Saturday, November 21, 2015

DBKL'S lousy English greeting US President Barack Obama gets flak!

DBKL @ DEWAN BANDARAYA KUALA LUMPUR or the KUALA LUMPUR CITY HALL ia again in the proverbial hot soup for screwing up on the greeting for visiting American President Barack Obama  which has been displayed prominently on the ITIS signboards at our capital city's major roadways.

As we can all see clearly, the words used by DBKL to greet President Obama is obviously incorrect and doesn't really convey to him, that we are welcoming him to Malaysia, our beloved nation.


Hehehehe.. We can all become fault finders and gleefully poke fun at the ones who are in charge of the capital city of our country, Kuala Lumpur.

For example, we can ask the following, tongue in cheek sarcastic question:

Hello? Who is DBKL to welcome readers to The President of the USA, Barack Obama?

knowing that in the US of A, there are legions of LGBT practitioners who would simply jump at the chance to have a go at Obama!

They have made lots of parodical videos which they have posted on You Tube making Obama out to be a royal stud or something

America glorifies their so called freedom to insult and make fun of just everything and everybody.

Even their country's leaders are not exempt.

Even The White House regularly holds the 'Roast' of its Presidents where the incumbent Head of State is made fun of publicly at these gala events.

Even President Obama indulges in such tomfoolery.

Back to the main issue here, DBKL simply have shot themselves in their proverbial foot by not engaging the services of Writing & Editing professionals 
like yours truly here.

Here's my response in the form of a comment which I posted in the Facebook thread uploaded by the New Straits Times online:


It's just a simple mistake on the part of DBKL but when it reflects very badly and exposes the atrocious poor command of English of our country's capital city's administrators!

The blatant error in welcoming the most powerful and influential leader of the current world's # 1 superpower by DBKL's ill choice of words will be a laughing stock of the American media and talk show hosts.

Please don't be a cheapskate DBKL! I won't charge you much! Hehehehe.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Malaysian's appalling level of English due to Government Error.

When I started schooling way back in 1965, Jelutong English School, Penang was still educating us in proper British English.

We were in a way being taught to speak in the Queen's English. Speaking for myself, I developed a fine level of being able to read and write as well as speak very well in English. I was also and still am quite proficient in Bahasa Melayu as well for Iv grew up in a Malay kampong @ village in East Jelutong, Penang.

Being quite well versed in English and Malay serves me well to this very day. I can also speak very well in Tamil and a fair grasp of the local Penang Hokkien Chinese dialect. I can't however read and write any of the above stated languages apart from my major languages of English and Malay.

I understand a bit of Japanese, Hindi and Arabic as well but can't read or write in them either. 

From my observation, after 1970, the Malaysian Government decided to change the education system to be taught in Malay. As a result, many of our nation's students started to lose their ability to interact well in English, the world's major lingua franca.

It is not that we do not respect our National Language which is Bahasa Melayu, being a Malay nation but when it comes to business transactions and further study in the field of science and technology, most of the major universities do teach in English.

If we are to excel in any chosen field especially in any international level of studies where the resources are in English, then we would need to achieve a certain level of prowess in the language itself and any poor grasp of English will hinder our ability to excel in the subject due to our insufficient understanding of the said subject for literary reasons.

Malaysia needs to set it's education system right by reverting to the way things were back in the 1960s.

Only then will our academic institutions gain the highest standards of achieving academic excellence as we once did. Look south of the Malay Peninsular at Singapore. Their universities are today ranked as amongst the highest ranks amongst the world's premier universities due to the fact that they teach in English.

Our political representatives apparent low levels of academic qualifications also expose a downwards spiral of oratorical skills especially in English and also in Bahasa Melayu which often portrays our Parliamentarians to be of a level best suited to debate at the local coffeeshops.

Very poor command of English and even Bahasa Melayu which is our official and national language. What a shame! 

It's such a ridiculous situation where the so called Members of our Malaysian Parliament are so rude, arrogant and uncouth during the process of debating motions of enacting of laws that are to be used to govern our nation.

Other countries MP's are able to express their views in a more dignified and eloquent manner using proper words and sentences. 

So, it all goes back to the way our schools are teaching our students. Starting from even the primary school levels. In many cases, we find uneducated incompetent persons teaching at the kindergartens causing our impressionable young children being taught wrongly by people who are not supposed to even teach them the alphabets because these very persons can't even articulate those alphabets well in the first instance.

Malaysia really needs to scrape all these inappropriate shoddy systems that are currently in place. It goes back as to who calls the shots at Putrajaya?

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

KFC flyer typo error ~ What a missing 'D' can do!

