Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Rules for prefix meN in Malay

The spelling of Malay words with prefix meN (which represents me, mem, men, meng, meny, and menge) often confuse learners of the language. In this post, I would like to list the rules and examples to make it clear to readers of this blog.

1 me is used for words beginning with l, m, n,w and y.
Examples: melompat (jump), memaki ( scold), menanti (wait), mewakili (represent) and meyakini (convince)

2 mem is used for words starting with b, p (giving way to m), p and v.
Examples: membaca (read), memakai (wear), mempamerkan (exhibit) and memveto (veto)

3 men is used when the initial letters of words are d, t (giving way to n), s and t.
Examples: mendapat (get), menulis (write), mensyaratkan (make it a condition) and mentadbir (to manage)

4 meng is used for words with initial letters a,e,i,o,u,g,h, k(giving way to ng), k, q and x.
Examples: mengalih (move), mengelakkan (avoid), mengikut (follow), mengolah (process), mengubah (alter), menggunakan (use), menghabiskan (to finish), mengarang (compose essays), mengkaji (to study), mengqada (replace fasting that is missed) and mengX-ray (to X-ray)

5 meny is used when the first letter of each word is s (giving way to ny)
Examples: menyusun (to arrange), menyerap (to absorb)

6 menge is used in front of monosyllabic words.
Examples: mengepos (post), mengecam (recognise), mengetut (bud-graft), mengesahkan (confirm)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Gerund as a subject is always singular

For variety in sentence structures, we can begin a sentence with an -ing word or gerund. The following are some examples of having gerunds serving the the subjects.

1 Jogging 10 kilometres every morning is his routine.
2 Waking up at six has been my habit since I was in Primary School.
3 Chatting with friends through my mobile phone is what I do when I am waiting for a bus.
4 Planning what to write is what a blogger has to do daily.

Notice that each subject in the above sentences takes a singular verb.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Using 'for' as a preposition and conjunction

In English, a word can be used as a prepositon or as a conjunction. On such word is 'for'

As a preposition it is used in front of a noun, a pronoun and a gerund. Look at the following examples:
1 I am looking for paper to write on. [used in front of the noun 'paper']
2 It is for him that obtained this information. [used in front of the pronoun 'him'.]
3 Our eyes are used for seeing things. [used in front of the gerund 'seeing'.]

The word 'for' can also be used as a conjunction and it carries the meaning of 'because'. These are a few examples:
1 He is a healthy man for he hardly falls sick. [for as a conjunction here means 'because']
2 Many customers like to frequent the shop for the things sold there are very cheap. [for as a conjunction here means 'because']

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Think nothing of what you have given away

Newton's third law states that to every action, there is a reaction. For example, if we push at something with a certain force, we will experience the same amount of force acting in the oppositing direction pressing at your palm.

What I mention above applies to science. In religious term such as the one in Buddhism, every cause will result in an effect. If you treat others well, they will treat you in the same way. The reverse is also true.

Hence it is to our advantage if we choose to practise doing good karma. We can start by praising others not amounting to flattery, saying kind words, avoid scandalising others, abstain from killing however small beings are, and helping the needy in kind and money if we can afford it.

As material things are not permanent, we should not attach to it so much that we are not willing to part with them. Giving away food and money that we possess to the needy is one way of learning how to practise detachment. The working of karma is such that things given away without attachment will come back to you, sometimes many times more. Hence practising dana is actually a very good thing to do as it benefits the donor too but with one condition, that is, you must not expect to get something in return if you donate something to someone. The moment you have given away your possession, you should forget about what you have done. Only then will the law of karma work.

Hence think nothing of what you have given away.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

About the prepositions 'dari' and 'daripada' in Malay

Today, I will still blog about the Malay language.

Through years of teaching the language, I have tried to help students to remember how to use two common 'kata sendi nama' or prepositions.

