Therefore, strictly speaking, English and Mandarin are both foreign language to most of us.
Our mother tongue should be our dialect, but most of us (Chinese) consider Mandarin as our mother tongue.
The language policy in Singapore is one big grey topic.
I do not know about your age group. So I do not know you fall into the “Speak Mandarin” or the “Mandarin Cool” group.
The “Speak Mandarin” campaign is meant to discourage the use of dialects.
The “Mandarin Cool” campaign is to address the *Banana* problem. A lot of youngsters (probably those born in the 80’s to early 90’s) have lost their Chinese language skills due to our educational system and social influences. You talk to them in Mandarin, they answer you in English. These youngsters can’t express themselves using their mother tongue. You can see that happening very often on local mandarin TV programs.
There are a lot of critics on our language policies. The more serious critic charged that the campaign is to white wash our roots. A lot of heritage and cultural is lost, because the young couldn’t communicate with the older generation who are non-mandarin speaking.
my 5 cents
imho, who are we to say who has the rights to migrate here. Most of us, except a small pocket of malays are descendants of immigrants.
So the descendants of the first few batches of immigrants are complaining about other immigrants? Don't makes much sense to me.
When our forefathers migrated here, Malay was the common language amongst different races. Today, English is preferred as there is a larger base of people using it as well as it is a common and preferred business language.
Should one day when Mandarin becomes the dominant language to use for not only daily conversations, as well as recognised as a preferred business language, then those who master the langauge will stand to gain.
For now, I think MOST Singaporean are NOT Bilingual. You like to believe you are Bilingual but to be frank, how many of us can engage in a proper conversation without resorting to Singlish with mainland Chinese (in the context of Singaporean Chinese)?
Except for those who had the opportunity to work in Taiwan or China, most Chinese Singaporean CANNOT engage in a 3 minute conversation in mandarin without using Singlish or English.
Cut you into one piece one piece = chiat le chi teh chi teh
It is a local slang, that means when engage in a conversation, your opponent out spoke you with proper structure and better expression by using profound words/idiom.
In short, your opponent exhibit better command of the language. If you try to picture ah beng trying to engage Shakespeare in an English debate and the Judge is an Englishman, you may get what I mean.
Last edited by Silence Sky; 29th September 2008 at 07:04 PM.
Many think that when people migrate here they do not assimilate. But that's wrong. Over time, assimilation will take place and newer culture brought by immigrant will be introduced to our existing culture and the country's culture will continue to evolve and the cycle goes on just like what happened to our forefathers.
You cannot assume that current transport, educational budget and facilities, health system, etc will remain stagnant and unchanged when the population increases.
We are not saying that over 1 million new immigrant will arrive on our shore overnight and all our system will start to fail.
With ever increasing population, it also brought about more consumer spending, higher tax revenue collected, and ultimately higher GDP.
I am not expert but with an increase in population will definitely see us enjoying a larger scale of economy.
6 million people on our island is nothing compare to other mega cities like Tokyo, Ho Chi Minh, etc.
after reading, 1 question popped out of my mind.
Singaporeans, do you still feel that Singapore is your home after so call being "invaded" by foreigners?
Yes, they help take up jobs which we do not want, they help boost our economy, however gradually i think Singapore wont be Singapore in time to come. Just my thoughts.
Last edited by ngck12; 29th September 2008 at 07:12 PM.
YARH LORH! i'm so proud to be a Singlish speaking singaporean! singlish good MAH u all nvr speak singlish mEHH?? aiyo.......... jialat liao..... nvm nvm dunn tink u all understand me lAHH..
cheers. or rather GAN AHHH!!
transport fares continue to increase for few good reason, they need to offset higher operating cost. can any staff say & expect the same from boss? how about the 'fight' to get a child into a school?
higher GDP but stagnant salary for the masses, a benefit?
the world is that big, how many countries should we bring into the picture? that would be rather off-topic btw.
Last edited by sORe-EyEz; 30th September 2008 at 11:30 AM.
People say: if someone stays in Singapore long enough, they will learn to speak English.
I know from my experience and social contacts, this is not happening. You walk into a massage parlor; TMC and canteen you simply need to speak other language beside English most of the time.
These migrants have very strong cultural background, it is more likely a Singaporean will assimilate into their culture. You don't believe me? Look around, try to pay attention to how Singaporean speaks to Ang Moh and Mainland Chinese. We try to mimic their accent to look professional, but still the broken sentences and wrong grammar usage will make you fall off the chair.
Everyone can come to Singapore. No problem who is the majority, as long the country progress. It is ok for me, if I can’t beat them, I will join them. Everyone must live harmoniously.
But my only concern is when these people leave Singapore.
We did it and built the nation with less than 2 million people and with very limited resources, why do we need 6.5 million now.
taxman say "money not enough"?
I think a lot of people misunderstood the "Speak Good English" movement.
A lot of people are thinking that Singlish should be replaced by Good English, but that's wrong.
The whole idea is that when engaged in a English conversation with a foreigner, one should be able to construct sentences properly and pay attention to grammar and pronounce your words properly. While one can still use Singlish in day to day conversation with fellow citizen.
If one is to rely on Singlish to step onto the international business arena, then good luck to you because there are millions of Chinese, thousands of other Asian who can speak better English than us.
Keep Singlish by all means, but do not use it as an excuse not to polish up one's English.