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Can ALL S'Porean Chinese speak Mandarin?

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Joined: Mon, 13 Dec 2004

Can ALL S'Porean Chinese speak Mandarin?

Postby sussan » Mon, 13 Dec 2004 6:23 pm

I am from Australia and wanted to know the generally view that
all Singaporean Chinese (say under 50 yrs old?) can speak Mandarin (and English), ie excluding the current senior citizens.

Is this true? Please enlighten.

Ps. Personally, I think many can but not all, depending on the school they go to and the age groups etc.


Postby thundersun » Mon, 13 Dec 2004 7:16 pm

Most singapore chinese are able to understand and communicate in Mandarin. However there is a very small group who simply cannot understand or communicate using Mandarin.(except for the very basic chinese words,which anyone would pick up once they stay in singapore for sometimes.)

The chinese language is a very beautiful language and while most are able to communicate using it. Not all have true appreciation of the language.

Also not all understands or communicate in english.

Family background, the school which you attend does play a role.However chinese students attending public schools learns chinese. But the funny thing is that i have friends who spend 10yrs attending public schools and ended up speaking worse chinese than a non chinese who learns chinses at a beginner level.

Btw not all chinese who are above 50 speaks Mandarin. For many of them they only understand and communicate in their own dialect.This again have something to do with their background and the kind of education that they receive.

Hope that this will answer your question.


Postby Guest » Mon, 13 Dec 2004 7:26 pm

Thanx for that, Thundersun.
I met a Sporean Chinese recently who told me that Mandarin is only an elective in the current school system and it is no longer a dual language
education system (ie Mandarin/English or Indian/English etc).

Cheers :D


Postby thundersun » Wed, 15 Dec 2004 11:16 am

You are right. Thats one of the latest changes occurring this year in singapore's education system.

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