The first one is 'dari' (from) and students link the usage to ATM which is known to every body. The A stands for 'Arah' (direction), the T stands for 'Tempat" (place) and the M stands for 'Masa' (time). Hence the preposition 'dari' is used in front of words denoting direction, place and time.

Here are some examples:
1 Angin kencang bertiup dari timur ke barat. [Timur which is east is a direction.]
[Strong wind blew from the east to the west.]

2 Zamri berasal dari kampung. [Kampung which is village is a place.]
[Zamri comes from a village.]

3 Saya belajar dari pukul 8.00 malam hingga pukul 11.00 malam. [pukul 8.00 malam which is 8.00 pm is time.]
[I studied from 8.00 p.m. to 11.00 p.m.]

As for 'daripada' (from), I ask my students to remember SOPAN (courteous) which they can link to Sumber (source), Orang (people), Perbandingan (comparision), Asal kejadian (origin) and Nama abstrak (abstract nouns). For illustration, look at the following examples.

1 Banyak maklumat yang dapat kita peroleh daripada Internet. [Internet is a source.]
[A lot of information can we obtain from the Internet.]

2 Saya menerima cek ini daripada Encik Osman. [Encik Osman is a person.]
[I received this cheque from Mr Osman.]

3 Besi lebih berat daripada aluminium. [Here the weight of iron is compared with that of aluminium.]
Iron is heavier than aluminium.

4 Meja ini dibuat daripada kayu. [kayu or wood is the original material used to make this table.]
[This table is made of wood.]

5 Daripada pengalaman saya, masalah seperti ini sudah diselesaikan. [pengalaman or experience is an abstract noun.]
[From my experience, such a problem is difficult to be solved.]

Besides remembering the above, 'daripada' is also used for two other situations. The first one is it is paired with terdiri to terdiri daripada (consists of) and the second one is a paired conjunction which is daripada ... lebih baik (it is better to do the thing after 'lebih baik' than the one after 'daripada'] Perhaps the following sentences will make these last two usage clear to readers.

6 Pasukan bola sepak itu terdiri daripada sebelas orang pemain.
[The football team consists of eleven players.]

7. Daripada duduk berbual-bual lebih baik kita mengulang kaji pelajaran kita.
[It is better to revise our lessons than chit-chat.]

So much for the usage of two common prepositons in Malay.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Prefix meN is needed in a statement.

In this post, I would like to tell readers another grammatical rule in Malay.

If a sentence is a 'ayat penyata' (statement), the the transitive verb in it must be preceded by meN (this notation stands for me, mem, men, meng, meny and menge). Let us look at some examples for illustration purposes.

1 Dia beli sebuah buku di kedai itu. (wrong)
Dia membeli sebuah buku di kedai itu. (correct) [Prefix mem is used.]
[He bought a book at the shop.]

2 Saya lepaskan burung itu ke udara. (wrong)
Saya melepaskan burung itu ke udara. (correct) [Prefix me is used.]
[I released the bird into the air.]

3 Mereka sedang cari wang yang hilang itu. (wrong)
Mereka sedang mencari wang yang hilang itu. (correct) [Prefix men is used]
[They are looking for the missing money.]

4 Lina sudah pos surat itu. (wrong)
Lina sudah mengepos surat itu. (correct) [Prefix menge is used.]
[Lina has posted the letter.]

5 Adikku suka pakai baju putih. (wrong)
Adikku suka memakai baju putih. (correct) [prefix mem is used. p is to be dropped here.]
[My brother likes to wear white shirt.]

6 Pustakawan itu susun buku-buku itu setiap hari. (wrong)
Pustakawan itu menyusun buku-buku itu setiap hari. (correct) [Pefix meny is used. s is to be dropped here.]
[The librarian arranges the books every day.]

I hope readers and Malay language enthuasiasts are clear about the above rule by now.

