Tuesday, November 25, 2008

so touched today :)

i sooooo moved and touched today... because ka fei and honey posted English translation in their blog for me!! yeay! finally, i can read their blogs liao! yippie! im sing tried to blog in English too, but i think she gave up half way.. hehe...

confessions of a medical student #45 : i can't read Chinese.... i know, you can go ahead and laugh, call me banana of whatever names you can think of... sigh... condemn me for not knowing the Chinese language... it's not the first time, anyway... you know, maybe i didn't had the luxury of attending a Chinese primary school,.. there's so many nice Chinese books i would love to read, if i could... and those Chinese songs i had to learn and memorize by heart... going to the karaoke but not able to sing Chinese songs... disappointed when some Korean/Japanese movies only have Chinese subtitles... and when you go to the Chinese food stall, being unable to read the food menu, you kindly ask the hawker what he have, and he would give you a cruel 'can't-you-read?' stare... eventually, i learn to figure out a few words... once i told my friend that if he sees a single syllable word which is super hard to write, it's indefinitely porridge... and susan just laughed out loud... haha!.... but seriously, it's true and logical right?? oh well... and sometimes, sometimes, it does feel painful, almost stabbing, when being segregated by your very own race.. sigh.. i shall not elaborate on the feelings... don't wanna get too emo today...

but of course, there were not too bad days too... i do remember clearly, when i was attending a camp in form one, a Chinese Language Society Camp, (i don't know how shinLoo successfully talk me into attending the camp), but anyway, it was really hard for me at first... then i remember, there was this senior committee, Ah Fatt, who actually translated every activity/announcement during the entire camp, (every single word!),despite me being the ONLY one who doesn't know much Chinese.... so nice, right?? and, by the way, the camp was fun! and i was glad shinloo dragged me along :)

and there were those really bad times too, like the first day i stepped into UKM, during orientation week, i could not understand why did they liked to separate the races, and the Chinese would be grouped together for some 'ethical talks'.. and when the senior (forgotten his name) asked 'who do not know Mandarin, raise your hands' - which i eagerly did, and despite the few of us, i think about 10 of us, who raised our hands, the senior just nod with a 'okay, just-a-minority' look, and said 'ask your friend next to you to translate to you'.. and continue talking (in Chinese)... my heart literally break that day, how i missed home so much....

i think, the worse thing was, i innocently grew up, believing that about half the Chinese population in Malaysia don't know Chinese as well... i thought not knowing Chinese was a norm... because in Seremban, there was King George V, St Paul, Convent, ACS.... while as for Chinese School, there were just Chan Wa and Chung Hua High School.... and SMK Bukit Mewah, of course... so, i grew up with people who spoke English... i grew up believing that everyone does that too... it was only in university that i realized the harsh reality...

okay, shinyin, don't get too emo... i did finally picked up some Chinese along the way... thanks to my housemates and friends who helped me all the way... i know, stopping you all at mid-sentence with a blur look can sometimes be irritating... hehe..... do bear with me...

anyway, thanks a lot, my friends!! thank you for spending the time and effort... thanks a million to ka fei, honey and scent for the translation on your blogs, and thanks a lot to all my friends who helped me cope with the language barrier and cultural shock..... i really, Really, REALLY appreciate it.. and this blogpost is dedicated to you all~ *muaks*

p/s: learning a bit of Chinese in university, is beneficial too, it comes in handy when clerking patients, especially really old patients who had poor command in BahasaMelayu and English.. i learned terms like Prostate cancer, Anemia, Breast Cancer, Cyst, schizophenia, MDD, etc in Mandarin and Cantonese... thanks to my friends who patiently taught me well ^^


  1. wa..u spoke my heart.

    being a banana is not a sin.
    anyway, i think i can read up to 50 or so characters

  2. wicrap is correct.u r at least better than some other ppl who refuse to learn or speak in their mother tongue language

  3. haha, i know of many banana man or woman ..... i'm one of them

  4. Guess we fall under the same category. I cant read, cant write... but certainly got myself in a better shape along the way. I could understand a little here and there, but in terms of speaking, gosh... i need to pause a while trying to construct a sentence in mandarin or chinese, which is darn embarrassing!!! Name tag... Banana.

  5. Hahahaha, you don't know chinese too? Then what language do you speak at home? I mean do you speak mandarin or cantonese or hokkien or.. Hmmp, if Im not mistaken, it's hokkien mix canton? But how come you like Lee Hom if you don't know chinese? I have absolutely no idea what they're singing and saying. Especially chinese news on tv, totally clueless.. As for banana? It's ridiculous. I hate how people tag those that don't know chinese with it. So, should people tag those that don't know english, say langsat? Hahahaha..

  6. Hey hey...
    No need to be sad!!No offence but really a lot of banana nowadays, however, I find out u all are eager to learn chinese more than those alr leard chinese in secondary school,but did badly!!And some of them speak even worse than those never laern mandarin!
    And is never too late to learn!!Juz keep up the good work!!Slowly sure u can catch up!!HAha!!Giv u 2 words to motivate u!!Means add oil!!

    PS:I am so touch oso when u mention my name in ur blog!!Not many people mention my name in their blog!
    ANd Hey, my english so terrible, u oso can understand!!hehe!

  7. Emo Shinyin, what's up? I feel you. When I went to the hawkers stall, totally no idea what they have. Those korean/japanese/hong kong/ etc with only chinese subtitles, haiz. Karaoke session, haiz. But but but.. Really, I prefer everything english. I don't really like japanese/taiwan all those drama. I don't really like chinese songs, only some of it, so I think, I'm ok with not knowing too much chinese. Then again, I think you're better than me. I know how to read 'chicken', hahaha.

    Okie, take care of yourself pretty :D

  8. leed wi, gee, i didn't know that you don't know Chinese!! if numbers included, i think i am able to read up to 50 words, or at least roughly guess the meaning... but writing is beyond my capability... a sin? gee, hope not...
    sine nomine, thanks.. but it's not easy for me.. even harder for people who tried teaching me.. hehe... they seriously have the patience weh.. i'm not a good student...
    Johnny, i thought people who can't read Chinese are getting lesser and lesser by the day, as most Chinese realized the importance of Chinese Language and are sending their kids to Chinese school.. i mean, i would do that too! at least my kids would have the luxury to learn Chinese, and wouldn't end up in my shoes.. :(
    Dann, i TOTALLY understand you!! sometimes, it can be darn embarrassing, and i'll just push that thought aside.. the worse thing was, i grew up, believing that about half the Chinese population don't know Chinese as well... because there was King George V, St Paul, Convent, ACS in Seremban.... it was only in university that i realized the harsh reality... sigh..
    Brenda, erm.. at home, i speak rojak... hehe.. seriously, like mixed everything... i'm a hokkien, but my hokkien totally sucks.. most of the time, i spoke English, since my younger days... i know, it can be surprising to some people.. coz, my English ain't that great either.. :P

    i hate being tag as banana, too :( i hate the term banana... but langsat is kinda funny.. hehe..

    i can read chicken too! hehe.. and 'wan tan mee'.. and some other noodles.. hehe.. but learning a bit of Chinese in university, is good too, it comes in handy when clerking patients, especially really old patients who had poor command in Bahasa and English.. i learned terms like Prostate cancer, Anemia, Breast Cancer, Cyst, schizophenia, MDD, etc in Chinese...

    but i think, if i were given a chance to choose again, i would probably go to National primary school.. coz i had an awesome primary school life!! and i wouldn't change that for anything =) maybe take chinese language lessons, perhaps?

    p/s: i liked wang lee hom because he damn leng jai =P and he plays the piano and violin magically... and maybe, maybe because he was an ABC... and his Chinese did improved tremendously over the years.. i can actually learn Chinese through his songs, you know

    p/ss: you have been pretty emo lately too... take care ya..
    Ka Fei,.. thanks!! seriously, i was so touched when saw your translation.... this blogpost is dedicated to you.. ^^ don't say that your English is terrible la.. of course i can understand it!! ^^
    you jia you also ooo~

  9. ur mandarine is good enough ad...
    seriously...compare when u first enter uni, ur mandarine now is really really good...u should proud of urself...
    u can speak....fluently in mandarine..that is what it needs in malaysia...
    reading? no need lar...not in taiwan or china...

    by the way....ur mandarine improved becoz of us...
    but how can my english does not improve? u r not doing ur part ... hoho.....

