Sunday, August 13, 2006

Easier than you think, not

CHIO v. laugh

It is not easy to speak good English. We really cannot use our Kuching brand of English in England. There are just too many short-cut, lazy bad habits in our daily Kuching-English conversation. Furthermore, the England brand of English is not anything like the English we learn in Primary School. This recent example highlights the problem:

Kuchingite in London fish market: The prawn you sell how much?
English fish-monger: Sorry?
K: I want to buy prawns. (pointing at the prawns)
E: Right mate, how cha whonnit?
K: Fresh only.
E: (laughs) How much prawn do you want?
K: Oh, sorry. Five pounds.
E: In weight or money?
K: Five only.
E: Yer said five pounds, iz that in weight, or money?
K: (puzzled look) Aiyo so difficult. Give me purs-tic bag, I choose.
E: Here. (hands over a plastic bag)

K: Nah, this how much... (hands the content back to the fish-monger)
E: Jez over six quid, but I'll geevit fer six.
K: No squid. Just prawn thankiew. How much you say? (the Kuchingite gave him £10 note) Got change or not?
E: (laughs, he gestured six pounds and took the tenner from the Kuchingite) Six English pounds.
K: (annoyed) Chio, chio, chio. You think I come here for you to joke-joke izit? You think you si beh kiang, I come here to buy prawns, you want to add sotong. You see me chinese face, you think you can trick. Bastard. I don't want to buy anymore.

The Kuchingite walked away, fuming after that encounter. After ten twenty yards, it suddenly dawned on him... he walked back to the fish-monger.

K: Give me my ten beg.
E: What?
K: Give, my, ten, beg.
E: Huh?
K: I want my ten DOLLAR beg.

$RM££!!! Sisuahlai.

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