Small Talk

In Malaysia, I'm not sure what's the right answer for questions like "how are you" or "how's your day". I think Westerners see them as a form of small talk, so the answer is always 'good' or 'fine'. They only expect a reply, but they don't care what you answer. Just like how we are taught in schools, for "How are you?", the reply is always "I'm fine. Thank you."

But many Malaysians see it like a real question and answer it by telling how they have not been good, how they've been busy etc. The grammar nazi in me feels like standing out to correct them, but I always brush it off. And it's become so common among the people I talk to to the point that my responses like "I'm fine" are odd to them.

But surely I owe you an accurate answer! – http://xkcd.com/222/

I'm still undecided whether this should be considered a register or simply bad command of English among the people I talk to, but I'll just stick with "I'm fine, thank you."

15 comments:

  1. haha.. that's my standard answer.. unless i'm interested to talk more.. then i'll elaborate on my day :)

    so how are you? ;p

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  2. Next time just ask "Dah makan?" or "Have you eaten?" or "Sek Bao Jor Mei?" or "Chi Bao Le Ma?" (pls ask in the language you are familar with). That's the standard small talk in Malaysia (or when you talk to a Malaysian). =p

    "Ni Chi Bao Le Ma?"

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    Replies
    1. Then u can follow up with what have u eaten quetion =p

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    2. Hahaha nice follow up

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  3. We, malaysian just love to talk, simple as that..hahaha =D

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  4. sometimes i dono what to answer when they ask: whats up!
    i'll be like: err.... my hair is up? lolllll...

    what the fuck is whats up?!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, I used to think why the hell do these people speak like a black guy. But now I don't bother anymore. I don't want anyone to think that I'm mean.

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  5. how can u cure my sex addiction ?

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    Replies
    1. You need to find better things to do.

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  6. Usually i would give simple answer when being ask when meet. . Then if i am being ask after a conversations..i would answer it with a never ending story. ahahhaah.....

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    Replies
    1. Yeah I think that's the standard way.

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