So much for another grammatical rule in Malay - the language I teach and love.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The D-M Rule in Malay

In Malay, the adjective is placed after a noun to describe it. For example, white shirt is 'kemeja putih' in Malay where 'putih' (white) is placed after the noun 'kemeja' (shirt).

The above structure is governed by the 'Hukum D-M' (The D-M Rule). According to this rule, a word which is being described or D =Diterangakn (is described) should be placed in front of another word which describes it or M=Menerangkannya (describes it). Here are some examples to illustrate this rule:
1 pisang (D) goreng (M) (banana fried literally or banana fritters to be correct]
2 mi goreng (D) goreng (M) [noodles fried literally or fried noodles to be correct]
3 hal-hal (D) lain (M) [matters other literally or other matters to be correct]
4 topi (D) hitam (black) [hat black literally or black hat to be correct]
5 kali (D) pertama (M) [time first literally or first time to be correct]

Two examples of exceptions to the rule are Perdana (M) Menteri (D) [Prime Minister] and Timbalan (M) Menteri (D) [Deputy Minister]

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Making my own toys

Whenever I pass by the stalls selling toys, I like to look at the modern toys. They often come with motors that can move the arms and legs of boys or girls who sing or say something repeatedly thanks to the chips which have been pre-recorded with songs or spoken words. As for birds, they will move their heads just like real ones and chirp incessantly. Technology plays a part in modernizing toys such as these. I did not enjoy such toys when I was young.

When I was a boy, I did not buy toys. My toys were home-made because I made my own tops and kites. As for the wood for the tops, I cut one of the branches of the guava trees. I shaped the tops with the help of a penknife. To smoothen the surface, a broken glass was used. I made kites using bamboo strips and kite paper which could be bought from a grocery. Then I would draw pictures on my kite. The string was coated with pounded glass with the help of melted hide gum. In this way, I could compete with my friends because the string was sharp enough to sever the string of my opponent's kite.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Carrying Lanterns during Mid Autumn Festival

For this year, the Chinese will celebrate Zhong Qiu Jie or Mid Autumn Festival falls on 3rd of October. Children look forward to this day because they have a chance to carry lanterns around their houses.

Nowadays, lanterns have revolutionised until they do not look like the one I used to carry when I was a child. Now on sale are lanterns made of plastic materials with motors to animate the so-called lanterns which appear in the form of cars, Ultraman, dogs and other animals. All these also come with melodious music built into chips are attached to the lanterns

When I was a child, I carried various types of lantern. One of them was the one made from coloured paper. It was made of thin iron twisted into the shape of a rabbit, fish or cock. Each of these were covered with plastic paper and painted with colours befitting the animals. Candles were lit inside each of these lantern and we had to be careful when carrying it so as not to burn our prized things.

I even ventured to make lantern out of an empty tin-coated can which was used to contain condensed milk. Vertical slits were cut on the side of the can and pressed so that it looked a big onion. Then I would light a candle in the middle of it and tie a metal thin thread to it for carrying. This gadget was safer as I would not have to worry about burning it because it was made of metal!

Monday, September 21, 2009

How to use 'who' and 'whom'

Students of English often get confused when it comes to the usage of 'who' and 'whom' especially the latter.

'Who' is used to ask the person as a subject in a question. For example, you can say, 'Who is the boy standing there?' When I ask this question, I want to know the name of the boy or his relation with the person I ask. He can say, "He is Albert." or "He is my cousin."

As for 'whom', it is used to ask the object in a question. For instance, you can ask, "Whom did you see just now?" I would like to know the person you saw when I put forward such a question.

'Whom' is also used after a preposition. Here are some examples:
1 To whom did you give my book?
2 From whom did you get this doll?
3 With whom did you play just now?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The difference between 'untuk' and 'kepada'

This post about the difference between 'untuk' and 'kepada' is written in responce to a query by a reader of this blog.

Both 'untuk' and 'kepada' are 'kata sendi nama' (prepositions).

