25 August 2011

mana aku ni takut

I've recently been watching a Malay film called Penunggu Istana ('The Ghost of the Palace'). It has a choice of Malay and English subtitles, which offers lots of opportunities for reflection about translating Malay into English. For example:for which the English equivalent is:Hmm .... "Where got I'm scared". Not the best bit of English I have seen!

"Mana aku ni takut" means something like "How can you suggest that I'm scared", or "What do you mean by saying that I'm scared". Actually, it's rather difficult to find an equivalent in English.

In fact, the more I think about it, the more I like "Where got I'm scared". It's simple and direct, and (with a bit of effort) I can understand it perfectly. I might even start using the construction myself.