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 Mind Your Language (Chee Wye)

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Elleon Caverly
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PostSubject: Mind Your Language (Chee Wye)   Mon Mar 28, 2016 2:40 am

With classes done and over for the day, Elleon needed to take a short break outside before he started on his homework. This time, he was smart enough to take his phone and Jelena along with him. It wasn't difficult since she was also hankering to get outside. In his hands he held his thick sketchbook and fat pencil case. It was time for some art.

They reached the quidditch pitch and found it pleasantly empty.

Good timing he signed to Jelena. Let's grab a seat up on the bleachers so I get a good view.

Elleon settled himself down, opening up his sketchbook and pencil box before taking a good look around him to find a sight that he could bring to life on paper. He finally settled on drawing the pitch as a whole then he could show it to his parents. He picked up a charcoal pencil and started the outline, adding depth and contour to it as he went along. Soon, he could feel his whole body relaxing and the stress from the day drain out to be replaced by peace and calm as his talented fingers coax the picture to life. This was what he was made to do.


[[OOC: Words in italics will be in sign language]]

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PostSubject: Re: Mind Your Language (Chee Wye)   Mon Mar 28, 2016 5:13 am

Chee Wye had taken to exploring the castle as of late, having never really seen a place quite as huge. His local hang out had been 1 Utama, or the Curve, not a whole town like Hogsmeade, and the cultural differences were astounding. [These are popular malls.] One of his favourite things, besides the kitchens (because, obviously, food) was to just walk around the grounds. The weather wasn't something he was used to, but it was tolerable.

Making his way down the path, he noted an odd pitch, and started towards it. Quidditch, if he wasn't mistaken, a sport he had heard about and seen a couple times but never really took to, mostly because he could never get comfortable on a broomstick. Those things were made for cleaning, not sitting or riding on, and he couldn't imagine his parents reaction if he came home one day riding on one of those things. "Sure die wan," he murmured to himself.
[Translation: "I am definitely going to die."]

Still, he was fascinated by the idea of it, and secretly hoped he would be able to try it at least once. Making his way to the pitch, he glanced around, disappointed to find that nobody was flying. But he wasn't alone, and he saw a couple people in the stands, one of them apparently drawing.

Curious, Chee Wye approached them, smiling at the female, then turned his attention to the guy drawing. "Eh leng chai, what you doing?" he inquired, peering over at the notebook. "Walao" he exclaimed, seeing the drawing. "You so talented wan ar? Wah. Stick figure I also cannot draw."
[Translation: "Hey, handsome boy, what are you up to? (The direct translation of leng chai, which is used to greet strangers in a friendly manner) Oh, wow; amazing! Are you really that talented? Wow. I can't even draw a stick figure!"]


Last edited by Chee Wye Leong on Mon Mar 28, 2016 1:02 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Elleon Caverly
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PostSubject: Re: Mind Your Language (Chee Wye)   Mon Mar 28, 2016 5:47 am

Rest and peace. That's what doing art gave to Elleon and he wouldn't trade it for the world. He'd been drawing steadily, with Jelena beside him engrossed in a novel, when his next glance at the scene brought to his attention someone entering the pitch. He didn't recognise the older year but heard that he was a transfer student of some sort. Elleon didn't give him much thought, returning his attention to the piece of paper in front of him. Until a shadow crossed his vision and Jelena was tapping him on the shoulder.

He turned to her and watched her hands move. Or not move. Jelena had a confused look on her face and her hands were hanging in mid air after the first word.

What's wrong? he signed.

The guy is talking in English but not English. I don't understand.

Fingerspell it?

Jelena nodded and took a deep breath and fingerspelled the two foreign words to the best of her ability then the next few words out of the guy's mouth. Elleon could tell that she was signing word for word because the grammar was terrible. Even he, who usually barely passed English, could tell that this guy was getting stuff wrong. There were numbers where words were supposed to be. Jelena had signed: You so talented one ah. What was a number doing after the word 'talented'? It made no sense. But funny words aside, he figured that the guy was complimenting his drawing.

He turned to the guy with a small hesitant smile. "Thank you," he said out loud. He'd been trying to practice his speaking skills and figured that since this guy talked funny, it wouldn't be that big of a deal if Elleon sounded funny too. It made him more comfortable knowing that he wasn't the only one with an accent in the school.

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PostSubject: Re: Mind Your Language (Chee Wye)   Mon Mar 28, 2016 6:03 am

To his utmost surprise, instead of replying, the female put down her book and started making absurd gestures with her hands to the boy, who also made some movements back. It took a few moments for Chee Wye to figure out that they were using sign language, and he watched in fascination. He had seen plenty of blind people, but not deaf, and it amazed him how people could talk with their hands.

"Wah," he exclaimed. "So cool leh!"
really cool!"]

As the guy turned to him and spoke, Chee Wye's eyes went wide. "Eh, you can talk?!" he commented. "How you learn to talk if you cannot hear leh? You're so geng leh. So amazing lah macha," he added, honest and genuine in his compliments. [Translation: "Huh? You can talk? But if you can't hear, how did you learn to talk? You're so powerful (direct translation; it's used as a compliment for people who do astounding things, like deaf people leaning to talk. More or less he's saying 'you're so amazing'). You are so amazing, brother! (macha means brother, used as a term of friendship.)]