The equivalent of 'untuk' in English is 'for'. Hence you can make sentences such as the following:
1 Hadiah ini untuk awak. [This gift is for you.]
2 Saya membeli sebuah buku untuk adikku. [I bought a book for my brother.]
3 Buku bertompok merah ini untuk rujukan di dalam perpustakaan sahaja. [This red-spotted book is for reference in the library only.]
Notice that 'untuk' is considered a preposition if it is used in front of nouns. If it is used in front of a verb, then it is a 'kata hubung' (conjunction) In the sentence below, 'untuk' is used as a conjunction.
Dia pergi ke farmasi itu untuk membeli ubat. [He went to the pharmacy to buy medicine.]

As for 'kepada', it is the equivalent of 'to' in English. Here are some examples of how 'kepada' is used in sentences.
1 Saya memberikan buku itu kepada Ali. [I gave the book to Ali.]
2 Warna lampu isyarat lalu lintas bertukar daripada merah kepada hijau. [The traffic lights changed from red to green.]
3 Kepada siapakah harus saya adukan hal ini? [To whom should I complain about this matter?]
4 Harga sepiring mi goreng naik daripada dua ringgit kepada dua ringgit setengah. [The price of a plate of fried noddle has increased from two ringgit to two and a half ringgit.] (In this case, daripada .... kepada is a pair for showing 'julat' (range, such as from small to big, from 2% to 3% etc.)
The preposition 'kepada' is usually used in front of nouns denoting living things, except for the pair of daripada ... kepada which shows a range.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Happy Hari Raya Puasa

The Muslims will be celebrating Hari Raya Puasa tomorrow after a month's fasting. I would like to wish all Muslims a very Happy Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

Such a day is very meaningful to all Muslims because they have conquered the abstention of food which they normally take during the day. It is good discipline and it helps to make them experience what hunger is all about, thereby instilling in them the feeling of sympathy towrds those who have to go hungry especially children in some parts of our world.

On this auspicious day too, Muslims will forgive those who have inadvertently caused mental or physical harm to them. It is known as 'Maaf Zahir Batin' [Forgive physically and mentally] If my knowledge does not fail me, on the morning Muslims will pay a visit to the graves of their parents or relatives who have passed away. It is a show of respect to the dead because they have done some good deed to them such as bringing them up and giving them education. It reminds me of Cheng Beng Festival when the Chinese go to the graves of their late parents or relatives to clean up the burial places and pray there. This respect of the dead is shown annually.

Once again, 'Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri' to all Muslims.

Friday, September 18, 2009

How to use 'bila' and 'apabila' correctly

When the Malays speak among themselves they use 'bila' to mean 'when' as a question and as a conjunction. I also speak this way.

However, in written Malay, 'bila' is used strictly for asking questions. For example, if you want to ask when the monthly test will be held, then you say, "Bilakah ujian bulanan akan diadakan?"

On the other hand, if you mean "when I see him I will tell him the new date for the meeting.' you must write, "Apabila saya berjumpa dengannya, saya akan memberitahunya tarikh baharu untuk mesyuarat itu."

Hence 'bila' is used when we want to know the time, day, date and year of a certain event while 'apabila' is used as a conjunction in sentences. Here are further examples of sentences involving 'bila' and 'apabila'.

1 Bilakah kamu akan bersara? [When are you going to retire?]

2 Bilakah pasar raya baru itu akan dibuka? [When will the new supermarket be opened?]

3 Hari lahir saudara bila? [When is your birtday?]

(Note that the particle 'kah' is used when Bila is used in front of a sentence. If it is used at the end of a question no particle is needed.]

