Singapore ‘Singlish’

Lewis the Lion is fascinated by all of the languages in Singapore

Lewis the Lion is fascinated by all of the languages in Singapore

As Lewis the Lion had discovered, Singapore has four official languages: Chinese, English, Malay and Tamil. However, there seemed to be a unique hybrid spoken out on the streets which mixed the four called, ‘Singlish.’ Even though it is not an official language, Lewis the Lion thought it proudly represented the multi-cultural character of Singapore. Firstly, he noticed that the word ‘lah’ seemed to appear in most phrases. Besides that, here are some of the expressions which he learnt.

Can can!: “Yes, definitely.”

Auntie / Uncle: A respectful form of an address for an older man / woman, respectively.

Dohwan: “No, thanks.” / “I don’t want it.”

So how?: “So what do we do now?”

Oh, izzit?: “That’s interesting.” / “Oh, is that true?”

Kiasu: A general term used to describe the highly competitive nature of many Singaporeans. It is originally a Chinese dialect expression that literally means “fear of losing”.

Don’t pray pray ah!: “Don’t mess around!”

Sometimes when Lewis the Lion heard it, he thought it sounded like someone who couldn’t speak English properly but then he realised that it is simply a different dialect of English.

Why don’t you have a try at saying some of these Singlish phrases?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>