May 26, 2006

tiu ler

Emily : “Dear, I told my uncle about our plan to not let our kid learn how to speak and write Mandarin. Seems like he’s very against the idea”

Me : “Then?”

Emily : “He said, people would not laugh too much at a Chinese who does not speak English, but on the other hand, would despise a Chinese who does not speak his own language”

I felt a sting up my pride

Me : “Fuck lar, then what about me?”

I don’t fucking feel like it’s something to be ashamed of. Yeah so I don’t speak good Mandarin and I don’t even know how to write my own name in Chinese either. So fucking what? What is so bad about that? Why is it so imperative for me to write my name in Chinese? Do we even have the use of it?

I don’t understand why do they have to make it sound like I’ve just sold my Chinese soul to the devil just because I believe it is dumb to learn some vernacular language that has no absolute value for my future at all.

I’ve met shitloads of people who knows how to read and write in Chinese. And you know what about them? Most of them are a bunch of delinquent parasites who don’t know how to even prepare a decent presentation and speak up their minds. They’d only sit around and nod, not knowing what others are discussing about, only to make stupid mistakes later on during their assignments. Tiu nia seng ahhh! — [nahhh that’s Chinese]

Just today, a junior engineer inquired me about some “tua khor”. I asked him what the fuck is “tua khor” … and he went ahead to describe it with the aid of some sign language over a minute, then only managed to make out that he was referring to a “dual core” processor.

“You fuck! That’s called a DUAL CORE! Not TUA KHOR! You know what TUA KHOR means??? TUA KHOR means fatass in Hokkien!!”

And many more that are fucking stodgy, dumb and aberrant in development. Those Chinese ed farts. A bane of the modern community. They just don’t bother to learn some decent English, and fucking expect everyone to spoon feed their static ass. Just look at those despicable Jay Chou wannabes and cheapskate motherfucking Ah Lians (and those unstable romance novel freaks). I despise these kind of people and I certainly do not want anyone in my family to be like that.

That’s why, I came up with this pledge – no vernacular education for my kid. She’s gonna converse in Cantonese and English with us… and write only in Roman alphabets. If she ever gets interested in learning Mandarin? Let her start herself when she’s old enough to earn her own wage. I just don’t fucking care.

michaelooi  | rantings  | 

37 Comments to “tiu ler”

  1. Hijackqueen says:

    My daughter goes to a Mandarin speaking babysitter and we converse with her using English at home. At 2y/o, she understand both languages. Kids pick up everything faster than adult. So I’ll say, let them explore/involve in as many type of languages they can.

    Eh, don’t tell me simple Mandarin you also dunno meh? You know “Ni hau ma?”

  2. clkang says:

    hey, u hv ur choice not to learn chinese. ppl also hv their choice learn their language too.
    dun ” one bamboo clear everyone on the boat”.

  3. _dan_ says:

    hey, it’s nothing bad to learn chinese and it’s especially a strengh in the new world where our screw-up country were to depend on china’s economy in the future.
    anyways, i went to an english ed kindergarden and shifted to a chinese school later… and hey, i’ve no problem conversing in both chinese and english.
    most importantly, we’ll always understand jokes/sarcasm from both chinese/englich ed people.
    DUH!

  4. michaelooi says:

    hijackqueen – Very elementary level. I’ve conversed with my rotten Mandarin with engineers from China and Taiwan before, it seems that they could understand after all. Oh well…

    clkang – Read properly dude. I didn’t directly discourage anyone doing anything. I’m just bitching there. Don’t bamboo me off the boat.

    dan – Well, good for you Dan. But unfortunately, not everyone’s as awesome as you.

  5. blackcrowe says:

    for me , in the end, its the person you should judge ….I 100% english ed too (but my english still sucks, call me slow)…took me years to just construct a simple sentence in mandarin. But somehow I am very comfortable in cantonese .
    Anyway, as I said, its the person. So what if the guy can’t speak english properly, if he is a cool macha you won’t see it that iritating I guess….On the other side, I sometimes tak boleh tahan some of my english -ed “friends” who talk only english all the time like some power dude who has some high-class taste in things or something…muthafucker!!.

