Thursday, July 06, 2017

Bahasa Melayu, Translation and Civilization

Shiba Ryōtarō Library, Osaka, Japan


Bahasa Melayu is the common language (lingua franca) in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei, certain states of Thailand, Cambodia and Philippines. It has been the language for more than 300 million people, half of the population in South-east Asia, more than English speakers in England and almost equal to Arab speakers in all Arab countries. By collective experience, we find that Bahasa Melayu is also the language in some markets in Saudi and China!


My point is simple, you want to understand the Bahasa speakers, you learn and speak Bahasa. You want to understand your patients ​who speak Bahasa, you learn and speak Bahasa. You want to campaign to voters who speak Bahasa, you learn and speak Bahasa. Do you know in what language Dr Scott, a Germany doctor, serve his patients in Kampung Lasah Sungai Siput, back in 1960s? English? No. Bahasa.


Bahasa is just another language to communicate between one another, to understand its speakers or to gain knowledge. Making the language authoritative won't make it a powerful language. I believe one way to make this language powerful is by making Bahasa Melayu as the language of knowledge through a noble act of translation.


Chronologically, the Muslim civilisation found its greatness through translation of Greek Hellenistic works. Western civilisation found its greatness by translating work of the Muslim scholars. The Japanese and Koreans learnt from the West and translate to their languages.


Civilisation's greatness in science, technology, innovation and philosophy transferred from one region to another region through the noble act of translation. Translation allows a man or woman from remote area who only understand his language, to grab knowledge which previously is accessible only to a certain group of people. From translation, the knowledge enhanced, technology matured and philosophy flourished in the common language.


Let me quote an Indonesian thinker and politician, Anis Matta, who in his speech at Universitas Indonesia said in Bahasa that:


“Mengapa kita mesti belajar Bahasa Inggeris di Indonesia? Padahal jarak kita dengan bangsa Inggeris itu terlalu jauh. Kerana kita semua sepakat bahawa Bahasa Inggeris adalah bahasa dunia.

“Persoalan seterusnya, bagaimana ceritanya Bahasa Inggeris boleh menjadi bahasa dunia? Padahal jumlah orang Inggeris terlalu sedikit, wilayahnya jauh lebih kecil daripada Indonesia. Tetapi kita bangsa yang besar ini, belajar daripada bangsa yang kecil itu tadi.

“Bagaimana pula ceritanya kita belajar bahasa Arab di sini. Padahal kalau 22 negara Arab itu kita kumpul, kira-kira jumlahnya sama dengan jumlah orang Indonesia sekarang ini. Penjelasannya apa?

“Saya kira penjelasannya adalah orang Inggeris tidak bekerja dalam skala negara tapi mereka bekerja dalam skala peradaban. Orang Arab dahulu, di zaman Islam, bekerja bukan dalam skala negara, tapi dalam skala peradaban.”


Lastly, why I wrote this in English and not Bahasa? Because I want to call out all English-educated Bahasa speakers to start translating their knowledge into Bahasa on a voluntary basis. Let's start small. Any excerpts you find as wisdom, do translate. Any sentences you find valuable, do translate. Any paragraphs and articles you gain knowledge from, do translate.


If one of our translations can change one individual in a remote area to be more knowledgeable, from there I think we can change a kampung. If more translations reach more individuals, we can change a pekan. Imagine, if we can change a pekan, we can change a daerah. If we changed a daerah, we can change a state. Change a state, we can change our country. And once we change our country, we can change the world.


I have started translating my favourite articles on my blog Sekolah Sungai Buloh Yasir Tamizi. Any articles that I found interesting, I translate. Not​ so much, just a few, not so frequent, just when I want to. Share these words, go translate and make knowledge available in Bahasa. Remember this:


“Interpres, key ad civilisation.

Penterjemah, kunci kepada peradaban.”


My salute to all Bahasa translators. You are all the keys to the next greatest civilisation.


* This article was published at The Malay Mail Online with title Bahasa Melayu, Translation and Civilization on 6 July 2017

Friday, June 23, 2017

Manusia Beradab Sebagai Misi Pendidikan

Adab by Prof Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas

Bijak dalam pelajaran tidak semestinya beradab. 

