Japanese man learns Malay in 3 weeks during MCO

japanese man learns malay in 3 weeks cover pic
A Japanese man learns Malay during MCO and films a Youtube video to prove his language ability
Image adapted from: Aki from Japan

While multilingualism comes naturally to most Malaysians, picking up a new language is still far from being an easy task. However, that doesn’t stop many of us from tackling a new language, be it for K-drama-watching purposes or to ensure ease of communication for future travels.

A Japanese man currently living in Malaysia has impressed our countrymen everywhere when he revealed that he had spent the last 3 weeks learning Malay. And to demonstrate his skills, he even filmed a 5-minute Youtube video entirely in Bahasa Melayu

Aki, a Japanese Youtuber currently residing in Malaysia

Aki first came to Malaysia 2 years ago from Japan, where he used to be an English high school teacher. He uprooted his life in his home country and decided to settle down in Malaysia as living abroad had always been his dream. Since then, he has been creating Youtube videos to share with his growing number of subscribers that currently stand at an impressive 55,000.

Image adapted from: Aki from Japan

His content revolves a lot around Malaysia as he explores local destinations. There are more casual vlogging videos where he shares his experience as an expat here. Since the Movement Control Order (MCO), Aki has been providing his fans with more frequent updates on how he’s faring with the partial lockdown as he made the decision to not head back home to Japan.

aki's youtube videos
Image adapted from: Aki from Japan

Praises Malaysians’ laidback culture and shares culture shock moments

After learning Malay for 3 weeks, Aki was keen to show off his skills and progress by taking on the challenge of filming a 5-minute video entirely in Malay. The Youtube video was posted yesterday on 22nd April 2020, and it has been garnering positive responses from Malaysians who were impressed at his fluency with the language after just a few weeks of learning it.

He began the video by first introducing himself before going on to make comparisons between Japan and Malaysia.

Toilet hose instead of tissue paper

He brought up a hilarious example of how Malaysian public toilets almost never has any toilet paper. Instead, each stall comes equipped with a toilet hose. While bidets are fairly common in Japan, we imagine that seeing a simple hose propped up against the wall of a cubicle might be quite a shock.

toilet hose
Image credit: Travel

After being left with no choice but to use the toilet hose as he had forgotten to bring along tissue paper, Aki quickly grew fond of using it.

aki talking about toilet hoses
Image adapted from: Aki from Japan

Malaysians’ notoriety for our tardiness

Aki moved on to talk about “Malaysian timing”, where we’re never on time and always show up at least 10-15 minutes later than the agreed meeting time. It’s the same as telling your friend that you’re “on the way” when you haven’t even left the house.

He even gave some tips to fellow expats who may not be familiar with our culture by saying that if the agreed time to meet is at 8PM, adjust your schedule so that you arrive half an hour later as everyone else will probably be as late as you too. In his own words, “orang suka datang lambat banyak banyak… Banyak banyak” or “people here love arriving late a lot… A lot”.

Netizens sing praises for his dedication

Anyone can tell that Aki had put in a lot of effort and time into learning the language as it’s hard enough to hold a short conversation in a foreign language, much less host a 5-minute video alone. Malaysians were quick to show their support for Aki and left plenty of sweet messages to cheer him on.

Erin Hassanal was one of many who praised Aki for his language ability, saying that she was smiling throughout the entire duration of his video.

youtube comment (1)
Image adapted from: Erin Hassanal

Another Youtube user Iyra Dyanie commented that Aki had even nailed the Malaysian accent in some parts of the video and that he sounded like a native speaker.

yt comment (2)
Image adapted from: Iyra Dyanie

Another user who went by the username Winter 991 was impressed that Aki had managed to learn Bahasa Melayu in such a short amount of time.

yt comment (3)
Image adapted from: Winter 991

Japanese man wins Malaysians over with his fluency in Malay

Picking up a new language in such a limited amount of time and having the guts to post a video that was filmed entirely in the new language to a worldwide audience is not an easy feat. It just goes to show that if you’re hardworking enough to put in the hours and aren’t scared to step out of your comfort zone, no task is impossible.

Aki’s accomplishment is also an inspiration to many of us out there who are finding ways to spend a productive MCO. After all, learning a new language during this period of time will definitely earn us bragging rights with our friends when we meet them again.

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