Thursday, March 06, 2008

Everyone Should Learn English

You know what the world needs? Not Captain Planet, I won't be around to witness the exhaustion of natural resources and you have Toyota to blame for that. Not democracy, cos sometimes it's good to have people decide what is best for us. What the world needs, is to fucking learn English.

And I mean EVERYONE. I don't care if you are some farmer up in Tibet or a Guatamalean whore, everyone should speak English. And when I get elected as World President, I'm going to make it mandatory that everyone is at least proficient enough to use huge words like 'syphilis' and 'necrophilia' interchangeably with 'love'. For anyone that fails a proficiency test, they will be shipped to far away lands to be with mythical creatures like the Eskimos.

The reason why wars exist is simply because not everyone is speaking English, and we all know how fraustrating it is when someone is blabbering off in their own native tongue. Some dude is speaking his own language and half way round the world we have no fuck of an idea what he is saying and we think,

"Is he talking about my mother?"

And next thing you know, someone else is saying,

"Let's go kick his ass anyway, and maybe we'll just tell everyone he said he was going to blow up the world with his imaginary nuclear warheads."

Now hypothetically, wouldn't this be the cure if everyone spoke a common language? This isn't even a didatic discourse or some quixotic supposition. This is the solution. You can disagree, but you are wrong.

I had to make a long distance call to my agents in Jakarta this afternoon and I never forsaw this as the greatest afternoon challenge ever. I mean, this was a standard call and everything should be textbook easy.

Me: "Hi, can I speak to Yuly please?"
Girl: "Diri?"
Me: "No, Yuly."
Girl: "Diri?"
Me: "Huh? What? No, Yuly."

Then she went off rambling in Bahasa, which sounded like 'Blah blah blah' and translated to, 'I don't fucking understand rubbish'.

Me: "What? Can...I...speak...to...Yu...ly."

I was speaking exactly as how I am typing. Slow, clear diction and as if my jaws would fall off if I spoke any faster.

Girl: "Diri? Blah blah blah"
Me: "I... don't... speak... Ba..ha..sa"
Girl: "Blah blah blah"

Like what the fuck are you saying? Am I suppose to press 1 for English? She transfered the call and no one picked up after that. So being the ever linguistic enthusiast that I imagine myself to be, I immediately checked with my Javanese colleague.

Me: "What is 'Diri'? Is she trying to ask me who I am?"
Colleague: "What language is that?"
Me: "I don't know. Bahasa? Or maybe I called Tanzania?"
Colleague: "No such word."

People have got to stop making up their own languages and learn English instead. I swear, soon wars are going to take place in libraries over who has sovereignty over some made up language.

Of late, I've also come to value the intrinsic merits of a proper conversation. Two years ago, I was only interested in foreign women because I had no idea what they were saying and thus we would talk less and fuck more. I also believed that language was never a barrier, so long as the girl had great character, like 'hot ass', 'huge tits' and 'pretty face'.

Even when I was in Taiwan, I didn't entirely understand what they were saying to me, but the girls there were so hot, I didn't mind if I had to carry an entire Chinese dictionary out with me everytime I were to be on a date.

The problem is that lately, I am suffering mild symptoms of maturity, which is the inability to be superficial. Even as hot as a person is, the inability to converse with me proficiently would eventually take it's toll and I would come to a point where I would turn briefly to the option, 'ignore'. And I only converse in one language, English.

What is wrong with me? Since when is a hot ass not enough? I'm rejecting people based on conversational proficiency and chemistry? I am turning into a moron.

Governments around the world need to sit up and acknowledge the greatest social revolution the world has ever seen. Hollywoodification, or the proflieration of Hollywood into our culture and lifestyle. How can anyone be so cruel to deny another individual of enjoying HBO without the proxy of subtitles? Sure, you get the gist, but never the essence of story and that's why we call it lost in translation.

Hong Kong is another place that needs to get it's educational system right. The British colonized the place for like a million years and the only thing they managed to pick up was 'Okay' and Burberry. Did anyone even stop to think if they learnt English, they would have a better chance of going over to London and hook up with the English chicks?

I was in Hong Kong years back and at their famed night life district, Lam Kwai Fong, looking around for some chic place to have drinks and chill. We finally decided on one, which had one of those monosyllabic names like, 'Flash' or 'Static', either way it translated to 'stupid'.

The waitress greeted us in PERFECT English,

Waitress: "Hi, Welcome. Table for.."

I gestured for four. She led the way, then started to make small conversation with me.

Waitress: "So where you guys from? America? Germany? France? India?"

It puzzled me. Do I even look remotely like an American? Do I even look like I can assemble cars? Do I even look like I drink red wine and love men? Do I even look like I have a drinking problem?

The thing was, this girl said it with such a pristine American twang, I was entirely forgiving on the question of our nationality and decided I would continue the conversation sincerely.

Me: "Where's the toilet?"

She shot me a blank look, then replied me in what I hoped to believe was her best TVB impersonation,

She: "Ngor mm sek tang. Lei gong mat yeh?" (I don't understand. What did you say?)

Butterfly.was.speechless

Everyone needs to learn English. If you can't spell 'giraffe', go enroll yourself back in Kindergarten. If you think 'Hippopotamus' is a Greek philosopher, then it's time to sit in with your kid during his English tuition. There is no shame in learning English.

Not speaking English is like having an extra thumb grow out from your ear. You might think it's ok because you can grow your hair long and cover it, but one day cancer is going to strike you and you are going to lose your hair from chemotherapy, and you are going to wish you didn't have that thumb on your ear.

Make the world a happier place. Learn English, cos I swear when I become President, I am going to make you write a 30,000 word essay and it's going to be titled, 'Why did you not listen to me.'

14 Comments:

At 6:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

While we are on the topic of the English language (and because this is too good to resist), it's 'assemble' and not 'essemble'.

However, there is no cause for worry for that appalling error. The linguists in us still adore you for using 'quixotic supposition'.

Faithful Reader

 
At 9:53 AM, Blogger The Butterfly said...

noted. my proof reading is obviously not working.

 
At 9:39 AM, Blogger The Horny Bitch said...

Fuck man. This post is hilarious.

Did you ask the waitress which sitcom she watched to get her accent?

 
At 2:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you mean "frustrating"? =)

 
At 11:54 AM, Blogger Mylene said...

hey pretty, nice post.

Time to use spell check laa, yr readers are getting picky, but don't worry yea, despite it all, I still love the way you write.

 
At 12:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Guatamalean"
"clear diction" i think u meant enunciation??
=)

 
At 3:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi,understand what you feel. But at the same time,some of the countries (Japan,Korean...) will focus on their own language. When the time I was in France for trip,ppl there don't even bother about me if i speak English.

 
At 9:22 AM, Blogger Start Experimenting said...

Really like the way you write. If your current career turns uninteresting and u want some adventure, try writing!!!

 
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