Saturday, April 17, 2010


My writing in English does not mean that I love Bahasa Melayu less.
The fervour for our Bahasa Kebangsaan was renewed after listening to Dr.Rais Yatim's speech at a dinner he gave to old classmates of Maktab Perguruan Bahasa recently.
Dr. Rais and many of us old teachers were alarmed that Bahasa Melayu that we hear on TV and radio sometimes become "rojak". We fervently hope that this will not become a habit. Old habits die hard.
Take the phrase "goreng pisang" used for fried bananas. Any Bahasa Malaysia teacher worth his dog-eared copy of "Pelita Bahasa Melayu" would tell you that it is wrong. The proper phrase is "pisang goreng". But is it used? Nope. When I went for ikan celup tepung in Kuala Terengganu recently, I saw a sign in the shop that says "kerepok goreng" and "goreng pisang" all in the same breath. "Goreng pisang" is a verb. "Pisang goreng" is the noun, the same as "pisang salai" or "pisang lecek".
Later, after droppping off Mimi at her campus in Section 17 Shah Alam, I stopped at a shop advertising "Nasi Bubur". Now "nasi" is somewhat different from "bubur" otherwise you would not have the peribahasa "Nasi sudah menjadi bubur". I know there are shops in Kelantan famous for their "nasi air" ( "air nasi" would not sell, however hard you try). I remember trying lip-smacking nasi air near the cinema hall in Pasir Putih, long long ago. But "nasi bubur"? Well, grammatically it could be in the same class as "nasi goreng", "nasi lemak", "nasi minyak" and "nasi dingin". It is the same with "bubur". It is always "bubur kacang", "bubur pulut hitam" "bubur cha cha" or "bubur lambuk". So "bubur nasi" would be grammatically correct.
Thats food for tho0ught eh?