Monday, May 25, 2009

English to Malay Translations

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Malay Language

I recently read an article in the Newspaper, you can read the online version by clicking here. The Firefox Mozilla people were saying that they were hoping more Malaysians put in the effort to help out the effort to translate Firefox to Malay (Bahasa Melayu / Bahasa Malaysia) however response to help out in this effort was luke warm. If I remember correctly efforts for translations into Thai, Indonesian etc have already been completed for some time now. He urged Malaysians to contribute.

Yes, so true, if you go to Firefox's website and choose Other Systems/Languages, you can browse through the many languages it is available in. In the article someone argued that possibly one of the reasons why there isn't any huge concerted effort to translate it is because most Malaysians are well versed in English (or other available languages for that matter) so they can easily manage without a localized version. And I quite agreed. But what the Firefox guy answered moved me. Yes, possibly most Malaysians who are on the net, know English pretty well and can manage easily. But the purpose of having a local Malay Language Version is for the Malaysians that are not yet online, and probably one of the factors stopping these Malaysians to go online is (besides other factors like not having internet access apparently) is that they just don't know how, find the English version difficult and so. And regardless, why not right? If you go thru the list of already available languages, it'll be nice to have a local one.


Here's the excerpt



"Additionally, feedback that he received also suggested that most Malaysians do not think there is a need for a localised Firefox since they understand the English language well.


However Kanai begged to differ.


According to him, what these English-proficient users fail to see is that there are plenty of other people who are not yet part of the Internet community because they do not understand the language used in the browser.


With this initiative, Mozilla aims to overcome the language barrier which is a key obstacle in bridging the digital-divide, he said."




Imagine this - Mozilla Musang Berapi. (Fire-Fox). Just joking on that one. Hmm, is Musang Fox or is it Serigala or Keluang (what's Keluang?). Or Rubah? Yes now this brings me to another point. The lack of online English to Malay (vice versa) dictionary or translation tools.

Surf you favourite translation website, say Google Translator , and nope, the pull-down for language does not have Malay.

Google the word Kamus, and the top results are all Kamus Indonesia. So how? What I wanted to share in this post, is the interesting answer. There is a very nice person who has taken the effort to make available a simple Malay - English Dictionary online through Scribd. However it states not to hotlink the url. So I won't put the link here. But you could easily go to http://www.scribd.com/ and search for Malay Dictionary.

And yes, Dewan Bahasa Pustaka (DBP) has made available a pretty decent dictionary. I just discovered this. I was going to suggest they should but yes, they've already done it!.

Go to http://prpm.dbp.gov.my/and the just type in a word you want to translate, make sure you have PRPM (Pusat Rujukan Persuratan Melayu) selected and tadaa!. Interestingly it works both ways.

Note- you need to select which tab you want to display, e.g. Kamus BM, Kamus BI by clicking on it. The results are pretty good!

Last question. So why didn't I myself blog this in Malay Language? Don't get angry, but I found it difficult to blog in Bahasa Baku (i.e. Proper Malay Language, by the book). I actually started a Malay Language Blog but well, see for yourself, by clicking here. Seldom updated. Honestly Malay is a very easy language to pick-up. Just see all the foreigners and how quickly they've picked it up. Spoken Malay usually is 'simpler' then written unless you use Bahasa Pasar (market Language) to write as well!

Well. Ikutlah....:)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Rebate on Insurance

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Reading the Star today, at http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/5/18/nation/3924369&sec=nation it hilites positive news where consumers get rebates for the motor insurance. Excerpt from there

"Come July 1, car owners who buy motor insurance directly from insurance companies without using the services of an agent will qualify for mandatory rebates, a move that could render agents redundant.

The move would see new customers being given a 5% rebate on their insurance if they buy it via channels such as the Internet, telemarketing, direct mailing or by walking into the insurance company. These customers would also get a 10% rebate for renewals in the second year."


Interesting, and good news for the general public. Maybe not for the agents though.

Anyway, just a point to ponder, I blogged about Takaful Malaysia some time back, and I have been using them for my motor insurance for years plus. I have been enjoying mudharabah sharings of 10% & above on my premiums at the end of each renewal. They send it by cheque.

Definitely a welcome to the other insurance players. Mmm, our bike insurance with Kurnia expires end of June. What timing! Should I wait till July to renew?

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Aerogramme

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Here's one more quick money saving tip. The Aerogramme

To those who still remember and use the postal mail, that has existed long before the email, here's a good tip for you. Why still use postal mail? Coz somehow it still exudes more of a personal feel rather then getting an email.

Did you know you can save at least 40% and above when you use an aerogramme for overseas letters. I guess some of you answered yes, and some no. When I went to purchase aerogrammes from the post office, the officer was rather surprised yet delighted. Why? He told me that sadly not many people know about the aerogramme and its benefits.

Typically you send a letter outside the country, it is considered as an internation Air Mail. (Par Avion sounds familar?)

International postal rates here in Malaysia are broken mainly into 5 Zones, e.g. ASEAN countries are referred to as Zone A and have the lowest rates. So if you go to the Post Malaysia website or office, you should be able to navigate your way thru to the postal rates.

So say for example to send anything below 20grams to Zone A (e.g. Singapore), it would cost you a flat rate of RM0.90. And to send the same thing to USA say, it would cost you RM1.80.

Now mostly, the letter we're sending is an envelope with a couple of sheets of paper with letters in it (pun intended). So here's where the aerogramme comes in, purchasing an aerogramme at the post office which only cost RM0.50, you get a fold-able sheet which has ample writing space and the 'stamp' pre-printed on it.

So basically looking at the above picture, you have the whole side of a page and 1/3 of the front page to write on. Becareful not to write too much on the edges. Once you're done, just fold the aerogramme per the fold lines, glue it and post it. Yes all that just for RM0.50.

Writing this entry, I've come to realize for the minimum weight, say you send a letter of 5grams, it is CHEAPER by Air Mail compared to Land / Sea Mail. But once you go heavier for parcels,Sea Mail is definitely cheaper.

p.s - Did you know that the stamps you purchase at the post office is self-adhesived, ie just apply water to it and it'll be sticky and you can just press it against the envelope and you're done. Look, no glue!.




Friday, May 1, 2009

Best Call Rates from Malaysia to India & Bangladesh

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The Best Call Back Rate to India & Bangladesh

Believe it or not, there is now a super value call back card for Malaysians, to call countries like India, Bangladesh, and even Nigeria. It is called Accha.
Achha in Hindi basically means good or ok. And this card seems to have a very good descriptive name of itself, as it is a good value for money.

(If you already know about the card, & would like to purchase it, just leave a comment with your contacts, fill up the form below otherwise keep-on reading or call/sms 017-5952524.)


As I have blogged before, we typically use iTALK to make calls locally from our house phone to mobile and national numbers in Malaysia. The rate is also pretty good for places like UK. However to call countries like India and Bangladesh, iTALK doesn't really offer the best deal. To read more about iTALK and maximising your savings, click here.

This is where Haja Call comes in, and offers great value for money, mainly calling to Indo-Pak (Bangladesh inclusive). If you're calling from your house phone, Haja Call is definitely the best value for money. You can read more on Haja Call by clicking here.

But as life has it, we're always on the go, we're in a rush, and need to make calls to family and friends while on the go, i.e. the advent of the mobile phone. Furthermore, there are many people especially foreign workers who wouldn't have access to a landline phone, and therefore need a call-back to their mobile phones to make a call (coz everyone knows making overseas calls direct from your mobile is just way too costly in most situations). And here is where Accha comes in.

The recently launched Accha - strictly a call back card. We've been using Achaa call back for a couple of times now. Call quality was good, it felt like calling from a home line to a home line. Didn't give a VOIP feel. It was pretty impressive for a call-back card.

What you need to do is just miss call (so you shouldn't be charged) and wait. Now the system calls-you-back, (i.e. where the term call-back comes from). Interestingly for my case, the call back number that shows on my mobile is my own number? Not sure how that works :)


Ok so for the first time you'll need to key-in your pin number which you can purchase by filling up the below form. Next it'll ask you to make a call. For future calls, just miss-call the call-back number and it'll recognize your number, so you can then call the number you want to call by just pressing the number on your mobile, followed by # of course.

Remember DO NOT press the Call/Send button on your mobile, otherwise you'll be actually calling the number using your mobile and not the call-back.

Another good thing about the call-back is you can top up your current account easily if and when you buy additional call back card.

The talk time of 48 true minutes to India for RM10 for a call back felt really worth it. They've now also changed the call back number to a 1800 number, which is more convenient and should offer a better call back sucess rate.

Basically Accha offers call-back to most of the countries around the world. Here's a comparison table between Accha Call-Back and iTALK. This rates should be true on date of this blog posts unless the reference I am using are outdated. iTALK rates sourced from http://www.i-talk.com.my/ and Acchaa rates sourced directly from the Accha people.


I have been selective in the below table, so as to indicate where you'd get the best call-back value using Accha.

Click table to enlarge for a clearer view

To read the table, if you want to know how many call-back minutes does Accha give you for your RM10 call-back card, refer to column B. Column D gives you how much it cost per minute. So then looking at column E & F, you can now directly compare how much cheaper it is relative to iTALK. Easily put, what you're looking for is the lowest number (i.e. how much does it cost per minute) when comparing column D,E & F.

For comparison sake, e.g for calling India, using Acchaa for every minute you call to India, you'd be paying RM0.208 compared to using iTalk you'd be paying RM0.50 for every minute to India.

In another perspective, for RM10, using Accha you get to call India for 48minutes, and for the same RM10 on i-Talk, you get only 20minutes. So you're getting more then double your value when using Accha.

Basically you can see that Accha offers a very good call-back rate, namely for the following countries India,Bangladesh,Greece - Athens,Hong Kong, Ireland,Sweden,Thailand,Australia,Austria,New Zealand, Pakistan, Nigeria,Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates

Summary : Till date this is the best available call back card to India, Bangladesh and a number of other countries. In a few words, Accha Call-Back bahot Achaa hei. (Accha is really good).

To purchase Accha (or Haja Call) or for any other queries, you can fill up the below form and I will get back to you. Otherwise just leave a comment with your contact details or call 017-5952524. You can purchase this card at selected retailers, or if you would like to purchase online, the pin number and details will be emailed to you after receiving payment thru Maybank, you can click on below.

ACCHA CALL-BACK / HAJA CALL ORDER FORM - CLICK HERE



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ps - If you call India often, you might want to consider planning a visit there as well, it is an amazing experience. For some info about India click here, or click here for a guide on travel options.

 

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