Univesal Studios should employ people who speak English

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BigSis
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Post by BigSis » Fri, 23 Apr 2010 9:34 am

I thought it funny one time when I complained that a Chinese restaurant here in Singapore didn't have any English speaking staff and a local said but its a Chinese restaurant. I asked him: so if I go to a Mexican restaurant I must be able to speak Spanish?
Do you also complain in Thailand when they have English and Thai on the menu but nobody speaks English?

I'm not particularly surprised when hardly anyone speaks English in Chinese, Thai and Indian restaurants here - they often employ people who are the same nationality of the theme of the restaurant and they're not always Singapore born.

If it had been one of the Irish Bars or TGI Fridays or somewhere then yes, I think you'd expect someone to speak decent English

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Post by x9200 » Fri, 23 Apr 2010 11:25 am

BigSis wrote:
I thought it funny one time when I complained that a Chinese restaurant here in Singapore didn't have any English speaking staff and a local said but its a Chinese restaurant. I asked him: so if I go to a Mexican restaurant I must be able to speak Spanish?
Do you also complain in Thailand when they have English and Thai on the menu but nobody speaks English?

Don't you think is more into being able to communicate in an official language of somebody's country if this somebody decided to open their services to the public?

I'm not particularly surprised when hardly anyone speaks English in Chinese, Thai and Indian restaurants here - they often employ people who are the same nationality of the theme of the restaurant and they're not always Singapore born.

If it had been one of the Irish Bars or TGI Fridays or somewhere then yes, I think you'd expect someone to speak decent English
Generally I have no such expectation. As stated above I expect only to be able to communicate. I do not speak decent English neither :-|
We were recently in Michelangelo's restaurant and there was a girl, I guess a trainee bringing food or some other stuff to our table. She did know the word "salt". A bit weird for a place like this.

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Post by nakatago » Fri, 23 Apr 2010 11:37 am

Been to Thailand recently. The people in stores and restaurants know enough English and speak clearly enough to answer your questions. They're not fluent and their vocabulary can be lacking but they're good enough to communicate with non-Thai speaking people.

Same experience in Japan, to an extent.

:roll:
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Post by x9200 » Fri, 23 Apr 2010 11:45 am

nakatago wrote:Been to Thailand recently. The people in stores and restaurants know enough English and speak clearly enough to answer your questions. They're not fluent and their vocabulary can be lacking but they're good enough to communicate with non-Thai speaking people.
Yep. No problems to communicate in English in Thailand. Perhaps it was never that off the beaten track but still different ppl, places, regions of the country. Same for Malaysia actually. Kind of surprising, not the same for India.

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Post by morenangpinay » Fri, 23 Apr 2010 2:01 pm

We went there last monday and I did notice the guy introducing the Shrek show had a strong accent. The rides are not fully operating yet and I agree not alot of children's rides. They also closed early around 6 or 7 pm I think and we had to rush using our food and souvenir vouchers.

i just didnt go in the Mummy themed part...what is the attraction in there?anyone went in?

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Re: Univesal Studios should employ people who speak English

Post by aster » Fri, 23 Apr 2010 2:58 pm

nakatago wrote:ditto for companies who hire people to talk to people over the phone.
Some companies even lose business this way. Last year I was about to place an order with Dell but I couldn't communicate with the person on the other end. Hung up, called again, same scenario with a different peson. Gave up on them...

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Post by aster » Fri, 23 Apr 2010 2:59 pm

morenangpinay wrote:i just didnt go in the Mummy themed part...what is the attraction in there?anyone went in?
With the Battlestar Galactica coaster out of action you missed the next best ride at Universal Studios.

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Post by Global Citizen » Sun, 25 Apr 2010 3:13 am

morenangpinay wrote:We went there last monday and I did notice the guy introducing the Shrek show had a strong accent.
OK, you lost me there. You, a Filipino, mentioning someone's else's strong accent. That's pretty funny. How about, " Mum, where is the COM-FORT room?" Emphasis on com pronounced as in dot.com and fort pronounced as in Fort Douglas. (translation: for the non Pinoys here: Ma'am, where's the toilet? See my point here?

Seriously life must be pretty darn good in Singapore for all you expats if all you can do is to nit-pick other people's accents among other trivialities. I've visited 28 countries and lived in 5 and to date, everyone I've ever encountered has had some sort of an accent including those from native English speaking countries, some of which were barely comprehensible but I sure as hell didn't get on the local forum to vent as some on this site are prone to do.... The lack of good English speaking skills, in a public venue, I can perhaps comprehend, but accents, please! It's no secret lots of S'poreans don't speak good English, some are only comfortable in Singlish. So why continue to flog that dead horse? Isn't the government trying to address that already?

