Notisbod notis:

Pembelian karya-karya Nurul Syahida kini boleh didapati secara online melalui ejen Mohamed Feroz atau melalui Karangkraf Mall. Setiap pembelian membolehkan anda mendapat tandatangan dan ucapan khas penulis.

Whatsapp/Hubungi: 019-2254910 (Abg Long)
Berikan (nama)(alamat)(nombor telefon)(kuantiti buku)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

"Let's Go To The Mall" today?

I can actually watch this over and over again and laugh. Cobie Smulders is the funniest.

"Come on Jessica! Come on Toooorriiieee!"

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


The video up here is the made-up effed-up lullaby I sang for Naurah to get her to sleep. No pics, just voices. Who would want to record a video of herself in baju kelawar anyway?

Dinie kata, "Shai, aku cadangkan ko buat bisnes DVD lagu2 kanak2."
Aku nak buatlah bisnes tu. Nyanyi lagu kanak-kanak yang aku rosakkan. Maybe like,

"Rock-a-by baby on the tree top,
when the wind blows the cradle will rock,
when the bough brakes the cradle will fall,
and mummy will be prosecuted by the justice system."


"Three blind mice, three blind mice,
see how they run,
they run after the farmer's wife,
who cut off their tails,
with a carving knife,
I bet she maried a tok mudim before that."


"Old McDonald had a farm,
And on that farm he had double cheese burger,
With a french fries here, and a milk shake there,
here a carb, there a carb, everywhere carb carb,
Old McDonald had a farm,


"Satu-satu saya sayang emak,
Dua-dua saya sayang bapak,
tiga-tiga saya sayang abang,
satu dua tiga, sayang kapal terbang." <- this ain't new. It was on a postcard of the comic strip "ABE".

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Reason Why Sometimes I said "Hi, I'm a Subtitlist" rather than "A Novelist"

Don't get me wrong. I love my job. It's my life. I have loved writing since the moment I can write. It's in the blood.

But the thing is, there are three types of people that I hate and they are everywhere in this world. They are the ones who will be the weirdos every time you are introduced as "The Novelist".

i. The Smirkers
These are the shallow people who smirks instead of smiles when you are introduced as the novelist. Why? Because they may have one of these thoughts:
a) "My God, someone who makes money from day-dreaming. Whatever."

b) "I don't read books. They're stupid."
c) "Oh, she must be too poetic, clingy and dramatic. I better stay away."
d) "A fiction writer. Oh, not as important as myself, who actually DOES something for the world and not dreaming of naked dudes on horses."
e) "Ugh, imaginative people. They are not needed in this street-smart world. They're too idealistic."

You can almost always detect a smirker when you shake their hands. It's always the same conversation.
"Hi, this is my friend Syahida."
"Hi there."
"She's a writer."
"Owh, I see." (smirks slowly creeping up the face like a ringworm on fire) "What kind of books do you write?"
"Fictions, usually love stories."
"I see. So you're a novelist, eyh?" (high-pitched voice)
"Yes, I am indeed."
"So I can get discounts for books the next time, right?" (nudge nudge like an idiot from a 60s TV movie with the same smirk on that face)
Here is where I giggle/smile and raise both of my eyebrows. And if you ever saw me doing that, it's a sign - I am annoyed.

ii. The Poetics
They are the ones who will start to be all words-of-wisdomy with you without any apparent reason. Usually it comes in a form of lonely guys who go;
"Hi Syahida, I like to write poetry at night and when it rains."
(and I needed to know that.... why....?)
"Hi Syahida, the moment I saw you, I thought to myself there is a reason I found you on my facebook." (son, the reason you found me in facebook is because there is a box for "People You Might Know" on the right-side of your news-feed. I'm quite a realist. I don't recommend you to read too much into something)

EVVVVVerytime I met a man who knows that I am a novelist, they turn rigid. It somehow makes them scared (because they think I would be wearing white gowns and throwing roses while riding a pink pony in the savannah field or something), or try to be what they are not (because they read "Plain Jane" and think I must be loving all plain joes of the world and so they can court me because I'm the go-to girl who doesn't care about looks and wealth) OR... they turned into this poetic monster.

Here's a story. I have an aunt, who was once courted by a guy, and she dumped him after he showed her the moon and said, "Cuba Esah tengok bulan tu, cantik kan?". And that was in the 60s.

