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Working language

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Wd40
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Postby Wd40 » Fri, 21 Dec 2012 7:13 pm

Regarding Filipinos in our company, I have grasped a few things. They say "Selamat" and "Shige Shige" quite regularly :).

They language sounds a bit like malay but you can make out its different and when a group of filipinos get into the elevator, boy, they really get into form and the decibels are really high. :)

I wonder though, some Filipinos talk English in a Spanish accent and other in american accent but speak very fluently. I understand they were Spanish colony for like 300 years and hence so much of Spanish influence that even their names are spanish, but how come they have become such excellent English speakers, I am really surprised.

I am also surprised though that Indonesians were under Dutch rule for so long, but you dont see any influence what so ever of dutch in them, except, may be that they use comma as decimal seperator :)

The British colonies are in b/w that they have taken up English very well, yet havent quite imbibed their culture so much.

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Re: Working language

Postby JR8 » Fri, 21 Dec 2012 8:12 pm

offshoreoildude wrote:Rather harsh for those who can't grasp what is said in the main language in the meeting. However if a little filipino / hindi cartel is forming.... it can be a PITA


Oh no, it wasn't meant rudely, it was just from my experience/perspective (which naturally will differ from other's).

I.e. I've worked in several countries and always had conference calls, some with maybe 100 from 10 countries people on them where everyone might participate.

Now you can't hold up a call to translate everything that is being said. Anyhow, in my personal experience the only few who needed anything translating were some of the Tokyo back-office. Any specific Q's to them would be translated from/to English by their manager. And they'd take the translation of the rest of it off-line with their manager afterwards.

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Postby nakatago » Fri, 21 Dec 2012 10:44 pm

Go on.....

Image

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 22 Dec 2012 12:34 am

Wd40 wrote:Regarding Filipinos in our company, I have grasped a few things. They say "Selamat" and "Shige Shige" quite regularly :).

They language sounds a bit like malay but you can make out its different and when a group of filipinos get into the elevator, boy, they really get into form and the decibels are really high. :)

I wonder though, some Filipinos talk English in a Spanish accent and other in american accent but speak very fluently. I understand they were Spanish colony for like 300 years and hence so much of Spanish influence that even their names are spanish, but how come they have become such excellent English speakers, I am really surprised.

I am also surprised though that Indonesians were under Dutch rule for so long, but you dont see any influence what so ever of dutch in them, except, may be that they use comma as decimal seperator :)

The British colonies are in b/w that they have taken up English very well, yet havent quite imbibed their culture so much.


Considering the numbers of locals working at Subic Bay and the airfield there during the US military days after WWII up till the 1980's that would have meant a heck of a lot of interaction and propagation with the 'merican military personnel. Their English has always been the best in Asia for all intents and purposes. Their accents can sometimes be a bit hard to fathom but the English structure is spot on. What they cannot do that in Singapore I've yet to understand.

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Postby nakatago » Sat, 22 Dec 2012 12:51 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote: What they cannot do that in Singapore I've yet to understand.


Someone lowered the bar.

Others tell me when they try to speak straight English, no one understands them so they have to step it down several notches.

It stuck.

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Postby JR8 » Sat, 22 Dec 2012 5:02 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Their accents can sometimes be a bit hard to fathom but the English structure is spot on. What they cannot do that in Singapore I've yet to understand.


People's who think they have 'arrived' tend to stop striving to get better*. I mean when you and your brudders cross da finish line, race is over yah?

And as we all know SG has been #1 for a long time now... am I right ah?

:wink:




* I recall being denied a job in my old London department by my ex-boss - post my SG stint - because he 'wanted a young thruster'. I.e. a person that had hunger. Yeah that hurt a bit at the time :), but I understand it now, and respect his honesty ...

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Postby therat » Sat, 22 Dec 2012 11:20 am

During meeting, if all the member are Singapore chinese or Malaysia Chinese or other country chinese. I will mix a bit of Mandarin , Hock Kien, Malay and singlish.

BUT if there are non-chinese member inside, I will use English.
Unless I was talking non-related topic to chinese, then I will use Mandarin or Hock kien or singlish.

I had a colleague who like to use Mandarin during discussion. Once his team member(foreigner) was around and he talk to me in Mandarin. I replied in English. After few round, he realized what I'm trying to do. Then he change to English.

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Postby taxico » Sat, 22 Dec 2012 11:38 am

JR8 wrote:...my ex-boss ...he 'wanted a young thruster'....

Yeah that hurt a bit at the time :)


hee hee hee.

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Postby zzm9980 » Sat, 22 Dec 2012 5:15 pm

offshoreoildude wrote:
ututu wrote:
offshoreoildude wrote:There are four official languages for business in Singapore. Chinese (Mandarin), Bahasa Melayu, Tamil and English. You need to be conversant in all four and some of the local dialects (Hokkien) and possibly some of your workers languages (Tagalog and Hindi) if you want to be taken seriously here.


Well may be in the environment where majority had their education in non-english, perhaps, nothing against construction or shipbuilding site workers, but yeah I'd expect working language non-english in places like that. In quiet & placid places inhabited by office plankton aka air-con offices of CBD working language will be English as it should be. English is the Esperanto nowadays.


I absolutely disagree with you and frankly your assertion is half assed. I personally expect English to die out in the next century.


In Singapore or in general? I find the former unlikely and the latter f-ing ridiculous, unless we have drastically different definitions of "die out". Example: Latin "died out".

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Postby sabaisabai » Sat, 22 Dec 2012 5:26 pm

Everyone knows the working language in Singapore is Chinese.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 22 Dec 2012 6:02 pm

:roll:

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Postby Sergei82 » Sat, 22 Dec 2012 7:36 pm

My office is 95% Indians. I need to urgently tell them that the working language in Singapore is Chinese!

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Postby x9200 » Sat, 22 Dec 2012 8:19 pm

As incredible as it may sound I think he was joking. Unless you want to contest the quality...

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Postby ututu » Sun, 23 Dec 2012 9:35 am

x9200 wrote:
ututu wrote:
offshoreoildude wrote:There are four official languages for business in Singapore. Chinese (Mandarin), Bahasa Melayu, Tamil and English. You need to be conversant in all four and some of the local dialects (Hokkien) and possibly some of your workers languages (Tagalog and Hindi) if you want to be taken seriously here.


Well may be in the environment where majority had their education in non-english, perhaps, nothing against construction or shipbuilding site workers, but yeah I'd expect working language non-english in places like that. In quiet & placid places inhabited by office plankton aka air-con offices of CBD working language will be English as it should be. English is the Esperanto nowadays.

The fact that English is a lingua franca globally does not have to imply it is lingua franca in every country and every profession.


Given the fact the language of science/engineering/technical/medical/finance publications is English (at the cusp of 19th century it used to be German) I'd say any profession that employs a bit of brain tissue will have to use English. The more brain tissue is involved the more English it is going to be because a lot more relevant content will be English only.

I learned English when I was mid twenties because frankly any decent book in my profession was in English, not to mention conferences, mail lists, web forums and what not.

For example for putonghua to supplant English China must produce lots of original content that is not available elsewhere or had some sort of war where Anglo-Saxon axis is defeated (similar to what Germans when through) and English suffers similar fate that German did after WW1 and WW2.

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x9200
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Postby x9200 » Sun, 23 Dec 2012 1:07 pm

You confuse practical necessity to learn with necessity to speak. Take a look at the original post and what it is about.
If the meeting is held by all non-English speaking people it would be plain stupid to enforce English unless this serves to learn English as well. There are countries that value their languages and where English is not official.


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