Friday, 1 June 2007

Boleh Cakap English?

The rise of globalization and the push for an integrated market has really taken shifted a paradigm mindset in terms of how we continue to pursue with the use of English as the main medium in the business world. Thanks to that, trying to converse with my colleague in Bahasa is really tricky as I can't seem to remember many words already (oh the shame!).

Well, what I heard today sort of made me realised that Bahasa is not too behind as well. It all started with me having to work in the KL office today located in KLCC. Being all gung-ho and ready to get out of the doldrums of Cyberjaya, I took the LRT and arived at the office earlier than usual only to find out that all the available hot desks were unavailable!

Ok, so I thought I would just sit in the pantry area and connect to the Wi-Fi and then my colleague told me that the Wi-Fi service is unavailable as well. That took the cake and I then decided to head downstairs to Starbucks to work there (pays to work in KLCC I guess).

So here I am sipping my coffee while connected to the local hotspot when an Australia couple sat at the table next to me (I guessed that they were Australians from their slang and their dress sense, beach wear in KLCC). Anyhow I was happily minding my own business when the Aussie dude got a phone call.

"Hello, good morning"

(some voice over the phone which I obviously cannot hear)

"I'm sorry, but could you speak in English?"

(some voice over the phone which I obviously cannot hear)

By this time I was guessing it was some wrong number and the person on the other line was either speaking in another local language.

"Boleh cakap dalam English?"

That caught my ear, he knew how to speak Malay? Wow, I was impressed that he was rather fluent in that.

"Saya tak boleh dengar atau faham kamu, boleh cakap dalam English?"

Amazing, that was definitely what went through my mind.

"Maaf, saya tak boleh faham, mungkin salah nombor" and he ended the call there.

I was just blown away. Interesting fact I learned today with most tourists, either he has been in Indonesia or working for a long time now in Malaysia to understand the local language and to speak it fluently.


Aliaa said...

Hi there :)

I actually know a few Australians who have worked in their High Commission in KL. Their training had some basic Malay for them to passably order a glass of teh tarik.. hehe.. But yeah, now that their back home in Australia they're always excited to see me so that they can practice their Malay. Very strange!



She's Jess said...

Not only they could speak in Malay, Mandarin is not a prob for them too. Amazing huh?

Mark said...

Yeah, even my dutch boss is learning mandarin.