Wednesday, June 07, 2017

PAS & Penang lingo 101

MM Online - PAS angling for Chinese, Indian voters who fear being seen as anti-Islam (extracts):

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KUALA LUMPUR, June 7 ― Now solitary, Islamist party PAS believes it can wrangle votes in urban seats from ethnic Chinese and Indians who are afraid of being seen as “anti-Islam”.

Its Youth wing chief, Muhammad Khalil Abdul Hadi, claimed there was “uneasiness” among the minorities against its former ally DAP for allegedly “attacking” PAS over its president’s attempt to seek harsher penalties under Shariah laws.

“For example, in the RUU355 [issue] where we see there are Chinese, Indian community that do not want to be pictured as anti-Islam, anti to the rights demanded by Muslims,” Khalil said in an interview with ProjekMMO, Malay Mail Online’s sister publication.

RUU355 refers to the private member’s Bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965, or Act 355, brought by Khalil’s father and party president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang.

“I believe if PAS comes in [to contest] in DAP and PKR’s seats [in the next election], there will be three-cornered fights, where the votes of non-Malay Muslims may also come to PAS,” he said.

The immediate following may sound offside but please bear with me, wakakaka.

I am personally concerned about the decay in the use of Penang Hokkien (in Penang itself), which incidentally was reported recently by an American linguist.

Penang Monthly (May 2017) reporting (extracts): 


Catherine Churchman, a lecturer in the Asian Studies Programme at the School of Languages and Cultures in Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, states that Medan Hokkien bears the closest resemblance to Penang Hokkien.

She has studied both the Taiwanese and Penang Hokkien dialects (and is fluent in the latter) and laments:

“Penangites have become increasingly used to hearing Taiwanese Hokkien, but the Taiwanese are not used to hearing Penang Hokkien. Simply replacing Malay loan words with the Taiwanese equivalents does not turn Penang Hokkien into Taiwanese Hokkien either. The grammatical structure of Penang Hokkien is different.”

There’s a special side to Hokkien as well: words that are lost in time in other dialects are still used – and very frequently.

“One of my favourite features regarding Penang Hokkien is that it often preserves older vocabulary that has been lost in Taiwan and China. ‘Angmoh’, for instance, was a term used during Ming times from Japan to Malacca. That has died out – except in certain limited uses – everywhere apart from Malaysia and Singapore.”

The fault, according to Penang Monthly, lies in the growing usage of Mandarin particularly by/with the younger generation. It continued (extracts):

When Saw Teong Hin, director of the film You Mean the World to Me, which was made entirely in Penang Hokkien, was searching for a 10-year-old boy to play the part of young Sunny, he ran into some difficulties:

“Honestly, when we were auditioning for the role, it was a bit troubling that a lot of the kids couldn’t speak Hokkien. About half couldn’t, and the rest who could weren’t very fluent.”

This is exactly the generational gap that Churchman mentioned.

“Penang Hokkien is still spoken very widely, and it looks to be in a healthy state if you are in your forties or above. But just get on a bus or out in public and listen to what the children and teenagers are speaking to each other in; most of them will be speaking Mandarin,” Churchman observes. 

“Listen to what parents are speaking to their children and you’ll find it’s also Mandarin. Even if these children are speaking to their grandparents in Hokkien, there is not much hope of them speaking to their future partners in Hokkien, and therefore it is highly unlikely that they will be speaking Hokkien to their children. Assuming that the current trend continues, Hokkien won’t be immediately dead, but it won’t take much longer before it is.”

Ooi gives it another 50 years: “Children under 12 these days who can speak Hokkien are very, very few. It’s not their first language. It’s not even their second language. It’s not even a language they will speak outside; they have no connection to the language. The world tomorrow will be English and Mandarin if we don’t do something today.”

In this post I'll do my part to help preserve the wonderful Penang Hokkien which is a national treasure to our nation, regardless of what ethnic group you might belong to.

Thus, back to above MM Online's report on the "wisdom" of PAS' Muhammad Khalil Abdul Hadi, I would say in Penang Hokkien:

a. Been p'uoi kau,

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b. Sai goo baang gueh, &

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c. Taan koo koo.

