Sabtu, 01 Mei 2010
Only Indonesians care about how other Indonesians speak English
It's true. It's greatly annoying to be corrected all the time. We, of course, want to always deliver flawless English with sophisticated grammar and pronunciation, an Obama kind of speech. But let's face it: bad grammar sometimes happens to good people. I mean, even the queen of England makes mistake (well, I'm pretty sure about this). Again, the most important part is the message, right? When two people or more understand each other when speaking a language (or sort of a language), then what's the problem?
So, should we let people saying, "Thanks you very much" or "I can to swim" as long as we understand what they actually mean? I'd say, yes. Unless we are in the classroom and they pay you to teach them English.
I don't mind being corrected. I just point out that it's irritating to edit my sentence when I'm trying to put my idea across or to pour out my feelings. Imagine a situation like this:
Me : "I really like you. I think I love to you,"
Mr. Editor: "No, that's not how you should say it. It's 'I love you' without to"
Me : "Oh. You also too? You love to me too?"
Mr. Editor: "No, I don't mean like that. I mean you should say I love you, not I love to you. And 'also too' is not correct either. If you say also you don't need to say too,"
Me : *confused*"So do you do love me too also? Me love you too"
I bear in mind that in this case, he did nothing wrong, because he's Mr. Editor. He's just doing his job ^_^
In Indonesia, I guess people are very self-aware while speaking other languages. In my opinion this is quite normal since we always treat foreign languages like Math or Physics, with their rules and regulations. Thus, it's important to encourage people to speak or write in order to get them over their inhibition. Yet in reality some people tend to do the opposite. By criticising and pointing out mistakes, some people feel they know better and so that they are cleverer or more sophisticated. I assume that these people haven't learnt a lot therefore need acknowledgment from others. It's selfish because ones want to gain respect by making other people look inferior. If someone want to correct others, better do it in a classroom, where everybody is learning.
English is not for showing off. It's just a lingua franca, to bridge people from different native languages. I write in English because I want to speak to wider audience. To say a joke that perhaps can not be expressed in my mother tongue. On the other hand, to asses other people language ability when it's not an examination is rather impolite. Unless you have nothing else to do but to teach your parrot to sing Auld Lang Syne.
PS. I know I also too made mistakes in this writing. Please please please don't tell my editor or my English teacher. I haven't beaten him in scrabble games yet. Yet! =)
PSS. This post is also too (^_^) inspired by Vicky Laurentina.