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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 28 Feb 2010 1:18 pm

How the hell do you take Tamil as a first language in Singapore govt schs? Last time I checked, everyone took English as a first language and mother tongue refers to their extra language in school.


Both Tamil and Malay medium schools were available up through the early 80's, but as the brash pup you are presenting yourself to be, I wouldn't expect you to know that. You do get tense though when you don't get your way. You notice how you are now flailing about at me and anybody else who refutes your position instead of actually remaining on the topic? Bet you were NOT on the university debating team were you. It's not a discussion at all as you don't have any concrete facts to present - just some skewed stats from singstat, the biggest con agency in Singapore. You are using a survey made up of misguided opinions of locals. Like yourself. :wink:

Oh, I intend on going back to my farm. Hopefully in the next couple of years. Thank you for asking. :)

I figure 30 years here is long enough to give to an ungrateful nation that only uses it's citizens as worker-drones with a fixed mind-set. Actually, you are a pretty good example of their brain-washing (regurgitate pseudo-facts published by the 'puppet-masters' but don't actually think or reason on their own). :wink:

nibble-nibble?

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 28 Feb 2010 1:23 pm

QRM wrote:Actually I owe Crocs an apology the big red caps was not intended as "shouting" just to make it easier to highlight the difference between the texts. Kudos to Crocs for being one of the few Singaporeans to stand up and say the govt has got it all wrong. He is trying to say The speak good English campaign is a white elephant.


Subtlety is something I wish I could master! :wink:

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Postby ksl » Sun, 28 Feb 2010 1:59 pm

crocss22: The concept of "mother tongue" has been warped by Singapore. In Singapore schools, it is actually used by the MOE to describe the second language not the first.

This is quite true, but very difficult to enforce, when natural ability is mother tongue.

You are so correct about many of the problems, that's why I sympathise with you. It isn't very positive to let things slip, and many parents are not good enough in English themselves, to recognise the problems...

Also my Singapore friends children in their 40's suffer the same fate if the parents cannot correct them.

Laziness in a language is a major issue, I know because i often have the same problem when speaking Danish, I have to be constantly aware of the correct pronunciation, or i get severely criticised, that I have been in the Country over a year and I'm butchering the language... It was a big problem because the Danes, English spoken language was so much better, than me speaking Danish, so naturally the strength of the conversation would end up in English.

I also do not pronounce my H's, after i have spent time in my own City in the UK, I am aware of it, so can correct it....its more localised slang talking, at working class level, when i go home these days, I am criticized for talking like a posh puff, and i can imagine i do, next to a Lancastrian of working class.

My accent is close to neutral because of all my travelling and communication with foreigners, that I had to realise to speak clearly and at a pace in which a foreigner can understand me.

I was asked in China to record for their English speaking program, because of my clear pronunciation....Though I would be the first to admit my English skills are only average.

I certainly want my daughter to speak correct English, and i don't mind if she speaks Singlish, as long as it is not in my home.

Singaporean parents do strive to teach their kids English as there first language, and my friends speak good English to me, though admit they cannot correct their daughters home work, and have insufficient money for extra tuition, so the problems are real, it will take generations, not just one or two generations before English becomes first language.

I also meet very often with Chinese business people, and when they meet, they find it easier to communicate in Chinese rather than English, so I am the weakest link, though i do have a very good understanding of Chinese, the wife being Taiwanese.

It doesn't help the Country if these professional business men keep conversing in Chinese, because this is their natural mother tongue language., I can imagine if the meeting was to include more foreigners, the conversation would have to be in English.

But generally speaking mother tongue takes over, it's only natural, until it fades out all together, though at grass roots level Singlish will remain for a very long time to come.

People have to recognise the fact they speak Singlish and make an effort to improve to English like yourself and your friends for progress to take place, to actually laugh at a person attempting to speak another language isn't is very very rude. So etiquette also needs to be part of the program, wouldn't you agree?

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Postby crocss22 » Sun, 28 Feb 2010 4:15 pm

Do you realise there is a "speak good Mandarin" campaign going on as well? There are probably a hundred campaigns every year.

Anyway, foreigners like yourself can go around bashing singapore and I don't care. To a native Singaporean, a lot of your comments are quite laughable. From "Ris Low speaks English at home" (when any English speaking Singaporean can easily tell that she does not speak English at home) to your various "observations".

People like you just don't realise that English is not the first language for 60% of Singaporeans. You might laugh at some of the "chinese helicopters" for speaking pidgin English but I am thankful that most of them can converse in English to begin with. My experience with Singaporeans who speak English at home tells me that most speak Standard English or mild Singlish. Nothing as serious as broad Scots for example.

