Friday, July 18, 2008

Penang Hokkien in Peril?

Links: Here and here

There have been calls by a certain people for the revival of speaking Penang Hokkien for the past few days. 

Everytime i read these, i end up scratching my head, imagining really hard whether i live in the same Penang they were talking about. 

There was no shortage of people speaking hokkien wherever i go, last i went home. 

You know the interest in Hokkien hasn't waned a single bit when kids everywhere in Penang belt out obscenities with incredible ease. 


Absolutely no shortage of people scolding KNNCCB! 

The pin-point accuracy of their pronunciation, coupled with appropriate inflection, delivers the message convincingly, the feat only a native speaker of Penang Hokkien would be able to pull off satisfactorily. 

And they were calling for parents to teach their kids Hokkien, saying that it's even more important now that Penang was already listed a Unesco World Heritage Site. 

(Lifted from The Star article mentioned above)

What rubbish is this? 

Where would you be able to find tourists who speak Hokkien, or who would attempt to speak Hokkien? Fujian Province in China and Taiwan, perhaps. But beyond these places? Seriously. 

If you want your kids to speak hokkien, look no further than Chinese medium school, or the more unruly national high schools. Send them there, and they shall speak perfect Hokkien (courses on obscenities included, FOC).

Even my alma mater, the high and mighty Chung Ling High School.

It's the jewel of Chinese-medium education in Penang, and the place every boy from Chinese-medium primary school aspires to study in. Only the top scorers from Chinese-medium primary schools will be enrolled. To the pinnacle of Chinese-medium high school education... 
(But the products they mould us into are not always good, as evidenced by yours truly)

But it's really a Hokkien medium school. 

No comments: