Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Learn and donate - let's fight hunger!

Have you ever heard of FREERICE? You can learn English vocabulary and donate at the same time. For every word you get right, you will earn 10 grains of rice which is donated to United Nation WFP (World Food Programme). The more you answer the more grains you earn and the more you donate!The rice is paid for by the sponsors whose names you see on the bottom of your screen when you enter a correct answer. These sponsors support both learning (free education for everyone) and reducing hunger (free rice for the hungry).
How does playing the vocabulary game at Freerice help you?

Learning new vocabulary has tremendous benefits. It can help you:
  • Better formulate your ideas
  • Write more effective papers, emails and business letters
  • Speak more precisely and persuasively
  • Comprehend more of what you read
  • Read faster because you comprehension improves 

Monday came and left

Yup. Another day goes by...I bet most of you are relieved that Monday is gone :D

In my bored vs boring post,  E-One, asked me if I could explain:

1.Difference between perhaps and maybe
Basically, they mean the same thing, possibly. But your question is probably when you should use these words?
You can use them in the beginning of the sentence, middle, at the end or even use both in the same sentence - they are interchangeable. But perhaps is a little formal, so you may want to use it in report writing, formal replies,requests and leave may be to social stuff.
Maksud sama saja. Boleh diganti2 tempatnya. Tapi perhaps lebih formal.

2. Some and several
To me this is related to numbers. How I perceive it is that some means a certain unspecified number (time, person...unspecified).

Can you get me some coke?
I think there are some toys in the basket. 

Several means more than 2, but not less.
There are several empty bottles near the door.
Several of the kids are going to the library later.

some>benda yang tak tentu nombornya, masa, orang
Some man called you just now.
several > lebih dari dua...ada yang kata 4 hari ke atas.

interchangeable > able to be replaced, use in the place of each other.Boleh diganti tempat

Saturday, 26 March 2011

My dear followers...

Thank you for following me!

I really hope that you guys could fill up your profile page so that I that can follow you back and find out what you are all up to!

Take care and have a super duper weekend! I know I will!

Friday, 25 March 2011

Brit English vs American English

Left (Brit), right (American)

Drawer - dresser
cutlery - silverware
chips>>fish & chips - french fries>>
biscuits - cookies
crisps (krisps) -chips ...keropok
sweets - candies
boot - trunk
lorry - truck
car park - parking lot...
pavement -sidewalk 
dustbin - garbage bin
candy floss - cotton candy
petrol - gas
round about - traffic circle
coach - bus
wash up - do the dishes

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Perbezaan American English dan British English

* Malaysian Education system uses British English. In most local working environment, British English is still widely used.

our vs or
Tahu tak lagu Fergie Black Eye Peas tu?Glamorous?
Itu antara contoh spelling American English.
American : Glamorous
British: Glamourous
colour - color
favourite -favorite
favour - favor


ise vs ize
realise - realize (american)
computerise -computerize (american)

dge vs dg
judgement - judgment (american)
ageing - aging (american

To be continued :D

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Altho or tho

Altho or tho is not accepted in formal English writing. It is better to keep to although and though. 

Altho atau tho tidak diterima dalam formal English. Lebih baik gunakan although dan though untuk penulisan sekolah, reports, kerja pejabat dan sebagainya.

Of course you can use it when you are babbling on tweeter, fb, everyone will understand!

Although means something that seems to contradict, but, however.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Bored vs Boring

ialah adjektif yang menceritakan apabila seseorang berasa penat, perasaan tidak gembira akibat penat atau tiada benda benda untuk dibuat.

I was so bored with the movie that I fell asleep.
We are bored walking to school everyday.
I am bored to death! >> BM: Saya/aku boring nak mampus.

ialah adjektif bermaksud sesuatu/seseorang yang membosankan, tidak menarik ataupun mengujakan.

The movie was so boring that I fell asleep.
The tour was really boring.
This is so boring! >> BM:Boringnya!

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Only in Malaysia!

I dedicate this to my fellow Malaysians (and Singaporeans)...

Malaysian English
Regular English
You don’t know?
Don’t you know?
How come?
You come later.
Come back later.
Excuse me!
Ok what?
This should ok.
I got already.
I have it.
Got or not?
Do you have it?
What la you.
How could you?
Like that cannot lah.
This is not acceptable.
…is it?
…is that true?
Got so many people in KLCC
There were many people in KLCC
Got air cond or not?
Is there air conditioner?
Action – That girl is so action!
Show off
Terror – He is so terer!
Blur – I’m really blur right now.
Chop. Do you have the office chop?
Mobile/cell phone
He’s on mc.
Sick/fit note, medical certificate
He’s on a sick leave.

