Field Report on Manglish


“Perfessor Squirrel McNutts”
Foremost Field Anthropologist
Dear readers,
At almost no cost whatsoever, the Realm of the lone Grey Squirrel has managed to get world famous field anthropologist, “Perfessor” Squirrel McNutts, to send us his latest report from the field. “Perfessor” has just completed an extensive two day study of Malaysians. Here is his cutting edge report:-

Hello there. This is McNutts here, reporting in after a strenuous two full days in the jungles of Malaysia where I am studying that enigmatic human tribe called a Malaysian.

I have been paying particular attention to the sounds that they make. As you know squirrels all round the world speak a common language called “Chitterese”, which is why world domination of the world by squirrels is just a matter of time. Humans, on the other hand seem to have developed a whole set of different “languages”.

At first, the Malaysian human seemed to communicate through a series of rapid grunts and whistles but when you record it and then slow it down and play it backwards, it then sounds like some form of perverted English. Previous explorers have called it “Manglish”. However, today, there is even a debate about the origin of the word “Manglish”. Was it, as some believe, merely a contraction of the words “Malaysian” and “English”? Or could it be, as I believe, meant to describe how the English language had been mangled.

You decide. I have included a transcript of a recording made during this current expedition as well as my best translation into modern English.

Transcript:-
Subject 1: “Hey you guys doing what?”
Subject 2: “Nut’in, brudder. We lepak only-lah.”
Subject 1: “The new James Bond movie is on now. You wanna see or not. I hear it is damn
shiok!”
Subject 3: “I wanted to go yesterday but no member-lah.”
Subject 1: “Jom. I’ll go buy tickets for the evening show.”
Subject 3: “Can call the Tan sisters or not?”
Subject 1: “Why-ah?”
Subject 2: “Aiyoo! He like Jane Tan-lah! he is like basket case around her.”
Subject 1: “Sure or not? Which one is Jane Tan-ah?”
Subject 2: “She’s that small chilli padi in our English class.”
Subject 1: “What-lah, man! That one already got boyfriend-mah.”
Subject 2: “I already said. Some more, the boyfriend very jealous one and is a Jinjang Joe.”
Subject 1: “Ya-lah! Don’t play-play. There are lots more fish.”
Subject 3: “Ooi, you guys don’t give me problem-lah. Relaks, brudders. It’s one movie only
what.”
Subject 1: “Wah, like that all of us die-lah.”

Traslation:-
Subject 1: “Hello, my dear fellows. May I enquire as to what you are doing at this moment?”
Subject 2: “We are doing nothing in particular, my friend. We are just hanging out together.”
Subject 1: “In that case, would you both like to go to see the new James Bond movie which is
currently showing in the cinemas. I hear that it is fantastic.”
Subject 3: “I had wanted to go yesterday but could not find any one to accompany me.”
Subject 1: “Come on, then. I will buy tickets for us for the evening screening.”
Subject 3: “Say, can we also invite the Tan sisters to join us?”
Subject 1: “Whatever for?”
Subject 2: “He is smitten with Jane Tan, that’s why. He acts like a total imbecile whenever she is
around. “
Subject 1: “Is that really true? Who is this Jane Tan anyway?”
Subject 2: “She’s that small and feisty girl in our English class.”
Subject 1: “Good Heavens, man! She already has a boyfriend.”
Subject 2: “I have already warned him that the boyfriend is the jealous type and that he is a real
thug.”
Subject 1: “Exactly! Not someone to be trifled with or taken lightly. Besides, there are many
more attractive girls out there.”
Subject 3: “I would appreciate it if you both drop this matter, get off my case and just calm
down. After all, I am only talking about asking her out for just one movie.”
Subject 1: “You are going to get us all in to trouble.”

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10 thoughts on “Field Report on Manglish”

  1. LOL! I love it! I have seen something similar on a blog written by a Caribbean friend of mine. It’s always fascinating to see how languages meld like this. Have you heard of Franglais? Yes, it’s a good one, too! 😀

  2. OneStonedCrow,
    HahaHa! Does the Queen travel everywhere with the Duck? I have a tale from Malaysia’s TV broadcast history. It was the marching in procession at an Olympic games and our TV commentator introduced the team from Swaziland as the team from “Switzerland”. I was amazed to see an all-black team from Switzerland! He then later dismissed a bunch of other countries with names too difficult for him to pronounce as “another breakaway republic from the previous Soviet Union”. He also pronounced rendezvous as “ron-dis-woose”.

    Wandering Coyote,
    Franglais? No, I don’t know about that. Can you enlighten me? Anything to do with poutine?

  3. Wandering Coyote,
    Thanks for the link. I had a look and I think Franglais is way too political. Me thinks that Manglish is more fun.

    Secret Agent,
    there is a more modern slang to replace Jinjang Joe and which carries the idea of a backwoods red-neck and it is “Ah Beng”.

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