27 April 2011

Dropping Things

If you accidentally dropped something, what would you say?

I think I might say something like: "Oops, I dropped it!" (Well, all right, I admit I might use something a bit stronger than oops; but never mind.)

How would you say the same thing in Malay?

My colleague Malai Ayla reports that she would say, "Gugur!" ('drop'). Or, if she wanted to emphasise the accidental nature of the incident, she might say, "Tergugur!", using the ter prefix.

And if she was speaking English, she would say, "It fell down!". If the first-person pronoun were included, it would indicate that the dropping was deliberate; and this may reflect some influence from Malay.