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Jun 11, 2013

இ Get Down?

Get Down or Get Out?

In the above Humorous Speech Contest, Marianna Pascal, a renowned writer and trainer on communication skills, presented her speech with great enthusiaism and clarity regarding our local varieties of English or rather Chinglish aka Manglish. To the language experts they may have thorns pricking their ear drums when words like 'what lah you' or 'where got' wriggles through their ears. Some how for those seasoned speakers/listeners of Chinglish/Manglish it would be the least disturbing. Just to touch on one point from the video where most Chinese would agree our mom & dad said this umpteenth times since the day we were born ~ 下車 xià chē *pinyin* lit. 'down car' a direct translation for 'get out of the car'. The obvious opposite is上車 shàng chē *pinyin* lit. 'up car' but its very rare to hear 'get up the car' in Chinglish. 上 shàng *up*/下xià *down* were embedded in our thick skull and over the years saying 'get down the car' in English is second nature.

What crosses your mind when you pick up your Shanghai friend/business associate at the airport who has limited vocabulary of English gets into your car, fastened the safety belt and ready to go and then uttered 'open car' and later on the highway raises his voice with 'kill car'?

 開車 kāi chē 'open car' lit. is operate/drive/start a vehicle and not as what you imagine  spanners dismantling the car.  There is no connection to an act of murder with 殺車 sounds like 剎車 *tQ to Kian Fai Koh & SK*  shā chē *pinyin* 'kill car' but to step on the brakes during any emergency. Of course we cannot simply apply a direct translation word for word or homophones but merely used them jokingly like that also can lah.


Interestingly some Chinese words such as 'Kiasu' and 'Kowtow' are borrowed words and accepted in most English Dictionaries .

Kiasu: is a Hokkien word literally means 'fear of losing' and in pinyin 怕输 *pà shū* where 怕pà  means fear/afraid and 输shū means lose.

Definition of kiasu

noun

  • a grasping, selfish attitude:I should have gone two hours earlier: the kiasu in me is growing

adjective

  • (of a person) very anxious not to miss an opportunity; grasping.

Origin:

from Chinese, 'scared to lose'

source: Oxford Dictionaries


Kowtow: 叩頭 *pinyin* kòutóu where 叩kòu *knock/bow* + 頭tóu *head* which is a traditional greeting especially to a superior involving kneeling and pressing one's forehead to the ground.

Image courtesy of wikipedia
Definition of kowtow

verb

  • 1act in an excessively subservient manner: she didn’t have to kowtow to a boss
  • 2 historical kneel and touch the ground with the forehead in worship or submission as part of Chinese custom.

noun

historical

62 Bunchesஇ:

reana claire said...

Thank you Teacher Bananaz! Indeed chinese characters are interesting.. i m still learning every now and then.. hahaha.. never say too old.. lau nang..
By the way, you changed your header! :)

Kian Fai Koh said...

funny video to watch when she say to her husband that he is suppose to say get out from the car not get down, then his husband reply and say get down lol XD

it is not 杀车,should be this 刹

[SK] said...

oh yeah, i saw this video from facebook and was rather amused by her talk.. i also remember well "where got" and also "get down the car", haha.. yeah, very true, we have been using these terms very commonly and naturally, especially chinese speaking people~~ :D

Twilight Man said...

Goodness! Kian Fai Koh came to comment today. You must be the luckiest pisang in town.

I am surprised that Kiasu can be found in English dictionaries now. Where got??? Muahahahaha

[SK] said...

errr, 殺車?? i don't think this is the right word, it should be either 剎車 or 煞車.. we are not killing (殺) the car, but we are bringing the car to an abrupt (剎, 煞) stop which actually mean braking.. hehehe!!

[SK] said...

hmmm, really?? kiasu is found in English Dictionary?? i didn't know that, i just know kowtow is one word found in the English Dictionary.. hmmm, we must ask the English Teacher regarding this~~ :p

Hayley said...

Interesting interesting! I learnt something today, hehe!

Bananazஇ said...

Reana Claire இ Where got teacher no got sama sama we learn

Kian Fai Koh இ oops tQ for the correct wording sorry lah like that also can lah haha

SK இ tQ for the input am learning day by day. Yeah see what our Sib cikgu gotta comment.

Bananazஇ said...

Twilight Man இ Yeah lucky me gotta hentam ekor kah? haha. Where no got what lah you lol

SK இ Like me dunno Chinese one bit susah with the 'spelling when comes to homophones. Can lah same one lah haha

Hayley இ Glad we are all picking up new things daily

Small Kucing said...

You are back..lol

Me of course speak manglish :p.

It's hard for foreihners to understand. For "kill car" initially I thought it mean stop the engine. Not brake.

Bananazஇ said...

Small Kucing இ Managed to clear all the cobwebs loh haha. First time heard a Kucing friend said to me 'diam chia' and Bananaz was scratching the head. He meant to 'kill' the engine ie switch it off.

London Caller said...

I saw this video before.
Very funny one:)
Angmo can also do local jokes eh:)

suituapui said...

As long as people can understand, that's fine. Perfectly fine in the country. But going abroad, there may be some mis-communication arising, so would have to watch how we speak. It's more the tone - how we speak that seems to put those more refined Mat Salleh off.

MEcoy said...

well that sure is a great and hilarious speech, hmm local english was such a great material for comedy even here

rainfield61 said...

Well, I am now following a Chinglish Dictionary,

compiled by Bananaz

Pete said...

Get down.....get down.....xxxxx leh....ha ha ha

Charmaine Pua Li Ping said...

Wah Teacher Banana is teaching Chinese!
Let's de-banana! :D

wenn said...

kiasu is Hokkien. Fear to lose. Well, many people kiasu but some kiasi..

Bananazஇ said...

London Caller இ Half angmoh with great local jokes haha

suituapui இ If we are not used to overseas Englsih we are at a lost too. Shall repeat this phrase when the teller asked me 'how do you like your money?' Was thinking sure like lah who no like one haha. She was referring to the money denomination..ooops

MEcoy இ Its an old video but no harm watching good jokes again

Bananazஇ said...

rainfield61 இ Where got?

Pete இ Huh xxx pulak why like that one haha

Charmaine Pua இ The blind leading the blind haha

wenn இ Bananaz kiasu, kiasi & kiabor lol

Leovi said...

Very funny and ironic! I would like to learn Chinglish!

Rurousha said...

Your post reminded me of this article I recently read in The Economist:

http://www.economist.com/blogs/johnson/2013/06/language-borrowing

PS: It's very lekker that you're blogging again! :)

Bananazஇ said...

Leovi இ Hope you are not confused haha

Rurousha இ Kak lekker to be back but must be well controlled else forget about time and that would be bad for my eyes. dankie

Yee Ling said...

At first I have difficulty of differentiate btw kiasu and kiasi..

Angie said...

hahaha..oh I love the video, I love Marianna Pascal, simply hilarious.
"all your eyes are beautiful Marianna"..hehehe..

Thanks for sharing Bananaz..
*still laughing*

Bananazஇ said...

Yee Liing இ Bananaz is kiasu, kiasi & kiabor (henpecked) haha

Angie இ Ha ha no proposal for an alien with so many eyes lol

Setyo-Utomo Said said...

nice interesting blog <3

http://agro-turisme-fishpond.blogspot.com

HappySurfer said...

So hilarious and so practical our local lingo. True that it can be baffling for foreigners, sometimes.

Some of us are kiasu, some also kiasi, everyone kiaboh and some men kiabor. :O

And finally, all your eyes are beautiful now that you're blogging again. :D

Thanks for the video.

Bananazஇ said...

Setyo-Utomo இ Hi tQ for dropping by. Wow so impressed with the huge numbers of blogs.

HappySurfer இ Bananaz got two only two beautiful eyes haha. Me inclusive kiabor one lol ;),

HappySurfer said...

Still, all your eyes are beautiful. haha...

Kiabor is good leh, can fatt tatt they say.

angeline ong said...

Just drop by to say hello and wish you have a nice weekend.

angeline ong said...

Should come here more and learn some Chinese. So I dun wanna be "kiasu" and "kiasi"...

London Caller said...

You see angmo you eyes can open wide wide eh?
Doctor gave you all clear now?

EastCoastLife said...

kekeke.... funny lah you. I am starting my weekend with a smile oledi.

Bananazஇ said...

HappySurfer இ No wonder! Now I know why Bananaz have not fatt yet. Must start to kiabor from today

Angelene Ong இ Hello welcome. You no come Bananaz no go. Good come good go haha.

London Caller இ Not exactly eyes still got problem. Without glasses on when seeing the computer screen its convex like a pregnant lady. Got to live with it see first how the condition will be and rest eyes intermittently

ECL இ Where got haha

LifeRamblings said...

welcome back buddy. i'm one of those individuals who speak Manglish too. malaysians being malaysians. :)


LifeRamblings said...

hehe, i didnt know that u so kiabor one. your wife so scary meh? she hit u and u wont hit her back izzit? mwahahahaha

Bananazஇ said...

LifeRamblings இ tQ hopefully no hiccup along the way and eyes don't disappoint me again. Like what HappySurfer said must kiabor then can fatt tatt mah and am beginning trying to be scared of Mango hahaha.

lronglim said...

