Thursday, January 21, 2010

Please accept my humble apologies!

Before I continue updating my blog with regards to my trip to Malaysia, I’d like to clear up a misunderstanding with my SA family and friends.

It has come to my attention that there is some confusion with regards to my use of the bahasa word ‘Kak.’ Please let me explain.

The full word in bahasa is ‘kakak’ which means sister, in short ‘kak’ meaning sis. During my stay in Malaysia, I was very hesitant and still am, to vocalize the word amongst my Malaysian friends. My hesitancy is / was not out of disrespect but more out of offending the next person.

Why you may ask??

Because the word ‘kak’ in Afrikaans is actually a profanity! LOL! And use of the word would raise more than just an eyebrow! So, on this side of the world I would be cursing should I use it. You can just imagine the look of disdain on my kids’ faces when they found me reading ‘Kak Teh’s’ blog.

“Mummy, why are you reading that lady’s blog??”

“The Aunty’s name has a swear word in it!”

And so, mummy had to explain. After explaining what the word actually meant, the kids finally relented. After the first few days of learning the ‘new’ word, whenever their cousins would visit they’d go into a whole descriptive analysis of the word itself. And this would end with a whole bang lot of kids giggling.

So, to my SA readers, please forgive me if I have offended you in any way. That was surely not my intention. It serves me right I suppose, I should have explained beforehand.

And to my Malaysian friends, please do not feel offended if I do not address you as you should be.

It’s a catch 22 situation innit??


Kak Teh said...

oh my God! And in our country, there are so many k*ks!!! hahah! it must be like Melaka in Greek. I understand that is also a swear word. Oh dear!

Were hesitant in calling us k*k then?

Our SA freinds here in London never said so - but then they dont read ,y blog. Oh well!

Kama said...

Hahaha, oooo my my!

Kak (Sis) Puteri...:P

Ayda said...

actually in arabic too the word 'kaka' is use for kids meaning poop so... malay kids here in the states have good laughs with their arab friends when they shared the word :)

Shahieda said...

KT, hahahaha! My nepwhew bellowed "I do not have a k*k." He had everyone on the floor laughing! My sister has 3 boys, so he was correct!

My colleague also just mentioned that Melaka was a greek swear word too! It's funny how these are the words that stick with you when learning another language.

I was very hesitant, LOL! Why not mention the word to them and see their reaction, hehehe!

Kama, I can just see you having fun with this one, hahahha!

Ayda, thanks for popping by. Yeah, I've heard people using that word here too. Didn't know it was arabic though, just assumed that it was an extension of the afrikaans word :)

NanaDJ said...

Oh dear, an innocent word in one country can be a disaster in another. No wonder I don't hear you calling me K*k!

mekyam said...

hahaha! we knew kt has a way with words... but who'd have guessed her stunning effect on SA. :D

this reminds me of the time in college when i was tutoring new malaysian students who had to do CESL [due to low TOEFL scores] before following regular classes.

they were assigned to follow some popular tv series to familiarise themselves with american english and then would have to answer questions about those shows in class.

one of the shows was "the cosby show" - considered a squeaky clean show.

cos, as some of you may remember, would sometime call his wife "pookey"*. :D

imagine the malaysian kids' shock upon hearing that and further imagine their consternation when asked to repeat cos's nickname for his wife in class. hehehe!

* it's the homophone of the vulgar malay word for that part of the female body which also begins with "v" in english.

Kak Teh said...

shahieda, mekyam, this also reminds me of the Benazir's unfortunate surname. When I was at the BBC, I used to dread reading news about her because it has to be pronounced as such, as dictated by the pronunciation unit. I know that in malaysia it is pronounced as BhAtto!

again it has to do with genitals!

Oh dear - my word verification is unfoni!!!

Shahieda said...

NanaDj: I think sticking to NanaDj would be safer don't you think, hehehehe!

Mekyam: That must've been such a scream! Umm, I've added another word to my vocabulary :D

KT: Oh dear, how did you manage to keep a straight face??

MA said...

*Phew* luckily my callsign is a *Mak* and not a *K@k*

Hi Shahieda - nice meeting you and hope you have had a nice time here.

Kak Teh - I remember asking my Dad when I was very young why TV Malaysia pronounced Zulfikar Ali BHATTO and TV Singapore pronounce it as "Bhutto". And he explained why..hehe..I never knew the word was a bad one.

Shahieda said...

Hey MA! Thanks for visiting my blog!

And thank you once again for your hospitality. I had so much fun at Saloma Bistro.

Pi Bani said...

Oh my! If I ever do visit SA, I'll have to make sure nobody in my group call me k*k over there!!

Shahieda said...

So nice to see you here Pi Bani!

Hehehehe, I can just imagine the mortified looks of the passersby!