“Lingua Franca” is a new lesson for me to learn.

As I read a borrowed magazine calling “English Today” dated on June 2008, I have learnt more about Lingua Franca. Lingua Franca is a human language that allow everyone from around the world to communicate each other in regardless of their ethic. It is known as a working language or bridge language. Hence, English Language is considered as an international language. 

According to the article of English as the official working language in ASEAN, there is a debate much about the usage of English language in among the Asian people. Those days, some native-speaking countries prefer to use their own mother tongue to communicate with other representatives at the assemble as they had become freshly members of the union. Much later, they gradually accepted to speak English Language.

Having a good dinner, I noticed that my hearing friends were speaking in the mixture of languages. Curiously, I asked them if they used Singlish or broken English. (Singish is the mixture of English language and major native languages. Broken English is that some English errors in speaking or writing.) They answered that they used mixtures! Not fully English Language.


Loss of the meaning of “Ang Mo”

Second Edition – Additional information

Eight years ago, many of my friends talked loudly that some tourists were ang mo but I did not comprehend its meaning. I stupidly asked some of them what it was because that word has not been written everywhere. It is only the word of mouth among locals (mainly the Singlish speakers). They answered that “Ang Mo” is the literal meaning of Caucasian.

Two months ago, My Caucasian friend and I ordered drinks at a coffee shop in a sleepy town. Two Chinese Nationality men idiotically giggled at one “speechless” person (it’s me. of course I am hearing impaired) and another fairer person (it is the Caucasian lady next to me). She heard “Ang Mo” in the men’s foolish conversation and got pissed because the tone was more likely to be rude ( I could not tell what the exact tone is as I could not hear theirs except their body language). Another friend elaborated what its actual meaning is to us. Smart of him. See Meaning “Ang Mo” is Hokkien words of red-haired. Asian people have black hair, right? Thus, they have been wowed by the sight of Caucasian’s golden hair.  The word rudely affects some Caucasian people. It is supposed to be negative one in generally English language.

In this society, the word has become the cliché in the Singlish speakers’ conversation as they use it often and gradually forget its exact meaning.

For serious writers, they do not see good reasons to write that word in their books as it is inappropriate to use and racial rudeness.

Importance of being a reader and a writer at same time.

Second Edition: digression and grammatical errors

I have just got a brainwaves on the topic because I was hardly able to complete a 800-words essay within a short time unlike most of highly active learners/thinkers. On my account of my working committment, I have little time to practise my writing skill. (I feel I am really brainless) In my school days, I could write up to 1500 words in a post at my blog! What a disappointment with me!

After I became a full-time employee, I finish a 600-pages novel for one and half month! It implied me that it is not good for my coming ‘A’ level year! If I write less, I would feel little comfort in writing and would be a slow writer! Oh my god. I have enough of blaming myself for my poor performance in the writing. Oh yes, I saw an interesting title at someone’s blog – “Talking-shop or im a writer too” See the url I learned a lesson from the author of the blog. It is where time is for me to write or to have a shame of myself.

Reading an academic textbook will improve your academic thinking. Reading a novel will improve your creative skill and a proficiency in expressing.

During my upper secondary school, I started to study a Social Studies subject and learned how to properly write an essay. It has really improved my writing and thinking skills! Usually, I chose a topic from the national examination paper that was related to argumentative articles. Rarely, I had written narrative writings because I had not bothered to learn about the writing foundation in the narrative writings but now, my interest in this has been developed eventually.

A fluent English speaker has commented that my dictionary is really limited. It is actually an embarrassing moment for me!! Another fluent English writer has implied about my weakly grammar skill in a recount article.

P.S: I guess I have to buy a monthly The Economist magazine in order to improve my writing. I will pray for it. =D I need to read more non-fictional books. My recount writing has been affected by the vast amount of reading the fictional books.

Distinction Between “Lie” and “Lay”

To utter my confusion, I read the meaning of “Lie” and “Lay” from my practical book. Both of the words sound similar but I had not thought of  their actual difference. I realized that I misunderstood or misinterpret a meaning of the story in the books as I SKIM – no careful reading habit. Let me definite them.

“Lie” means that is a flat position that your body is flat on the floor or the bed.
Lay (past)
Lying (Present Participle)
Lain (Past Participle)

“Lie” has another meaning. It is to tell someone something that is not true
Lied (Past)
Lying (Past Participle)

“Lay” means that is to put something down carefully in a flat position.
Laid (past)
Laying (Past Participle and Present Participle)

I learned from this lesson!

Know your personal technique of sustaining your grammatical English Language

When I was in primary school, I was very bad at English Language. I did not enjoy reading a book as the school and my parents did not guide me how to read. I heard only “Read more to improve your English language.” more than two times but I did not heed. After leaving the primary school, I was trying to read a first book. Its title was “Harry Potter and Philosopher’s Stone”. I read this without an interruption. How could I read faithfully this book? Ok. I had watched the related movie. Hence, it helped me to get a clear picture from what I read the book. Reading became a form of escaping and stepping into other world. After completing few books, reading became a habit.

During my secondary years, my English Language was still not improved strongly although I read good books and educational magazines. Why? Because I did not practise in writing much and did not fond of English literature. The school gave me literature books to read. I remember many students in my class were not diligent much in literature. I really WASTED five years’ worth for not practising seriously in the writing. The five years was from secondary one to secondary four plus O level year. 

