Author Topic: BBC - The language the government tried to suppress  (Read 2983 times)

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Online Mor Ephrem

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BBC - The language the government tried to suppress
« on: September 24, 2016, 04:06:13 PM »
Jerlyne Ong, a Singaporean now living in Canada, sends a message to a friend back home: “Cannot imagine sia. In Singapore, you strike, you lose your job. But ya, the postal service stopped liao. Cannot agree, buay song, so liddat lor. No postal service for now. Also dunno how long some more. So pek chek.”

Is that English or not? Most of Singapore’s 6 million people speak it, but they don’t agree either. What they do agree is that it’s Singlish. Singlish is the unofficial language – or dialect? or slang? – of Singapore, born out of the contact between the several cultures that make up the city state. It’s a living example of how languages can change and develop. It is also an expression of the Singaporean character and culture, a national treasure – or a detriment and danger to the country, depending on whom you ask.
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Offline Rohzek

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Re: BBC - The language the government tried to suppress
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2016, 06:15:50 PM »
This is pretty neat. I say let them have Singlish. But more or less, it sounds like a different language. If they are changing sentence structure, I am willing to say that it is no longer English. Maybe something more akin to the shift from Old English to Middle English.
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Offline RaphaCam

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Re: BBC - The language the government tried to suppress
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2016, 06:31:10 PM »
If Singlish has developed into a creole (as opposed to a pidgin, which is not fully functional and typically doesn't have native speakers), I don't see why not calling it an autonomous language. It's funny that Singaporeans are apparently so reluctant with calling it a language while, say, Haitians, Louisiana Creoles and Cape Verdeans are very proud of their heritage. Probably because of the prestige of English-speaking culture in Singapore.
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Offline Diego

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Re: BBC - The language the government tried to suppress
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2016, 09:24:40 AM »
What an absolutely FASCINATING language! I would like to learn it.

Offline Iconodule

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Re: BBC - The language the government tried to suppress
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2016, 09:32:13 AM »
In Malaysia they have "Manglish" which is very close. Even when people are trying to speak straight English the "lah" will slip in when they are emphatic or frustrated about something.
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