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Friday, August 14, 2009

Manglish Mandarin Chinese

Remember my boy who thinks in English when studying Mandarin? Well, he also thinks in Manglish.

Recently, I asked him whether he understood what teacher says when she speaks Mandarin Chinese to them in Class. He looked a bit bashful, then he said.....

"Yes, mummy. I know what 什么(shén me) means. It means ... What is this?"

I praised him. "Oh, thats very good. That means you understand what is going on in class."

He smiled and then he went on to say.....

"Yes, mummy. And 什么 一 (shén me yī) means .... What is this one?"

For the benefit of Henny and other readers who are not Malaysian, Malaysians are fond of saying "this one" instead of "this" For example,

"This one is not mine"

Or adding "one" at the end of sentences like this...

"I tell you... this fried rice is really delicious one."

My son was thinking one step ahead and making his own conclusions in Manglish (Malaysian English) which we speak at home. lol.


  1. hehe...he's so funny! My lil' boy also in progress for understanding his mistakes spelling between English words and Indonesian. I just found (because the 2 big kids don't go to an English speaking school) it could add a little bit stress to the mom!
    His teacher said "don't worry mam, little kids would absorb like sponge, just give him a little space and time to understand..". hehe.. I hope so :)

  2. I think the "one" thing is not just Malaysia but Singapore as well. I'm trying to correct the kids on this, but I myself use it often too.

  3. Hi mg, how are you? It's been a long time since I've been here. Not blog-hopping these days.

    I wonder if you could email me at tehlydia@yahoo.com. I'd like to use one of the posts you wrote about reading - to reproduce in a children's guidebook. Thanks.

  4. hahahaha....gosh....we should stop speaking in Manglish shouldnt we. Shouldn't we?

  5. henny,
    Oh you can't rope in the two elder ones to help so its more stressful. Hehe.

    Haha. Yes, we use it too often now its stuck and rather difficult to "unlearn".

    All done. :) You've been pretty busy yah.

    Yes, we should lah.... Hehehe.


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