4 Apabila saya pergi ke bandar, saya pasti mengunjungi kedai buku. [When I go to town, I will surely visit a book shop.]

5 Apabila hujan, penjaja itu tidak dapat berniaga. [When it rains, the hawkers cannot do their business.]

6 Apabila saya besar nanti, saya ingin menjadi doktor. [When I grow up, I want to be a doctor.]

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Looking at life from another angle

In our daily lives, we are always worried about something. You may worry because you lose something. Worry occupies your mind when someone talks bad about you. Somebody may cheat you out of your money and you feel upset. If only we can look at life from another angel, then all these will not happen.

For example, you may lose your prized possession. If you are aware that it may one day get spoilt even if you don't lose it, you will not have attached so much to it that you fear parting with it. Looking at it this way, we may not worry shoud you lose your favourite thing.

If you get cheated by someone and your money goes to him, why not think that in your past life, you may have taken his money and now he rightfully gets it back. Having this train of thought may put you at ease when someone swindles your money.

Be grateful of what you have been endowed with physically and make full use of it for helping others. Should you lose one arm, you can bravely say, 'Thank God I still have another arm.' Looking at life from another angle really helps get rid of uncalled for worries.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Such is the new use of my mobile phone

I have not been in touch with my Mandarin for ages. Although I can read written text in the newspapers, I sometimes forget the strokes of certain words when I need to write them on the board to make the meaning of particular words clear to my Form 1 students. Luckily, I still remember my Pinyin and so with the use of my Nokia mobile phone, I manage to key in Pinyin to look for the Mandarin words which I need just like when I am writing something Chinese to send my SMS to my friend.

Such is the new use of my mobile phone.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My first educational software

I enjoy programming using dBase 3+ and with this language, I made my first educational software which I called Tekata (short form for Teka Kata or Guess the Word).

I store words of 4 letters and 5 letters in a data base with which I ask the user to guess. The user will choose 4-letter word or 5-letter word and four or five blanks will be displayed. He will then venture a guess by typing any word of the required length. My program will then display the correct letter or letters in the correct position or positions iand the user will try to fill in the missing spaces. After three trials, and if the user fails to guess the word, the answer will be displayed. If he manages to guess correctly, he will be praised with the display of 'Well done!"

I use this program to reinforce the spelling and increase the vocabulary of my students as all the Malay words to be guessed are quite difficult ones.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Malay words with affixes - 'membeli', 'membelikan', 'memberi' and 'memberikan'

In Malay, mastering the 'imbuhan' (affixes) will put you in good stead when you write essays. Very often, a word with has a suffix 'kan' will render its usage different from its original one. There are four words here which pose problems to students, and even some newspapers make glaring mistakes, especially 'membelikan' which is wrongly used before things. I shall elaborate my point here by giving the following example:

Saya membelikan surat khabar dari gerai itu. (wrong)
Saya membeli surat khabar dari gerai itu. (correct)
The verb 'membeli' (to buy) is followed by things whereas the verb 'membelikan' (to buy for) is followed by a person. Hence you can make the two sentences below to show this difference.

1 Saya membeli sebuah buku cerita untuk adikku.
[I bought a story book for my brother.]
2 Saya membelikan adikku sebuah buku cerita.
[I bought my brother a story book.]

Two other words which cause confusion are 'memberi' and 'memberikan', both meaning 'give'.
The first word 'memberi' must be followed by a person while 'memberikan' has a thing after it in sentences. Perhaps the following sentences will make it clear to readers.

1 Saya memberi pengemis itu semangkuk nasi berlauk.
[I gave the beggar a bowl of rice with dishes on it.]
2 Saya memberikan semangkuk nasi berlauk kepada pengemis itu.
[I gave a bowl of rice with dishes on it to the beggar.]

Sunday, September 13, 2009

My mathematics are very poor

In yesterday's post I talked about words that are spelt the same in the singular or plural. In today's post, I would like to deal with words ending in 's' but can be treated as singular or plural.

I shall present two words for illustration here. The first word is 'mathematics'. When it is treated as a subject, it is considered singular. For example, you can write:
Mathematics is my favourite subject.

