Arabic Class

After a 12-year hiatus, I’m finally taking formal Arabic lessons again. It meets once a week at night in the “basement” of the ustaz’s house who gave the talk at our surau last week. Not a basement really but a room built on the ground floor, underneath his house on stilts. The last classes I… More Arabic Class

Malay Contributions to English, pt.6: The Gong Show

While wandering around the Jalan Masjid India area last December during my sisters’ brief visit, we stumbled on a live performance in a small plaza. The show was of traditional Malay song and dance. There was a large squad of men sitting crosslegged, some with drums, some clapping, some singing lead, some chorus. The dancers… More Malay Contributions to English, pt.6: The Gong Show

Hau tu spik Malaysian

Malaysia is constantly grappling with the role of English in the country and in the Malaysian language, Bahasa Malaysia. On the one hand, fluency in English is highly prized. The government’s latest initiative to improve English skills is that Math and Science courses will now be taught in English medium. On the other hand, English… More Hau tu spik Malaysian

Hidupnya Insan

My favorite definition of poetry is “Compact Emotion”. So when I found that my translations are mulitiplying the word count at least three or five times, I knew right there I’m losing something. This is the last of the lyrical pieces on the “Pelita Hidup” album, and for me it was the hardest. I think I’ll go back to nursery rhymes after this; it’s more at my level. Anyone know where to get lyrics for “Bangau O Bangau”?… More Hidupnya Insan