    So as I mention, it depends on the people actually.

  6. Asa says:

    i felt u saying about all those who know how to read or write chinese are gangster..why u indicate Jay Chou inside? Although I m not his fan but we all should respect or cherish others and ourselves as well. what is wrong with u?

  7. chris says:

    Mandarin is the most widely spoken and written language in the world.. If you know mandarin and tamil, you will be able to converse with half the world’s population…

  8. khimfoh says:

    Well Mikey at least you can speak cantonese and Hokkien which is good enough. I am a Hakka and can’t even understand a word of it. Hell, I can’t even speak Cantonese properly. I prefer to converse in English because…hell I don’t know why…it’s just that all my life i’ve been speaking English to my parents and siblings. But imagine the trauma I went through having difficulty in order food from chinese hawker stalls…its damn embrassing to utter something in cantonese without proper tone. I hope you get what I mean (At times I don’t even understand myself..sigh…)

    Learning from this traumatic experience, I am making sure that my 2yr daughter should be well versed in at least 2 chinese dialect..Mandarin and Cantonese…I think it should ensure her survival in KL.

    P/s..Mikey…your blogspot…err..yat low.(very good in cantonese..I presume)

  9. gutsygal says:

    okay i speak both languages…my english is of course better than my chinese and sometimes i wish i could read chinese faster/fluently…i speak english with my parents and only learn chinese in kindergarden and primary school…

    I once hated my dad for sending me to chinese school and now i am proud and relieved that he did, although my chinese is definitely below par but at least i do not stutter or go “uuuhhh” or “errrmmm” when i speak with people in china or taiwan…

    seriously, i am proud that i speak, read and write both languages…i continued my studies in a private secondary school and i had many many friends who are “bananas”…and believe me they envied me because i am bilingual…they wished they could read and write mandrin…

    y don’t you think of it this way…if you have heard horror stories of chinese school student having no life being kiasu and doing their homework 24/7, well i was not a star student for sure but i managed to scrap through my years there i am still alive and kicking…if you want your child to have a good command of english send him/her to Chung Kwok School or Jalan Davidson they have Singapore Syllabus for afternoon tuition class where maths and science are in english…the standard is much higher than ours…

    or else just send him/her for mandrin tuition classes… =P

    oh well the decision is urs…just hope that your child will not grow up wishing that you sent them to chinese school…^_^

  10. sniperberry says:

    Yeaps… Their communication skills in English baffles me. “I want to go snorkeRRing but I got JILO money. Lets go buy SEX piece of KFC!” *vomits blood*

  11. michaelooi says:

    blackcrowe – Maybe you’re right. But then, I can’t be getting all personal with everyone I meet. When you’re talking about a working relationship, the fuckups that they did can be pretty annoying.

    Asa – That’s because Jay Chou is a motherfucking gay bastard that has an uterus grown from inside his brain.

    chris – You know, you could be right. Half the world population. And majority of those “half”, probably haven’t even heard what’s an internet before… and probably don’t even have a job to begin with. Go figure dude.

    khimfoh – I’m not implicating that Mandarin is a bad dialect. It’s just, there’s a lot of bad people speaks them.

    gutsy – I have been having this thought since I was a kid myself – that I WILL NOT FUCKING EVER, send my own kid to a vernacular school. No regret, bebeh…

    sniperberry – I’ve got a friend, who somehow can’t pronounce the word “sensitive”, no matter how hard he tries. The best he managed to come up, was “sentifit”. I’m not kidding.

  12. caryn says:

    erm… i’m from a chinese ed school and my english is better then those from english ed schools… guess there are exceptions la..

    but i guess i’m just lucky cos i hav parents that can converse well in both english and chinese. (they are both chinese ed and proud of it =D)

    and… i’m a fan of jay chou =X (but i dun like them jay chou wannabes though =P)

    it IS kinda true that some chinese educated people like to look down on those chinese that can only speak english… (not me though =D)

    actually if i’m not mistaken i think china’s internet usage is rapidly increasing, u can find more and more chinese websites popping up..