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  1. tapi wa kar lu kong.. GE14 tua gostan balik keh nan pusing leh! wa syiok kar bay pang phui.. lu jamban ho pang sai bo sai pang..taan koo koo .. kiam kong uwa sneh liow nua.. wa kong tang lu kong sai.. wakakaka

    1. aisehman, ah hnia see Penang lang see boe? Arn neh, lang see kaatee lang loe, wakakaka

  2. Cantonese dialect is still widely used in the Klang Valley, even those who are Chinese educated.
    Cantonese tend to be more proud of their dialect.

    In Penang, the younger generation seems to think Penang Hokkien is "low-grade" and using Hokkien marks you out as either poorly educated or a "banana" who can't speak Mandarin.

    1. Cantonese has a governmental model to lean on or refer to in HK and Macau whereas Hokkien doesn't, not even in Taiwan.

      But the younger generation Chinese Malaysians will be like Sings, all Mandarin speaking even in their toddler years

  3. 乡音, such a nostalgic reminant of days past!

    Like everything in life, old replaces new as the cycle of time marches on.

    I wouldn't call 乡音 as dialect, especially in the case of the various 乡音 as exhibited in the Chinese culture.

    The trend now, amongs the Chinese (all over the world of various citizenship) is Mandarin, English & the national language of the resided country.

    During the Tang dynasty, the official lingua franca is the Hokkien. Or more correctly, the ancient original Hokkien has been totally replaced by the then official Tang lingua franca. This has a logical locality influences.

    The various subsequent dynasties move northward & the official lingua franca is slowly been replaced by the Putonghua, a northern native speech.

    The Tang speech is been retained in that southern portion known now as Hokkien, while the Cantonese also included many Tang speech influences.

    The retention is due to the geological isolation & the proudness of the local residents in calling themselves 唐人Tang Ren in local 乡音, unlike the more northernish 华人 in Putonghua.

    It's proven that all the Tang poems have a better resonant tone if they r been recited using Hokkien/Cantonese - the original language they r been composed.

    Well, a short note on the march of Chinese linguastic evolution!

    1. that's right and which has been why Penangites sometimes refer to themselves as 'T'ng lang' rather than 'Han ren'. The latter is for Mandarin Nazis wakakaka.

    2. In Taiwan, only the old folks still speak Taiwanese Hokkien.
      In Singapore, the Government has stopped exercising official obstacles and discouragement against Chinese dialects, realising that it is not a good thing for dialects to actually go extinct. Hokkien and Teochew shows have even been allowed on TV. But the damage from past decades of official disincentives against dialectsis is irreversible, and the dialects are likely to become extinct once the older speakers literally die out.

      Only in Hong Kong, Cantonese holds sway.
      Even when I'm dealing with large corporations, where the official communications are in English, if you want to establish a rapport with the people you deal with, you need to speak to them in Cantonese.


    3. 'Han ren'. The is for Mandarin Nazis?????

      U meant 华人 'Hua Ren', right??

      Ignoramus fool!

      Modern day Hua Ren 华人 generally refers to the Han race of the China.

      In ancient time, 汉人 Han Ren or more appropriately 汉族 Hanzú refers to the agarian tribes resides between the great plain encompasses by the two mighty 黄河
      Huánghé & 长江 Yangtze jiāng.

      So what's yr profiling now????

      Can I infer that all anglophiles r Pommie a**kissers le, using whatsoever logic yr sifu taught u??

    4. Hua ren is Hua ren, Han ren is Han ren

    5. That could be true iff u have dealings with the lower echelon of the HK business society.

      For the higher up, queen English is the link that binds & brings u places le! That's why the upper echelon of the administrators ALL speaking mother England amongs themselves.

      Mandarin is ONLY prevailed when dealing with the central government up north.

      In a place like HK, any wonder there is still a strong reminants of the Pommie a**kissers le!

    6. you never disappoint with your expected crass vileness, wakakaka

    7. Crass vileness????

      Wakakakaka....just happened to come across this;

      Lying is a form of insanity and it is quite widespread among the ignorant, especially among crass people, with the aim of entertaining others and drawing attention to themselves. Because it is a form of insanity and it humiliates people, no one should ever come near it. It is vileness to lie to draw attention or to act as a know-it-all and a show off.

      Sound very familiar le - amongst yr group of bruised ego & wounded pride Pommie wannabes!