IDK about you but many Singaporeans speak English as their first language. I can only think and write fluently in English. I am definitely not as fluent in Chinese. This is very common in Singaporeans below 40 because after leaving school, we do not get to read and write in Chinese anymore. In my video, I checked out Singstat and 35%-40% of Singaporeans speak English as their first language.

In fact, like I said, most people around me don't speak Singlish. Even if they do, it is a very mild case.

The older Singaporeans tend to speak in Mandarin or Malay etc. They are the true ambassadors of "Singlish" and they are the ones who cannot speak proper English.

Anyway I don't want to harp on English this and English that anymore. It is getting quite boring to keep talking about it. Maybe I could publish my findings for a PHD hah.

No doubt some pompous old man like SMS will keep throwing up ignorant steoreotypes that aren't even true to being with, but hey, let the old man live in his bubble. God knows what SMS is going to work as if he goes back to his farmhouse. Is he going to herd sheep? I don;t think there are many jobs in small towns these days especially with the current economic climate. A cleaner maybe? What is the American term?...oh yeah, Janitor.
Last edited by crocss22 on Mon, 01 Mar 2010 4:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby QRM » Sun, 28 Feb 2010 5:23 pm

crocss22 wrote:Do you realise there is a "speak good Mandarin" campaign going on as well?


I can believe that, alot of people have told me not to get a Singaporean to teach our kid Mandarin for the very reason you have just highlighted. As a foreigner to our ears mandarin is mandarin but to a true mandarin speaker the Singapore version is quite..err lets just say comical.

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Postby Splatted » Sun, 28 Feb 2010 5:43 pm

crocss22 wrote:
People like you just don't realise that English is not the first language for 60% of Singaporeans. You might laugh at some of the "chinese helicopters" for speaking pidgin English but I am thankful that most of them can converse in English to begin with. My experience with Singaporeans who speak English at home tells me that most speak Standard English or mild Singlish. Nothing as serious as broad Scots for example.


So, enlighten us why you think it's only 60%? And please don't quote some government poll.

Even the friends I've met that have a "good" working English, tend to prefer to switch to Chinese or other language when going out in groups of 2 or more. It simply feels more natural to talk in their parents tongue. What does this tell you?

Are you suggesting that all these years, every single person I have met in Singapore is a 'helicopter Chinese'? By your quoted 60% percentage, it should suggest that at least 40% of all the people I have met prefer to speak English at home.

Tell me.. .where is this 40% of "prefer-to-speak-English-at home" population hiding?

Lastly, you stated "My experience with Singaporeans who speak English at home tells me that most speak Standard English or mild Singlish."

Again, I have to question - how do you really know? Have you lived abroad in any English-speaking countries for extended periods of time?

My parents, who both don't speak English as a first language, are a good example of what I mean. My father would often correct my mother's grammar, thinking his English was spot on. Yet, in actuality his version of English was just as bad as hers. How is he to know any different?

Having met quite a few of my wife's old school friends and colleagues from work, I found that there are words that they were simply taught incorrectly. I mentioned the word "flour" in an earlier post.

Every one of my wife's friends pronounce the word as "fla" (rhymes with car). They are all confident that that's the way they have always been taught, and their story checks out later when I watched a cooking show on Channel 5 and the cook also mispronounced this word.

The point is, when everyone is using a word incorrectly, it suddenly becomes mainstream.

Another pet peeve of mine is the word "hair saloon' (rather than hair salon) If you live in the US, UK or Australia, the word 'saloon' conjures up images of the old western movies where cowboys play cards, and drink beer, whilst watching a row of women doing the can-can on the stage.

Yet, this word is mainstream in Singapore, and I would say many people who have indicated English is their "first" language in Singapore would be oblivious as to the words correct meaning.

So, you'll forgive me if I don't take your word for it that all the people you know who speak English as a first language, speak "standard English".

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Postby Splatted » Sun, 28 Feb 2010 6:16 pm

QRM wrote:
crocss22 wrote:Do you realise there is a "speak good Mandarin" campaign going on as well?


I can believe that, alot of people have told me not to get a Singaporean to teach our kid Mandarin for the very reason you have just highlighted. As a foreigner to our ears mandarin is mandarin but to a true mandarin speaker the Singapore version is quite..err lets just say comical.


