The Rammifications of Thought

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Friday, October 06, 2006

Bahasa-Malaysialization of signboards

I read with amusement when our Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister gave approval to Dewan Bahasa & Pustaka (DBP) "the power to advise and fine anyone not using the national language correctly on signboards". Apparently, this is to make sure that the national language is not sidelined in any way.
Rais said for a start, DBP would advise anyone found using the language wrongly.

Anyone refusing to follow an order by the DBP director-general can be fined up to RM1,000.

Rais also gave some examples of commonly used terms such as Touch ‘N’ Go and Boulevard that he would like to see changed to Bahasa Malaysia terms.

“The word for ‘Boulevard’ should rightfully be ‘Lebuh Perdana’,” he said.


Wtf Lebuh Perdana? Why can't a simple english word be used? The logic is simple; le-buh-per-da-na, 5 syllables, bou-le-vard, 3 syllables, easier to pronounce and it doesn't even matter if it's pronounced correctly or not. Lebuh perdana might sound like a classy word, but I sure do think that it's a crappy translation to emulate western civilization. We might as well stick to the good 'ol "Jalan" for that matter.

If the minister gets it his way, soon you'll be seeing "Sentuh dan Jalan" signs at toll plazas all over the country instead of the familiar "Touch 'N' Go". Sounds weird? Try asking a foreigner who's having a driving trip around Malaysia, I bet he'd be lost before he even knew it.

They must be very afraid that Malaysians are going to lose their grip on BM. Very afraid. Hello? What about that learn-english-because-it's-an-international-language campaign? Sometimes government programmes get really, really ironic around here.

If this keeps up, I'm gonna cross my fingers so that this does not happen...

TMK = TEMPAT MELETAK KERETA. No parking, get it?


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