I am a novelist, yes it's true. Eminem can be such a cuss-monster but he loves his daughter like any proper breeding man. Don't you think I might have an alter ego too?

iii. The Internationals
The I-am-better-than-you-because-I-only-read-english-novels. And you think them being all cocky about it is because they read James Patterson, or Paulo Coelho, or Mario Puzo, or even literary geniuses such as Austen and Hemingway. But when asked, they tell you "I read Sophie Kinsella."

(cue Nurul Syahida, Zara Amani, Liza Nur, and the lot rolling down the floor laughing).
Honey, don't be all cocky with us if you read Madeleine Wickham, Alexandra Potter, Sophie Kinsella and the lot. Truth be told, if you turn their books to malay, they're just us.

See, every one of those writers have a formula. With Kinsella, it is always a bumbling half-lunatic-but-still-witty heroine who almost always does something outrageous and stupid in which she will find the guy who is going to be the love interest. The hero is always good-looking with great abs.

Lauren Weisberger always write the same things that revolves around bad bosses, branded stuff and fashion. AND handsome heroes.

Plum Sykes always write about the socialite world. AND handsome heroes.

How are they different from us? Because it's in english, the so-called elite language in Malaysia? Read French, and then we can talk.  

And that is why sometimes I introduced myself as my other job. It's "Hi, I'm Syahida the subtitlist." or "Hi, I'm Syahida the movie reviewer" or "Hi, I'm Syahida the translator." I am not embarrased by my job. I'm just embarrased by the lack of knowledge the world around me have about my profession.

This is a shout-out for o you writers out there who are being victimised by people's shallow-mindset.

Friday, November 19, 2010


In your life, sometimes there are times when you meet people who knows what button to push, what will trigger you, and what makes you stumble.

..............................................................................what? No, that's all. I'm just giving you guys an information.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

How to pretend to be philosophical?

Quotes and analogies are stupid.

I mean everybody can write them. All you need is a little bit of craphead and a lot of bullshitting. I seem to have both! Yay me.

I mean, you don't need to quote from other people as long as you can just think about something inside of its nature and link it to your life. It's not an art. It's not a skill. It's just 'thinking too much'. Yes, I got that too, so yay me again.

You can make 10 so-called 'analogies' about love from the most random things around. And it either makes people go, "That is so true...." and cry, or "That is so true...." and laugh. The keyword here is "linking".

Here are 10 examples of made up analogies from stupid things that came out of my head:

1. Jay Chou
Love is like Jay Chou. You can sing about it. Act upon it? Usually fail.

2. Muffin Recipe
Love is like a muffin recipe. The picture looks delicious and you crave for it, but then when you make your own, it's not as good. But hey, at least you tried.

3. Pamela Anderson
Love is like Pam Anderson's boobs. Hard to keep it to yourself, but makes you perky.

4. Handbag
Love is like a handbag. You pick the expensive foreign one, and you became obsessive and clingy to it. Pick a cheap one, it gets dirty easily and you will want to change it every few season. Just pick the local, at least you know which factory it came from.  

Hmmm... lemme look around.

5.Oh! Media's footage of two malay teens kissing near Pavilion
Love is like two dumb malay teenagers kissing. It's messy, sloppy and annoying. But hey, things happen.

6. Blood-red cotton shawl
Love is like a blood-red cotton shawl. You think you look pretty in it, but everyone cannot recognise you anymore.

7. Astro Beyond
Having love is like having Astro Beyond. You think you have more channels and viewing pleasure, but actually you have to pay twice as much.

8. Mario Puzo book
Love is like a Mario Puzo's book. You want it, you get it, but you don't actually read it. You just like to exhibit it. It makes you feel cool.

9. Clock
Love is like a clock. One face, 12 different shapes and hands that kept directing you to speed up your life. 

10. Butt
Love is like a virgin's butt. You know it's there, but it's not showing.

Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Adha, you guys. It's silence of the lambs.

Sherlock Shai Deducts!

I post it here because my other blog is having it's 'period'. 

Had the most violent headache.

It's the weather, I tell you. It looks normal from the inside. But when you get out of the cold bus, it hits you with the weirdest air of damp hotness, it gets to your head like a plague.

