I don’t like to make a habit of forcing myself to do a daily prompt post, but today’s one just seemed like it was too good for me to say no to, so here it is: translate.
A little bit of background here.
I was born in Singapore, and I basically grew up there. I moved back to Malaysia to further my studies. From my time in Singapore, I learnt a little bit of Chinese by virtue of going to a local Singaporean primary school. When I went back to Malaysia, I went to an international school. This kinda just meant that Chinese went out of the window. In addition to this, there was the Malay that came into the play.
Basically, now I’m studying medicine in a university in Malaysia. Its kinda the first time that I’m more exposed to Malaysian culture. I’m pretty sure only 10% of my cohort would rather speak in English than in Chinese or Malay. This makes it really difficult to I guess communicate with pretty much everyone in my university. I have a couple of close friends who speak Chinese as a first language, but that’s kinda a different story because we grew close because of badminton and such.
I met my girlfriend about 2/3 months into my 5 year course (a little fast, I guess). She’s a fully Malaysian girl – local Chinese schools and the works. However, despite having a first language in Chinese, she’s fluent in both Chinese and Malay due to her background. In many ways this post is a dedication post to her. For being ever-present when I need her help. For being someone who I guess opens my way of having proper conversations with people I would otherwise be unable, even, to talk to.
Thank you for helping me to talk to people – by helping me translate on the spot despite me requiring your help all the time.
Thank you for understanding that I would be really lost without you and in my heart I just want you to know how thankful I am for having your bright presence around.
But I really don’t appreciate one thing. The fact that you actually tell everyone I can’t speak any form of Chinese whatsoever, haha. I honestly don’t think my Chinese is too bad. I can 90% of the time get the conversation and talk. Its just when the idioms and the Chinese culture comes in when I go a bit blur.
Every single time I go and meet her friends or family, there is always this assumption that I don’t speak any whatsoever. Call me a little salty, but when I began talking in Chinese to a friend of hers, she kinda jumped back in surprise before saying “OMG, he can speak Chinese?”. In addition, to this day, I honestly think that her parents still think I don’t speak Chinese.
Life. But that doesn’t take away how thankful I am to have her around though. Qt GF, I love you very, very much.