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Need for English Editors in Singapore?

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TheKris
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Need for English Editors in Singapore?

Postby TheKris » Tue, 05 Jun 2007 2:28 pm

One of the observations that has been made on a number of threads is that non-Singaporeans face one unique challenge in getting a job in Singapore . . . Singaporeans speak and write English well. Yet I am finding the excellence of Singaporeans' English to be "both true and not true".

Much of the written English here is reasonably good. This is very different from, say, South Korea, where much of the published English is atrocious! In addition, most Singaporeans have a command of one or more OTHER languages! Wow!

However, the local published English scene is, shall we say, "uneven"? I continually run across very expensive and lavishly printed fliers and ads where the English - while usually understandable - is plainly substandard. While I think a large subset of Singaporeans have an impressive command of written English, I am not clear that there is a large enough pool to address this nagging problem.

Here's what I think Singapore should do: As a part of the ongoing push to get Singaporeans to speak and write good English, Singapore should encourage everything published in English (articles, ads, fliers, billboards) be vetted by either a (university-educated) native English-speaker (e.g., native-born US, Canada, UK, Australia, NZ, S. Africa) with proven writing skills or by a Singaporean with proven command of *written* English. I am talking about a "soft" program here (no fines;-), with the government using its "bully pulpit" to encourage good writing. How about regular examples of "bad" and "good" written English that appears in the public square being highlighted in the local papers? How about the government emphasizing its own official English review policy?

This initiative would 1) enhance the QUALITY image of Singapore - one of the cornerstones of its desired growth as a global gateway between the East and the West, 2) provide employment for a large pool of broadly educated westerners, and 3) encourage improvement in the English writing skills of Singaporeans. (After all, I can think of few things that improved my own writing like having employers and university professors mercilessly redline multiple drafts of letters and papers).

I am not advocating that Singapore achieve some kind of "100% error-free" standard or even complaining that published English is generally bad but that work needs to be done in the written English scene so that it will be on par with the US and UK.

I welcome your comments!

TheKris

P.S.: Sorry if there are any errors in the above!

Jeppo
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Postby Jeppo » Tue, 05 Jun 2007 2:36 pm

There's already the speak good english campaign in singapore. check out

http://www.goodenglish.org.sg/site/

TheKris
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Postby TheKris » Tue, 05 Jun 2007 2:46 pm

Jeppo wrote:There's already the speak good english campaign in singapore. check out

http://www.goodenglish.org.sg/site/


Jeppo: Yes. I am aware of this (and refer to it). I am only advocating carrying it a bit farther and looking at encouraging good editing of all English writing published in Singapore.

Thanks,

TheKris

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 05 Jun 2007 9:33 pm



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