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Language made simple

Written By kadayan chronicles on Tuesday, 23 February 2010 | 21:54

Written by Amde Sidik

I’m encouraging Kadayan to write. Kadayan’s dialect, may be from that we can see if there is any different in the way they perceive the sound, if that differentiates the spelling when they write. For example, Kadayans in Sibuti spell ujak but in Sipitang they missed out the letter k - uja instead, the same applies to inda jua-indak juak for Sibuti’s people in Miri.

I’ve not been writing about Kadayan for sometime, my last post in my column at Kadayan Universe was way backin 2006.

Rais Yatim - MoDe!

What do I meant by that? It’s writing about anything, and everything about Kadayan, written in English that was. Some of my Kadayan elders and friends were furious with me and asked towhether I could speak Kadayan or if English is my only language. It really is silly, knowing me just as uwang daat as many of you, except for the younger generation but I’m no Rais Yatim though.

Let me explain briefly first thing first.

My Kadayan is better than my Bahasa Melayu, I dare say, in speaking in particular, in writing I might have to struggle. I’ve not much problem understanding written Bahasa Melayu, minus heavy literature like Bahasa Sanskrit?

With regard to my English I’m not saying my English is super, far from that, even up this moment I’m still struggling in my writing. I find English is one of the most difficult languages to learn on earth and to master it is impossible. I would never manage to reach to the level that I dreamt of. Its not uwang Kadayan’s language at the first place, that is why I find it difficult. I’m not joking. The only different perhaps between some of my friends and I is that I usually think in English first whenever I look at things that creates double trouble for me, my brain easily get short circuited neither here nor there, in the end the massage is muddled jadi babauu.

But nonetheless I consider English is handy especially when come to explaining simple thing. And the beauty is if one writes in simple English, no body says you are stupid even with limited vocabulary, unlike Malay, provided you don't defy the rules blindly like tenses and grammar.

I’m for simple language and by that I mean I like making simple thing simpler and the difficult ones be made simple. And with English language it can be done, even professors at university are happy to read what one writes in simple English, try looking at books written the Richard P. Fynman world’s renounced physicist- Atomic Scientist and Pulitzer Award Winner. He had no difficulty in writing to a 6-year-old pupil? Incredible. In Malay there is a tendency for some to get carried way, once he is a professor his works could only be understood by professors. For me unless it’s for specific audience I wouldn’t do that, there is a different in the way people understand what they read, for example between a professor in history and professor in Chemistry.

In situation like this my simple English is still acceptable. Notice, how old-timer lawyers write? I bet many of those practicing are merely parroting what their seniors are doing, if I’m his client I surely want simple explanation, otherwise I wouldn’t pay for the service if I don’t understand it.

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