Saturday, July 30, 2011

Me and the Languages

I have once written a topic about language I spoke and some others that I was interested to learn. Maybe I will re-write what I was written. It's not like I want to become conceited by showing off the languages I have mastered, but I just want to share it anyway.

Everyone knows that I'm Indonesian since I was born and raised here, not to mention the facts that both of my parents are Indonesian, from Java ethnic for more precise. Bahasa Indonesia is my mother tongue which I usually use it in my daily life - like speaking with other Indonesians, my parents and family, and also for school things.

Yeah, I can say I'm not terrible at it even sometimes I find it hard to speak Bahasa formally in front of important people - like interviewer, tutors, and such - due to my habit of using the slang language in daily speech. Yes, to be honest, the slang version of Bahasa can ruin the beautiful of the formal language itself. But that can't be helped since almost all Indonesians prefer to speak informally unless the situation demands.

Bahasa Indonesia is not the only language here. There are so many regional language which have various styles and accents and they're surely completely different each other. So many islands existed in Indonesia may be the main factor why we finally have many languages. In Java island itself, there are two main languages which are Javanese and Sundanese - the former used by people who live in the central and east of Java island while the latter used by people who reside in the western of Java. Even in Javanese and Sundanese themselves, they have some differences in accents and the language refinements. Since I was born from Javanese couple then undoubtedly my regional language is Javanese with middle level of language refinement. I can speak Javanese pretty much well since I only talk in daily speech. But if it comes to Javanese letters, I'll raise my two hands. I barely know anything about "Honocoroko" things and how to read it either. It's even much more difficult than Japanese kanji.

Yeah, above is the Javanese letters, popularly known as "Honocoroko". But all my Javanese friends and families I know unbelievably understand that difficult letters. Well, they were born and raised in Java so yeah.

Actually I spent almost five years in the western part of Java which mostly people reside there speak in Sundanese. Although most of my college friends aren't speaking that language but I have some Sundanese friends, so I know very few Sundanese words and the accent.

Okay, enough with Bahasa Indonesia and its regional languages. The rest will explain about foreign language I know and currently learn.

First is English. No surprise. Indonesians are highly recommended to learn this language since it becomes an International Language. I don't know how good I am at English but you can conclude from my writings. Not to mean to be cocky but I feel my English is improving compared to last year and I'm so grateful for that. I'm not taking any English course, I just try to learn myself from so many sources. But what influenced me the most is since I've been joining the Detective Conan World forum site. I met so many people from all around the world there and of course we speak in English to interact with each other. The sites are dominated with American (or Asian who lives in American), few British, quite a few Filipino, some Asians (either from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, India, and even Japanese), few Danish, Australian, Spaniard, Brazilian,etc. Superb, isn't? I earnestly pay attention to their (especially American and British - whose main language is English) writing style, grammars, vocab, and even some idioms I never knew before. I learn so much from them. Also, I highly respect their writing manner such considering about capitalization and the right punctuation which most Indonesians (including me) ignore this kind of thing. The effect is I become more cautious about grammar and writing manner. Everytime I read someone typed in English, I unconsciously checked their grammar usage - seriously it's beyond my consciousness. Unfortunately, there are still so many Indonesians not really paying attention to the right writing style. Not using capitalization in the beginning of the sentence nor for the people's name or place, using unnecessary punctuation such so many dots in the end of sentence (three dots/ellipsis is a must, no less and no more), also using commas to end sentence, misusing the space, etc. To be honest, I'm kind of irritated with that and really wanting to correct every single mistake. But I have no right to criticize them, it's their business after all.

From that Detective Conan World forum site I learnt how to make a fanfic. I thought that would be extremely difficult to do writing in so many pages with English (I never did it before, not even at college. The longest essay I made was two pages). But eventually I gave it a try and the result was I successfully wrote my first Detective Conan fanfic titled "Truth or Dare" and gratefully people liked my work. (you can go to this page if you want to read my fanfic -> So far I wrote two fanfic. The latter titled "The Vacation" which more suspense and less humor. I personally like the second one which has more complicated plot, but the first one was coming from a simple idea.  In the end, people like my first story better than the second one. My first story gained quite a few critics from the native speakers - especially for the grammar errors. I realized that and gladly accepted all critics for improving my writing skill. That was my first fanfic after all so I was still bit all thumbs while doing that. The Vacation seems to have a better grammar. But it's still lack of explanation, especially for the story background. Bunch of thanks for those who reviewed my story, especially my friends from Detective Conan World forum. I'm currently working on my third fics and it will be different with the previous stories since the main characters are not Conan and Haibara. But I'm not sure I will finish it since I lost my mood to continue the story. I plan to make Detective Conan and Naruto crossover someday - or pretty soon probably. I'm curious of putting Haibara and Sasuke together.

Even some people said I was pretty good at English, but actually there's still too much to learn. Compared to the native speakers, I still need to catch them up. I have to learn more and more. So it happened few days ago when I was about to randomly check some English sites. I found so many English idioms I never knew before then wondered... "I see, I'm still nothing to be an advance in English... I have to practice more and more,"

Then yeah, up to now I'm trying to write more in English, not to mention inserting some new words I learn, considering the grammar usage, etc.

The rest language I know is Japanese, even my Japanese is not as good as my English. I know kana - either Hiragana and Katakana and some Kanji (about 300 kanji but I'm not sure I still remember them perfectly - especially the stroke order since I barely have much time for practicing). I learn Japanese from many sources such Japanese books and e-sources. Gratefully now I have Japanese fellow (her name is Chiro) who is willingly helping my study. She's a college student (only a year younger than me), majoring neuroscience (surely she must be smart!), currently lives in Fukui-shi, Japan. She is very nice person. Oh I wish someday when I have a chance to visit Japan, I'll able to meet ya, Chiro!

Well, well, I'm not gonna babble around about my Japanese since nothing to be showed off lol. But I'm glad having the chance to learn more about it. Thanks to Detective Conan, J-Dorama (One Liter of Tears, Hotaru no Hikari, etc.) and Naruto after all for encouraging me learning Japanese!

Actually I once tried to learn Spanish but I was getting confused in the end so I didn't continue learning it. But the language itself isn't as hard as French which has different pronunciation. Okay, I will give it a try later, after mastering Japanese about 75% of the whole lessons lol (I don't know how many years will it take).

Well, I'm done everyone (like anyone would read). I'm writing this not to showing off my ability, otherwise just to share to you that even you feel like you're advance in certain thing, there's still much to learn. The most important things are don't be conceited and satisfied easily! Ja ne~!

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