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The iPod Videorama, and Mind Your Language! March 28, 2006

Posted by The Truth in Im Allgemeinen.
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I was just re-discovering the VIDEO in ‘iPod
Video’ today on the bus to work…it’s been awhile since i ever
selected ‘Filme’ in the ‘Videos’ section. There i was, sitting in 173
on the way to Bukit Batok, watching Rosenstolz’ Ich bin Ich (Wir Sind Wir)
– a really beautiful, what-a-wonderful-life-it-was-with-you kind of
story…it’s so sweet and if you understood German, you’d be going emo
already. Especially mit Hilfe des Videos.

But still. I managed to impress eng chok into wanting an iPod Video by showing him jerkitout by Mark Leung,
some totally retarded video but yet so fucking hilarious by local
standards…i wonder seriously how he managed to evade arrest. I
thought Santa v.s. Chicken would already get you some hours in the
slammer already. Must have a relative who’s an M.P. HAHAHAHA…anyway,
i also showed him Kate Ryan’s Libertine, OKAY, OKAY, i’ll admit it – i don’t fully understand the lyrics. But it’s still pretty godlike, the vid itself and also the displaying! Yum, yum.

It seems that’s been some kind of furore over lecturers at
universities speaking bad English. If you’ve been reading the papers,
there are students complaining of not being able to comprehend
lecturers with bad English, there are yet others calling for acceptance
of dialects and accents, and yet others calling for universities to
re-think their acceptance policies for professors from other countries.

My question to all these people is: Why this intolerance?

Granted, i’ll probably not really be able to understand my German professor, especially if his/her German is strongly accented
with maybe Schwäbisch/some other kind of European flavour but i guess i won’t complain. It’s the flavour of the place i’m going to, if
i make it to Heidelberg. I can’t expect everyone to be talking 100%
Hochdeutsch. I’m kinda afraid, but it doesn’t mean that i’m not gonna try.
Philosophie is gonna be crazier, but i guess i’ll have to find a way to
learn it. So yes, when i fly over, German will be my first language,
English and Mandarin my mother tongues. I think i’ll have to learn
Latin and French in German, even!

Still, not to digress. Why are Singaporeans so intolerant of people
with different language abilities? It’s not as if we’re speaking the
Queen’s English, are we? So who are we to expect that people are
talking the Queen’s English at us so we can understand?
Understand this, all. Everyone’s language has imperfections. If it’s
really that bad that you can’t understand their English, and if you are
100% convinced that your friends don’t understand as well, then you
should bring it up. Just because you can’t understand doesn’t mean that
he/she is necessarily a bad educator.

Of course, you could say that a lecturer’s bzw. (=beziehungsweise. and in relation to that) teacher’s tan chiak is good communication skills so that their charges learn. Isn’t it? So poor communications skills = no tan chiak. Even so, it’s not a reason to encourage boykottieren just because this prof can’t talk ‘proper,’ Queen’s English! It’s foolish, and absurd. And think about it: YOU are missing out if you boycott.

If you think you can just start a boycott any time you
want, why don’t you get together a group of like-minded people and
*try* to petition for your university bzw. college or whatever to hire
language personnel to help your poor lecturers/professors?! Rage
against the machine should be directed at unreasonable fee hikes, and
maybe you can boycott the canteen food (or elections) if it’s that bad. But boycotting lessons is, ultimately, YOUR LOSS. You should be educated enough to know this.

I’m not saying that i speak perfect Queen’s English or whatever to be able to sit here, all atas and
all, and lecture all of you about tolerance. But well. An environment
of intolerance never saw any progress being made. You’re not
revolutionaries or freedom fighters or crusaders (i dub thee Sir
Dip-Shit of the Holy Order of Her Majesty’s English) because you all
probably don’t speak proper English yourselves!

We can’t expect people to change their mannerisms and
accents overnight, can we? Of course, they’re working in Singapore, but
they too, have their roots. Do you think i’m gonna forget how to swear
colourfully like a fucking chao Ah Beng when i’m in Germany? Of
course not – just as you’ll probably see me slip up and colour my
informal German with lots of local/English/dialect (German and
mandarin) terms when i’m not required to speak in 100% Hochdeutsch.
It’s sad that these professors, with all their degrees and such, aren’t
able to carry through their ideas clearly. It’s worse to see the
(non-)tolerance level of their students.

Are we turning into a society of xenophobes?

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