Translations from the Malay, 1930
Lesson 28: kena, to get or incur
The prau met with a stiff breeze yesterday. These steps were broken,
but I knew not why. For some reason I had lost my job, but the writing
room gets the afternoon sun, and the brushes get wet with rain. My white
shirt is ink stained, the arm of my coat is dirty with whitewash, my
trousers are splashed with mud. I live in a house of wood that has been
painted, and it will last for a long time. I got Abdul to fetch two tins
of kerosene and Baba had to pay the broker two dollars commission. The
cook complained that her knife was rust eaten. Get rid of it with powder
I said. Nonya had yet to return for her mother was ill.
Lesson 29: Adverbs
I had heard enough. What else was there for the gardener had swept
almost everything. Eat some more, speak less, give the child more pudding,
I urged Baba to speak a little more quietly around the guests. The driver
wanted more wages, but how much more, he could not say. Really! He is not
one to describe things precisely, as he lives in a world simply. The Sundanese
maid is exceedlingly pretty, exceedingly. The cook’s sauces are very
delicious. So if you wait awhile I will read all the letters. Please don’t
think I am an idiot, James, well not completely. I sold the Humber for 100 pounds
too little. By the end of the month I shall be much better. The Padre drinks far
too much, but what’s the harm in asking for a little more?
Lesson 30: Verb: boleh, to be able
Are you able to eat curry, Major? Or chilli sambal? I can manage it but Cook’s
never been able to understand that we Europeans can’t take too many chillies.
I believe you will be able to digest those kinds of vegetables. I usually eat cabbage
in the morning and cauliflower in the evening. Cook’s wife has learned to make
ice kajang. Delicious, if the teeth can take all that syrup. A cigar? Yes, Driver
might be able to take you to the godown. Can you come tomorrow night, Boy? We need
an extra hand. (Really, Major, what can you do: if a boy’s no good, it can’t
be helped.) Not much I can do to stop the milk going sour.
Lesson 41: Verb: jadi, to become
You must become a witness in this case, how the sultan went to fat. At least
Bun Keng’s been promoted to master of the Hokkien School. It was fortunate
for us that we didn’t happen to go on leave to Kota Baru. What would have
become of Baba? Worse Luck! the rain did not come and the wind rose. We wait in
hope for the day when tapioca will be cheap. We almost went mad when the bangsal
caught fire. sometimes, I despair, that Boy will never come to anything!
What do you want to buy? A cartload of lime?
Go to the bank first and return by tram.
He seldom shoots of an afternoon.
How do you hope to be clever, Hashim, being always asleep?
Perhaps the padre will not return to dine this evening.
My what a fool. He just does not know how to perform Boys Work!
It has been quite a while since he worked in a saw-mill.
I believe all the same he is innocent.