He paused, then smiled. "Oh, I'm Chee Wye, by the way. You are?" This boy, whoever he was, seemed like a nice person, and Chee Wye wanted to make as many friends as he could. After all, it would be amazing to go home and be able to talk about all the white friends he had made while overseas.


Last edited by Chee Wye Leong on Mon Mar 28, 2016 1:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Mind Your Language (Chee Wye)   Mon Mar 28, 2016 6:48 am

Elleon concentrated again on Jelena's fumbling hands. He'd never seen her unsure of her signing before. She was fingerspelling almost every other word but when she paused abruptly after transliterating his very grammatically incorrect question, he raised an eyebrow.

He said something like 'king' but pronounced it with and 'e' instead of an 'i'.

What? That makes no sense!

That's not all. He said "So amazing" but added l-a and a word that sound like 'Matcha', you know the tea, but without the 't'. Is he..um..sane? Wait. He's telling us his name but I don't know how to spell it. Um..C-h-i W-h-y? Maybe. I don't know.

Elleon decided to take one thing at a time. First it was the question. "Yes. I talk. Speech therapy. I'm sorry. I don't understand..." he paused, not knowing how to pronounce the words since he couldn't hear it and Jelena filled in the blanks for the two words that stumped them.

"I'm Elleon. I'm sorry but can you spell your name?" he asked, hoping to the high heavens that this guy wouldn't be offended. He'd never talked with someone who had such a different way of speaking and wasn't sure about the social etiquette involved when conversing with...well, someone like that.

"Where are you from?" he asked. The guy didn't look European so that probably affected his English. But Elleon had never heard this kind of English before.



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PostSubject: Re: Mind Your Language (Chee Wye)   Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:17 am

Chee Wye waited as the female translated what he had said - or at least, he assumed that was what she was doing. This was so fascinating to watch, and for a moment he wondered if he could learn it too. He already knew three languages - English, Chinese, and Malay - along with a few words here and there from other dialects and languages, but that came with being Malaysian. What was one more language? But he realised that he wouldn't have much use for it, and so other than a few words decided that it would be a waste of time to learn to speak it fluently.

Nodding at the male's explanation, Chee Wye was only more impressed. "Walao. You so inspiring lah bro," he told him. "Eh, what you don't understand ah?" he continued, smiling a little.
[Translation: "Oh, wow! You are so, so inspiring, bro. Hang on, what don't you still not get?"] It still hasn't dawned on him that his accent made it hard for others to comprehend him when he used so many languages; it was second nature to him, and was more or less 'English' as he knew it.

"Nice to meet you, Elleon!" he said, then nodded. It was common for people to not get his name; after all, it was Chinese, and he was in the UK now. "C-h-e-e  W-y-e," he spelt, slowly. "It's Chinese," he added, in means of explanation.

At the next question, he nodded. This he wouldn't ever get tired of answering; despite the idiocy that was called a government, he loved his nation and he was proud to be what he was. "Malaysia!" he told him, pride in his tone. "Best in the world! You got go before ah?"
[Translation: Malaysia! It's the best place in the world! Have you ever been there before?"]


Last edited by Chee Wye Leong on Mon Mar 28, 2016 1:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Mind Your Language (Chee Wye)   Mon Mar 28, 2016 9:16 am

And he did it again. What in the world was 'wahlow' supposed to mean? 'Wah' he could figure out was a variation of 'wow', but 'low'? When Jelena spelled it out for him, he'd though it was pronounced like the antonym of 'high'. But then she'd told him the guy said it like someone in pain going 'ow' but with an 'l'. It was...weird to say the least.

"I don't understand what it means, these words you say," he said, signalling Jelena to say those two words again, 'keng' and 'macha'. Then, because he couldn't speak in his voice fast enough and still be understood, he returned to signing, letting Jelena interpret for him. "I've never heard those words before and I'm sure they're not English."

"Nice to meet you too," he signed and nodded as he spelled his name. It was an...interesting name, a name the likes of which he'd never heard before. To Elleon's mind, his name was 'Chee' and his middle name was 'Wye'. What a funny name. Chee he thought. But he didn't say it out loud or sign it knowing Jelena would probably burst out laughing at his comment.

He shook in head in response. "No," he said aloud. "I've not been there. But I've heard of it. Food, right?" Elleon's geography wasn't all that bad and he'd heard of Malaysia in the news lately. Not very good news though.

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PostSubject: Re: Mind Your Language (Chee Wye)   Mon Mar 28, 2016 10:58 am

Blinking in confusion for a moment, Chee Wye took a moment to understand the implications of the boy's words, and then let out an uproarious laugh when it finally dawned on him. "Sorry, sorry," he apologised, although the word sounded more like 'sore-lee'. Concentrating as hard as he could, Chee Wye said, "Not laughing at you. See right, in Malaysia, we mix all the languages together until it's bahasa rojak. So I dunno when I use words what is what." [Rojak is a food dish. Bahasa (language in Malay) is basically the name for 'Malaysian English', when many different languages are used in the same sentence. Translation: "I'm not laughing at you. You see, in Malaysia, we mix all the different languages together until it becomes 'rojak language'."]

