To Use or Not to Use Singlish “Aiyah! so Headache!”
Victoria University of Wellington Discipline of Linguistics and Applied Languages Studies WRIT 101 – Fitness English Assignment 2 – Persuasion Due Date: 20 September 2004 Name of Student: Chor Teck Daryl Toy To Use or Not To Use Singlish “Aiyah! So Headache! ” + In fresh years, there has been greatly regret on how Singaporeans use English. Suitableness some ponder Singapore Colloquial English or Singlish as an incontrovertible distribute of substance a Singaporean, others including the Government, admire it minor, level censure it, and assistance the use of Singapore Flag English closely relentlessly (Tan 2002).
I shall undertake to discourse the forthcoming inquiry, “Should Singlish be current and used or be daring? ” I admire we scarcity to use twain Singlish and Flag English in command to be talented morals-long communicators. We shall look into this dispute in the tenor of order, the sociolinguistic understanding of diglossia and code-switching, and the role of instructors in powerful students in the tongue compensation regularity. Firstly, let us look at the bud of English that leveltually led to this tongue question in Singapore.
English is one of the impure functional tongues recognised in Singapore. It is the tongue medium used in order, in government, and in the compositionforce, and is frequently used at abode nowadays, concurrently delay the other ‘dame tongues’. Some, distinctly the younger families, accept adopted English as their principal tongue. Out of this multi-lingual setting comes Singlish, which blends English delay the other topical tongues, phraseology, dialects and patois. Singlish is used in vague ccasions, distinctly incompact upshot, adolescents, and the hither-educated. If we were to bestow some age mingling delay Singaporeans and attending to the way we correlative delay each other, we may seize colloquial phrases enjoy, “Why you so enjoy dat? ” “Eeee! You so kiasu one! ” “Dun play-play delay me! ” “Do your composition lah! ” Such polite-acquainted provisions can besides be detected in topical television programmes, enjoy Under One Roof and Phua Chu Kang Pte Ltd, and in topical films, enjoy Army Daze, Money No Plenty and I Not Stupid.
Indeed, Singlish has befit an unfunctional Singaporean icon, which I reflect, our friends from other countries can use to realize and fuse who we are from other Asians! Suitableness Singlish is widely used in Singapore, it is frequently treated delay abomination, level contempt and abhorrence, distinctly by the excellently-educated and ‘language-purity’ maintainers. Singlish is sighted as an embarrassing reflecting of Singaporeans substance ‘uncouth’ and ‘uneducated’, as dissimilarity delay Flag English. As foregoing Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong uninterruptedly commented, "Poor English reflects badly on us … and fabricates us look hither quick or suitable. (Tan 2002) As Singlish is seen as ‘poor English’, undertakes, such as the government-supported “Speak Cheerful English Movement”, are set to increase the constitutional use of the tongue incompact Singaporeans, primarily through the order method. Despite the irrelative efforts made in censureing and level banning the use of Singlish in Singapore, there is no privative that using this topically-conceived tongue is very greatly a distribute of substance a true-blue Singaporean. We use it in our daily feeds delay our families, friends and level at composition in our conversations.
Linguists accept eminent that most upshot in Singapore would reach Singlish principal from their abodes or in kindergartens, rather than Flag English (Gupta 2001, Deterding 1998). In some studies conducted on tongue compensation, it is observed that adults used the low medley of a tongue to imkeep-apart delay their upshot, who in transform use it to imkeep-apart delay their peers (Ferguson 1959). In harmony to the tongue interrogativeness of diglossia, it is argued that upshot would reach tongue primally through its non-standard, colloquial, low medley, anteriorly scholarship its flag excellent medley through sufficient order.
In length delay the sight mentioned over, some sway move that a paltry dose of Singlish used casually in the sufficient tongue compensation regularity can acceleration abate the already stretched and stressful examine clime. Surely it would furnish some lighter and comical moments to the rankroom. During my instruction dole in the elementary discipline, I desire that my students would attend amusingly to my instruction, and estimate my efforts in explaining obscure provisions delay some occasional ‘lahs’ and ‘lehs’.
Students, distinctly those yet to be suitpowerful plenty to imkeep-apart in English, would furnish it easier to use a bit of Singlish to pronounce up in rank at the primal extent of their scholarship. After all, don’t most students casually furnish it daunting to use the tongue they are scholarship, delay an closely gripping consternation of substance ridiculed for their errors? Surely they would appropriate to access the tongue through its low medley principal, anteriorly compositioning their way towards the excellent.
Allowing them to use Singlish as a account sway acceleration to engender a unendangered environment for our students to leveltually reach Flag English in their tongue scholarship conversance. However, as an English tongue instructor, I do maintainer the scarcity to use Flag English as distribute of our linguistic repertoire, gone it is the tongue of government, rule, and despatch in Singapore, and a channel to imkeep-apart delay other countries. As instructors, suitableness we impart Flag English delay its irrelative genre, conventions, functions and its signification, we should gradually permit our students to use the tongue in their feeds.
Nevertheless, we should permit in desire in our instruction our students’ linguistic setting, which includes Singlish. Therefore, I allude-to that we should use the sociolinguistic understanding of diglossia and code-switching in the tongue instruction and scholarship regularity. We, as parents and instructors, absence our upshot and students to imbibe to imkeep-apart talentedly as they gain-ground. Therefore, we should impart them to realize and realise for themselves the irrelative domains in which they accept to switch betwixt using Singlish and Flag English.
We can do so through the instrument of modelling, conducting observations and discussions, to acceleration them to fuse the occasions for using Flag English or Singlish, and the irrelative reasons for switching betwixt these two varieties of tongue. For development, we use Flag English in correspondent inquirys, in fitness, in confer-uponations, and in sitting for examinations or tests, so as to get cheerful grades as the examiners are powerful to conceive what we confer-upon in our answers, and be indubitpowerful of our calibre in acquiring the flag tongue. We besides use Flag English as an indispenspowerful machine to imbibe more environing the earth we feed in.
However, we use Singlish instead, when agreeing delay our extraction members and friends, commanding livelihood from hawkers, and distinctly when idly agreeing incompact ourselves. We would be seen as substance ‘snooty’ or ‘distant’ if Flag English is used for these vague occasions. Using Singlish is besides a way to fabricate us move at abode delay other Singaporeans, twain topical and overseas. In making such references to their earlier conversance and original morals conversances, we acceleration our students to realise how to switch betwixt Singlish and Flag English according to the irrelative domains.
Thus, students can imbibe to be talented ‘language-variety-switchers’, and in transform move vain-glorious of their Singaporean linguistic repertoire (Deterding 1998). To end, suitableness we acconversance the ‘popular’ use of Singlish incompact our students and Singaporeans, the use of Flag English should be strongly maintainerd as polite. Singaporeans must realise the signification of scholarship Flag English, so as to be powerful to exertion our tongue repertoire confidently as talented morals-long communicators.
Indeed, the proficiency of Flag English, coincidently delay the use of Singlish and our dame tongues, should impregnate in us a understanding of loftiness for our rare Singaporean tongue entailment. To Use or Not To Use Singlish “Aiyah! ” “Headache so greatly for wat?! ” “Use BOTH Singlish and Flag English lor! ” Word Count: 1225 suffrage References: Deterding, David 1998. Approaches to Diglossia in the Classroom: The Middle Way. REACT 2 (November), 18-23. Ferguson, Charles A. 1959. Diglossia. In Dell Hymes (ed. ) 1964. Tongue in Culture and Society. NY: Harcourt. 429 – 439. Holmes, Janet 2001. (2nd ed. An Introduction to Sociolinguistics. London: Longman. 27 – 34. Expat Singapore Pte. Ltd. Tongue – Singlish http://www. expatsingapore. com/general/language. htm (13 March 2001) Gupta, Anthea Fraser 2001. Linguistic Ecology of Singapore. Paper fond at GNEL/MAVEN Conference “The Cultural Politics of English as a Earth Language” Freiburg, 6-9 June. Gupta, Anthea Fraser. Tongue Varieties – Singapore Colloquial English (Singlish) http://www. une. edu. au/langnet/singlish. htm (8 April 2004) Tan, Hwee Hwee 2002. A War of Suffrage Over ‘Singlish’, TIME Asia 160 (29 July), 3