Monday, February 25, 2013

Visit to Indonesia - E.

Our camera was out of commission for several weeks, but it returned from the service center just in time for a little bit of travelling last week.  A friend of ours was making a visit to the Indonesian town of Entikong, about two hours' drive from here, and invited us to go along.

I need to get back into the habit of bringing our camera places -- and actually taking pictures!  I admit I've been out of practice with the camera gone.  Once we got home I found myself a little disappointed with the small number of pictures we had taken, because it was such a unique and memorable experience.

Well, here are a few shots that we did get of our trip:

This is the inside of a church.  We actually stayed overnight here.
All four of us slept under this mosquito net, making for quite the cozy night.

From the back door.  I believe that's a fish pond down there.

Taking a picture of our friend taking a picutre of a gorgous mountain.

Things of interest which you do not get to see, because I didn't take pictures, are the roads, the shops, the excellent food, and some bird's nest flavored beverage in a can.  Too bad!  Maybe next time.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Kids Learning the Local Language -- E.

Before we moved to Malaysia, our American friends often told us that our children would pick up the language quickly, naturally, and much more successfully than we their parents would.

That has turned out to be partly true.

Dorie and James actually know very little Malay.  Almost zero.  Queena and I have been diligently learning Malay for six months and, however else you may measure our progress, it's only accurate to say we're far ahead of our children.

However . . . James and Dorie have been learning something altogether different.  It's called Malaysian English, and while not a completely different language from our American English, it's distinct enough that I can't speak it well.  I can mimic a bit.  But my children are -- quickly, naturally, and successfully -- internalizing this speech variety.

I'm very proud of my children.  Unfortunately for them, though, Malaysian English has certain characteristics that by coincidence resemble what in America would be called 'whining baby-talk'.  (The grammar and the sound system work together to . . . well, I can't explain it well here, but if you want to hear a bit for yourself, check out this explanation by a Toastmaster in Malaysia.)  Poor Dorie!  We had been getting rather angry with her 'baby-talk' way of saying things.  It took a few months before we realized her English wasn't degenerating, and she wasn't regressing to some infantile self; she was simply adapting to a legitimate and quite expressive speech variety. 

Still, my blood pressure continues to spike whenever I hear Dorie say something like "I wan driiiink! This one!"  Old habits die hard.