05 May 2010

Mixing On-Line

BruDirect offers an on-line discussion forum that stimulates considerable freedom in expression, both in terms of content and style, partly because contributors generally adopt a pseudonym which means they can remain anonymous. I have discussed the extent of English/Malay mixing in BruDirect before (here).

Recent changes in the rules concerning credit cards have given rise to lots of discussion on BruDirect. Below is a contribution on 24 March 2010 (here) by someone using the pseudonym orang bawah ('subordinate person'). (I have attempted to show the Malay items in red, though some such as bank are ambiguous, as it is both a word in English and a borrowed word in Malay.)
apalah urg mempost ani….bank masih mencharge ‘2% interest’ every month lah….8% atu minimum payments lah until june…

i know some banks ada yg mempush dulu suruh tani apply credit card…but honestly, bukan salah bank…its us, tau dah duit dalam ‘credit card’ atu duit pinjam, ngapa d garut sampai panuh? well nobody is perfect…even i learn from all of this…
This might be translated as:
Which person posted this ... banks still charge 2% interest every month, and those 8% minimum payments are until June.

I know there are some banks which have pushed in the past to get us to apply for credit cards, but honestly it's not the fault of banks. It's us, for we already know that money on a credit card is borrowed money, so why is it swiped till it's full? Well nobody is perfect. Even I learn from all of this.
In addition to observing the extent of mixing between English and Malay, we can note the following:
  • there's considerable SMS-style abbreviation, with urg an abbreviation for urang ('person'), yg instead of yang ('which'), and d an abbreviation for the passive di prefix
  • there's quite a lot of Brunei Malay, so urg (urang, 'person') is used rather than the Standard Malay orang, and ani ('this') and atu ('that') occur instead of the Standard Malay ini and itu
  • the Malay meN- prefix is added to English words: mempost, mencharge, menpush
(My thanks to my UBD colleagues Ayla and Adrian for help in analysing this.)