Downsides of Being a Banana

The word 'Fly' in traditional Chinese character, much more complex than the simplified version.

A Banana is defined in Malaysia and Singapore as a Chinese that can't write or read Chinese and possibly can't speak it either.

I'm sorta a banana. I can speak pretty well since it's my first language at home, and I can read it quite some - I am capable of reading Chinese novels. Most of the time I recognize the word as a whole and know the rough meaning but won't know how to pronounce it. It's like knowing what a symbol means without knowing how the people in the past pronounces it. ... Those are basically the same thing XD

Being a banana probably means that your English or some other language skills are better than those who are good at Chinese. But then, being a banana has its downsides as well.

Some comparison between traditional ans simplified Chinese characters.


As a recent college graduate, I find myself looking for scholarships from newspapers and the Chinese ones, well, they put this "SPM Chinese results" box in their form. You don't take Chinese  papers in your exams, you miss this scholarships which you Might get.

But then, the standards for Chinese is pretty high in le exams anyway, and you probably have to score up to like, 87 or so to get an A. Maybe. I don't know the standards, but from what I know it's the main subject that causes Chinese students to miss their Straight A+ results.

Chinese characters are logical sometimes XD


Well you see, I went to my brother's primary school today to ask about this replacement teacher job. As it turns out, without a Credit in Chinese for SPM in my certificates, I am not eligible to apply. It's the rules. Some jobs where I am now requires some level of proficiency in Chinese and I don't think I'll pass. Back when I was in primary school about le age of 11, I tried taking the entrance exam to one of the best Chinese secondary schools. I got top results for English and Malay - 93++, and my Maths paper was so so, 63 marks because I found the questions, which was in Chinese, hard to understand. My Chinese paper... I got only 16 marks. 

So you see. Although I thought that English is way more important than Chinese - and it still stands true in some other places, it turns out that Chinese is still quite an important language, and I can only hope that my level of proficiency is enough for me to survive in the society.

It's an achievement for bananas to learn something new in Chinese!


Oh gosh. Let's say you're in the karaoke. And you pick a few nice Chinese songs. And you didn't know the lyrics, but you're in the karaoke, so it's okay. They display the lyrics on the screen for you to follow.

Then the song speeds up, and you find your reading speed not enough to chase up with the song. A banana like me takes a longer time to read a Chinese article than an average Chinese would. Even at normal speeds, you'd hear me sing a Chinese song like " *sings* *pauses at unknown word* *sings* *long pause as a long train of weird Chinese character pops up at fast speed* *gives up*". It's harder than you think.

Tryna chase the Chinese lyrics be like

So yes, guys. For those who are already studying Chinese and due to take this subject in your exams, keep it up, good luck, and increase your language proficiency in some other languages. To bananas, I understand you guys. Cheers.

Nicki Sim

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