11 April 2012

Singlish 21: Speak Proper Singlish Campaign

While many who watched the above video laughed at the hilarity, it resonated with me at a deeper level. There were some thought-provoking points in there.

The way I see it, either these kids are damn smart or their script-writer, whom I am assuming are their parent(s), is(are) damn tokong.

"So Angmo is not looking down at us, then who is looking down at us?"

I agree with this point. I traveled around the globe and has met many people. Those who knows where Singapore is (no, we are not part of China, that's Hong Kong), are familiar with our Singlish.

Many are tickled with amusement but that's just it. Nothing condescending. Nothing disrespectful. Simply amused. They agreed that it is just part of the culture from another part of the world, just like ghetto speak (yo dawg!) and Aussie speak (what's that sheila doing at the barbie?).

In my opinion, those who have issue with Singlish are those who are overly self-conscious. I say it's inferiority complex at play.

"SBC. Singapore Banana Chinese."

I would say most of them are posers. Their overly-enthusiasm to beat down Singlish is just over-compensating for they think is their own cultural embarrassment.

So Singlish is not a problem with it comes to being competitive in the global markets?

Yes and No.

Singlish WILL BE a problem ONLY if there is the only form of English one knows. That is like your mono-lingual 8-year PSLE course in a world where multilingual is very common.

"Code switch"

You need to know more than one language or more than one form of the same language to be able to code switch.

The function of code switching is to speak in the language or form of language that the recipient can best receive. In short, it's optimising the efficiency of communication. Perhaps speak English with a Southern draw when in the Carolinas or speak Mandarin with a Cantonese accent when in Guangdong. The whole idea is to get your message across in the best and fastest understood way.

That is, my friends, Code Switch.

- Voxeros


Ruok said...

I see lots of forgivable singlish supporters :)

JayWalk said...

The rest can pan chance? ;)

Anonymous said...

Well said:) I especially agree with the part on code-switching. Although, to be fair, one needs to be proficient in both languages in order to code-switch properly. Otherwise, its just broken speech.


JayWalk said...

ACtually if you think about it, the whole function of communication is to get the point across.

As long as the recipient understands what you are trying to get across. Speowling and glammer not say die die must do.

Can understand can liao. Correck?

The purpose of proper command of the language is, that with a fixed set of rules of the language usage, risk of miscommunication is reduced to the minimum, thus improving efficiency of getting the message across.