Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Being Banana

BananaWhen we refer to someone as a "banana person", it basically means that someone is a chinese but does not know the chinese language. You see, a banana is yellow on the outside but white in the inside.

I am unfortunately a "banana person" although I don't consider myself as fully "banana". Reason being I do speak and understand basic chinese. It's only when you start to speak fast or in flowery language that I will be looking at you and say "Wo bu ming bai" (I don't understand).

Anyway I do find it a disadvantage to be a "banana". Firstly the chinese newspapers tend to have more juicy details than their english counterparts here.

Then for those like me who like chinese songs, we are very handicapped when come to understanding, learning and singing these songs.

That's why whenever I go karaoke, I will bring along a stack of my hanyu pinyin (romanised) lyrics of the chinese songs. Of course there are also those songs that I have sang so many times that no lyrics is needed. Those people who don't know me well would get so impressed upon knowing that I can't read chinese characters but sang as if I did. They would say "Wahh.... so accurate la your pronunciation". What they didn't know is that I spent half a lifetime memorising those songs.

Oh..and what about those chinese entertainment magazines... You can't get those sleazy details from "Galaxie" (is this still in publication?) or other english magazines, can you?

As a "banana", there are a lot of interesting chinese blogs out there that are out of reach. Yeah, we can use those translation Bananatools to translate the blogs to english but you probably be spending a lot of time deciphering the result. They will totally lose their actual meanings anyway.

Not knowing chinese language also means we can strike out any plans to work in countries like Hong Kong, Taiwan or China where chinese language is used from daily conversation to all documentations. Perhaps that is why I never even give it a thought.

Aiya...why didn't my parents send me to a chinese school??

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