Long time ago, we have English teachers and we have Malaysian teachers who were educated in England. They took a ship to England to study.
Now, there are still many people whom were taught by the nuns from Convent school who are teachers themselves but they are slowly retiring (or dead!).
But I was the ‘lucky’ one who was the first batch of Malaysians who had to study everything in our national language. Fizik, Biologi, Kimia….. So, my English sucks. I probably cannot understand the Physics, Biology and Chemistry textbook my two older sons are using.
I am lucky because I am the daughter of an excellent English teacher (though he died long before he left any legacy to me……maybe the confidence that you have a father who is an English teacher probably gave me a lot of guts…maybe he is my guardian angel, wateva). I grew up with lots and lots of books in a library in our house. Yes, we have a study room with shelves of books.
By 10 years old, I already had the guts to approach my teacher in charge of the library to let me help in the indexing, sticking those little envelopes, arranging the books etc. So, I had privilege to borrow books as soon as they were bought by the school. All the Enid Blyton, Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Secret Seven…..
I remembered reading books under the blankets with a torch light because my mother forbade me to read too much, especially lying down because she said I can go blind. Doh….Do you know that it is a genetic thing, whether you need a pair of glasses or not? So, that’s how I have a L450-R400 eyesight.
However…..though I am not doing too bad with the written part, I have problems pronouncing a lot of words because I simply have not heard of them or know how English is supposed to be pronounced.
Now, thank God there is online pronunciation. Thank God that I know Job is not pronounced as job but joob. And lucky I never say King Herod, as Heh-rot but Heh-ruhd because the online Bible reading said so. And instead of the embarrassment of having to phone my lector’s head, “Harrow, Pedro ah….I got duty for 7 am Sunday….I want to ask you ah….unleavened bread is pronounced un-leh-ven or un-lee-ven ah?” ………….I can
hear listen to how American and British pronounce it.
My point? No one can help you except you yourself. So, there is no excuses to say our Malaysian’s education standard is low. And no excuses to blame others. Of course, our education still sucks but we can at least improve a bit if we try. Still, there are so many people who dare not speako Ingrish bcos they is sked of making mistakes and yet, never try hard enough to learn.
Now, I have to make sure that these words ‘were so certain’ were not jumbled when I get the panicky feelings seeping in.
**My 12 years old just tested my English and BM translation.
Now, you do it.