Malaysian companies are quite notorious for being cheapskates! Cheapskates in the sense that they do not engage the services of a competent Editor or Proofreader before they publish any ads online or distribute printed material to the general public who are their consumers or customers.

Recently, I received the following promotional leaflet or flyer from KFC in our letterbox. At first glance, I noticed the glaring typo error on their flyer. It read 'DEAR VALUE CUSTOMER'.

To the uninformed person, it would have escaped their attention but not to me. I grimaced upon reading the sentence. 'DEAR VALUE CUSTOMER'.

Hello KFC MALAYSIA! Why did your Advertising & Marketing staff NOT CHECK the advertising draft copy first for any spelling errors before sending it to the publishers or printing company?

I mean, hello.. you are representing a world famous American fast-food giant of a company! KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN USA!

Don't tell us that you can't afford to engage the services of an Editor or a Proofreader such as me! :D

Just add a 'D' to the word VALUE to add sense to your sentence. It should read 'DEAR VALUED CUSTOMER' for God's sake!

What 'VALUE' are you referring to here in your flyer?

Next time you plan to distribute any promotional flyers or advertising material, feel free to engage my services.

Reasonable fees * Prompt delivery * Satisfaction guaranteed!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Singapore's Supreme 'Leeder'? Singlish gone bad! :P

I came across this post in a Singapore Community website named A.S.S. @ All Singapore Stuff where obviously the author didn't do a spell check first before publishing this article.

The author had typed 'LEEDER' instead of 'LEADER'.

Proof reading is very important. Especially when we are publishing a serious article about a prominent personality such as the late Lee Kuan Yew, the Founding Father of the Republic of Singapore.

At first I thought that maybe the author had committed a 'typo error' but then when I read further, it was obvious that the author did repeat the same mistake throughout the article.

To some, it might not be a big deal but for a proofreader ; translator ; editor and scriptwriter like me, it is a gross mistake and should not be overlooked.

Such is the impact that a misspelled word can have. I did a word search on 'Leeder' and it turned out to be a Western name. Nothing else.

Rule # 1 for authors and publishers is to always proofread and carry out a spell check before we click the 'Publish' button. 

Maybe the author has yet to realize his or her mistake but I hope anyone reading this who knows him or her alerts the said author about this unintended spelling error.
Words can sound similar but in actuality they might quite differ in the meaning that the speaker had in his or her mind. So it's important to really understand what is being said before jumping to any erroneous conclusions as is being depicted in the cartoon above.

Despite this slight error, the said website contains interesting content concerning the lives of Singaporeans and is worth your visit to learn more about our neighbors south of the Malay Peninsular. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Translating and Interpreting ~ Two different tasks that requires Knowledge, Understanding and Wisdom!

Nowadays, people who are not well versed in the English or Malay language tend to send the wrong message across when posting or publishing whatever it is that they wish to convey to others?

Woe betide any businessman or woman if they were to blunder by sending the wrong message or correspondence to their clients or business associates.

In these times, people are much more easily offended and will not hesitate to cancel or break off any business deals or agreements if they receive the wrong message from anyone whom they trusted or entered into any business arrangements with.

Malaysians in general are not as aggressive in pursuing knowledge or acquire the necessary skills in order to succeed in whatever they engage in. Not many are keen to polish up on their vocabulary or speaking prowess. 

Hence we do not see that many people here in Malaysia end up as literary scholars or diamonds of the writing industry. Most people nowadays end up using social media lingo in their mannerisms of texting using their smartphone's messaging systems.

The clear difference between translating and interpreting is that translators work with translating written words into another language whilst interpreters work upon the spoken words in a particular language uttered orally which they in turn interpret orally in the preferred language that the listener or listeners want to understand with.

To put it in a nutshell ~ Translators write and Interpreters talk! That's as crystal clear as can be.

One works with the documents or writings before him or her ; whilst the other listens to intently to what is being said, processes the information they have heard and in response conveys verbally whatever that they have heard and understood its context or content into the selected or specified language that those who are listening wish to know?

So, translating and interpreting is not the same. Please share this with your family and friends. Knowledge is to be shared, that's very important. 

One other form of interpreting is the form of sign language. The person whom we see being shown in a small window at the bottom right hand side of our television screens is usually someone who has full faculties of hearing and also has learned the signing methods that those who are deaf and mute use in communicating with one another.

Personally, I quite respect and am in awe of such individuals. They have the best of all three forms of communication as part of their soft skills. It can be very handy to be able to express themselves in any of the three mediums.

Writing, speaking and signing. In the field of law enforcement and military plus espionage, all such skills become very valuable and important to possess and master.

Yet in all of the three forms of communication mediums that I am sharing about here, the fundamental aspect of all three methods of communicating must remain to be accuracy.