If you are talking about the mathematical aspect of things, then 'mathematics' is to be treated as plural. The following is a sentence constructed using this word.

As my mathematics are poor, I usually make mistakes in calculations.

The second word is 'statistics'. Treated as a subject, 'statistics' is singular in nature. For instance, you can write a sentence such as the one below:
Statistics is one of the subjects he took up while he was studying in a university.

When it is used to mean facts collected systematically, then the word is considered plural. Hence you can say 'Statistics show that road accidents happen more often during peak hours.'

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Many of the aircraft are under repair

Some English words are spelt the same, be they singular or plural. Examples in this group include deer, fish, sheep, and aircraft.

Let us look the the examples of using them in sentences.
1 a) I bought a fish at the pet shop. [singular]
b) There are two fish in the glass bowl. [plural]

2 a) I saw a deer when I went to the zoo. [singular]
b) Three deer can be seen under the tree. [plural]

3 a) There is a sheep near the tree. [singular]
b) The farmer rears ten sheep for fur and milk. [plural]

4 a) Many of the aircraft are under repair. [plural]
b) He bought an aircraft for personal use. [singular]

Friday, September 11, 2009

The 'biras' relationship

It is interesting to study the Malay language. One word that leaves great impression on my mind is the word 'biras'. This Malay word has something to do with relationship. Let me explain its meaning this way. If two men married two girls who happened to be sisters, then their relationship in Malay is 'biras'. For example, if Ali married Siti and Bakar married Aminah, Ali is the 'biras' of 'Bakar' if Siti and Aminah are sisters.

The reverse is also true. It just means that Siti can be the 'biras' of Aminah if Ali and Bakar are brothers!

Look at a sentence in Malay with 'biras' in it.

Isteri saya berkata bahawa biras saya ingin meminjam motosikalku kerana motosikal suami kakak isteriku sudah rosak.
[My wife said that my brother-in-law wished to borrow my motorcycle because the motorcyle of the husband of my wife's sister had broken down.]
The above sentence is purposely made to show the meaning of 'biras' without explaining it to the reader.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

We agreed on a date

In English, certain verbs are followed by specific prepositions when particular nouns are behind them. One such verb is ‘agree’. Look at the following sentences to see what I mean.

1 He agrees with me that smoking is bad for health.
2 We agreed on a date to hold a gathering for our old classmates.
3 They agreed to our suggestion to wide the village road.

In Sentence 1, ‘agree’ pairs with the preposition ‘with’ when it is followed by a person or personal pronoun. Hence you can agree with John or agree with him regarding certain matter.

In Sentence 2, ‘agree’ is followed by the preposition ‘on’ if it is followed by ‘a date’.

In Sentence 3, ‘agree’ has the preposition ‘to’ after it when it is followed by ‘the suggestion’ or ‘our suggestion’

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Today is a very long lasting day

Today is the 9th day of the 9th month of 2009, written as 09/09/09. Many Chinese couples have decided to tie the nuptial knots on this day because it is considered auspicious and good.

In Mandarin 9 is pronounced as 'jiu' which can also mean 'long-lasting' for another word with the same pronunciation. 'jiu jiu' means very long lasting. 'jiu jiu jiu' is even more long lasting.

The couples who are getting married today hope that their marriages will be long lasting and happy thereafter.

The Chinese emperors also liked the number '9' which is considered auspicious. Hence their palaces were built and decorated with 9 dragons so that the royal dwelling place would be auspicious all the time.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

All because of the Internet break-down

I did not surf the Internet yesterday because the Internet was down in my area. I was home at 10.30 p.m. and could not get online and I kept trying until it was my bedtime at 12.30 p.m.

Now I realise that without being able to use the Internet, I could not accomplish what I had planned to do. I could not email an important document which I had to send to my in-law. I also missed reading yesterday's online newspapers. Worse still, I could not write my blog as I am doing now.

