There has been a lot of backlash regarding a Forum writer who wishes to discourage Singlish on public signs. In fact, some fellow countrymen are outraged at said writer, calling him atas or act upper class.
Now, people who know me should know my stand on this debate. And that is, Singaporeans need to see the world a instead of always hiding in the hole that is the little red dot.
Really cannot meh?
Singlish is a unique and meaningful way of life for the locals here. This cannot be denied. Being able to shorten long sentences into 2 words is an insane trait that Singaporeans should cherish. Without it, how can we truly be Uniquely Singapore?
However, one has to realize how small our country is compared to the rest of the world. And one should understand that the rest of the world is going to have a hard time understanding our unique language. In this case, instead of saving time, we end up wasting more time trying to convey a message that would have been perfectly understood in proper sentences.
I can Switch what.
The argument that Singaporeans are perfectly able to switch between Singlish and English is folly. From my experience, not many Singaporeans are truly able to distinguish themselves between the two, mixing up accents and allowing old habits to influence sentence structures.
If you thought understanding Indian accents was hard, you really haven’t put yourself in an angmoh’s shoes. Just because you think you’re speaking English doesn’t mean that you are understood. And if we are unwilling to change up our accents to be more understood, we are essentially putting up barriers between us. As Trump would say, Build a Wall.
But it’s Cute mah
To further iterate my point, let me provide an example. Here we have a preschool with a name that is purposely misspelled for marketing reasons. Sure, it is meant to represent the cute little mistakes children make when they are learning. However, these are also going to be the first few words preschoolers see.
I pity the teachers who have to try and explain to their students when they point out that their spelling of SKOOL is wrong. Students are going to require twice the time correcting their first impression when they could have simply learned the correct spelling in the first place. Unnecessary time and effort wasted.
So unless Singaporeans are fully capable of distinguishing the difference and are able to switch languages AND accents at whim, is it not more efficient to just learn English properly?
Diam lah, Kaopeh
Once again, I’m not saying Singlish is bad. So don’t get all butthurt accusing me of being an elitist prick attacking country identity. Singlish is a wonderful dialect of the English language, one that can only exist in one or two countries at best. So unless you think it a good idea to stay stuck in the country for eternity, you may want to rethink your stance.