When I was in secondary three, I heard about a new blogging programme and explored its features. The programme seemed to be interesting to me and I created a new account and contributed to it. Hence, writing became addicting as I enjoyed to pour out my bottle of thinking into the blog. Also, it developed my liking in using a thick Longman dictionary. My english vocabulary was improved slowly.  With the help of blogging habit, my english was nourished.

Another determinant of the improvement of the English Language was a sign language in the latest version. When I listened to my resourceful teachers who used the version of sign language, I got bored sometimes and in the end, my brain could not absorb much.

a subject teacher spoke verbally: ” This ion moves from the metal to the non-metal. ”
a resourceful teacher interpreted in sign language: “Ball (as sign of ion) fly (as sign of move) from metal to non-metal”
Me: Yawned

A speed of speech of the subject teachers is faster than the speed of the  interpretation of the resourceful teachers.I understand that the resourceful teachers are very industrious in conveying what they heard into signalling. Mostly, they spoke in sign language broken English.

A full sentence: “I would like to contribute my knowledge to this community.”
I spoke in sign language: ” I like contribute my knowledge there (the community).”

I hear commonly most of the hearing impaired students have many grammar errors in their writing unless they are diligent or independent.

Example of another technique of sign language.
Let’s imagine that you are a flag signalman for an airfighter. You signal a code to the airfighter polit. Two flags are held straight above you. It tells “Please move quickly from left as the park was taken over.”

One sign = one sentence

Like converting from a novel (500pages) to a movie (1.8 hours). If the interpreters signalled every word in one short sentence for 30 sec, my brain would be not willing to absorb. If they just signalled one body language as one sentence for 10 sec, I would enjoy learning. Thus, I like the latter but it is not used generally now. In the fact, many young are less fluent in English than the previous generation.

Let’s back to the improvement of my English language. The resourceful teachers and the English tutors gave me remedial lessons of English language but I was not serious. They always told me to read more books and newspaper. But they did not know what technique I could apply unconsciously to improve the English language.

If I pick a thick novel book, I will skim to get pictures quickly. If I pick a newspaper, I will scan them to get best information. Skimming is different from reading. Skimming means that you scan quickly main points without getting unnecessary details. Skimming is useful sometimes for your comprehension within short time. To avoid making many English errors, then you read carefully.

Someone recommended me to read short stories from literature books because I have more times to read carefully them rather than the fat novel book. This tip is really more resourceful.

Another tip is to make many words into fewer fixations. I learned this good technique from The Mindgym book (I am a fan.).
Read: “I need to get a letter from the letter box. Can you give me the letter key?”
Read again ” I need to get a letter from the letter box. Can you give me the letter key?”

So, which first or second is to read and understand faster?

Another friend shared with me that socializing with people is to improve English. He prefer socializing to reading. He comes from a highly educated family. If you are associating the people who are very fluent in English, you will be one of them. Some of you all come from a non-speaking English family and they may be not fluent in it.

Another technique is to write constantly. If you write often, you will familiar more in English. Someone who does not like to read a book but is good at writing. I think he likes technical writing. His vocabulary is quite strong but his grammar is simple. In some major courses from the university, they expect you to write in technical, mathematical, business, law and scientific terms.

Subvocalization means that you are reciting until you familiar more in English. It may be not effective to me. You may try it.

In the bottom line, you have to know your own technique that can be more effective for you. Try to apply these techniques to see its effectiveness on your learning process.

English Language Myth’s First Post

I thought too much on correcting my own English Language errors. An idea appeared in my mind. I decided to create a new category as a learning hub. It is labelled as “English Language Myth”. Why is it called “English Language Myth”? Because sometimes we learn one English word or one English sentence from printed media to various books to conversations among people and sometimes but the English sentence turns to be incorrect grammatically, phonically or rhetorically. Secondly, we misunderstand or misinterpret what we read or listen the sentence.  We keep wondering what corrects the English Language errors,  if the sentence is correct or if we do not need to learn that sentence.

In my old secondary school day, my Secondary 3 English Language teacher taught us one non-sense thing. She explained to us that “whose” was used for more than one person. “The voters whose support the republic party are in the riot” Some of us, the students, were stunning over the error. I did not believe that my own resourceful teacher  believed the English Language teacher!!! Queer of my resourceful teacher. Thus, the correct sentence is ” The voters who support the republic party are in the riot”
Some English Language teachers from everywhere are not perfect in this subject. Even some lecturers have some English Language errors

From my conversation with two persons, I wanted to know the cause. One technician stated ” This electric wire is spoilt.” After he left, my friend puzzled over “spoilt” and explained what he was thinking to me. “Spoilt” is actually not in technical term but means that decay or damage foods or moods. My friend had studied in a degree biochemistry course and he understood the term of “spoilt”. Smart of him. Correction: “This electric wire is damaged or worn out.”  Be careful. “This electric fan is out of the order.” NOT ” This electric wire is out of the order.” Because “out of the order” relates to the machines that are not operating properly.

This category may help you to brush up the English Language or correct the errors. It is quite fun for me to write here. I may quote some questions from Yahoo Q&A, people’s conversations or blogs, printed media or somewhere.

Note: I use “English Language” instead of “English”. Why? E.g. “English Myth” what do you think? Does it mean that England has some English culture myths? No. I admitted that i typed those words at first place but realized that it sounded so odd and thus, corrected it.