I tried on the new cotton blood red shawl today. As I was standing at the stop, waiting for the feeder bus, when a girl came near me and asked me how to go to Pusat Bandar Damansara. I looked at her and she went, "Oh! I mean, are you a malay? Do you speak it?"

I laugh and said I do in my most cikai-melayu way. Man... I knew that shawl will only make me look as if I'm a girl from the land of hennas and itsmids.

Life is about investigations nowadays.

I investigated the emergency staircase in Mid Valley and realise that no I have to re-do the whole plot of my novel. Which is really annoying come to think about it. All this while I was thinking of stairs and actually it was Sunway Pyramid's!

Last week, Mun and I was investigating the SMS that I got. And if you think it's petty stuff like 'spying what your boyfriend does behind your back', teeet, wrong answer.

Remember the kindy? Them stupid people once gave us a list of potential customers to call. I look through it and realised that my name is on it. I asked them, "Where did you get this list, because all hell freezes over before I ever called a kindergarten." I don't have a kid nor have I heard about them before the whole shenanigans. They never answered me. That was the first time I realised these people are another bunch of fake aunties and their oh-so fake dreams of educating children.

I mean, what is the first thing you should teach your kid? "Don't lie." And ironically, here's the foundation of every single deceit.

So when they sent me an SMS and invite me to their Open Day, I knew that they haven't renew the list, and my name is still on it. They never knew my number. And they think that I am another 'potential customer', eager to send my 'invisible' kid to a place that are not insured.

So Mun and I went to the place to check if there IS a kindergarten as mentioned. Sure enough, they went and open it at the same place we had to close it. Funnily enough, when they pushed us to get two lots (and we had to pay RM3600 every month for that shit), they only use one lot. Which goes to show, they are sooo not getting the authority's permission. You see, if you open a kindergarten in a shoplot, you have to have two lots to ensure that there is a solid emergency staircase. They don't have it, and I can just hear their justification for that, for they are the people of excuses - which once said, "There was no license in the Prophet's time."

That's because he was the one who will set the ground rule, moron. Yeah, I came from a religious background too, I know my sirah nabawiyyah too. Oh, and I also came from the bitchy side of the literature world, so I have the permission to cuss your ass up and down, in perfect Queen's English too, you tactless incomprehensive fools.  

Anyway (*betulkan rambut sambil tarik nafas panjang2*), my third investigation was the longest one, and it took me 3 weeks, interrogating 5 different people, and suspects from 4 different venues.

I was introduced to this thing called IP Blocker. Shouldn't have too many difficulties to know what it is from the name itself.

After being stalked twice, it kinda messes with my head and every time I check my tracker, I will get this paranoia about other stalkers. Yes, I can just assume friends checking up on things and all that, but well... blame the previous stalkers for making me feel uncomfortable about writing in my blog.

But after three weeks of finding out, I decided to just stop trying. It's a blog for goodness sake, people bound to read it. It IS meant to be read. I just have to make sure I do not write outrageous stuff anymore. But please do not make this a place for you to spy about my relationship. I never write about relationships here. I only write things when it's over or when it did not work out. So whether I am still single, in the process of knowing someone or in a relationship, in here, in my blog, I am always the girl tutting about "Where all the good guys gone?"

SMSing with Swee Wei today. Girl is looking for new avenues. I am so grateful I did not listen to her and her "Oh, don't resign now, let's resign together." Yeah, like 2 years later. If I did, I think agaknya baru tahun depan aku publish "AKN".

Asked her if she would like the MAHB job. She would have to suit up though. And she gave the S-face. Hahahahaha (yeah, I knew we're not a bunch of suit up girls).

Oh yeah, actually I went to Mid Valley today to watch Potter preview. Read all about it.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Freestylin your Writing

The biggest condition to be a writer is:

To not worry about grammar.

The moment you worry about grammar, you are not going to write anything. But at the same time, always practice with it.

I never care about my grammar when it comes to blogwriting. It's tedious. When you start to worry about it, you tend to worry about everything else in this world and then you start to turn into a pedant and annoy everybody.

It took me a year to reduce my pedantic nature and try to not be an insufferable know-it-all. It's good to know and to share your knowledge. It's not good to start share too much that people go, "Sheesh, live a life!" My problem starts when I start to become this insufferable know-it-all - because when you don't know one thing, you start to feel dumb. Then you feel the world around you dumb and then you feel lonely. And you start to find intelligent people to be around and the next thing you know, you're doing it again - being arrogant with your knowledge.

I knew this one guy who is sooo doped up about his greatness, that he annoys the whole lot of us. And i really feel sorry for him because he has wrap himself around the idea that he is intelligent, succesful, with a beautiful wife and has a great life when people around him only think, "There he goes again with his Alice in Wonderland life."

What the hell is my point again?

Oh yes, writing.

Someone asked me how can I still be blogging, have two of them while I busied myself with subtitling and writing. Don't I get bored doing it?

Do I? Of course I'm bored. But I don't talk as much as I write so I always have something to say in writing. If you keep yapping all the time, you will not like writing at all. It's either you move your mouth or your hand........................ damn it sounds dirty.

And anyways, you can never be too systematic with writing. I never liked writing courses. I don't like writing courses as much as Jackyn Victor hates singing classes. The moment you have a system, you are computerised to do things. I like being a hippie. I like being "an enigma wrapped in taco" as Sam Winchester would put it. I like pop culture references, stand up comedies and dry humour. And it becomes my number one basis in writing.

See how unsystematic I write from the example given above?

So yes, the first and foremost, don't you ever give a damn about grammar. But learn while you write. Learning is a slow process. You can't open a dictionary all the time, you're gonna get bored and stop what you're doing.

Be free. Like a Glen Hansard's song.

Be water, my friend (*stealing line from Bruce Lee*)

P.S. : Yesterday Mun and I thought of watching ESTET but they only have night shows. Cinemas are stupid.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Stop Harrassing Subtitlists When They Translate Things Wrongly Because After 10 Different Shows Where People Mumble, Nobody Has Patience Anymore To Do Things Correctly.

"You look different."
"I feel different."

And then I realised it sounded like a scene from "The Incredibles". Then you kind of hope he will say he regretted what had happened, but of course that will never come. It's not a movie. Those things don't work in real life. Because in real life, nobody makes mistakes and say they're sorry. Things just happened and after a few years, it just dies away leaving only traces of whatever. A guy would try to remember because they forget easily. A girl would try to forget because they remember too much.

In real life, it stops there. It ends with him nodding his head and the awkward silence. And then you play with your cellphone hoping that someone would call so that the silence will be broken and you can answer the phone with a "Hello," wave him goodbye and walk away until you think he cannot see you anymore or the bus came.

Dude,  don't ever let that happened. EV-VER.

I have been busy with work. The bosses send me scripts like criminals send victims threats. The thing with subtitling is that sometimes scripts don't help. There are scripts that were sent from the production house (stuff like sitcoms & movies), and some are just scripts written later, things that are not scripted that you have to rewrite back (like reality shows such as "America's Next Top Model"), that may have errors in it that you need your ears to listen to the audio to correct it. This, my friend, is the point of stress - because now you have to do both job; translating and rewriting the scripts inside your head.

This entry is what I called - Stop Harrassing Subtitlists When They Translate Things Wrongly Because After 10 Different Shows Where People Mumble, Nobody Has Patience Anymore To Do Things Correctly.

Being a subtitlist, you are presented with different sort of issues. Firstly, scripts that have lots of errors. Sometimes the person in the audio visual is saying "You are making it hard for me to panic!", and they wrote "You are making me panic!". Which is of course are two different things but when the copier wrote differently and the actor speaks too fast, you will not be able to realise it. You would, if you are only translating one show. When you have 15 more in queue, everything sounds the way it is.

Second, sometimes videos are not calibrated, or calibrated wrongly that after you cue the subtitles and replay it, you realise that the subtitles came two seconds earlier or maybe 5 minutes earlier than the actual dialogues or 2 seconds or 5 minutes later. And that is when viewers at home going, "Fuckin stupid subtitlist don't know how to put subtitles properly!!!!" Most of the time, it's not our fault. It's the calibration.

Thirdly, don't be an ass and laugh at us when certain things are wrong. We have to be 5 steps ahead of you. While you watch shows that you want, we have to translate all types of shows even stuff we can't understand. For example, translating engineering stuff (reinforced concrete is konkrit bertetulang, I bet you not even real engineers knew that malay term) when you are not an engineering student or even like things that has the word 'engine' in it. Here are examples of stuff in what I mean thinking 5 steps ahead:

1. Britain's Next Top Model : Yeah, you say "That's english. Easy peasy, Miss Freckle Cheesy." Well, for you it's English and you think it's easy because you are reading what I have translated for you. To me, there are loads of different things. In just one show, there are Queen's English, Cockneys, Liverpoolian slangs, Welsh accent, Irish accents, British street slangs, Jamaican British, ethnic slangs. Not all of them resides in Oxford Dictionary or your very comfortable BM-BI Dictionary. And I have never been to England, son. First time di'it, 'was gobsmacked, yah?

2. Engineering/Architectural/Science/Legal Documentaries : Also includes shows like "House", "CSI", or any dramas with professional subject at hand. Things you have to translate includes words like reinforced concrete, metamphetamine, beyond reasonable doubt, triple-lobed footprints, polipodiophyta, spinplasmonics, abstract nonsense, canonical, binomial naminclature, etc.

3. Slangs : there are few of them.
i. Old people might use expressions like "Far out!" or "Oh my giddy aunt!" or words like "snazzy", "hoosegow", etc
ii. Things like organs and body parts have lots of, like you call breast as tits, tiddies, boobs, racks, tatas, nims, etc.
iii. Purple hills, sandwich, tea, idiots pill, indonesian bud, black buttons, Mary Ann, marimba, Peter Pan, chocolate chips. Yes. They are drugs slang.
iv. streets/hip hop slang like Wake and Bake, Benjis, Abes, "he's the parallel, the ace", and stuff that makes you go, "Speak english, idiots!"
v. army slangs like, 'the Nams' (Vietnam), 'jerries' (Germans), 'Victor' or 'Charlie' (Vietcongs).

4. Everything that is in the beautiful thing called language : portmanteaus, abbreviations, acronyms, backronyms, anacronym, jargons, wits, puns (shows like "How I Met Your Mother"), meta-humour (especially shows like "30 Rock" that is filled with them)   

5. As I also translate Indonesian language, there are also stuff like portmanteaus, abreviations and stuff as they have a lot of that. Knowing things like kepsek, jaim, and also understanding how they spell because they use the Dutch/Spanish ways of spelling. It's not ABCDE, it's A BE CE DE. Trivia: What does this spell? WE AH RE U NE GE. (answer: WARUNG)

6. Stuff that you just have to, well... wing it. It includes dialogues such as;
a) "What are you fatal-attraction-ing me for?" or,
b) "Yes, you just have been Maria Ozawa-ed by that guy." or,
c) "Oh my God, she just Carrie-ed me."
*puzzled? Here's the explanation:
a) refers to a scene where the heroine's friend was stalking the heroine and kept copying her
b)  refers to perverse humour about censored sex, as most Japanese pornos mosaic-ed their intercourse scenes (haih, things I do to make people understand english....) and seems like Maria Ozawa is internationally famous for the porn business of Japan.
c) refers to a scene where some girls nearly pour dirty water on to the heroine from above, like a scene in the movie "Carrie", where Sissy Spacek as the titular character got washed by pig's blood in that famous scene in the 70s movie.

7. Stuff that you don't even know how to wing em but you still have to, including scripts that have censored words in each and every few lines but you still have to dodge and translate because it is a part of an important climax to a movie.
Please xxcuse my vulgarity for a while, but I am trying to make a point. It is dialogues such as this that makes you go "Man... give me a break..." ;
"You son of a whore! Do you fucking think, that I will fucking let you fucking leave with that fucking cunt? You damn fucking right. I will let you go, but before that, I will fucking shoot your cock and let the fucking bitch fucking suck it!"
Let's play dodge and dub. Dodge the cussing above and try to make it into a sentence filled with emotion and yet presentable to audience.
(answer: "Lelaki tak guna! Kau fikir aku akan biar kau pergi dengan perempuan jalang tu? Kau memang betul. Aku akan benarkan, tapi sebelum tu aku akan musnahkan kau dan dia!")

Yes, it is sooooo EASY being a translator/subtitlist. Please think again before you say anything. I am not saying your job is easy. But don't say mine is.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

out of sight out of mind

Hidup aku macam deja-vu.

Macam nak berhenti sekejap dan kata, "Wait a minute, this happens before."
Tak mau. Tak mau berlaku lagi.
Full stop.