13 May 2005

Singlish Under Attack Again

Controlling what you say and how you say it.

As for the argument that visitors will not be able to understand Singlish. It is actually possible to talk to a non-Singaporean in English and then turn around to your Singaporean friend and speak Singlish.

Singlish can lah. While in Singapore Phua Chu Kang was the best Singaporean character on any of the television channels. I watched every episode I could, assuming I wasn't being worked like a dog by my employer.

Sometimes I think certain leaders have some sort of inferiority complex or are they ashamed of their own people?

The following is from Weird News. Perfectly normal is Singapore though.

SINGAPORE (AP) - Singapore's prime minister launched the country's latest behaviour modification campaign on Friday, urging teachers to use hip-hop and rap music to teach proper English and warning that continued use of the mutated local form of the language could make Singaporeans unintelligible.

"Speak in a normal Singapore tone, which is neutral and intelligible," Lee Hsien Loong said. "But speak in full sentences, with proper sentence structure and cutting out all the 'lahs' and 'lors' at the end of each sentence."

Lee was referring to two words commonly added to the end of sentences in "Singlish" - a mishmash of English and local dialects.

"Can or not? I think can," he said, using another commonly used phrase in Singlish.

The city-state is well known for its numerous social engineering campaigns, most of which are government-backed. Singapore in the past has urged its citizens to wave at fellow motorists, flush public toilets, be more romantic and arrive at wedding receptions on time.

Lee urged teachers to use "pop songs, hip-hop and rap as mediums for teaching good English."

"If our English becomes too mutated, then we become unintelligible to others," he said. "If we speak in a dialect which only some Singaporeans can understand, then we are handicapping ourselves and cutting ourselves off from the rest of the world."

The administration began waging war on Singlish in 2000 and attacked the country's most popular TV character, Phua Chu Kang, blaming his use of Singlish for a rise in bad grammar among citizens.

Critics have denounced the numerous behavioural campaigns as Orwellian and condescending.


Reminds me of a funny story I heard.

Two ang moh entered a 7/11 and asked for a can of coke. The shopkeeper replied, to the German couple, "Can can not, bottle can".

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Rap music to teach proper English? I guess the man never listened to typical rap and has no clue what he's talking about..

Yo dawg!

kief 'maharishi' singam said...

usage of ebonics now?? what a load of hogwash! i know a handful of teachers in singapore and most if not all speak in singlish. THERE's the problem! since the governments mass recruitment of teachers, alot of monkeys have actually landed these jobs.

wanna eradicate singlish? simple...stop hiring dum teachers and fix-up the english levels of all ministers...last i checked on the news, some ministers looked like profs. of singlish.

looks like the govt are indeed a bunch of closet hip-hoppers.

this is yet another joke! so as was the casino issue....

whats next?

Agagooga said...

"Singapore in the past has urged its citizens to wave at fellow motorists"

I don't remember this. I might've been too young :0

karenhubba said...

Alamak, I'm not sure if incoporating hip-hop and rap is such a good idea leh. Will probably lead to more problems with grammar usage, and also not to mention, surge in expletives in the classroom. Then hor, we will soon see kids who don't know how to walk properly anymore, and go around 'yo! yo!', swinging arms and walking in the yo-yo! way. Not to say it ain't cool, but the yo-yo! way of ape-walking better kept on stage lar.

jeffyen said...

This article is satire lah LOL

Jowie said...

ya loh.. dunno how this habit comes about but definitely its gona stay lah..

But how come hip hop and rap hor? wat if all speaks like rapping.. omg, cun imagine leh.. wa lao eh, ya hor.. and i suppose we must learn that too.. If not how am i suppose to communicate with my kids ah?

Alamak!! Wat the hell he is thinking.. Oh, I thought of an idea that can change the habit of singlish easily.. How about fines on people who speaks that way or... hmm... how about hanging? I think it will work. Hope they consider this loh.. bo bian.. wat to do. :D

Anonymous said...

hahahahaha dat's a good one...hanging for ppl who speak in singlish...s'pore's a joke man...

Jowie said...

of cos it's a good one... cos govt said this method is GD!!! :D hee!! just being satire.. :P