Addressing people

Discuss about life in Singapore. Ask about cost of living, housing, travel, etiquette & lifestyle. Share experience & advice with Singaporeans & expat staying in Singapore.
Post Reply
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon, 30 May 2016 1:08 pm

Addressing people

Post by DvNaga » Mon, 30 May 2016 1:34 pm

Hello all,
I've just moved to Singapore and tomorrow I will start working as software engineer here.
Fyi, I came from Indonesia. This is my first time ever practising english/singlish for real. The way people speak here are very different from my style.
How do you address people here? Say, I have a supervisor (X) & senior (Y) who are probably 2 & 4 year older than me (or even the same age as me). Do I have to address them with Mr. X & Mr. Y? Am I being awkward if I call them 'Sir'?
What do I use as reference here? Their age? Or their position?
I just want to be nice when I get introduced around the office tomorrow...

Thanks in advance for the help!

User avatar
Posts: 16522
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010 12:43 pm
Location: K. Puki Manis

Re: Addressing people

Post by JR8 » Mon, 30 May 2016 6:35 pm

My approach would be to start cautiously. So for people senior to you be polite until the person you are addressing suggests you can address them less formally. This is respectful and the safest way to avoid a mistake.
- 'Good morning Mr. Smith'
-- 'Oh no no, please call me John :)'.

It also depends what nationality/culture the company is. My experience from say western MNCs is things are polite but less formal. Position counts much more than age. Only very senior people are addressed as Mr/s or sir.

ps. Singlish is an informal slang, a mash-up of regional dialects and English. SGns like to think they speak... well, almost 'English English', and some can. If they're speaking [mainly] English with you, then refer to it as English. Referring to it as Singlish would suggest they're using an informal/sloppy version.

Good luck with the new job, and welcome to the forum :)
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Last post

Return to “Staying, Living in Singapore”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests