Language errors in Malaysian workbook due to direct translation from Malay

Language errors in Malaysian workbook due to direct translation from Malay
A check at bookstores found several mistakes in school textbooks.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

PETALING JAYA - While school exercise books are supposed to improve students' mastery of Mathematics and Science, errors in the books' English-language portions might be giving children the wrong impression about the language.

A check by The Star at several major bookstores found some UPSR-level exercise books with language errors in their questions.

Examples include:

1. What can be done by a farmer to prevent the fish from being rotting.

2. Recently it is raining season. Joanne's mother realises that the clothes are difficult to be dried up. What is the reason that causes this?

3. What is the best conclusion about the animals (in the diagram)? A. Animal feed their youngs.

4. What is the meaning of human reproduction? D. Remove the faeces from the body.

Most of the errors spotted appeared to be the result of direct translation from Bahasa Malaysia, with minor grammatical mistakes seen throughout the books, especially in the multiple-choice question sections.

Even English exercise books are not free from errors in the language.

One idiomatic mistake: "I was just pulling your legs", when the correct phrase should be pulling somebody's "leg".

One of the books claims to publish copies of past UPSR papers, with permission from the Malaysian Examinations Syndicate.

However, on average, based on the check on UPSR exercise books, most books released by major publishers and available in popular bookstores are error-free.

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