Bad Engrish at the Education Expo

Bad English spelling and grammar never fail to humour me.
I still recall a story my father told me. Once, he was driving around the rural area of Kuching when he saw a big vacant land. In front of it is big sign board proudly proclaiming “LANG FOR SALE.”
Lang for Sale

‘Lang’ = ‘People’ in Hokkien

I have nothing against bad English. has never been good in English. In fact, I think its very much a Malaysian culture to speak/write English in a less than perfect manner.
That’s not to discount the efforts of education institutions highlighting the importance of the language. Yes, good English is important in a formal setting. But ultimately, the purpose of language is to communicate. We are Malaysians. So long as we understand each other, that’s good enough. No need to speak with the accuracy of BBC grammar, using words Kim would be proud of, complete with an accent to be able to use a language effectively, right?
*cough* Wellll…. now that I’ve say all the nice nice things I wanted to say, let’s all laugh at the people at 😉
Kuching Civic Center

The Civic Center building, a proud landmark of Kuching… no more.

Well, last week I went to the Kuching Civic Center because I wanted to take photos of the Kuching cityscape from the top of the building. I was about to take the lift when I realised that the lift was broken.
Lift wants to break it down

The only thing that’s broken is the English

WHAT ‘LIFT BREAK DOWN’ LAH! Either ‘Lift is Broken’ or ‘Lift is Out of Order’! What the fish is ‘Lift Break Down’?! The lift wanna break dance issit?
Actually it doesn’t look too bad if you put MC Hammer in front of it.
MC Hammer 'break it down'
Coincidentally, the Sarawak Education Exhibition was going on at the time so I popped in for a visit. After all, I am planning to pursue an MBA degree when the time is right. I got the information I needed off the Curtin Sarawak booth, which unfortunately was the only education institution I recognised there.
Curtin Sarawak Booth
I actually hated education exhibitions like this due to the fact that they shameless show the money-grubbing side of higher learning. I know its something I have to accept, that universities are businesses and students are customers. But education fairs like this are no different to, say, a computer fair where midriff-baring teenage girls shove pamphlets to your face and the main motivation is to sell, sell and SELL. It really is commercial exploitation of tertiary education at its worst.
Stamford College

The Stamford College booth is as empty as the head of their students.

Apologies for going off topic.
Anyway, there’s not much else to look at at the University Education Fair, so I decided to leave the place… after I filled out a quiz form.
I mean, QUIZ-ZE form! Must be a new word the big shot Universities at the education fair there invented. My bad. 🙂

25 Replies to “Bad Engrish at the Education Expo”

  1. I thought you were gonna talk about how you discovered a human vendor (one who sells humans, not one who is human) in Kuching. But I really like the MC Hammer. I’m going to have that song stuck in my head all day liao!

  2. aiyoyo…..wats wlong wif ppl punya engrish har?? funnies funnies.
    anyway, im a big fan of broken english. i love when ppl start to talk english in an unfluent slang. but i can see dat they are willing to learn to talk more for better improvement. not only asian, even some ang moh speaks english haltingly. some even dont know how to speak at all.
    muka org putih tapi sik pandei cakap bahasa org putih. lol!
    shocked me. b4 i read this entry, de sign lang for sell in chinese really shocked me to death. i tot they really sell people. creeeepy.

  3. Depends on where the caucasians are from. Most Europeans only speak their mother tongue well, but not English. A lot of local Australians I’ve met whilst I was in Perth can speak English pretty good, but can’t write it well.
    I used to work part-time with this 30+ year old funny guy Michael, who always asked me how certain words are spelt when he’s writing stuff. He was kinda ashamed that he had to ask someone who speaks English as a second language for help. Yet he would joke about it, “I speak English as a second language too! My first language is Gibberish. Angijoprogjawre!”
    So I asked him how he gets help when I’m not around. “Easy.” he said “I just use the spellchecker in Microsoft Word!”

  4. too bad tak ada prop functions here, otherwise i’d just flood you with them. heheh. eh the link to my page isn’t working. what page is tht anyway?
    quizze – french maybe? LOL.
    eh. go take picture of red tea road’s menu, pretty horrid too the last time i went. UH. third mile one. and the one in town has signs written in abominable english on their glass doors.
    so the amusing. *wink*

  5. as long as it gets the message thru i guess … better than “lift breaking down”
    easiest “SPOILT”…. save ink!!!

  6. i visited Langkawi last year with my family and i was at the harbour… and i realised something… TAKSI here… [snickers]… even they can’t spell good english (TAXI) AND malay (TEKSI)… LOL

  7. i only go there to collect a lot of recycled paper so that i can use it for writing purposes…
    after i’m done with it …
    i recycle . . .
    ahhhhhhhh . . .what a life ! ! !

  8. hey kenny, funny posts…despite all malaysian english errors, malaysians still fair sooooo much better in english than the ppl in china….taiwan can be just as bad….they r doing direct translation from chinese to english, hence the really bad english

  9. owh man…owh man…wat de heaven is this?
    i lurve ur reviews on everything that cud be ignored by most of us everyday.
    SO DAMN FUNNY…btw, i’m new here in ur blog page….and ryt now i’m in the library trying to tahan my laugh so that i won’t burst out. so hard to tahan ketawa here leh…even leng chai sitting beside me oso edi hairan with me… now i have to laugh a la silent movie. well…u noe….u laugh but no sound punya!!
    u r from kch ryt?well…i’m from bau, studying in kl. ur blog is juz lyk a cure for my homesickness (got that word meh?). engrish…engrish…

  10. erm, look at that sic-ko man?? cant event spell out or speak out a single sentence correctly..duh
    like a malay saying that goes..
    cakap periuk belanga hitam..

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