I have a collection of old Singapore (Mandarin) tv series where all the voices have been dubbed over using Taiwanese voice actors/actresses. Says it all.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 28 Feb 2010 6:21 pm

crocss22 wrote:Do you realise there is a "speak good Mandarin" campaign going on as well? There are probably a hundred campaigns every year.

Do you realize you have now backed yourself into a corner? Obviously, what a number of us have said here, you are now agreeing with. If the "Government" feels there is a need for Speak good English or Speak Good Mandarin, then they too, must feel that the General Population (tm) is severely lacking. These are the same people who publish the singstat data by the way. ;)

Anyway, foreigners like yourself can go around bashing singapore and I don't care. To a native Singaporean, a lot of your comments are quite laughable. From "Ris Low speaks English at home" (when any English speaking Singaporean can easily tell that she does not speak English at home) to your various "observations".

I guess that's one way of saving face isn't it.

People like you just don't realise that English is not the first language for 60% of Singaporeans. You might laugh at some of the "chinese helicopters" for speaking pidgin English but I am thankful that most of them can converse in English to begin with. My experience with Singaporeans who speak English at home tells me that most speak Standard English or mild Singlish. Nothing as serious as broad Scots for example.

Finally. You have come around to our way of thinking. This is what we have been saying all along. Go read your initial post (or go listen to the crock of crap you posted on utube again where you keep repeating yourself ad nauseum. In the beginning you were adamant that Singaporeans speak proper English. We took issue with it. Now you are admitting that 60% of Singapore don't speak English at 1st language level. We've realized it all along, but it was you, my friend, who took issue with it. And eventually ended up trying to belittle board members. But, we just consider the source........

And you still apparently don't know the difference between a scottish accent and singlish grammar.


IDK about you but many Singaporeans speak English as their first language. I can only think and write fluently in English. I am definitely not as fluent in Chinese. This is very common in Singaporeans below 40 because after leaving school, we do not get to read and write in Chinese anymore. In my video, I checked out Singstat and 35%-40% of Singaporeans speak English as their first language.

In fact, like I said, most people around me don't speak Singlish. Even if they do, it is a very mild case. (Either they do or they don't)

The older Singaporeans tend to speak in Mandarin or Malay etc. They are the true ambassadors of "Singlish" and they are the ones who cannot speak proper English.
We are already well aware of this - seems you didn't realize it until called on it.

Anyway I don't want to harp on English this and English that anymore. It is getting quite boring to keep talking about it. Maybe I could publish my findings for a PHD hah.

You need to do a little more than regurgitate singstat stats over and over and over in order to get a PhD, I'm afraid. Maybe you can purchase one online?

No doubt some pompous old man like SMS will keep throwing up ignorant steoreotypes that aren't even true to being with, but hey, let the old man live in his bubble. God knows what SMS is going to work as if he goes back to his farmhouse. Is he going to herd sheep? I don;t think there are many jobs in small towns these days especially with the current economic climate. A cleaner maybe? What is the American term?...oh yeah, Janitor.

So what type of stereotyping do you think I "threw up"? Is that like projectile vomiting? ;) Stereotypes that are different from the government stereotyping that is. Same with the courtesy campaigns that have been running since around 1979 I believe with no discernible difference that I've noticed. (unless it's degenerating) But I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt. Maybe 30% of the rude inconsiderate people are foreigners (seeing you like to throw around percentages). Two out of every "tree" rude inconsiderate people I see here are local and one is foreign (your percentages)? Agree "can or not?" ;)

And yeah, I'm pretty long in the tooth. And, on reflection, my balance sheet looks pretty good, considering where I've been and what I gone through. What makes you think that I would have to work if I go back to my farm? I've been a gentleman farmer for close to 30 years now. I pay others to do that. I'm only here until my son finishes his tertiary education and NS and then I'm outta here. Too many locals with attitude problems who cannot see the forest for the trees.



Anyway, don't take all this to heart. This is only a forum and here, most of us never get upset. We post opinions, we enjoy discussions, we even bait ;) but we don't get mad and we don't lose our tempers and start getting personal. Especially on topics that are very subjective or touchy. Posting that video on uTube did this country a bigger disservice than you can imagine.

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Postby AminoAcid » Sun, 28 Feb 2010 6:22 pm

Croccs22 just what are you getting at? That we only speak mild Singlish? Who else in the world but us are more capable of speaking full Singlish?

"English language isn't the 1st language for 60% of Singaporeans" but "IDK about you but many Singaporeans speak English as their first language." So is English our first language or not?

For goodness' sake please stop making contradictory comments like these. Recognize the fact even with learning English as our 1st language we're nowhere better than the Scottish. Sure, we speak English at home, but are you certain we're speaking proper English?