Photostat machine
Can you photostat for me?
Photocopy machine/photocopier
Can you make me a copy?
Detach house /mansion (depends)

Friday, 18 March 2011

TGIF! Thank God it's Friday! Yeay!

Finally, it's Friday!

Besides being the last day of work for the week (for some of you), it is my favourite day to go to Tesco. Why?On Fridays they have what you call ' Vege Day' (actually on Thursdays and Fridays). I don't know whether they actually advertise this but on this day they reduce the price of vegetables and they bring in more vege and fruits than any other day of the week. You can get seedless grapes at RM5.99 instead of their regular price RM9-11. You'll notice they have more fruits as well on this day. (I should get credit from Tesco for writing this!)

So, I thought today I will share some useful grocery shopping phrases :)

What time do you open daily?
Pukul berapa anda buka setiap hari?

What time do you close today?
Pukul berapa anda tutup hari ini?

Where can I find ...?
Di mana saya boleh cari...?

Why is the price here different than the ones over there? 
(referring same item but placed in different places and has different prices)
Kenapa harga disini lain dengan yang disana?
(barang sama tapi diletakkan tempat berlainan dan harga berbeza)
* this is because some items has different prices on certain days- setengah benda harganya berlainan pada hari yang lain

When did these vegetables arrive?
Bila sayur ni sampai?

Where can I find the price of this item?
Mana saya boleh cari harga untuk barang ini?

Where is your scanner?
Di mana scanner anda? alat pengimbas harga...

I can't find ..... I don't see it in the usual aisle.
Saya tak jumpa... Saya tak nampak ianya di lorong biasa.

Where are the carts? Where are the kids cart?
Di mana troli? Di mana troli kanak2?

When is the expiry date for this?
Bila tarikh luput untuk ini?

Can I pay with credit card?
Boleh saya bayar dengan kad kredit?

I forgot to bring my loyalty card.
Saya lupa bawa kad 'kesetiaan' saya

Where can I apply your loyalty card programme?
Di mana saya boleh mohon programme kad kesetiaan anda?

Can you deliver this item to my house?
Bolehkah barang ini di hantar ke rumah saya?

Are there any extra charges for the service?
Ada bayaran tambahan untuk servis ini?

Do you have a refund policy?
Anda ada polisi pemulangan?

Have a great Friday!

Thursday, 17 March 2011

When to use or /nor

Ingat partner kepada nor ialah neither (tapi bukan untuk semua ayat).
Neither boleh muncul pada awal ayat atau tengah2 ayat.
I like neither the blue dress nor the red dress.

Neither tak boleh digunakan dengan or.

Tetapi nor boleh ada dalam ayat tanpa neither.
The father nor the son likes chicken.

Ianya menunjukkan yang pertama tidak suka, yang kedua juga tidak suka.
Neither Ahmad nor Ali likes the soup.

Partner kepada or ialah either.
Ianya memberi maksud salah satu, tetapi bukan kedua-duanya.
I might bake brownies or cheese cake later (salah satu, tapi bukan kedua-duanya).

If your element (the words that follow neither or either) is singular, then your verb needs to be singular; if one or both of your elements is plural, then your verb need to be plural.
Sekiranya perkataan selepas neither atau either ialah singular, verb anda juga perlu singular dan kalau plural verb anda mesti plural.

Neither Nora nor Nina is going to the beach.( Nina ialah singular jadi kita gunakan is)

Neither the police nor the firemen were able to do anything.( firemen ialah plural jadi kita gunakan were)

Ianya jadi sedikit rumit bila singular bercampur dengan plural.Contohnya 2 orang lelaki dan seorang wanita. 
Tipnya ialah mengambil noun terdekat dengan verb dan pastikan ianya bersefahaman.

Neither the boys nor the girl is a good swimmer...atau neither the girl nor the boys are good swimmers.

