I bought The Star today, and in INSIGHT, Star2 Page 10 in Mind Our English page, the article is Proud of Manglish? this was written by Andrew Sia.
Okay, before I comment on this article, let me tell you what are in the article. According to Dr Alistair King who is also a writer and a linguist, he said that in socio-linguistics, he outlines that a language can have many "levels" namely; Acrolect (high language), Mesolect (middle language) and Basilect (low language). The spectrum from Acrolect to Basilect can be described as language which is "slightly Malaysian" to "Very Malaysian", with Mesolect somewhere in between.
Acrolect has proper grammar and can be understood globally, even if we speak with a Malaysia accent (without pathetic imitations of American slang - y'hear). As for Basilect, it's captured in the immortal phrase "How come cow can?", which King praises as having an alliterative "economy of words" while being utterly communicative"!. Basilect is wonderful its colour and precision," he points out, adding that it has simplified grammar, so that the syntax of Basilect has more in common with Cantonese, Hokkien or Malay than with native-speaker English.
Even people who can speak grammatically correct Acrolect English may choose to speak Basilect "as a mark of intimacy or common identity" says King. King said that there is not such thing as "good" and "bad" spoken English, just what is "appropriate" or otherwise. Basilect and Mesolect variations of Malaysian English have their place and the usefulness, though professional advancement would require a mastery of Acrolect as well.
As been taught by my lecturers back then, using perfect English is the best to gain respect. Yes, we are not native speakers, we do not know how to speak they those who borne and raised in that English environment surroundings, ( I do not know about others, I was not borne and raised in that environment) but one thing that I familiar with is, learning is not just in the classrooms. When it comes to language (s), classroom is actually the second option, why? Environments and surroundings actually play more important roles in developing the language (s) itself. Let say, remember, in year 1998-2000+, TV3 aired Cantonese dramas and I too watched the dramas. After watching it like everyday for past 3- 4 years, me personally, know the meaning of the words but then, without conversing it with others (who know Cantonese) , I could not utter the words but I know the meaning, well some of them. I could say I am Basilect in Cantonese language.
Broken English, Manglish, Singlish, Basilect, Acrolect, Mesolect, these are the terms that the linguists used to refer to certain situation in English or other languages learning or applying. Whatever it is, without these situations e.g. Manglish, the linguists would not find that terms of broken English, creole, slang and so on. They too depend on the problems to actually create statements, discussion.
As we know, there are two famous English language, which most of the worlds certified it, British English and American English. Both language are English but which is which? Which is the standard? British English? American English? What about other English? Standard Indian English? Standard Jamaican English?. Well, to me, as long as it is understood, communicative, understandable, grammatically correct, and people now that language is English, its already standard to me.
I too have my own English. Akmall's English, how's that? But then, do not be afraid to learn English language, it does not kill Bahasa Melayu, its actually embraces Bahasa Melayu. How? Okay, let us see this analogy. If we know Bahasa Melayu, we immediately know a lot of words right? Then, we learned English language and whenever other people have confusion in Bahasa Melayu, they could just ask and we could give them the answer. There is another explanation, when we know a lot of languages, but then, if you know English language is actually good enough. Okay, you are reading an English language book or English newspaper, since you know English language already and you have Bahasa Melayu, you could just translate English words into Bahasa Melayu without looking in the dictionary.
What am I talking about? well, its pretty simple, you learn, you apply then you are happy. hahaha..
Whatever it is, keep on learning.
p/s: writing blog could too be the way of how to learn grammar. English grammar.