Internet has indeed become part and parcel of our lives. We depend so much on the cyber world that what we are deprived of it, we feel lost and are not able to do what we do daily with its help.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

How to counter backbiting

Some people like to talk bad about a certain person behind his back. He will dwell on the weaknesses of that person without realizing that as human beings we are not infallible. According to the teaching of the Buddha, the best way to counter such person is talk good about him in front of others. By so doing, we will make him feel ashamed that he has scandalised you and yet you are so kind as to praise him instead.
The next he is with others, he will not resort to backbiting again. It is a case of kindness begetting kindness.

Actually, we should see the good of others and rather than his weaknesses. If everyone can do this, there will be no squabbles among the human kind.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

How to pronounce 'psikologi' in Malay?

In Malay, psychology used to be spelt as ‘saikoloji’. However, when standardization of spelling was agreed upon by Indonesia and Malaysia, 'saikoloji' has been changed to 'psikologi'. Do you know how to pronounce this word?

Well, 'psikologi' is pronounced as 'p','see','co-','low','gi' (as in given).

Friday, September 4, 2009

When a glowing cigarette becomes a puncher

Many interesting things happened in the staffroom when I was serving as a trained teacher. In this post, I will tell readers one of such practice.

Since objective questions have become part of the exam items, teachers have to shade answers on an answer sheet and cut holes on the answers. In so doing, they can place the answer sheet with holes on the answer sheets of pupils. The correct answers will show through the holes and teachers can tick them and count them to get the total marks.

One day, I saw a male teacher smoking and after a while he approached his desk. He took out an answer sheet with answers shaded and started to burn the shaded parts. Soon I could see a sheet of paper with burnt holes all over the answer sheet. He had cleverly turned his half-smoked cigarette into a hole-puncher.

I did not like the look of the jagged holes and so I still used penknife and ruler to do the job of making holes where shaded answers appeared for my marking template.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The difference between 'memahami' and 'memahamkan'

In today's post, I am going to discuss the difference between two Malay words, i.e. 'memahami' and 'memahamkan'. The first word means 'to understand' whereas the second one bears the meaning of 'to make others understand'.

Let us look at two sentences to see how they are used:

1 Saya sudah memahami apa-apa yang dikatakan.
[I have understood whatever he said.]

2 Lina berjaya memahamkan adiknya tentang kebaikan bersenam.
[Lina managed to make her brother understand the advantages of exercising.]

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

How I learned Pinyin from my children

I was educated in the old school of thought when Pinyin (a system to denote the pronunciation of Chinese words) was not taught. The chance to learn Pinyin and simplified Chinese came when my eldest son entered Primary 1.

I learned together with my child how to pronounce the Pinyin notation. There are about well over 3000 words a Primary School children have to learn in Chinese to be able to read the newspaper and books. Well, I managed to learn all the 3000 odd words, both Pinyin and writing in simplified form.

Now I can pronounce any Chinese word given the Pinyin and read simplified Chinese strokes. I have no regrets spending learning Pinyin because you can use it to type Chinese words with the computer and have the words printed neatly.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Impromptu Speech

Impromptu Speech

When I was studying in a well-known school in Penang, I joined the English Literary and Debating Society. One of the activities was impromptu speech. I like to participate in this activity. For one thing, I got to train myself to be calm when facing an audience. For another, I learnt to express myself on the spot on a topic given by the teacher advisor.

This training put me in good stead when I became a teacher. This is because as a teacher, one has to stand in front of many pupils, about 40 in number in most Malaysian schools, when delivering the lessons.

When I am driving, I like to do impromptu speech for the fun of it. You may think that I am mad but good speakers usually have to rehearse in front of a mirror many times because he presents his talk to an audience.

I encourage my students to talk on any topic offhand in class. It was quite successful for Sixth Formers when I had the chance to teach MUET (Malaysian University Entrance Test) them before I retired as a government teacher.