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Maho Yamada
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Maho Yamada

When I was a child and lived in Singapore with my family, I heard a lot of Singlish. It's the way of speaking English in Singapore—a Chinese way.

 

Singlish is Common in Singapore

Maho Yamada from Japan

When I was a child and lived in Singapore with my family, I heard a lot of Singlish. It's the way of speaking English in Singapore—a Chinese way. I don't remember all of the words and expressions I heard because I was little at that time, but I remember that I liked hearing how the Singaporeans talked.

English is the official language there—their first language is English, but many of the people who came to Singapore were Chinese merchants from abroad. That's why they speak a kind of Chinese-English.

They create their own kind of English in Singapore. Their English has a lot of Chinese words and sounds. For example, they put the sound "ra" at the end of words or stretch the words out. So, when they say "okay", it sounds like "okayra." Fifty cents sounds like "fiftyra." "Oh, my gosh!" sounds like "Ai Yeah." As a result their pronunciation doesn't sound British or American; it's more like Chinese. Most Chinese use Singaporean, or Singlish.


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