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Broken Smanglish

 

Have you ever encountered this? You’re talking to a bunch of foreigners, say from Iran and as you start talking to them, your style of speaking slowly becomes like theirs. You start pronouncing simple sentences such as, “I can’t come today to college” as “I kant kome toh colleghe thodai ya.”

 

I’m not trying to imitate or make fun of them, but I just have this habit of starting to speak like them. Maybe their influence on me is strong. Or probably it could be black magic. I don’t know. But I find it funny when I do that.

 

For example, I have a few Iranian friends and when I speak with them, the way I talk and pronounce words change and before I realise it, I start talking like them. “Hey chetori! You kome to colleghe thodai ya?”

 

And when I speak to my Chinese friends from China, it’s a whole different story. “Hey you come today to college?” And sometimes, to make it even simple so that they can understand, “College today you come?” And I start jabbing today’s date at the nearest calendar profusely.

 

But when it comes to the Africans, I start speaking English real fluently. By adding it the “African brotherhood” touch of my own to it ofcourse. “Hey yo man! How you doin? You’re coming to class today my man?”

 

I know it just shows that I have no sense of individuality but I realise that I can connect with them easily when I do that. I think, they start feeling comfortable when I start speaking that way (I think so, but I’m highly sure that they would be talking about me in their own language as to why I behave like that.  The African brothers would say, “Is that dude trying to be funny? I don’t think it’s funny when he talks like us man..” Although I’ve never caught anyone talking about me behind my back. Touch wood *touches nearest piece of wood*)

 

I’ve met so many types of people that I think I can safely imitate almost all of them (thanks to my working experience mostly). From French to Germans to Iranians to Arabs to Africans to Chinese from China. It’s fun. Not only do you learn about their language, you also learn about their country, culture and the way they live.

 

I find it sexy when I hear Iranian women speaking Persian though. You don’t understand a word they’re saying but it’s just so sexy that you just want to keep hearing more of it. Even if she’s mad and she’s cursing at you in Persian.

 

“Yes. Yes! Some more! Say some more ya? Come come!”

 

It’s like having oral sex. Only it’s not orally but verbally.

 

African women speak English in a very straightforward and confident manner. Rarely you find an African girl speaking softly. Most of the time it is loud but it’s good. Because I get to understand whatever they say clearly and plus the message gets across real easy. For example, if a female African says, “Hey! How are you?” I’ll know what to answer.

 

But it’s a different story with the Chinese from mainland China. They speak so softly that you have to ask them to repeat it three times.

 

“Hey, can you-ah passe me-ah thee bottle-ah?” she would ask.

 

“Sorry what you say?” I start to speak a little like them.

 

“Bottle! Passe me-ah thee-ah bottle!”

 

“I’m sorry, I-ah can’t hear you. You were saying-ah bottle?” I start to speak alot like them.

 

“Bottle! Bottle! Passe mee-ah thee-ah bottle! Issa there-ah!” she’s getting desperate.

 

“Err… No I don’t have a bottle…ah.” I would say thus ending my stint of imitating her.

 

“Owhh nevelmind-ah..”

 

And then comes the awkward moment of silence as she gives you “the eye” for not understanding what she says. If she has her friend nearby, she makes a remark in Chinese (this time loudly) and the best part is, you can actually understand what she just said because it’s about you!

 

However, speaking like different foreigners is fun! I find it very interactive and I think I make them comfortable when I do that.

 

But I know this annoys the hell out of my Malaysian friends.

 

“What’s wrong with you lah? Why talking like that?”

 

“No lah. Just being friendly lor. Kenot isit!”

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