Singaporean must be familiar with Singlish. However, newcomers to this country or expatriates might feel confused with the meaning of this sentence. While in Singapore, Singlish is one of the common languages to use by Singaporeans. So that it is a valuable thing to get some short information and overview about this. To help give a brief on this language, the following article will explain.
For those who want to know further about Singlish, the first thing that you might need to know is the meaning. Most expatriates will be asking what is Singlish and what is the difference with the common English language in Singapore. It is an interesting thing that Singlish is an abbreviation from Singapore English. So that it is an English language but pronounce with Singapore style.
It is a language that arises since Singapore has many ethnic communicating in the English language but with different styles according to their dialogue. For additional information that Singapore has many ethnics including Hokkien, Malay, Tamil, Cantonese, and Teochew. Each pronounces the English language with their specific style so that later on it is known with Singapore English.
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History of Singlish
There is a quite long history related to Singlish. This is a language that firstly appears in Singapore after the arrival of a British country in Singapore. For the first time, the common language for communication is English. But apparently, the local Singaporean experience problems correctly talking with this language. Especially for those non-educated Singaporeans who never get the right learning about English at school. But since this language is become very important to learn, most of the community try to speak the language with their style.
After some time, the English language is a mixture of the local language. It gets influence from various local languages in Singapore. Such as some varieties of Chinese language, or some varieties of Tamil language. This leads the English language spoken with many styles in Singapore. But as long as this language is understood by each other, it is not a big issue among Singaporean people.
Usage in Singapore Society
The important information to know about Singlish is how this language is used in common activities in Singapore. The language is mostly used for those who speak with family, friends, and relatives. It is a common language used by many societies in Singapore. Therefore, this language can easily find anywhere in Singapore.
However, it is noted that Singlish is not a common language to use informal activities. Such as in the school or working area. The standard Singapore English is still preferable to speak on a formal occasion. So that Singaporeans usually separate the use of Singapore English from the standard English language. Since on formal occasion, many ethnic and people is working together. This leads to the need to express the communication correctly. While Singlish is not suitable or appropriate to understand by foreigners.
The Difference Between Singlish and Standard Singapore English
Those who are not familiar with this kind of language, especially those who are coming outside Singapore or expatriates, will be curious about the difference between Singlish and common English. Of course, it is a different thing to pronounce. The standard Singapore English is the English language which is typically the same as the British language. So that anyone will be familiar with and understand this language.
A different way with Singlish that have a different way to spoke by Singaporean. Since this language is affected by the local language, then the way to speak the language is quite different. As an example, the past tense language in Singlish is optional. Most Singaporeans will not able to speak the English language correctly, mainly those with a non-educational background. Therefore, they will speak the English language according to their understanding.
Another difference is the accent added while speaking. The formal English language has a formal pattern as usual. But not with Singlish will give an additional word at the end of the sentence. Such as the word “lah”, “aiyah”, and many more. Another sample is to add a local language in the middle of the sentence. Such as the Malay language of “kena”, in the example is “He kena problems” which means “He experiences problems”.
Overall, Singlish is a language where only Singaporean will understand the meaning. This is coming from the mixture of the original English with the local language. So that it creates a specific language known as Singapore English. However, this is not a difficult language to speak. Therefore, if you try to communicate with local Singaporean every day, you will be able to speak this language too.
After reading the above paragraphs, it is clear that Singlish is an important language that uses in most of the areas in Singapore. So that it will be good to get some brief and background related with this language. Mainly for those who plan to come to Singapore and stay. It will give a benefit to learn about this language for your daily conversation around your living area. So that you wouldn’t get any issue or problem communicating with your friend or neighbor in Singapore later.
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