Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Are You A Mandarin?

Although Mandarin is important to all Chinese people, you won't hear any Chinese saying that it is their mother tongue.

We say instead that we are Hokkien, Cantonese, Khek, Teochew, Hainanese or any one of the other dialectic groups.

We don't say that we are Mandarin, unless you are a mandarin perhaps and, even then, you don't want to say it unless you want to be mocked.

But most of us, however, whatever our dialectical group, can speak Mandarin unless you are a banana (no offence meant - a "banana" here refers to a Chinese who can't speak Mandarin, yellow on the outside, white inside)

Most Chinese here in Malaysia though, can speak (if not at least understand) dialects other than their own.

In the Federal Capital of Kuala Lumpur and in the northern states especially Perak, Cantonese is widely spoken among the Chinese and Hokkein in the southern states.

And in East Malaysia, especially in Sarawak, the Foo Chow dialect.

Penang is exceptionally Hokkien.

But like I said, most of us can speak Mandarin, whatever our dialectical group.

Is Cantonese harder to learn than Mandarin?

Or Hokkien or Hainanese or Khek?

I am no linguist, but phonetically or is it tonally? Cantonese seems easier to pick up from just watching Hong Kong Cantonese movies and soap operas.

That's how most of us who are not Cantonese ourselves learn to speak it.

Because Malay is the national language, most of us can also read, speak and write Malay except perhaps for the older generation.

Fortunately, Malay is a relatively easy language to learn.

Not so, Mandarin.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Video Bar

Loading...

Kluang's Little Bangsar

Kluang's Little Bangsar
Click To Visit

Kamini's Indian Wedding - Click To Visit

Kamini's Indian Wedding - Click To Visit
I attended my neighbour's daughter's Indian wedding dinner at the Sentul HGH Convention Centre. Click for a peek

Yasmin Ahmad - Click To Visit

Yasmin Ahmad - Click To Visit
Yasmin Ahmad was arguably Malaysia's best story-teller, filmmaker and advertiser. She was well known for her Petronas commercials and had won numerous international awards including the Golden Lion award for the 'Tan Ming Hong In Love' commercial. Her feature film Sepet not only garnered her several international awards including for Best Asian Film but also drew multi-racial audiences that rarely happens for a local film.

Genting Highlands - Click To Visit

Genting Highlands - Click To Visit
Genting Highlands Is A Popular Retreat With A Casino

Batu Caves - Click To Visit

Batu Caves - Click To Visit
Malaysia's Famous Landmark. Note The Statue Of Lord Muruga And The 272 Steps To The Temple Cave In The Background

Petronas Twin Towers And KLCC Park - Click To Visit

Petronas Twin Towers And KLCC Park - Click To Visit
Petronas Twin Towers Are Still The World's Tallest Twin Towers

Some Early Morning Views Of KL City Skyline - Click To Visit

Some Early Morning Views Of KL City Skyline - Click To Visit
Some early morning views of the KL city sykline I took from the 3rd floor of the KL Court with a low-pixel hand-phone camera

Kluang Town - Click To Visit

Kluang Town - Click To Visit
Kluang was a sleepy hollow, but is fast becoming a bustling town. You can't miss the bust-shaped gunung Lambak lording over the place and the town is well known for its tv brand coffee powder

Kluang RailCoffee

Kluang RailCoffee
The Kluang railway station coffee shop, now re-branded Kluang RailCoffee, is well known for its cuppa of coffee and the charcaol grilled piping hot buns oozing with butter and kaya...It used to attract standing-room only crowds. It still does, but the last time I was there it wasn't a good experience for me. The famous coffee had somewhat lost its oomph and even the buns...The shop has a long and noted history being first opened for business in 1938 and the place is now run by the 3rd generation LIm family. I hope the next time I return, the coffee would regain its oomph. Click to read more...