    P.S i tried my best to write eng in my blog lar....juz try only...things r hard to say...haha

  10. 50 words? 0_o. I only remember less than 10! Forgot how to write my name....

  11. im sing, you think my Chinese improved because you all talk simple Chinese with me... if i talk to ppl like yong sing, walau, i also dunno what she talking about, and she also dunno what i talking about.. so in the end, just smile sweetly and say 'mei se me' (nothing lar)...

    you wanna improve your English? go get a private tutor lar.. after one month in the relationship, your English sure damn cun! hehe.. =)

    annonymous, must at least know how to write your own name de... can practice... don't worry, learn a little at a time, nothing is impossible... (walau, me giving advice to others to learn Chinese, unbelievable!)..

    p/s: you are?

  12. i also am not chinese ed, but i take pains to learn it.. still know very little though

  13. Another embarrasing fact... I cant write my name in Chinese character. Just able to recognize how it looks like. Pretty much disgrace for a Chinese aint i? Sigh...

  14. >daniel, yup! it's not easy at all!!
    >dann, don't say that.. just take a piece of paper, and spare like 10minutes to write your name repeatedly.. hmm... i think you can do it, you are a smart guy! p/s: didn't you attended POL (people own language) in high school??
    here goes another story: there was this regulation in the Ministry of Education that says that, in every school who had 20 or above Chinese students who are interested to study Mandarin, it was MANDATORY for the school to provide Chinese lessons for them (aka POL classes)... so,during form 5, at my school, we had to get like 20 of our friends to fill up forms, to make this possible.. though i remembered, with each passing day, the numbers gradually reduced, and in the end, it was just shinLoo, Ze, Boon Lee, Audrey (occasionally), and me... sigh... i can still remember the teacher very well though,.. as he was very eager to teach boonLee and i.. patiently.. partly, i think because i had the same Chinese name as his daughter, of which he happily declared.. partly, i guess, because he had hopes that we could actually pick up the language... he taught us to memorize this 3 word poem, which now i remember nothing of it! NOTHING!! now to think of it, i think i feel a little guilty for disappointing him.. siGh.. =(

  15. yerrrrrrrr.. i need to type my comment again!!!

    let me try to remember wat i said.

    i said,

    why din thank me one leh? i wrote my blog in english ler!!!! =P

    plus i told the bean story leh!!!!!!!!!!! =P

    plus i think the 3 words poem is hard. it is classir ler.. i don't even remember any of them, except one line. LOL. if in bad words one, i think i can mumble 2 lines. LOL

    keep it up ler. if you want to learn chinese u can do it one. My friend who doesn't have proper chinese edu can write chinese words better than me. He can write poems and songs summore! and never go to any chinese language class before ler. Thanks to his brothers. hehe.

    you can do it! (nike ad)

    nothing is impossible! (adidas ad)

    aiyaaa.. just do it la (still nike ad the best).

    next time must inject chinese words into ur brain d.

    but for the time being.. study for the coming exam first lah!

  16. bingwui demanding juga....
    1. thank you for retyping the comment (next time don't type the word verification wrongly =P)
    2. thank you for writing your blog in English (though your blog MEMANGPUN in English)
    3. thank you for the bean story (hehe.. though it's suppose to be a bedtime story)
    4. thank you for advertising nike in my blog (if they decide to pay me anything for the informal ad, i'll inform you =P)
    5. thank you for anything else that i've missed =P
    and here goes another story: my friend sukteng, she never attended chinese school, but she can read chinese words in cantonese!! can read the newspaper and chinese novels somemore!!! how cool is that! her mum taught her that, and i think it's pretty cool..