    lastly.. Mandarin is a language, not a dialect =X

  13. offaverage says:

    blame BM for the tua khor…
    wait till you meet some extremists. you arent one yet.
    some maggots from mainland china are really….oh shit!!
    they actually do scientific anal-ysis, put graph and etc to despise english, not ppl, but the language itself. should link the website but you cant read chinese, and i dont think you give a damn bout it =)

    a chinese educated fren of mine got a top 10% in SAT (i was around 60%) but cant speak simple english fluently…
    my primary school was a SRJK(C) and my secondary scool was a Saint ‘X’ institution.
    In my secondary school some of these guys can swear in 20 minutes non-stop in english and yet fail SPM english… rifuckingdiculous.

    you englsih so power, your baby sure will be very power in english also lar… wat school u put her in also the same. i know, cos my hakka is still more power than my english, melayu, huayu, hokkien, canto and etc. can swear for 20 minutes nonstop using profanities.

    vernacular school – can use words like diu, fuck,ceh!…usually simple cursing. wont be creative in creating new cursings

    school with melays chinese and indians – better use of diu’s, pundeks, fucks, kgunci elet and etc… can swear with anything from ‘lia ma puk*ma’, ‘sutera batas’, ‘chibai bakut tea’………… advance level the use of profanities with ground breaking ideas.

  14. JDream says:

    No thanks, English & Cantonses will be enough for me. Of course it’d be great to know Mandarin too but if I could pick just one… it’d definitely be English. You are so gonna need it for your job interview.

    English – 26 alphabets. Easy and get over with it.
    Chinese – 3000 to 5000 different characters. WTH?

    And yes, those Ah Lians… man they make my skin crawl. No offence but seriously the way the act really baffles me and the whole lot of the people around them. No shit.

    Sorry if I offended anyone, just my personal preference of English.

  15. megabigblur says:

    Bananas of the world unite!
    Peel banana, peel peel banana!
    Shake banana, shake shake banana!

    On the serious side…I think being bilingual is a good thing. If you learn more than one language at an early age it gives you more flexibility in learning other stuff when you’re older. I used to hate having to learn BM in school…but in college in the US when I looked at my angmoh classmates who only spoke English I thought that was pretty pathetic.

    I’d like to learn Cantonese so I can watch kung fu movies without having to read the subs all the time ^_^

    fyi, when the Kuomintang govt was set up in China, Mandarin only beat Cantonese as the national language by ONE VOTE. Darn northerners with their silly Beijing accents.

  16. Nicholas says:

    *goes to learn how to write his own name in chinese*
    hey, at least i should know dat rite?

  17. Christina says:

    I was lucky enough to have qualified having English and Chinese as my first languages during O-levels. But seriously, it’s not the language that made the “stupid” or “clever” differences, it’s the education system (fuck them for the canings). That’s why people who can afford would rather send their kids into international schools in Malaysia or overseas. They are not 100% the best choices, but they encourage critical and creative thinking more than the local schools. I mean seriously, I’ve met dickheads in college and in uni in Perth, who can’t speak English properly, coming from the local Malay/English schools. The 4 years I spent in the local primary school getting beaten up for puny reasons in English and Maths lessons didn’t even add up to one year of knowledge that I acquired in an international school without getting caned when I was an expatriate child. I thought your first line “our plan to not let our kid learn how to speak & write Mandarin” was a bit too… one sided. Well, I thought at least encouraging her to explore the language, not assimilating the chance in your house completely. Like it or not, I do think the ability to be able to speak and write Mandarin will make a difference in the near future… 10 years? :P

  18. pikey says:

    i dont write/read chinese but i think as long as a person can have a casual conversation in Mandarin then it should be ok….

    and that ‘dual core’ joke really cracks me up, wahahahahaaha

  19. Primrose says:

    I can’t stand it when they say “jilo jilo” and “thatS mean”.

  20. Rodney says:

    I’m in the same position as Michael. STOP STUFFING US THE IDEA THAT CHINESE MUST SPEAK MANDARIN.I am no less chinese if i can’t speak mandarin. I can speak hokkein and cantonese but nooo i have to speak mandarin to avoid being laughed at by the other chinese.. Fuck the other chinese. Take your superiority complex back to China! You’ll be among your own kind.
    /rant

    *sigh* been there done that and I’ve never have to speak a strand of mandarin in my life.

