Monday, December 13, 2010

Thousand words (with a lil sense of linguistics)

As the title tells, this post will touch a bit on Linguistics issue. Well yeah just trying to make my brain works during this long break. ;)

It just occurred to me that there were more words to describe certain things in English than we have in Malay. I went to Bondi beach two days ago and was sitting alone by the sea when I heard these two women next to me talking to each other.

Woman A: Hey look at the tanker over there.. (while pointing to the sea, to a big tanker ship that passed through far away)
Woman B: That must be gigantic, from here it already seems so big..

What attracted me when listening to this conversation was the word 'tanker' used by her. Well, personally if I were to talk to another person, I would definitely use the word 'ship'. As for me (who have a very limited vocab, mind you), a 'ship' represents all kinds of sea transportation be it a vessel, an icebreaker or a schooner.. They all are the same to me. As in Malay, we only say 'kapal' for any 'ship' right. I mean we only have 'kapal minyak', 'kapal kontena' or the code-crutching** version of tanker which is 'kapal tanker'. Hmm.

This is a tanker.

A vessel.

An icebreaker (It breaks ice, obviously)

A schooner

I would love to know more words that can describe things more specifically. I suppose as a future English teacher I would need to widen my vocab knowledge, don't you think? Guess I should read more. Oh yes, have to read and look at pictures at the same time. At least I won't be confused of what do a squid, cuttlefish and octopus look like. Cause at the end of the day, they are all sotongs to me. Anyone, can surprise me with a little picture dictionary? Hee.

P/s: code-crutching is using a word or phrase from other language (to tell the same meaning) because we don't have it in our language e.g globalization--> globalisasi, obsession --> obsesi


  1. ermm.. i just realise that oso. i call all stuff ship. except for yatch...

  2. hehe same..i know what a yacht is, but not others..gotta improve heh? :D