  17. -_-'

    say i demandinggggggggg



    reading chinese in canto is hard ler.. huh.. i never try to read chinese in hakka, try some day later, sure damn funny

  18. hehe... not demanding at all... not demanding at all... who dare to say you demanding wor? after you don't wanna tell me anymore bean story =P

    reading chinese in hakka? well, you could try.. :)

  19. ""i learned terms like Prostate cancer, Anemia, Breast Cancer, Cyst, schizophenia, MDD, etc in Chinese...""

    whats schizophrenia in chinese?

    Chi zho sin ??? ( 'crazy already' in canto ? )

    haha...compile a list of BM and chinese most used term la if u free later.


    Reminder : EXAMS EXAMS EXAMS...

  20. nop, there isnt such a course in my high school.

  21. wi,
    schizophrenia = jing shen fen lie zhen (jing shan fan lik zheng)
    MDD = you yu zhen (yau wat zheng)

    got one more super long term

    pap smear = zhi kong jing mo pian jian cha

    but i dunno what's OCD though..

    i think you learn this in russian also not relevant yet.. maybe when you come back msia, then can learn.. =)

    exam, exam, exam....

    dann, oh, i thought some high school had POL... but i think most of the time we just study moral education... which i think in the end is not really relevant... just hafal all the nilai moral and go for exam... sigh.... i think moral edu should be replaced with POL... but then, if that to sit for exam, also a bit susah.. :(

  22. russian? did someone say russian?
    well, someone told me once tht my russian is better than my mandarin or cantonese... *guilty* yupe, i think the most embarrasing moment was during my 1mth hospital attachment in klang GH... a pakcik(mamak) was really chatty despite being in the yellow zone for suspected MI/angina... and he asked me "lei ha mai tong yan leh gah.." he meant tht jokingly, yeah, so i braved up and just rattled on in cogwheel cantonese, sounded horrible but at least he understood..that was the lowest point in my life.. but hey, i think you're pretty good for a banana to be able to say pap smear in chinese! i couldn't even remember what was hypertension in cantonese.. keep going and you'll get there! go bananas!!!!Xp

  23. elaine,

    wow, seriously your russian better than chinese language?? you studied in russia? i think it's because you learn the medical terms in russian language and was trained to clerk patients that way... i also kena before the 'lei hai mai tong yan lei geh' thingy.. damn frustrating.. sigh..

    do you know what's the worse experience for me?? there was once, i was practicing short cases the wards, when i came across a couple.. the uncle rejected many students, but after some persuasion, he let me examine him.. later when chat with the couple, i realized he had hepatitis B,.. and suddenly his wife asked me how hep B was transmitted... and i realized that they were never properly counseled for hep B... then i tried explaining that it can be transmitted through blood.. then suddenly, i forgot how what is 'sexual intercourse' in Chinese.. and they like couldn't understand what is the word 'sex'(English).. and i didn't want to do any embarrassing action or use any rude/harsh terms.. and i couldn't draw it out to illustrate it, like how i illustrate other terms (like renal stones, pancreatitis, etc) to patients previously.. i think that was my most embarrassing moment.. in the end, had to grab a Chinese educated friend to help me explain and counsel the couple... sigh.. so, i guess i finally learned the word, the hard and embarrassing way... sigh...

    but, i think, as for language, the more you use it, the more familiar you get to it.. so, don't worry, with a little more practice, you'll be able to learn even the toughest Cantonese words.. it's all about getting used to it.. you can do it! you are a fast learner!! =) all the best!

    p/s: a few simple terms:
    hypertension = hwik ngak kou (xue ya kau)
    DM = dim niu panng (tian niau ping)


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Author's Note

Dear friends and readers, Thank you for dropping by and leaving comments/ shoutouts. More importantly, thank you for being there... please accept my apology that, lately, i may be busy with work and not have time to reply youir messages/comments, but rest assured, each and everyone is read, and highly appreciated :) have a nice day! ^^

of love

Today, i heard a story which was not a story of falling...
of living in the dark end of winter turmoil..
instead, it was a love story..
of a couple who did not live happily ever after...
but they live, loving each other..