  21. tyra says:

    Jus wait and see where her talents are…who knows she might take up languages as major :)

    More fun knowing a 2nd language…let it be mandarin, malay, french etc…

    Yes she can still decide when she grows up :)

  22. You know, it’s never a bad thing to learn an extra language, especially one that’s not obscure and is pretty much used by a good sixth of the world’s population. Even when it’s something that’s not so widespread, because people look up to you when you display an ability of multilinguism.

    Although what you say a bit is true, about the part where they don’t bother to converse in proper English, and where they bloody expect you to talk back in Mandarin. I understand if it’s a completely new thing to them, because a new language is a very daunting and embarrasing thing at times.

    But when they’ve been around a majority of an English-speaking community for YEARS, I tell you, YEARS, they still can’t speak worth a damn. Or even try, and you always have to accomodate them somehow.

    And somehow a good majority of them that came out of the vernacular system, even from a primary basis, when sent to a secondary school with every other race inside, they tend to be quite discriminating, especially towards those who can’t speak Mandarin, and only a smattering of Cantonese. I was brought up by English-speaking parents, although my Chinese dad (I’m mixed) often claims it was my fault that I never wanted to learn how to speak the father tongue (Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!).

    Anyways, long story short, throughout secondary school, I had tons of Indian buddies, some Malay chaps and a pinch of Chinese friends.

    At the end of the day, I think about it and say, why the FUCK were/are those Chinese Malaysians so racist?

  23. pang sai says:

    U are right. There are many/shitloads of Chinese-educated people who couldn’t speak very good English, compared to their fellow English-educated friends.
    HOWEVER,
    I pity U for not being able to meet SHITLOADs of Chinese-educated souls who speak FUCKING excellent English & these successful people earn 6-digit monthly salary.*Thumbs up* (In Hokkien, Ho Liao)

    I also pity your company for not being able to recruit/attract DAMN good Chinese-educated people
    to work with the smart people like U. That’s why U bitch a lot about Chinese education.
    Keep bitching while other people are realizing the importance & value of BOTH languages. :D

    In addition, it’s nothing wrong being a “banana”, they are cute, I mean the way they speak, not the shape.

  24. michaelooi says:

    All,
    I’m sure there are a lot of abled and successful Chinese ed people around. But you know what? They are those who realizes the importance of self development, brushed up their English and respectively, the knowledge for their own success.

    Those Jay Chou wannabes? They’d usually end up becoming
    – pDVD peddlers,
    – mobile phone promoters.
    – tow truck operators
    – funky hairstylists
    – shampoo boy/girl

    Those with a little bit more of a brain, will probably cheat off a degree or two, to get a decent job, but would basically, screw up everything he/she touches later on in his/her working life.

    Those who didn’t manage to get a job? Siphoning off moolah from their parents, and often found killing off their time patronizing arcade centers – jumping skankily in front of those coin operated dancing machines and playing pools.

    The odds are, not very good. That’s why, I ain’t taking any chances. If my kid wants to learn how to speak Mandarin? She has to make sure she’s good in English first… else, daddy won’t be very happy about it. (when daddy’s unhappy, he’s going to be very broke, especially when it comes to digging out pocket money for his daughter/son)

  25. Hawk says:

    Michael is right, most chinese educated people are dimwits. It is not really the fault of the language though, it is the education system and to some extent their culture. So in this light, his decision to ensure his kid will never be sent for vernacular education is right.

    The people who can speak good mandarin & english are often not really chinese educated. Chinese educated people just seem to have lower critical thinking abilities. That has been my experience with classmates/teachers/friends/clients/etc.

  26. inevitable says:

    I am a banana… chinese inside, rojak outside… can speak mandarin, cantonese, english and bm but if I have a chance, I would send my chidren to Chinese school and I converse to them in English.
    It is better and easier for them to start learning young. Just me 2 cents…

  27. NicEviL says:

    Why do people who speak english can think more critically ? Cause they do not have the mandarin profficiency to listen to bullshit like fengshui, ghosts, etc etc.

    English first, mandarin second. End of story.

