Meet The Malay Language Announcer In World's International Airport
04 April 2018

Meet The Malay Language Announcer In World's International Airport

By Nabilah Saleh KUALA LUMPUR, April 4 (Bernama) -- Though living far away, Yugee Ramasamy (picture) does not feel awkward at all in communicating in Malay in her daily conversations with family and at the workstation. Studying and making a living now in Prague, the capital city of Czech Republic, for more than seven years as a professional pianist, she had never imagined her fluency in Malay could provide a golden opportunity in a foreign land where the language is not spoken . Working as the Malay language announcer with global service provider Simpleway, Yugee is pretty much excited in contributing her eloquence in speaking the language for the Prague-based company. Hailing from Ampang, Selangor, the 30-year-old woman shared how it started with BERNAMA recently, as well as every process that she has to go through during the voice recording. CONTRACT WITH SIMPLEWAY "Tuan-tuan dan Puan-puan. Terima kasih kerana sudi menunggu. Anda kini diminta ke Gate B3 untuk menunggu pelepasan," this was among the common announcements that she would need to do at most times during the recording process, she explained. (Ladies and Gentlemen. Thank you for waiting. You are now required to proceed to gate B3 for boarding) She said the verbal offer she received initially from a Simpleway staff to come for the audition was not something she had expected. "Someone by the name of Jakub rang me up and asked if I would be interested in doing voice announcements for airports in Malay. I simply replied, 'Sure!', but it was a bit of surprise. "I had to record a tryout, it got approved and we went from there. I was really excited to do it. It is kind of cool, I think," she said. After a series of trial, she was finally granted a contract up to five years with Simpleway. The recording process, she added, was done in stages. "At the start, you do one big recording when you're reading flight numbers and set scripts, and then you get called every now and again to update them. However, it can take some time, because you have to be very clear and precise," she elaborated. A PROUD MALAYSIAN Yugee added she was indeed surprised to know that there was demand from Simpleway to have announcements in Malay at many of the world's airports. She even personally felt as the voice talent for the language, it has elevated herself as the ambassador for the language and her homeland, Malaysia. "Being the voice talent is like being an ambassador for the language. It is great to be able to promote my language. I am really proud to be able to do this actually. "The language is so rich and has so much history. Historically, the country was a very big trading hub and the Malay language was used by the traders. It has a lot of influences, from Sanskrit, Arabic and Portuguese and I am really proud to be a speaker of the language," she said noting that back home the Malay language was her first language, followed by English and Tamil. To date, Yugee's voice has gone as far as the Auckland Airport. GETTING THE VOICES ACROSS As an internationally renowned provider of customised unified passenger information platform used at airports, railways, marine ports and within public transportation networks, Simpleway's integration is focusing on one matter -- to connect all the individual channels together where they work in unison. By providing the natural public voice announcements service that covers more than 50 languages in meeting the demand from airports all around the world, Simpleway is indirectly heightening and elevating the recognition of beautiful languages spoken by the Southeast Asian people. Surprisingly, it is not just the Malay language, other languages too are being engaged by this global provider including Javanese, Thai and Vietnamese. They are no ordinary voices. Some of Simpleway's announcers have become celebrities in their own way. A YouTube video showing an Indonesian man giggling at a boarding announcement made by Widya Sykorova in the Javanese language at the Dubai airport has gone viral. Simpleway CEO Petr Otoupal told BERNAMA in an email interview that the Javanese language announcement that went viral aross the social media platforms globally was one of many happy moments for the company. "We are absolutely delighted to see it go viral, and particularly to see the joy that it brought with it. We work hard on gathering professional voice talents from across the world, and while our company is absolutely focussed on providing better customer experience at airports and travel hubs, it is really lovely to see the happiness that our Javanese announcement brought. Everybody in the office was really delighted." he said. APPRECIATES VOICE TALENTS, LANGUAGES In deploying voice announcements as requested by any airport in the world, Petr pointed out they only consider the best to do it. "We always use professional voice talents for our announcements and often, when we get a request for a language we don't already have in our library, we turn to the Internet to find the perfect talent. "Their delivery is absolutely vital - their voice has to be perfectly clear with some authority, but also have an element of friendliness to it," said Petr adding that it is not difficult to find the right talents for our Southeast Asian languages. "I suppose because these languages have hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of speakers so it may not be difficult to find the right person to deliver the announcement. However, it can be a bit more challenging with languages that aren’t widely spoken, like Bislama (a creole language with English vocabulary, and Oceanic grammar and pronunciation).” Petr noted the Vietnamese language used at the Dubai International Airport, now one of the busiest international airports in the world, is the voice of Tran Thi Nga, a Vietnam national. A Thai national recorded the announcements in Thai used by the Dubai International Airport and Auckland Airport since September last year. THE BEAUTY OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN LANGUAGES Having announcements in different languages is all about getting passengers on to their planes, trains or metros with the minimum of fuss or disruption. In handling such business, Petr admits there is a real 'beauty' to all the different Southeast Asian languages. "The voice announcement side of our business is staffed by people who love languages. I guess you could say they are language nerds, and they love hearing all languages. There is a beauty to the languages. I could listen to Bahasa Melayu all day - but I wouldn’t know what they were saying!.” Concurring on a statement that native or mother tongue languages themselves can easily unite people of a nation whenever they meet or be in the airports, Petr said such Southeast Asian languages have given colours and good vibes to Simpleway's operational system. "Language, of course, does unite people. However, it is also about making sure that passengers can get to where they want to go easily, and having announcements in the passengers’ native language helps that. "As for Simpleway, as I said earlier, we get a real buzz from working with all these different languages and delivering the best voice announcements in the world.” (photoBERNAMA) -- BERNAMA