Wednesday, July 7, 2010


If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart. Nelson Mandela

If you want learn speak Bahasa you must speak Bahasa, the man at the Jazz Bar and Grill said.

And he is right. You must simply speak, abandoning care, forcing yourself. Jangan malu--don't be shy.

This of course gets easier with every large Bintang you drink, and so it is good also to drink whilst you are learning.

It is good to have the live music as well, and the louder the better, for the most cogent sentences end up being those which are shouted above the din of the saxophone, drums, and electric bass. At the very least, there is no mistaking that you have spoken and have been quite definite about it indeed.

Most nights at the Jazz Bar and Grill the guests are invited to sing. This is also good for breaking down the barriers of self consciousnenss. After offering a bad rendition of Fly Me to the Moon, what, after all, does one have to lose?

It is the willing listener that constitutes the most complete classroom--he who receives, comprehends, corrects, and encourages all in one sitting. He gives and he receives, for his native ear is perfect while his native tongue seeks like instruction. Language itself becomes friendship, the will to assist, the will to understand, the will to communicate what is perceived--without which the world itself cannot exist.

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