Nice, light-hearted post... am not conversant in Chinese but can understand some of the jokes you mentioned about killing the car...:-)

Leovi said...

Certainly a good lesson. Now I just need to forget my fear of losing, Kiasu

Bananazஇ said...

Lronglim இ Hope you are picking up some Chinglish then haha

Leovi இ No fear haha Gracias

Leovi said...

A Kowtow for you, friend!

London Caller said...

What you mean ah?
People see B cup, you see E cup?
Like that I understand better lah.

F cup is better!
Not Formula 1. Ha ha

Uncle Lee said...

Hi Bananaz, ha ha, love this posting. Hilarious when hear or read about the champur English and whatever.
Where I am huge population of peoples from China, Middle East, and you can imagine the many mixups when they speak English....
Wish I can speak Mandarin. Mine is just a few sentence after a couple of Jack Daniels when with a beautiful hostess. Ha ha.
Have a nice day.
Lee.

Bananazஇ said...

Leovi இ No No too great unable to accept

London Caller இ What about G cup then? lol

Lee இ You slow slow come! Oh after a few sip of Jack Daniels tongue fully lubricated and the language flows pretty well with pretty & SYT huh? haha

cleffairy said...

=.= Abit confused, but thank you for the lesson.

Amelia said...

Hi Bananaz, great posting and thanks for sharing the video. Lots use direct translation, that's how many end up speaking Manglish & Singlish. And we M'sian very capable, can form one sentence using 3 languages English, Malay, Chinese and dialect in between. LOL...

Ok, gua go chiak lunch liaw. Have a nice day.

lena said...

oh, i happened to watch the above video recently too..the funny part was also when she said that her husband said to her that all her eyes are beautiful. LOL!i think our malaysian english is indeed very unique with all the lah and direct translation..hehe..

Bananazஇ said...

Cleffairy இ Howdy? Bananaz is equally confused haha. Chinese has a way of choosing words eg for get down the car is said by all Chinese dialects but in English its 'get out'. Bananaz have been saying 'get down' in English for ages all of us know the meaning.

Amelia இ We often mixed and maybe due to laziness refused to align them.

Lena இ Direct word for word from mother tongue or Chinese words could be painful & confusing to foreigners. In Chinese we say 'close fire/open fan' so often so we say that in English instead of 'switch off/on'

Leovi said...

The Incredible Hulk think he liked heavy metal, mine is an overture of an opera-rock!

Ai Shiang said...

Haha! Never had I thought of "down car" before. Murder car is a good one, I'll use it next time :o)

London Caller said...

G cup? Too big lah.
Cannot find bra that size in M'sia.
Must come to Europe.

But eyes not that serious until G cup, right?

Bananazஇ said...

Leovi இ nothing is too heavy for the Hulk

Ai Shiang இ Mom & dad used to tell Bananaz all his child hood days 'down car' haha

London Caller இ Pos-laju it hahaha

Jennifer said...

I'm visiting from Suituapui's blog and just wanted to stop by and say HI! Great place you have here! I hope you have a splendid weekend!

Bananazஇ said...

Jennifer இ Hi tQ for dropping by you have a great weekend too

Uncle Lee said...

Hi Bananaz, how you doin? Just wondering you there getting the bad haze from the fires and smoke in Indonesia? Read in the papers.
Have a nice weekend, keep well.
Lee.

Bananazஇ said...

Lee இ Real bad and many schools in JB are closed. More news from blogger HappySurfer Heard news of flooding in Canada hope your area is safe & dry.

Leovi said...

I love "Sealed With A Kiss" by Bobby Vinton, one of my favorite songs of my life.!

Autumn Belle said...

While working in a Korean MNC, boss who spoke foreigner style American English told us to "make copy" but we heard "make kopi". While he waited for the photocopies of important documents to arrive, instead we served him coffee. Every time a new clerk joined our dept, the job orientation included how to listen to boss instructions to "make copy".

Bananazஇ said...

Leovi இ Love SWAK and the movie SWALK

Autumn Belle இ Annyeong haseyo! haha

Quay Po Cooks said...

I enjoyed that video. I still speak English with a lot of Chinese direct translation with my Quay Lo. For example, I still say go up the expressway or go down instead using the word exit. I still say get down the car and not get out of the car or I even call him "Big Cry Ten" when he starts to complain this and that. Oh well, I am Chinese, so he has to get used to my English.

Keerthi said...

OMG!!!That sooo funny :D
Not only in Malaysia does that happen,
it happens in India too :D
LOL I will never 4get this video,I have to make my brother watch too!!!

 
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