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An online diary of someone who tends to forget easily.

Life in SG: Language


Language Used: English and Mandarin

Most of the people can read, write, and communicate in English. Some calls it as Sing-lish (Singaporean-English?) because of how they deliver it. They have a suffix lah/loh/leh/lor I don't know which is the correct spelling but it is pronounced as 'la'. For example, if someone is answering a question, he will answer like, 'no LAH', 'of course LAH', 'forgot it LAH'. 

Sometimes people speak Mandarin when talking to us, I don't know if Gyun Wo and I look Chinese or Singaporean. Once they started talking Mandarin and we answered back 'Sorry?' then they'll know and they will start to speak English. There are also times when we will ask someone in English but he will answer in Filipino/Tagalog, our language! Hah!

When we are new here it's quite difficult to communicate with their native people because of their pronunciation. Well actually until now sometimes I don't get what they're saying, I always need to ask them to repeat it. I remember when I ordered for drinks. I just thought of buying a bottle of water to make it simpler since I don't know what drinks do they serve. I asked Auntie to give me one bottle of mineral water and she kept on saying something I don't understand. -_- In the end, I just said 'Yes' while nodding and waited on what she will give me. When she's done, she gave me a glass of something that looks like 'buko juice'. I laughed when I told Gyun Wo about my conversation with Auntie. But when I tried the drink, oh men, it tasted sooo good. It's a bit sweet and refreshing drink. Later on I found out that it is called Barley drink. Since then, it became one of my favorite drinks. Barley.

Some speaks little English so you have to speak simple words and don't complicate things when you start to notice that your conversation is starting to confuse you. Hehe! But admirably, most of the people speaks good English. Sometimes people who are better in English will help you communicate with people if they noticed that you're having a hard time understanding. 

People also can't pronounce letters like 'R' and 'L' properly. But what's important is they can speak in English. It will be sooo hard if they can only use Mandarin for communicating, right? 

As for me, I only know few words that I learned here such as 'TAPAW' or 'TAKEAWAY' which means 'TAKE-OUT' when buying meal. 'AIYOO' is an expression which is similar to Korean's 'AIGOO', and Philippines' 'AY NAKU'. Hmm.. what else.. can't remember anymore.. aiyoo.. haha! Gyun Wo usually does all the talking and sometimes I can also see him smiling while asking what the person mean.. in short, he's also having a hard time sometimes. 

Ah by the way, if for Koreans middle-age or a bit old lady is known as Ajumma, in Singapore it is 'Auntie'. For male in Korea it is Ajusshi, in SG it is 'Uncle'. 

Oh, izzit?: “That’s interesting.” / “Oh, is that true?” / "Really?"
So how?: “So what do we do now?”
Alamak!: A general expression of dismay or incredulity. 
Can can!: “Yes, definitely.”
Auntie / Uncle: A respectful form of an address for an older man / woman, respectively. 
Can/Cannot: Equivalent to Yes/No
Tapaw: also known as Takeaway = Take Out..
Having here? / Eat here? - Dine in
Aiyoo = OMG
Sorry = this is sometimes use instead of Excuse Me when passing by a crowded place
Actually = most of the times people start their sentence with this word

You can try to ask Google for more Singlish words and phrases that you might hear once you are here in SG. 

Well, I guess that's it for the Language. I will write more later if I'm in the mood.. if not, I'll find time to share more with you. :>

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