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Friday, October 23, 2009

Weekdays in BUNDULIWAN dialect.

I happen to stumble upon photos depicting weekdays in English, Bahasa and Kadazandusun (Bunduliwan) language posted in this blog ‘anakjagung’, and I remember a friend of mine, who, in conversation with his grandson studying the BUNDULIWAN dialect being taught in school, was puzzled with his grandson’s answers.

As a responsible grandfather who wanted his grandchildren to speak in Kadazan language proper, his own mother tongue, had the following conversation in Kadazan with his eldest grandson. To his consternation and amazement, he was puzzled and perplexed with what his grandson had learnt in school.

The conversation goes like this:

Grandfather: Oonu oh mangan nu do suvab?

Grandson: Suvab nopo nga Tontolu, om mugad zou sikul.

Grandfather: Oonu kanu dii? Tontolu? ‘Tontolu’ nopo mati nga boos do Dusun ih kikomozon do ‘Tontohu’ id boos do Kadazan.

Grandson: Okon, ‘Tontolu’ nopo nga tadau Koiso, … ‘Isnin’ ka do id Bahasa.

Grandfather: Odoi dogo! Isai oh minongi’ah diau diti? Kohohoingo' ku diti, au zou insan nokoko'ongou do ‘Tontolu’ nopo nga Tadau Koiso!

Grandson: Iziau nopo diti Apah, au ko iziau koiho do boos the Bunduliwan. Iti no oh po’ia’on dagai doid sikul.

Grandfather: Nondia, pokitono zou do buuk dino.

The grandson then produced the book Standard 5 and showed it to his Grandpa. Indeed, the book tells the following:

English Bahasa Bunduliwan

Monday Isnin Tontolu

Tuesday Selasa Mirod

Wednesday Rabu Madsa

Thursday Khamis Tadtaru

Friday Jumaat Kurudu

Saturday Sabtu Kukuak

Sunday Ahad Tiwang

Admittedly, language is a ‘living thing’, but we cannot simply start inventing or re-inventing words that have no relevance to the subject matter. Those invented or borrowed words such as the above, give different meaning in the real sense of the subject words altogether, e.g., the names of weekdays.

‘Tontolu’ or ‘Tontohu’ means ‘egg’; ‘Mirod’ or ‘Mi’od’ means making a slight movement to ease one’s body. These words have no relevance to Mondays and Tuesdays respectively. And so are the rest of the words depicting Wednesdays to Sundays.

I find it absurd to use those words to describe weekdays in my everyday conversation.

I have therefore tried to find out how those words to describe weekdays came about. I was told that those words were taken from the 7-day life cycle of a butterfly. This is not the correct way of inventing words to describe weekdays. Make it simple like the following:

Tadaukoiso (Monday); Tadaukoduvo or Tadaukoduwo (Tuesday); Tadaukotohu or Tadaukotolu (Wednesday); Tadaukaapat (Thursday); Tadaukohimo or Tadaukolimo (Friday); Tadaukoonom (Saturday); and Tadaukotuu or Tadaukoturu (Sunday).

The above words to describe weekdays are currently used by Daily Express in ‘Pangaan KadazanDusun’ and RTM (Kadazan Section). Why can’t we teach our children the correct way? They are perfectly relevant to our everyday usage in Kadazan or Bunduliwan!!


  1. Tobpinai kou ngaavi, the beauty of this KADAZANDUSUN LANGUAGE (BUNDULIWAN VERSION) created and developed by KDCA/USDA/Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia is a special gift to the future generation of Sabah especially to our KDM children born in this millenium. In the next 11 years i.e year 2020, this new generation will converse this language and well as you can read in this topic, for us its look funny, but to them its their language.

    On the other hand, the present generation KDM have their own version and if it is not pass to the future generation by word-of-mouth then it will become instinct and we can only hear them in the audio/computer repository by year 2050.

    I hope we, KDM will not fall to the "frog-boiled syndrome" and we pray that somebody brilliant leader will correct this before its too late.

  2. Goodness Anonymous.... The Bundiliwan Language being a special gift to our Children ... geesh man ... what is wrong with you? Why can't we preserve the respective Dusun Language and Kadazan Language and teach these two languages to our children? Why create a new and confusing language ... c'mon man, where's senses. Stop destroying our furture. WHile the world tries to preserve all the languages that are less spoken, here we have some seriously crazy people who are out not to preserve but to creat an alternate language on the pretext of a "Special Gift" ... my foot. Admit it man, it was a mistake to begin with, so stop perpetuating the mistake. By the way, your great leader will be blamed for enternity in creating this fiasco. He knows it well am sure but needs to perpetuate this mitake by trying to make it look as if it is right!!!!!

  3. "Realist", I think you are a "cooked frog" and not a "boiled frog". Why cried in a spilled milk now, where are you people in the middle 1980s and the early 1990s to fight for the Dusun and Kadazan language to be taught in school? The leaders who created this "gift" to our children are still enjoying their Ministership and many are still holding high position in the Govt. They don't give a damn in this issue because their children are studying overseas and don't give a damn about speaking their mother tongue because it is not important anymore. So to be real or in reality, we have to accept what was decided by these leaders and the Govt. unless we have a brilliant leader to stand up and voice to review this matter and make a new suggestion in Parliament.

  4. Yup..I agree with the third commenter(anonymous).
    i have witness one of Sabahan minister with his family and he is a Kadazandusun.

    Want to know the truth?
    They never speak Kadazandusun man...
    They just speak "bahasa pasar" and english among them.

    So, how can a blind leader lead his people?