At the elaboration, he nodded once. "Geng. It's like 'wah so cool leh!'" He paused, frowning, as he realised that he had not helped very much, since he had more or less just used other Malaysian words in his sentences. "It's like 'amazing'. Macha is brother."

Looking quite pleased with himself for having said so much in plain old queen's English - or so he hoped - Chee Wye grinned at the boy. "If you don't get me you can just chope. Don't be afraid, ah! I also not shy."
[Chope is like, "hold on/hang on a second/pause (the conversation)". Translation: "If you don't get me you can just stop me in my tracks. Don't be afraid to do so, okay? I'm not shy, so don't worry."]

At the comment on food, Chee Wye nodded very sincerely. "Yes, food! Eh, bro, you never try Malaysian food before? Syoknya! It is the best! I must bring you try someday." [Syok is taken from the English word 'shock', and is used to mean 'something so good it shocks you'. Nya is a Malay word showing possession when attached to something (for example, "His shirt" would be written as "shirtnya") Translation: "Yes, food! Wait, bro, you've never tried Malaysian food before? It's so good it's beyond description! It's the best. I must take you to try some Malaysian food someday."]
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PostSubject: Re: Mind Your Language (Chee Wye)   Mon Mar 28, 2016 4:40 pm

Um...I think he's saying "Sorry" but he's pronouncing it wrong Jelena interpreted

Elleon grinned at that, finally relieved that he wasn't the only student to pronounce things differently. He would have a buddy in this ginormous school. He nodded at Chee Wye's explanation and smiled. It fascinated him to learn about a different culture, since he himself grew up with the Deaf culture. It was always informative and beneficial to learn about the various characteristics of people from a different country.

He did not quite understand what 'Bahasa rojak' was exactly but inferred that it had something to do with a mixture of languages based on the context of his sentence. As Chee Wye tried to explain himself, an idea popped into his mind. Since Malaysians had their own grammar on English, Elleon could talk in BSL grammar to him and they would be two peas in a pod. Sort of.

But then up popped another unfamiliar word. Chope? What? Elleon felt like he was learning a completely different language. "What does 'chope' mean?" he signed because he had no idea how to pronounce that word. And then yet another word he did not understand. Shioknia. That was what Jelena spelled for him. Again, he asked the meaning of that word. "Um. I don't understand 'shioknia," he signed.

This whole conversation was teaching Elleon a valuable lesson. He was on the receiving end of a communication barrier. So often, he was frustrated because he could not communicate in his own language to people and they did not make the effort to try and connect with him by writing on paper or typing on a phone. But he was beginning to realise that it wasn't their fault they couldn't communicate with him and he shouldn't be so angry at them. They just did not know his language, just like Elleon did not know 'Malaysian'.

"I not try before," Elleon said, using BSL grammar. "Your favourite food, what?" He had no idea if Chee Wye would understand him but it didn't hurt to give it a try.

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PostSubject: Re: Mind Your Language (Chee Wye)   Tue Mar 29, 2016 2:03 am

The questions surprised him, and it took a moment for him to regain composure. "Har?! You don't know chope?!" he blurted, eyes going wide in the shock. "You mean it's not English ar? Walao, I always thought it was leh." He paused, furrowed his eyebrows in thought, then added, "And shock is not English meh? Huh, so weird." [Translation: Huh? You don't know the word chope?! You mean it isn't an English word?! Wow. You know, I always thought it was! And the word 'shock' is not an English word, either? Huh, so weird."]

He spent a couple seconds thinking, trying to come up with an explanation. "Chope," he said, making the motion with his hands of holding his palm outwards and then bringing all five fingers together. "It's like... Stop. Wait. One moment... You know, chope."

"Shock is like... surprise," he went on. "Nya is like... Actually hor, I dunno. But syoknya is like... Really shock. Like, really good..." Shrugging, Chee Wye frowned a little, realising he just couldn't explain the words he was so used to using. They mean something, he was sure of it, but what and how to translate them into words that weren't, well, those words, he didn't know.
[Translation: "Actually, right, I don't know."]

The wrong grammar didn't even register; it was normal to him, having grown up around non-native speakers and having heard many different types of phrasing the same thing. Sure, it was normally "What your favourite?" not "Your favourite what?" but it meant the same thing and it wasn't an issue at all in his mind.

"Oh, brudder, you must try lah," he said, almost pitifully. It was such a shame that there was no proper Malaysian food here in the UK. When he was old enough, he decided there and then, he would apparate back home just so he could bring food to the castle for everyone to try. "Favourite ah? Aiyoh, how to choose? Got so many type leh... Nasi lemak, laksa, char kway teow, roti canai... Cannot choose lah. All different all also nice."
"Oh, brother, you definitely have to try it! My favourite? Oh gosh, how can I choose? There are so many different kinds... Nasi lemak, laksa, char kway teow, roti canai. I can't choose, actually. They are all different and all are nice!"]
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