Saturday, March 26, 2016

About Being Malaysian in Chicago,

May be applicable to anywhere else in The States/any other country actually.
Can't really say la because I've only lived in Chicago.

#1 Speaking English

Question one

a. So where do you live?

b. So where are you from originally?

c. So when did you move to Chicago?

Me: Well, I'm from Malaysia. I came here in January.

Question 2

a. Oh so that's your ethnicity, but where did you live before you moved to Chicago?

b. Oh so how old were you when you moved here?

c. You lived somewhere else before coming to Chicago?

d. You lived here a long time then?

Me: No man, I was in Malaysia until I got here in JANUARY.


a. What? I thought you meant you were born there and you moved here when you were little.

 b. Oh! Your English is really good.

c. So do you speak Malaysian at home?

This brings us to number 2,

#2 Speaking American

"I like the way you speak, like the way you say things,
you say "outtt" with emphasis on the T"

"It's because you guys don't like to use your T's! Like liDerally"

 and ledders (letters) and ledduce (lettuce) and laed-der (later).

 I realize Malaysians must be incredibly accommodating.
When angmos come to Malaysia, we adopt an accent when we speak to them.
When we go to a different country, we adopt an accent X10 when we speak to them.

I'm like mmmh, don't know if I'm willing to give up my T's yet and 
I actually feel like I'm betraying myself if I were to say kent (can't).

Little trixha in my head is like 
"dudee, what are you saying? Get a hold of yourself man!!"

There aren't (or maybe there are barely) any Malaysians where I am, 
so I'm aware that the they way I English is probably more impressionable.
I consciously still say my Ahs instead of Ehs!

With class, not cleh-ss.
pass, not peh-ss.

I'm not gonna be that friend who comes back with a whole different accent ok?
lol well I'm trying anyway.

I think my friends still understand me when I say "mainTenance" instead of ma'en'nence. 
 So I'm keeping my T's! So keep your T's ok?

On a side note,
I think it's normal if Americans find it strange that we use different phrases for things.
E.g. Saying lift instead of elevator.

Both are interchangeable terms, 
but when other Malaysians are like "lol! can't believe you still say lift.

Moving on to,

#3 Speaking Malaysian

I still say my la'when I'm extra enthusiastic about something,
then I'd explain that it's just a Malaysian thing and I can't help myself.

"I don't know la"
"Yea, sorry it's a Malaysian thing. It's for uhm...emphasis"
"Oh! Like...stop it laaaa"

Fast forward to a couple of weeks later when a friend said:

"Omg, get it together la"

I'm like waitaminutee! *eyes all sparkly* Did you just say "la"!?

It caught on, guys! I'll have them Malaysian in no time.
Maybe I'll try to slip in some "aiyo"-s in there.

But I'm here in America la you know, 
So I also make an effort to figure out what the whole "fahrenheit" and "block" deal is.

 Yea, it's tough to English sometimes.


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