I think about it—quite stupid. They need to be exposed to the awesomeness that is Malay language, and gaped at the foreign sound that is our dialect!
But I have the southern dialect which is…like…the typical dialect of them all.
The official dialect of Malaysia.
urgh asdfghjkl >.<
Back to the point, I am fascinated by language, but Arabic language had never gained my attention. True, every Muslim has every reason in the world to learn the language, but I guess the devil’s temptation is extremely absolute on that matter.
For one, most Malays learn Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) in the primary school (but I didn’t, because they haven’t reinforced the idea during the 89 batch) or the religion school (during my time, we started learning Arabic during the 3rd year, but by then, I have already quitted the school for personal reason) or in secondary school (some schools, particularly boarding schools, let you learn a foreign language provided by the school, and I’ve been to one of the boarding schools, but the school appointed me to Japanese language, but then I quitted the boarding school and enrolled in public school, which didn’t provide the foreign language elective subject) or in the total secondary religion school (but I went to a public one…).
With that in mind, you should probably know that perhaps public school students are the humblest of them all. We weren’t extensively taught like those in boarding school, nor were we educated thoroughly regarding Islam like those in religion school. I suppose we only studied what was required by the education government.
I was a public school student, has a lot of boarding school and religion school cousins, and most often, they would share tidbits about their student lives, things that they thought were foreign to me because I was just a public school student. My lack of comprehension towards the Arabic language prompted them to show-off a bit more than necessary, and I truly didn’t appreciate the fact that I was being left out.
Hence the unwillingness of speaking my own language in front of the foreigners. Which was stupid. I know.
Therefore, Arabic didn’t excite me as much, because almost everyone in Malaysia claimed to be an expert in that one, and often enough, they would correct me just because they have formal education and I didn’t.
Way to break a person’s self-esteem.
I mean, if they were right, then I don’t mind. But I was right and they were wrong, but they insist that I was wrong and they were right! How frustrating is that? >.> Like when I said the Arabic word for banana is mauz, and they blatantly shot me down, saying that “No, you are wrong, its mauzun!”, and then I tried to defend myself, “But those people in TV says mauz!,” and then they counterattack with, “You heard wrong!”
Even now, when I’m here, my mother who learned MSA in school also tried to correct me, but I often say, “Mother, it’s the dialect the dialect the dialect!” XD
I mean, when I utter the word ‘mauzun’ here, they gave me confused eyes.
Actually, they looked confused every time I speak Arabic.
I really need to brush my pronunciation a whole lot more. But I will talk about that later. In another post. Maybe.
Anyway, during the first few months in this land, we have no internet in our house but no matter, there’s the TV and the uncountable amount of channels in it.
It’s countable actually but but really!
Isn’t it awesome, I mean, we could count Malaysia’s channels with our hands and feet…figuratively.
They have a lot of Arabic channels that I have zero comprehension due to the thick dialects (and the varied dialects ohh man) but thankfully, they have English programs with Arabic subtitles YAY!
I say, I never watched so many movies in my life, and it was unimaginable but I watched every episode of The Simpsons and American’s sitcoms…certainly not something I would do in Malaysia.
I’m not a TV person. AT ALL.
But I need to gather lots of words in my brain, you see!
Anyway, because of my exposure towards various words, I began to notice a few random things. Like how guys seem to like teaching other guys their dialect while the girls rather teach foreigners (me) MSA. I suppose they didn’t want to cause confusion with the language, slowly letting us have the feel of Standard Arabic, then venture into the dialect realm. But it was weird when this happened.
“Why is limadza.”
“What about lish?”
“Lish? Uhh…limadza is better.”
But I never heard you say limadza in front of your friends, you only say lish! XD
And it took me a while to find the dialect word of ‘What.’ And that was after doing an extensive research on the internet.
And I’m not sure if I should say the dialect word of ‘what’ aloud. Because they haven’t taught me that yet lol
Once, I uttered a dialect word, and aghast, they looked at me and asked, “How did you know that?”
“Well, I learned it from the TV.”
It didn’t sound appropriate of me to admit that I learned a couple of dialect words from songs, so I answered with the bulletproof answer of ‘TV’.
Technically, it was the truth, I wasn’t lying, I did hear the music from the TV lol
And then there’s this other thing that is constantly in my mind…
But I shall discuss later since this post has unexpectedly grown a foot.
Until then, toodles :D