2 Jul 2017

Complicated Lives

Tamil Words in English Poems by Malaysian Indian Writers: Malachi Edwin Vethamani’s Complicated Lives

Malaysian Indian writers are actively involved in producing creative writings – poem, short story and novel – in Bahasa Malaysia (Malay), Tamil and English. Despite the language differences and the general rules pertaining the languages, many Indian writers seem to maintain Indian culture in their writings. One unique example would be the use of Tamil words and phrases verbatim in Bahasa Malaysia and English writings. This paper explores the use of Tamil words and phrases in Malachi Edwin Vethamani’s debut collection of poems, Complicated Lives (2016). This lecturer of Modern English Literature at the School of English, University of Nottingham (Malaysia Campus) consciously uses Tamil words and phrases, even though an English word or phrase would have conveyed the same meaning. This paper aims to demonstrate the fact that Malaysian Indian poets who have mastered English (or Bahasa Malaysia) would still prefer to use certain Tamil words and phrases which carry some form of emotional and cultural value.

© Uthaya Sankar SB 2017. This is the abstract of a paper presented at the International Conference on Language, Linguistics & Social Sciences in Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI), Tanjung Malam, Perak on 14 May 2017. Malachi Edwin Vethamani’s latest publications include In-Sights: Malaysian Poems (2003), Complicated Lives (2016), A Bibliography of Malaysian Literature in English (2016), Malchin Testament: Malaysian Poems (2017) and Life Happens (2017). More articles in English – CLICK HERE.