Universiti(sekolah dan sistem pendidikan) menghasilkan graduan yang bijak tetapi belum tentu menghasilkan graduan yang beradab. 

Tiada adab menyebabkan seseorang menggunakan kebijakannya untuk melakukan kebiadapan, kejahatan atau kezaliman. 

Adab di sini bukan bermaksud bertindak sopan santun sahaja tetapi adab di sini dengan maksud yang lebih terangkum iaitu bertindak adil dengan ilmu.

Sebab itu misi pendidikan itu mesti bertujuan mendidik untuk menjadi manusia beradab. Dan pendidikan itu tidak terhad kepada institusi pengajian, blok-blok sekolah mahupun pondok. Ia meliputi semua faktor sekeliling yang mendidik, dari budaya keluarga sehingga sistem negara.

Manusia-manusia yang beradab(berilmu, berakhlak dan adil) dalam pemahaman begini bukan sahaja mampu membentuk masyarakat dan negara yang maju, malah sudah pun membentuk peradaban.

Selagi mana pendidikan itu masih di sekitar latihan kemahiran dan pertukangan sahaja, ia tak mungkin menghasilkan manusia beradab, lalu akan terjadi lagi tragedi graduan bijak yang akhirnya menjadi jahat, menjadi perompak, menjadi pengganas dan menjadi perasuah, dan kita terus kehairanan apa puncanya.

Puncanya, kehilangan adab. "Loss of adab" kata Syed Muhammad Naquib Al-Attas.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Thinking Tools in Education

College courtyard

Education is very important to our kids and to ourselves. It shapes our mind, our identity. Let us agree that we can improve our education system far better than what we have today. Educationist and teachers agree that our education system is slow and lack of tools for thinking. We being taught how to problem solve a mathematical questions, a geographical questions and a physics questions, but we don't have a dedicated class to train us to use generic tool on how to think. I am preparing Ahim for his school next year. Me and Iman have read list of articles on preschool education and education philosophy in general. We even conclude our own definition of education. But what is more interesting, during our reading, our quest to find the thinking tools, we knew about this trivium. A knowledge on how to train our intellect in the area of grammar, logic and rhetoric by asking what(who, when), why and how. I still in the process of understanding the subject and the exercises. Will share the progress but at least for now we have a basis on what kind of preschool that we should be looking for, definitely school that provide a curriculum or using pedagogy that enhance kids' thinking skills by encouragement of finding answer through the questions of what, why and how.

My aspiration for Malaysia



I aspire to change for a better Malaysia.

I aspire to the principle of freedom, justice and humanity to be upheld at home and international politics.

I aspire clean governments that have zero-tolerance towards corruptions and hatred fused between racial and religious groups.

I aspire a harmony and just society.

And I aspire a fair economic system, equal distribution of development, opportunities and well-being, better access to quality education and healthcare for all.

What about you?

#RakyatAspiration

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Mengulangkaji Al-Ghazali: Wahyu dan Hujah!

Revisiting


Al-Ghazali dipersalahkan sebagai penamat pemikiran dan antagonis kepada hujah dan kebebasan berfikir dalam tradisi Islam. 

Prof. Walbridge sanggah dengan mengatakan bahawa ketinggian saintifik Islam dicapai 100 hingga 150 tahun selepas Al-Ghazali.

Bagaimana mahu mendekati karya Al-Ghazali di zaman ini? Tulis Ihya' 'ulumuddin untuk zaman ini kata Prof Mustafa Abu Sway.

Sheikh Hamza Yusuf sebut antara tragedi terburuk di zaman moden ini adalah perceraian hati daripada akal.

Al-Ghazali pesan jangan berkhidmat kepada penguasa politik atau mengajar di sekolah kerajaan sebab ianya boleh merosakkan masa depan di akhirat.


*Tulisan ini adalah terjemahan dan ringkasan isi Muhammad Yasir bin Tamizi pada tulisan tentang Revisiting Al-Ghazali: Revelation and Reason! di HatemBazian.com