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Singapore English

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O3
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Singapore English

Postby O3 » Wed, 25 May 2011 2:53 pm

I have no problem understanding English with British, American, Australian and Malaysian accents, but I have a hard time understanding English with a Chinese accent. The thing with Singaporean English is that they speak very fast and employ a lot of abrupt sounds. I would like to know how to improve understanding Singapore English. Some Singaporeans did not speak with a Chinese accent as soon as they found that I was a foreigner. I had a clear understanding of them at such times.

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nakatago
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Re: Singapore English

Postby nakatago » Wed, 25 May 2011 3:00 pm

O3 wrote:I have no problem understanding English with British, American, Australian and Malaysian accents, but I have a hard time understanding English with a Chinese accent. The thing with Singaporean English is that they speak very fast and employ a lot of abrupt sounds. I would like to know how to improve understanding Singapore English. Some Singaporeans did not speak with a Chinese accent as soon as they found that I was a foreigner. I had a clear understanding of them at such times.


One way to improve understanding is exposure. Speak with more Singaporeans; politely ask them to clear things if you don't understand.

A fun way of doing this is to go to your nearest coffee shop/kopitiam and hang out with the regulars.

BTW, a bit of a misnomer there. PRC Chinese (obviously with a Chinese accent) English sounds vastly different from Singaporean or Malaysian-Chinese English accents.

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Postby BillyB » Wed, 25 May 2011 4:08 pm


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Postby Pendelhaven » Wed, 25 May 2011 5:29 pm

Singaporeans are very capable of code switching when they communicate. Thus they speak a very Singaporean form of english amongst themselves and when there is a need to (ie, friends from abroad), they are able to switch to a standard form of english.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Code-switching

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 25 May 2011 5:54 pm

Pendelhaven wrote:Singaporeans are very capable of code switching when they communicate. Thus they speak a very Singaporean form of english amongst themselves and when there is a need to (ie, friends from abroad), they are able to switch to a standard form of english.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Code-switching


Not another one! :roll:

I'll be he actually believes it himself as well.

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nakatago
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Postby nakatago » Wed, 25 May 2011 6:04 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:
Pendelhaven wrote:Singaporeans are very capable of code switching when they communicate. Thus they speak a very Singaporean form of english amongst themselves and when there is a need to (ie, friends from abroad), they are able to switch to a standard form of english.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Code-switching


Not another one! :roll:

I'll be he actually believes it himself as well.


Please feel free to lock this thread as soon as it degenerates into a Singlish vs English flamefest! :P

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Re: Singapore English

Postby oeloel » Wed, 25 May 2011 10:10 pm

I am from China, I never say Singlish. Chinese usually speak unskilled standard English as it is a foreign language for us.

Singlish is not Chinese accent, it is too odd to understand. we think it scorn to learn.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 25 May 2011 10:39 pm

:-k \:D/ =D>

That we can deal with. :wink:

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ld_runner
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Coxford...

Postby ld_runner » Thu, 26 May 2011 8:48 am

What the Fish Lah!
Try any book store for the Coxford Guide to Singlish.
Funny & informative.
You go try!
J.A.N. Just Another Noobie. Hoping to make some friends and branch out from the regular 9 to 5 crowd at work. Cheers!

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Postby JayCee » Thu, 26 May 2011 3:03 pm

Pendelhaven wrote:Singaporeans are very capable of code switching when they communicate. Thus they speak a very Singaporean form of english amongst themselves and when there is a need to (ie, friends from abroad), they are able to switch to a standard form of english.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Code-switching


If this is the case, why do they never code-switch when they're talking to me? Or is a 95kg white man not foreign-looking enough for them?

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Postby nakatago » Thu, 26 May 2011 3:14 pm

JayCee wrote:
Pendelhaven wrote:Singaporeans are very capable of code switching when they communicate. Thus they speak a very Singaporean form of english amongst themselves and when there is a need to (ie, friends from abroad), they are able to switch to a standard form of english.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Code-switching


If this is the case, why do they never code-switch when they're talking to me? Or is a 95kg white man not foreign-looking enough for them?


A lot of them don't bother or have lost that ability as well.
:x

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Postby x9200 » Thu, 26 May 2011 4:01 pm

nakatago wrote:
JayCee wrote:
Pendelhaven wrote:Singaporeans are very capable of code switching when they communicate. Thus they speak a very Singaporean form of english amongst themselves and when there is a need to (ie, friends from abroad), they are able to switch to a standard form of english.

If this is the case, why do they never code-switch when they're talking to me? Or is a 95kg white man not foreign-looking enough for them?

A lot of them don't bother or have lost that ability as well.

IMO the switching majority switches between code1 Singlish (more Singlish loaded) and code2 Singlish (less Singlish loaded) where code2 is probably perceived by many locals as the proper English. Having said this I generally have more problem understanding some British than Singaporeans but I am neither a native speaker nor an English purist:)

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Case in point

Postby Allibert » Fri, 27 May 2011 9:31 am

x9200 wrote:
nakatago wrote:
JayCee wrote:
Pendelhaven wrote:Singaporeans are very capable of code switching when they communicate. Thus they speak a very Singaporean form of english amongst themselves and when there is a need to (ie, friends from abroad), they are able to switch to a standard form of english.

If this is the case, why do they never code-switch when they're talking to me? Or is a 95kg white man not foreign-looking enough for them?

A lot of them don't bother or have lost that ability as well.

IMO the switching majority switches between code1 Singlish (more Singlish loaded) and code2 Singlish (less Singlish loaded) where code2 is probably perceived by many locals as the proper English. Having said this I generally have more problem understanding some British than Singaporeans but I am neither a native speaker nor an English purist:)


So do Americans apparently

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/cheryl-replace ... 39734.html

Well, she does have the worst kind of english accent to understand:)

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nakatago
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Postby nakatago » Fri, 27 May 2011 10:07 am

Now for some fun! http://www.translatebritish.com The default sentences for each section are hilarious.

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Re: Singapore English

Postby Flipside » Tue, 31 May 2011 3:00 pm

O3 wrote:I have no problem understanding English with British, American, Australian and Malaysian accents, but I have a hard time understanding English with a Chinese accent. The thing with Singaporean English is that they speak very fast and employ a lot of abrupt sounds. I would like to know how to improve understanding Singapore English. Some Singaporeans did not speak with a Chinese accent as soon as they found that I was a foreigner. I had a clear understanding of them at such times.


understanding singaporeans is easy.
1. ask them to slow down when they talk. not everyone does that but sometimes i guess we're such a rush rush culture that our conversations become like that as well.
2. you just have to be around more singaporeans and you'll get use to it. it takes time to be able to keep up and understand what we're saying when we talk fast. though we may not mean to but we're just use to it and sometimes not realise it.
3. Please do not mix up china people who live in singapore as singaporean chinese. the way we speak is very different from them.


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