|Information about Singapore: Singapore languages and dialects|
Singapore languages and dialects
Because of its multiracial makeup, Singapore recognises four official languages: English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil. English is the language of administration. Malay is the language in which the National Anthem in sung. In schools, children usually take English as the first language and one of the other 3 as a second language. For all intents and purposes, most conversations and business in Singapore are conducted in either English or Mandarin.
Singaporeans also speak a peculiar brand of English called "Singlish". This local concoction mixes English with common phrases in the Chinese dialects (mostly Hokkien) and some Malay. The use of Singlish continues to be a popular topic of public debate. Purists and Anglophiles bemoan the loss of Queen's English as they know it. Proponents of local culture say Singlish is one of the elements that gives Singaporeans their distinctive identity.
You be the judge. Try these phrases now and then, and see how they roll off your tongue:
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