The languages spoken by people using in shopping time in Kuala Lumpur
The language which is one of the most important communication tools exist wherever there are people who use it for communication everyday. Also, this is an important feature of one nation because of each nation having its own language generally. In a city that using various of languages such as Kuala Lumpur, the daily communication with others will be more complex than a city with only one language in the daily life. Usually, people communicate with the strangers is in the shopping time. Malaysia is a country, which, has the area of around 3,000,000 square kilometers is located in the southeast of Asia. The population is about 26,000,000 including 6,100,000 Ethnic Chinese people (about 23.9% of the total) and people from other countries living here. The main languages here are Bahasa Malay, English, Tamil, and Chinese especially in Kuala Lumpur which has the phenomenon of the combination of languages obviously. While communicating with others, people usually add some English words. Based on these, we are interested in the common language spoken by Kuala Lumpur in the shopping time. After asking about the same people to 24 native people, we get the following conclusion. Most of the native people tend to use Bahasa Malay when they go shopping, also, some native people prefer to use English. Comparing English with Bahasa Malay, it reveals the role of English, Malaysian language play in the native people's mind.
Malay language, which is the mother language in Malaysia, has been used widely as the first choice by most of the native people in Kuala Lumpur to communicate when they are shopping. From the history of the Malay language, though in the 15th century, Malay language "came into widespread used as the trade language of the Sultanate of Salacca" (http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/359690/Malay-language#), it still has not been completed. As 56 of the interviewees said that they had some misunderstandings to speak to the native people from different areas. It means that Malay language has not had a common style or mandarin. However, most of the native also tend to talk with the person in their mother language when they are shopping, which is a public place. It is thanks to the following reasons. First, from the side of the position of the Malay language, it is the native language like English in British, Chinese in China. The natives treat it as their root which expresses the culture of Malaysia to the complete satisfaction of natives. Large numbers of the native regard their mother tongue as the most beautiful language. They want to keep and develop their native language which can show the advance of their motherland. In addition to the position, there is another reason, that is, customers and sellers can create a lively atmosphere which is good for their communication. During shopping time or daily life, people will communicate with different kinds of men include those from other countries. The difference of cultures may cause the drawback between sellers and customers. The native may cause many non-understandings or misunderstandings with each other which always appear in the circumstance of the topicswitch. Second, as 78 percent of the informants said, speaking native language will be fluent for them who are from the same nation to make a deal. In other words, by speaking the same native language, it will create a cordial feeling like talking with the families which is easy for customers to bargain. Besides, the majority reason is that many sellers can hardly speak English fluently, which result in many customs choosing speaking Malaysia language. Considering the reasons above, it is not a wonder that many natives in Kuala Lumpur prefer to use Malay language when they are shopping.
English, which is considered as a second language by the majority of users in Malaysia, also, becomes a preference by some customers lived in Kuala Lumpur as to communicate with sellers when they are shopping. It is attributed to the benefit of practical application of using English, which is a world language, and the feeling of using English. According to 32 percent of the informants, they said that they tend to speak English when they go shopping, because English is an international language. However, what is an international language? "An international language, as commonly conceived, is not in any sense a substitute for existing tongues, but simply to be used as a secondary language for the rapidly growing needs of understanding and intercourse between persons of different nationality." (C.L.Wrenn,PgToday,1949:pg.202) our world has been regarded as a village. The relationship between each person has become closed. Also, nowadays is an information age, the appearance of English as a global language, promotes the development of society. So the importance of English is obvious. As the informants who tend to speak English when they are shopping said," it is a chance for me to improve my English level if I use English to communicate with the sellers." In addition to the benefit of practical applications of using English as an international language, it also makes people feel confident. Why? It consists of the following two reasons. First, with more and more people speaking English, English itself has become a kind of mainstream of language. People who talk with others in English will have a feeling of keeping up with the times. Nowadays, the 21th century, English has played a leading role in many areas, Although there exits various of languages in Malaysia," one no longer needs to use English for as many everyday purse in Malaysia as formerly"(King Sley Bolton and Braj B.Kachru, 2006: pg.392), English "still plays a lively part in Malaysian society". According to Graddol(1999:62) has predicted:"...the number of people using English as their second language will grow from 235 million to around 462 million during the next 50 years."(Diane Davies, 2005:pg.141) Therefore, speaking English in a public place like market in Kuala Lumpur, a city with various languages, is considered as a kind of fashion. The second, associating with the importance and widely used of English, people are more likely to use it to give an impression of high status, for English has been regarded as the symbol of status by some people. There were 50 percent of informants agreed that speaking English is a symbol of high status. Since Kuala Lumpur is a city with diverse languages, people speaking English instead of other languages may be regarded as a people who have been high educated. Sometimes, our relationship with a stranger may be affected not only the way we speak but also the language we speak. By being regarded as a person in high status, customers will behave better. Thus, for partial native people, using English improve their English when they are shopping, and develops their confidence, which, satisfies their desire of showing themselves and makes them express in a better way.
