Overview of Standard Singapore English

Those who stay in Singapore must be familiar with standard Singapore English. It is a similar language to British English and part of varieties from English language native that applicable in Singapore. As many Singaporeans know that the main language in this country is usually English. However, the language is divided into two main selections, either using standard Singapore English or using Singapore Colloquial Creole English which is known as Singlish.

One of the most preferred languages is the standard Singapore English. Since it is considered simpler to apply for the daily conversation. However, many people still do not understand the background and the history of this language. So that any overview related to this language will be a benefit to adding information and knowledge. To help those that curious to know further about this language, the following paragraphs will give some brief overviews.

Read Also: How to Send Money to Singapore?

Background of Standard Singapore English

As a big and cosmopolitan country, Singapore has more than 37% population coming from another country. Not to mention that there are many different languages and cultures applied in this country. So that except their mother language, the Singaporean must get to unite through similar language to use for their daily conversation.

This fact can be seen in various current ethnicities in Singapore. If you have a chance to visit this country, you can find that the English language is popular to use across the country. So that it helps anyone in Singapore to easily mention their intention. Even though most of them still talk in their mother language. For example, the Chinese Singaporeans still talk in various Chinese languages. While the Indians also speak their language at home. But, during other activities outside their home, English is a preferred language to communicate with each other. So that it can help to bring all Singaporean to understand their meaning to each other.

About Standard Singapore English

One of the preferred English languages in Singapore is the standard Singapore English. It is one of the common languages for daily conversation in this country. This language is more to British English and is also known as one of formal English for Singaporeans. Therefore, it is commonly used for any formal communication such as in the workplace, in the school, in the government, and to speak with foreigners. It is also known as the politest way to speak with other people especially those with higher authority. For example, talking with officers, teachers, or bosses.

Having this standard language, helps anyone in the country communicate well. Since most of the ethnicities in the country have their dialogue. But with this formal language, helps all ethnic to communicate well with each other.

The History of Standard Singapore English

This language is first coming to the country in 1819. After that, the language is widely known and started to use by many Singaporeans at that time. Furthermore, the roots of this language also come from the early English schools that were developed in Singapore during the 19th and 20th centuries. Most of the teachers were coming from other countries such as India, Europe, and also the United States of America. So that a standard English language is the best way to approach and communicate with the student.

In the year 1900, most of the local Singaporeans was then employed as a teacher in these schools. This is a period where Japan occupy Singapore for several years. But since Singapore remained a British colony until 1963, the English language in this country still exists. Then in 1965, Singapore joins with Malaysia Federation and become an independent country. As most of the administration is under the British colonial government, Singapore decides to use English as the served language for the government. This is where a standard English language is preferable as the main language for formal conversation. This language also helps to bridge all gaps between various ethnic groups staying in the country.

Classification of Singapore English

As mentioned previously that Singapore English is divided into two main languages, the standard Singapore English, and Singapore Colloquial English. The last one is more popular than Singlish. The standard Singapore English consists of two sociolects, Acrolect and Mesolect. While Singlish consists of one sociolect which is Basilect.

The basic concept of Acrolect is that there is no significant difference between Singapore English and British English. So that it will pronounce exactly looks like the British English language. While for Mesolect, it is having slightly different features in the language. However, it can conclude that both sociolects will sound similar. Except that for those who study the language in detail will get the difference inexact. But, for a formal daily conversation in Singapore, this might not important to learn.

In the end, it can conclude that Singaporeans will use a language according to the situation. As mentioned before that they might speak different languages at home and in formal places. Most of the educated Singaporeans prefer to speak in English. Mostly will use the standard English language to ease their communication and conversation with other people. Since this is the main language taught at school and use in their daily study while at school. But those who can be considered less educated tend to speak Singlish since it is easier to pronounce than the standard Singapore English.

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