If you mistranslated, interpreted wrongly or signed the wrong message the whole thing can backfire upon you can cause you to be either branded as a liar or as someone who should not be trusted.

Trust and confidence once shattered are not replaceable. Just like a flat, smooth, crisp piece of paper. Once crumpled, it will never be the same again. 

Unless you take the trouble to steam it up then immediately iron it out properly, chances are that it will only look as if it is as it was before but the reality is that it is no longer as smooth as it once was.

So, always exercise caution before handing over your translations to your client. Think over once or twice before you relay what you thought was meant by the speaker. Reassess in your mind as to what was really being meant before you sign it over to your audience.

If you are to ask me as to whom do I think play a more important role and has a heavier sense of responsibility between translating and interpreting, I'd say that it is the interpreter.

He or she has no chance to check flipping the pages of a dictionary or thesaurus, do a Google check before concluding the correct and accurate meaning of what is being said?

The interpreter must be pretty quick in being able to listen carefully, process the received information correctly and possess an incredible amount of knowledge and understanding of the subject matter being shared or expressed by the speaker to simultaneously or in a minute later verbally say in the chosen language preferred by the listeners or audience what the first speaker meant to be shared with them?

Its not a walk in the park, I must say.

A wrong or inaccurate translation can be rectified by doing it all over again but if the wrong interpretation was passed on over to the listening audience, then, a gross injustice would have been perpetrated upon those who chose to trust in whatever was being shared with them by the interpreter!

Such a calamity can have very grave consequences for those who decide upon something that can be of the utmost importance and be a life-changing situation especially when it concerns decisions made based upon the context or content of whatever is shared through translating, interpreting and signing.

Conveying the right message to others will result in us and them receiving rightful blessings and guidance from the Almighty! Yet if we were to be so unfortunate as to pass on the wrong messages to others, then we will later have our moments of utter regret when the truth prevails and we are found to be the one who fibbed!

Now, that would truly be a moment to be crestfallen and despair over what we had done! 'To err is human ; to forgive is divine' goes a popular saying that we are to overlook someone's errors but even if we are to apologize and say that we are so sorry,etcetera and admit our screw ups and mistakes, chances are that our clients or audience might choose to look past such slip ups but then again they can be said to be ready to forgive our shortcomings but they will surely not forget!

Distrust will definitely creep in and kick off the trust that they had in us! So please, make sure that you really understand as to what is being shared with you before you regurgitate it out after a casual attempt to understand whatever was being said or you thought that this was what the speaker meant or inferred in their speech?

I hope you now have a fair grasp of what this article's title meant to convey to you after reading all these. There's just so much more for us to learn from the oceans of knowledge all around us.

Some of such knowledge at times might be right there in front of us but we miss out on them for being clouded in our judgments or due to the fact that we could be so engrossed in thinking about something that may in actuality not be that important to our life or chosen vocation!

Keep on learning and if possible teach others. It will be your legacy and probable source of blessings to aid you in the hereafter. Insya Allah.

Wabillahi Taufik Wal Hidayah.

Wassalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Syukur Alhamdulillah! Read N Write Dotnet is back in operation! Thank you Exabytes!

All praises be to Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala and to the staff at Exabytes for helping me get my site here up and running again!

Those who do not own and operate their own websites may not realize the importance of having a fully functioning and reachable domain that represents the website owner and his or her business reputation or identity online!

I was at my wit's end when my site wasn't appearing as it is now. You see, having your own domain or website is like having your own property. Cyber property to be exact!

So, imagine how you would feel to return home and discover it missing? That's what I felt for the last few days! Like missing something very precious to you! You lose sleep over it. You toss and turn and aren't at peace. You pray to Allah that you get it back!

I couldn't concentrate on my other tasks at hand because this site here is my breadbasket so to speak! I am past employable age! Most CEO's out there are quite younger than me. I would pose quite a challenge in being employed by those who aren't pretty sure of themselves!

So, the best thing for me to do is to be self-employed! Like this. Work using my intelligence and capabilities in putting words in order. Translating from English to Malay and vice versa. Work using my capabilities in the field of script writing, translating, editing, proofreading, etc. from the convenience of my home or anywhere I can work using my computer and have a connection to the internet.

So, I am truly, truly grateful to the staff at Exabytes, my domain hosting company and to Blogger for giving me back my site here. This is my platform from which I get to earn my living. This is my online office. My cyber mall or what the hell ever! From here, I get to advertise my writing services. To get people like you to engage me in completing whatever writing needs you may have?

I am so thankful. Thank you Allah! Not forgetting, thank you to all those who have become Read N Write Dotnet clients.

Always a pleasure to be of service to you!

Warmest regards,