I also happen to think cab drivers in Australia, the US and Canada should all be required to speak English. After all aren't they all native English speaking countries? Hold it! What about Hong Kong? A Brit colony as recently as 1999, only 11 years ago and the only fluent English speakers, I encountered there were the local Indians and Whites. The taxi drivers? Forget about it. Saying the name of your destination in English was/is a fruitless process and you had better know the Cantonese version or have someone write it down in Chinese for the driver to read if you want to get to your destination. Ain't life a bitch!

Keep it in perspective people and stop sweating the small stuff!

p.s. The irony is that lots of posters on this site who claim to speak good English and are always ready to disparage the local populace, DO NOT, themselves! Go figure!
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Post by morenangpinay » Sun, 25 Apr 2010 1:09 pm

So you mean to say since I'm Filipino you assumed I pronounce Ma'am as Mum? Since you are so nice to point that out, you might want to read the post again....verrrrrrrrrrrrrry slowly.

We are talking about frontliners who have strong accents which makes it difficult for the tourists and viewers to clearly understand what they are talking about. If you are in the entertainment industry or the communication industry would you want your viewers not understanding what you want to say? This is not just venting, open your mind a bit. Sometimes people need to hear criticisms to change their actions. If you just want to file it away as another "Foreigner venting on Singapore" then that's your opinion. Hopefully, there are others who are more accepting of criticisms in Singapore.

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Post by morenangpinay » Sun, 25 Apr 2010 1:11 pm

aster wrote:
morenangpinay wrote:i just didnt go in the Mummy themed part...what is the attraction in there?anyone went in?
With the Battlestar Galactica coaster out of action you missed the next best ride at Universal Studios.
The jurassic park themed ride was fun. :)

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Post by Global Citizen » Sun, 25 Apr 2010 2:26 pm

morenangpinay wrote:So you mean to say since I'm Filipino you assumed I pronounce Ma'am as Mum? Since you are so nice to point that out, you might want to read the post again....verrrrrrrrrrrrrry slowly.

We are talking about frontliners who have strong accents which makes it difficult for the tourists and viewers to clearly understand what they are talking about. If you are in the entertainment industry or the communication industry would you want your viewers not understanding what you want to say? This is not just venting, open your mind a bit. Sometimes people need to hear criticisms to change their actions. If you just want to file it away as another "Foreigner venting on Singapore" then that's your opinion. Hopefully, there are others who are more accepting of criticisms in Singapore.

Whoosh! Not too much escapes you, does it? NOT! You may want to read my post again verrrrry slowly paying particular attention to what I'd outlined in bold in my original post. You're not going to get too far in the hopes of finding an accentless S'porean in Singapore or I suspect, one with an acceptable enough accent to grace your ears.
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Post by Plavt » Sun, 25 Apr 2010 2:38 pm

The issue at hand is not whether Singporeans speak with accents, or expats 'nit-picking' about such but a person employed in a public venue where clear and concise speaking is a necessity or at least should be irrespective of what language it is or was spoken in accent or not.

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Post by Splatted » Sun, 25 Apr 2010 4:08 pm

Global Citizen wrote:What about Hong Kong? A Brit colony as recently as 1999, only 11 years ago and the only fluent English speakers, I encountered there were the local Indians and Whites.
Though this is off-topic, I just thought I'd correct this little tit-bit of trivia....

It was Macau that was handed back to China in 1999
Hong Kong was actually handed back two years prior in 1997

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Post by Strong Eagle » Sun, 25 Apr 2010 4:36 pm

Global Citizen wrote:
morenangpinay wrote:We went there last monday and I did notice the guy introducing the Shrek show had a strong accent.
OK, you lost me there. You, a Filipino, mentioning someone's else's strong accent. That's pretty funny.
Careful there, GC. Filipinos are in strong demand for call centers throughout the region because many of them speak accentless "American", and it is also for this reason that there are call centers out the wazzoo in the Philippines.

I know Filipinos whose language skills range from continuously mixing pronouns in one sentence (he/she/it) to those whose English is faultless.

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Post by nakatago » Sun, 25 Apr 2010 4:43 pm

Just to emphasize Plavt's reiteration, here's the part of QRM's post that points out the specific problem we're talking about:
QRM wrote:I just returned from my first visit to universal studio, while I appreciate we are in Singapore but the girl at the Shrek show was giving the brief history of the story, with a really grating accent that is so difficult to understand (and I have lived here for 5 years) the tinny sounding PA system didn't help. The Jurassic park voice, admittedly a recording, was clear with a hint of a local twang which is fine we are in Singapore.

With all the piss take regarding the local English I would have though being able to speak clearly would be one of the most important criteria on employing the acting staff at the frontline.
I think most of us are ok with the accent (the dead horse)...it's when we don't understand them that's troublesome.

Also, Filipinos with bad diction wouldn't be able to pronounce "mum". :roll:
Plavt wrote:The issue at hand is not whether Singporeans speak with accents, or expats 'nit-picking' about such but a person employed in a public venue where clear and concise speaking is a necessity or at least should be irrespective of what language it is or was spoken in accent or not.
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