04 January 2011

Rat Trails

In an earlier post (here), I discussed the local use of mouse trail, which is a calque from the Malay phrase jalan tikus.

I noticed in East Malaysia that the term rat trail seems to be used instead. Here is a headline from page 2 of the East Malaysian Daily Express of 29th December 2009:Of course, using rat rather than mouse is just as accurate, as English makes a distinction between mouse and rat while Malay just has the broader term tikus. (One might say that English has two hyponyms while Malay just has the superordinate.)

One might also note that in the Malaysian newspaper, the term is quoted, so perhaps it is not quite so well established in the English used there. Furthermore, in the text, the Malay term is given as well. Here is the first paragraph of the article: