Defining Singlish

1243 Words Nov 8th, 2012 5 Pages
Speaking Singlish has its advantages and disadvantages. Singlish is the colloquial English spoken and written by many Singaporeans. As much as 70% of Singaporeans, regardless of race – Chinese, Malays or Tamils speaks Singlish, according to the Singapore census 2000. It is a form of colloquialism that creates an affable atmosphere for all Singaporeans; it is also known as the “Broken-English” that one too many Singaporeans speak on a daily basis. Defining, distinguishing and understanding the term ‘Singlish’ in one day, may not be the easiest thing for a tourists to do; however, as time goes by, and one spends ample time, dwelling, residing and connecting with the natives, one will soon learn how to define, distinguish and understand the …show more content…
Hoh seh!" and “Dis guy Singlish very powerful one” to convey, “This guy’s Singlish is very good”. A linguist knows the first two examples given in the terms of basilect and mesolect, respectively. Basilect profoundly refers to solely Singlish while mesolect is a mix between Singlish and Standard English (史上的今天, 2007). Even though it is not a recommended manner of speech; a variety of Singlish exist in our everyday life, and therefore it has been an accepted language by the society. However, contrary to what I believe – that speaking Singlish deteriorates one’s adequacy to speak in an eloquent manner, speaking Singlish too, has its many perks. Despite Singlish being known as “Bad Branded English” by the people out of Singapore, or rather… the non-locals, this spoken language has created an friendly atmosphere for the locals, connecting one ethnic group to another simply by having words from different ethnic-origins to be understood by all. As a result, this fashions a close-knitted community in the long run. To add-on, it is “branded” as outsiders could instantly tell that a person is from Singapore, just from the way a Singaporean speaks. – “Ah! You’re speaking Singlish!!” an Australian friend of my friend exclaimed when he overheard the conversation between my friend and I. The Singlish language is easy to differentiate from other “English”, just like how one can differentiate a Chanel bag from a Louis Vuitton bag. Apart from that, all locals understand the

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