    Keep in mind that the more languages you know the harder it is to learn new languages. In psychology this is termed linguistic memory.

  28. ShadowFox says:

    You have no idea how many times I’ve heard these sort of Chinese Chauvinistic phrases.

    I remember when attempting to learn to read/write mandarin in some of my earlier mandarin classes in secondary school, in a SMK.

    The Chinese teacher deliberately speak ONLY Malay to me even though he KNEW i could speak mandarin, just couldn’t read/write. I still remember that shithead, his name is Mr Chua.

    If I ever see his car, I will torch it. ;-)

    Anyway, I’ve boycotted mandarin classes since then because the teacher was deliberately humiliating us and treating me and my friends as outcasts for not coming from chinese primary schools or able to read/write Mandarin, and instead treated the kids coming from real Chinese primary schools as his equal.

    I’ve never felt so ostracized in my life, by my own kind.

  29. Tiffany says:

    I am 100% Chinese-ed. And I was those Chinese-ed who discriminate bananas. I think those bananas forget their own origin as a Chinese, just because they don’t know their own language. But I manage came out from that situation. Because I realized a good person does not measure by language or race. :D

    I think we (Chinese) should just stop discriminate each other (Chinese-ed vs English-ed). Try to view language as a tool of survivor. The more languages you know, the faster you get to access the 1st hand information (no translation needed). I regretted that I did not put enough effort on my English subject.

    For those end up with pDVD sellers, HP promoter, tow truck operators… etc. I think that is because the Chinese education system here has serious flaws. They just blindly adapt China’s or Taiwan system, without considering the local situation. This is sad. Those that left behind (couldn’t get into uni or oversea for further study), trust me, they don’t want to end up selling pDVD either. They are just fighting for survivor in boleh land.

    Michael, don’t be so mean. ;P

    (Sorry. I know my English is broken, but as long as people can understand.)

  30. gorgeous says:

    I had my share of “wonderful” time ‘working’ with chinese ed people. Not only do they have trouble pronouncing, they have this bloody attitude of not wanting to do their part. their trademark phrase “pu tong” and that’s it. chuck all the workload to you. well the dictionary was compiled for some purpose. if they don’t bloody understand what the words mean, look up the dic and memorise it. that’s what they do best anyway. memorising.

  31. michaelooi says:

    Tiffany – Excuse me, did you just label me as mean? Like, did I just pulverize a poor Chinese ed scholar because I am such an English ed asshole? Hello… baby… I WAS THE ONE who’s being condemned here… Wake up lah, lose those Romance Novels…

  32. Yee Hou says:

    Dude, how about letting her do a few years of primary school, then let her make her decisions later for secondary school?

    Well, I went through that path. I dare say I’m pretty happy about it. I can write some Chinese, and my English, while its not top notch, its pretty strong as well.
    Cheers

  33. Asa says:

    Yoyoyo! ooi! micheal…calm down, man! Tiffany didnt mean THAT!

  34. ethan says:

    LoL, tua kor.
    To deny your child the chance to learn chinese before she’s even born is just plain wrong.
    Why are you so afraid that she won’t be able to string a perfect sentence in english if she were to learn chinese? You’re there to guide her isn’t it?
    Just think of it this way, learn an extra language extra $$$$ ; or she could just get hitched and live off her $$ husband. lol

  35. pang sai says:

    To make my point clear, learning Chinese language doesn’t mean U have to send her to the Chinese school for formal education. She can learn from the Chinese books & computer softwares/CDs at home. It’s much easier to learn a new/second language at an early age. Perhaps both of U can learn together.
    Smart parents make smart decision.

  36. michaelooi says:

    Asa – I’m not heating up dude. I know what Tiffany’s talking about. For me, I have no compassion for those pDVD and Jay Chou wannabes. Let’s just say, I have some history with such people that I do not wish to talk about.

    And people, I’m not asking you to agree entirely with me. That was more or less like a rant post, may not make much senses to a lot of you out there (esp those who’s still in college).
    Perhaps you might realize what I’m talking about when you’ve seen enough of the working world someday… but that’s not important to me.

    I’m closing this commenting thread, I’m tired of hearing all about “Mandarin”.

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