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Postby EADG » Sun, 28 Feb 2010 6:23 pm

Perhaps the ability to speak more than one language, neither of them properly, creates a natural cause for laziness.

That, combined with the practically albeit unnecessary and unfortunate unlikeliness to excel at them, due to an environment that not only allows for this but actually ignorantly encourages it, perpetuates the problem for the masses, leaving them compromised languistically (my word).

The defensiveness masked by pride, obfuscated over something regarded as unique, exacerbates it further.
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 28 Feb 2010 6:36 pm

EADG wrote:Perhaps the ability to speak more than one language, neither of them properly, creates a natural cause for laziness.

That, combined with the practically albeit unnecessary and unfortunate unlikeliness to excel at them, due to an environment that not only allows for this but actually ignorantly encourages it, perpetuates the problem for the masses, leaving them compromised languistically (my word).

The defensiveness masked by pride, obfuscated over something regarded as unique, exacerbates it further.


:tongue: :mrgreen:

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Postby crocss22 » Sun, 28 Feb 2010 6:44 pm

Is your friend's wife near / above 40? Singapore is not like America where English was spoken by the masses for 200 years. Your American grandfather spoke English because he inherited it from the Brits when they left.

The masses in Sigapore only started speaking English 50 years ago. Hence, a lot of the old folks still do not speak properly but I can understand them, that is all that matters to me. Some do speak English well but even these people have a noticeable hokkien accent; traces of their upbringing. Most of them grew up speaking Chinese dialects or Malay, only a minority (peranakan chinese etc) spoke English at home. This is where Singlish was born. And this is why they speak English with a Chinese gammar.

Young sinkies like myself do not have this hokkien tone because hokkien has died out when I was growing up. Young sinkies hear a lot of different accents from the TV shows to movies to Internet and travelling. Educated sinkies like myself do know how people all over the world speak. The acrolectal Singaporean accent is changing.

Young English speaking sinkies like myself speak English with a mix of British (inherited from 200 yrs of british rule), Mandarin(second langauge) and American accents (tv/radio influence).

This is just the way I speak and I like it a lot. You can hear the Chinese in my voice.

I don't think you can even differentiate a Mainlander from a Chinese Singaporean. You will probably complain that a Mainlander waitress speaks "Singlish" or pidgin English. No point ranting on and on trying to explain stuff to you. You can think whatever way you want. After all, you are living in Singapore and you have to adapt to Singapore. It doesn't work the other way around.


Or just pack your bags and go home. You can listen to Obama all day long and jack off to his English.

You don't have to take my word or the government census's word. You just have to live in your own world...ala SMS.
Last edited by crocss22 on Mon, 01 Mar 2010 4:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 28 Feb 2010 6:52 pm

crocss22 wrote:I don't think you can even differentiate a Mainlander from a Chinese Singaporean. You will probably complain that a Mainlander waitress speaks "Singlish" or pidgin English. No point ranting on and on trying to explain stuff to you. You can think whatever way you want. After all, you are living in Singapore and you have to adapt to Singapore. It doesn't work the other way around.

Or just pack your bags and go home. You can listen to Obama all day long and jack off to his English. .


Careful, my young friend, you are starting to lose face and it does not become you at all.

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Postby crocss22 » Sun, 28 Feb 2010 7:01 pm

AminoAcid wrote:Croccs22 just what are you getting at? That we only speak mild Singlish? Who else in the world but us are more capable of speaking full Singlish?

"English language isn't the 1st language for 60% of Singaporeans" but "IDK about you but many Singaporeans speak English as their first language." So is English our first language or not?

For goodness' sake please stop making contradictory comments like these. Recognize the fact even with learning English as our 1st language we're nowhere better than the Scottish. Sure, we speak English at home, but are you certain we're speaking proper English?


A quick search of your posts reveals that you are obviously a sinkie who thinks the grass is greener on the other side. The kind that would speak in fake pseudo American accent (but still fails to sound American) and stare wistfully at any caucasian. The male version of the sarong party girl.

idk if the singaporean accent is clearer than the scottish. Why don't you go to scotland or glasglow and then tell me? maybe after you go abroad, you will be in a better position to compare countries and accents. making cultural benefits for glorious singapore.
Last edited by crocss22 on Mon, 01 Mar 2010 4:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 28 Feb 2010 7:13 pm

Fair enough. I was trying to be nice. How's this. I grant you this is a lot more accurate.

You are starting to look pretty damned stupid! But what to say? You are only being yourself right? :-|


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