16 June 2013

Brunei Times Berita

An excellent resource for me in my efforts to learn Malay is the daily 2-minute news summary in Malay provided by the Brunei Times. It is splendid because it allows me to replay the clips repeatedly and thereby try and work out the bits I cannot decipher first time through.

I was listening to the video for 11 June (here). Two things surprised me about it:

First, 16 seconds from the start, the newsreader pronounces berita ('news') as [bitɐ], with just two syllables and barely a hint of [r]. While it is expected that a common word like this will exhibit some reduction, the omission of the [r] is surprising given that the Malay spoken in Brunei is usually fully rhotic.

Second, this is not a live recording but an edited video; so it surprises me that they did not re-record the parts where the newsreader stumbles over words, particularly at location 1:18 from the start. Of course, we all stumble when speaking, and newsreaders are no exception; but for an edited video, one would have thought this could be corrected.