The Star - Knowing one language not enough in this age (17.3.2011)

The Star OnlineEVERY rational-minded and forward-looking Malaysian undoubtedly shares Wong Chun Wai’s views in On The Beat that universities have to give importance to English if they want to produce employable graduates (Sunday Star, March 13).
Many Malaysians fail to see the logic of the protest by students at the Academy of Malay studies (AMS), Universiti Malaya, over the Higher Education Ministry’s call for universities to give importance to English to enhance the graduates’ employment prospects.
It just does not make sense for any student to create an issue out of a need to improve students’ skills in English to increase the graduate employability rate.
It is a known fact that the problem of poor or weak command of English has affected all faculties in all our public universities. The problem is not only confined to Malay students but also Chinese and Indians and other ethnic groups from Sabah and Sarawak.
The teaching, learning and use of the English language must not be made into an issue when it is done in the interest of our future generation and for the sake of our nation’s progress and its future well-being.
What is even more disturbing is that there are some irrational ones who regard the teaching, learning and promotion of the English language as something unpatriotic.
As we strive to achieve Vision 2020, it is essential for us to adopt a practical and open-minded approach towards any language which can contribute to Malaysia’s progress while remaining firm and steadfast in ensuring that Bahasa Melayu is the country’s official and national language.
As a Malaysian, I am proud of our national language – Bahasa Melayu – a language I use daily in communicating not only with officials of government departments and agencies but also with the various ethnic groups. It is our common language understood and used by Malaysia’s multi-racial population.
However, we must also accept the reality that knowledge of one language is insufficient in this modern and technological age. We need to have a command of other languages for progress and development, be it English, Chinese, French, etc.
We learn and use English as it is an international language for science and technology, business and commerce.
Malaysians should strive to be bilingual or even multi-lingual now that most Malaysians, particularly the younger generation, have mastered Bahasa Melayu.
English is vital if Malaysians are not to be left behind. The ability to learn and use English or any other language should be seen as a progressive move to improve our knowledge and expertise.
The fear of the English language, which some still regard as a legacy of British colonialism, is clearly misplaced and needs to be rectified.I agree!
To overcome this, more needs to be done to convince parents and students, particularly those in the rural areas, on the importance of learning English as a tool for science, technology, business and commerce as well as progress and modernisation.
It is an indisputable fact that the command of the English language among our young generation is poor, and is a matter of concern if we are to cope with the global march of information and communications technology.
We must not regard the learning and mastery of the English language as a threat to our cultural or national identity. It is necessary for our economic survival.
Mastering the English language is about rejuvenating the nation. It is about preparing ourselves individually and collectively as a nation to take our place in the global economy.
Promoting English will not in any way jeopardise the importance and use of Bahasa Melayu as our national and official language.
Improving the standard of English will not diminish the importance of our national language since bilingualism or even trilingual is an unwritten need for social and professional competence in this modern age.
Certainly, learning and using the English language will not make us less nationalistic.
Kuala Lumpur.


A handicap we must overcome - The Star 13 March 2011

Please comment on this. I really wish to understand why these students do not want to learn English as a second language or as an additional language? English is widely spoken throughout the world, it's just a medium of communicating. Kenapa lah tak suka sangat belajar English ni? 

The Star Online

On The Beat
Wong Chun Wai

There’s no two ways about it – universities have to give importance to English if they want to produce employable graduates.
IT’S preposterous, really. Most Malaysians must be horrified upon reading that some Universiti Malaya students are angry with the Higher Education Ministry’s call for universities to give importance to English to enhance their graduates’ employment prospects.
The call is timely and certainly appropriate but students at the Academy of Malay Studies (AMS) are regarding it as a move to sideline Bahasa Malaysia. The students have submitted a memorandum to the university’s vice-chancellor, Prof Datuk Dr Ghauth Jasmon, demanding an apology.
The controversy began when Dr Ghauth told a gathering of 2,000 students that the ministry wanted all public universities to improve their students’ skills in English to increase their graduate employability rate.
He delivered the message because the AMS students had the lowest graduate employability rate in comparison to all other faculties six months after they completed their studies.
He made the call based on statistics provided by the ministry out of concern. But rather than accept the fact, the students have instead demanded that Dr Ghauth state his stand on the national language. Some individuals have even left nasty comments on YouTube, calling him biadap (recalcitrant) and khianat (traitor) for delivering the message.
But the good professor is sticking to his guns: he is prepared to clarify the matter with the unhappy students but he will not apologise to them.
Good for him. The demand is unreasonable. In fact, the students should be appreciative of the call by the ministry as it tells them what most employers already know – that the standard of English among many of our graduates is so poor it has become an alarming situation.
Many employers have adopted a pessimistic approach, accepting the situation as beyond repair because many school leavers and graduates are unable to construct a decent sentence in English. Many have no grounding in English grammar and are unable to even tell the difference between present and past tenses.
It is not just school leavers and graduates who are in this situation, as poor command of English can also be detected among university lecturers and teachers through their conversations and written work.
In fact, one deputy minister’s English is so bad, his writing has been circulated on the Internet as an example to show how bad the situation is.
He purportedly wrote a review of a play in English and posted it on his blog. With cyberspace being the open domain that it is, his weakness, unfortunately, was widely exposed. The horrifying part is that his portfolio is related to education and it does not help that he is also known for his anti-English stand.
The pattern seems to be that those who are the most vocal against the use of English are generally weak in this language. In their attempts to cover their weakness, they try to project themselves as nationalists and defenders of the sacredness of the national language. Denial syndrome, one may say.
There are, of course, those who speak impeccable English and would gladly trade our iconic teh tarik for English afternoon tea and scones but they project themselves in a similar fashion in the most hypocritical way for political expediency.
Most of us are sure that the problem is not confined to graduates of AMS alone. I dare say the problem of poor command of English has affected all faculties in all public universities. And, let’s be frank, it’s in private universities too.
It would also be most unfair to say that the poor standard of English is confined to Malay students. It is a problem among Chinese and Indians too because of our education policy, which has clearly abandoned English.
Young Chinese seem to have become almost monolingual. Walk into a shopping mall and, if you are Chinese, you will be approached by salesmen speaking in Mandarin or Cantonese. When you reply in English, they will struggle to converse with you.
Dr Ghauth has taken the right approach. He could have gained popularity by playing the racial card and told the AMS students how great they are and that they would be future leaders of the country. But he would be leading them down a false path.
When they remain jobless, like the thousands who already are, they will conveniently blame the government. They will also blame the private sector, claiming that they are showing preference for certain sectors of applicants. They will hope to be employed by the public sector which is increasingly bloated.
Many of our graduates have never been motivated to become entrepreneurs. Rather, the aspiration is to become civil servants. This is one serious area of concern if we wish to compete effectively with other countries. But this is another story.
In China, they are putting emphasis on the teaching of English. The young are being taught to pronounce English words correctly, whether the American or English way.
In India, English is still given priority even as nationalists there are trying to push Hindi.
Malaysians with a poor command of English are entering universities. There they find that the academic books are in English but the medium of teaching is in Bahasa Malaysia.
Many struggle to understand what they read and to help themselves, some turn to similar books in Bahasa Indonesia, which they again struggle to comprehend. Most of the contents in the Internet are in English and are therefore of no help to these students.
In cases where students are required to take an English course because their command of the language is so pathetic, these students try to memorise essays, hoping that the same topics would be in their tests. That’s how low we have sunk in our standard of English.
Unfortunately, most of our politicians are not brave enough to grab the bull by the horns to tackle the problem. Many of them, of course, would have sent their children to schools overseas to ensure they have a strong grounding in English.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Work: tips on how to handle questions during presentations

Topik yang tak ada kena mengena dengan English.

Presentations are scary. Some people do it easily as it is part of their work and they make it seem like a breeze. Some even turn up with 2-3 people for a presentation, which I have no idea why they need to bring to entire team for a simple presentation...Pebentangan adalah menakutkan. Setengah orang buat dengan senang dan sesetengah hadir dengan 2-3 orang untuk pebentangan.

Anyway, here are some tips for those of you who need to do presentations as part of your work and dread at the thought of it every time!

1.Listen. Listen carefully.Watch your body language as it may show that you are not open to questions.
Dengar dengan betul. Jaga body language anda supaya anda tidak kelihatan tidak terbuka untuk disoal.

2. Decide. Decide on the nature of question and its intention so you know what to answer. Some questions maybe hostile, but do not take a defensive stand. If you are not able to answer immediately try delaying. But do not over use it as you may seem unprepared.

3. Confirm. Confirm the question being asked to you. You can even paraphrase the question so you may have some time to come up with an answer. Pastikan soalan. Anda boleh ulang soalan untuk melengahkan waktu

4.Acknowledge. At times, people may not agree with you or your method. Acknowledge different perspective and welcome suggestions given. Penerimaan. Kadang2 orang tidak akan terima awak atau pendapat. Terima perbezaan mereka dan cadangan mereka berikan.

5.Answer.  Sometimes questions arise due to misunderstanding. Find out why it arises and be prepared to go through your presentation to clear it. Sometimes you may just not know the answer. Admit and tell them that you will get back with the answer once you have them. Q&A sessions are for doubts to be clarified and feedback.

Has it been a week?

Has it been a week since I last wrote? Time really flew and soooo many things has happened since then ( earth quake, tsunami, volcano erupting...)
Will make sometime today (later) to write on learning English!

Here is an article about the quake that happened last week:

Live coverage from BBC News (11.3.2011)
Japan's most powerful earthquake since records began has struck the north-east coast, triggering a massive tsunami.
Cars, ships and buildings were swept away by a wall of water after the 8.9-magnitude tremor, which struck about 400km (250 miles) north-east of Tokyo.
A state of emergency has been declared at a nuclear power plant, where pressure has exceeded normal levels.
Officials say 350 people are dead and about 500 missing, but it is feared the final death toll will be much higher.
In one ward alone in Sendai, a port city in Miyagi prefecture, 200 to 300 bodies were found.

The quake was the fifth-largest in the world since 1900 and nearly 8,000 times stronger than the one which devastated Christchurch, New Zealand, last month, said scientists.
Thousands of people living near the Fukushima nuclear power plant have been ordered to evacuate.
Japanese nuclear officials said pressure inside a boiling water reactor at the plant was running much higher than normal after the cooling system failed.
Officials said they might need to deliberately release some radioactive steam to relieve pressure, but that there would be no health risk.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had earlier said the US Air Force had flown emergency coolant to the site.
But US officials later said no coolant had been handed over because the Japanese had decided to handle the situation themselves.
The UN's nuclear agency said four nuclear power plants had shut down safely.
Measured at 8.9 by the US Geological Survey, it struck at 1446 local time (0546 GMT) at a depth of about 24km.

The tsunami rolled across the Pacific at 800km/h (500mph) - as fast as a jetliner - before hitting Hawaii and the US West Coast, but there were no reports of major damage from those regions.
Thousands of people were ordered to evacuate coastal areas in the states of California, Oregon and Washington.
The biggest waves of more than 6-7ft (about 2m) were recorded near California's Crescent City, said the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre.
A tsunami warning extended across the Pacific to North and South America, where many other coastal regions were evacuated, but the alert was later lifted in most parts, including the Philippines, Australia and China.
Strong waves hit Japan's Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures, damaging dozens of coastal communities.
A 10m wave struck Sendai, deluging farmland and sweeping cars across the airport's runway. Fires broke out in the centre of the city.
Japan's NHK television showed a massive surge of debris-filled water reaching far inland, consuming houses, cars and ships.
Motorists could be seen trying to speed away from the wall of water.

  • Four trains are missing along the coast, says Japan Railways; and a ship carrying 100 people was swept away
  • Fire has engulfed swathes of the coast in Miyagi prefecture's Kesennuma city, one-third of which is reportedly under water
  • A major explosion hit a petrochemical plant in Sendai; further south a huge blaze swept an oil refinery in Ichihara city, Chiba prefecture
  • Some 1,800 homes are reported to have been destroyed in the city of Minamisoma, Fukushima prefecture
  • A dam burst in north-eastern Fukushima prefecture, sweeping away homes, Kyodo news agency reports
  • At least 20 people were injured in Tokyo when the roof of a hall collapsed on to a graduation ceremony
In a televised address, Prime Minister Naoto Kan extended his sympathy to the victims of the disaster.

As aftershocks rattled the country, residents and workers in Tokyo rushed outside to gather in parks and open spaces.
Many people in the Japanese capital said they had never felt such a powerful earthquake.
In central Tokyo, a number of office workers are spending the night in their offices because the lifts have stopped working.
"This is the kind of earthquake that hits once every 100 years," said restaurant worker Akira Tanaka.
Train services were suspended, stranding millions of commuters in the Japanese capital.
About four million homes in and around Tokyo suffered power cuts.

Start Quote

This is the kind of earthquake that hits once every 100 years”
Akira TanakaRestaurant worker

Friday, 11 March 2011

Learning tenses (time)

In English, there are 3 times you must observe: past tense, present tense and past tense.future tense. Dalam Bahasa Malaysia, mudah sahaja, kita gunakan telah, sedang dan akan untuk memberitahu sesuatu masa.

Dalam setiap tense, ada 4 situasi berlainan untuk menunjukkan masa, keadaan dan sebagainya.

Saya berikan contoh dalam bentuk present (sekarang, march 2011):
I drink coffee everyday. (simple present, setiap hari, masih melakukan)
I am drinking coffee now. (present continuous, tindakkan sekarang)
I have drank coffee for 15 years. (present perfect, menunjukkan sejak bila dan masih berlaku)
I have been drinking coffee for 15 years. (present perfect continuous, menunujukkan tindakkan sejak bila dan masih berlaku)

Macam mana nak guna? Bergantung kepada apa yang anda nak cerita/sampaikan.