Compared with English, the Bahasa Malay has so many differences. But we can also see that in Malaysia, not only the official language is English but also in schools all the students and teachers speak English in the class. Not only because English is a international language but also almost every book and theory is written in English. Using English is more professional and can keep pace with the time.
Also, in shopping time the native people in Kuala Lumpur prefer to use Bahasa Malay rather than English. Because it will give others an impression of cordial feeling, While using English they will feel more confident and high-educated.
The intercultural encounter is referred to as the people's communication with different backgrounds and cultures, that is, one of them speak his mother tongue while the other speak another language. So they always have many non-understandings or misunderstandings with each other. However, these situations always appear in the circumstance of the topicswitch. Most of the time, the misunderstanding exist when some special cultures give some sentences specific meaning. But then the addressee with another culture background misunderstands the words of the addresser. Sometimes the conversation can continue if both of them become aware of it. But if they aren't aware of it, the misunderstanding will come to a halt. There's another reason that both of the speakers can't catch each others' words clearly, but they still continue the conversation according to their imagination. Also the native speaker's some words may contain some complex grammar and also some short -forms that seem very difficult to a second-language speaker. Besides, different manners, thoughts, and religions can make it very difficult for two people of different cultures to talk with each other well. As there are so many differences between Bahasa Malay and English, The language can have various functions :"(1)the referential function is oriented toward the context (the dominant function in a message like 'Water boils at 100 degrees'); (2) the emotive function is oriented toward the addresser (as in the interjections 'Bah!' and 'Oh!'); (3) the conative function is oriented toward the addressee (imperatives and apostrophes); (4) the phatic function serves to establish, prolong or discontinue communication [or confirm whether the contact is still there] (as in 'Hello?'); (5) the metalingual shefunction is used to establish mutual agreement on the code (for example, a definition); (6) the poetic function (e.g., 'Smurf'), puts 'the focus on the message for its own sake' [(Jakobson, 1960, pg. 356)]" (trans. of Tritsmans, 1987, pg. 19). Generally speaking, when one function is emphasized, it tends to reduce the importance of all the others and the opposite happens when the functions is deemphasized. But we will also assume that some functions are generally paired in an even more definite inverse relation. The most obvious pairings are the expressive and conative functions and the referential and poetic functions. In other hand, language also has great influences. Language is a fundamental component of the human experience. It allows us to turn our thoughts into meaningful words. The language also influences the way we create and interpret our experience. As we can see that, language plays a very important role for our well-being and development that we become aware of the way we talk our inner dialogue as well as the words we use to express ourselves to others. By noticing and taking control of our self-talk, we can direct our thoughts and feelings toward what we want to attract in our lives. In a word, language has become a thing that people habitually use, viewing that as automatic and inherent way. Yet, it is really empowering to learn that actually we can choose your self-talk and consequently how you feel, and be in charge of what happens to you. As a result, language also satisfies people's inner requirement from different aspects. First, using of language as a work tool can build a convenient way for communication between cooperative partners and it is the bridge for business trade. Second, language takes full space in our daily lives. People use language to express their different emotions such as love, anger, happiness, sadness, and so on. In short, language is an interesting phenomenon. It changes and adapts so that we may better understand one another. Language in the beginning and language in the future always being there to help people reach out one to another.
In conclusion, while shopping time the most of the native people in Kuala Lumpur prefer to speak Bahasa Malay. Because they think that it's easier to communicate with the native people in their mother tongue and it makes it easier to bargain with the sellers. And also the official language can make communication easier as it is widely spoken. Anyway, speaking in English makes our communication easier.
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