Singlish is a thing?!?
Check this out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singlish
Not much more to say. This language is insane. Especially for a native English speaker. Go to the phrases section.
Thanks to global colonization English, French and Spanish has been regular the de facto lexifier of many creole languages. The many different forms of communication makes the world a truly interesting place. (Enjoy a Lingot . . . or two!)
Exactly, Haitian Creole is based on 18th-century French, which is one of the reasons it sounds foreign compared to the language spoken in France.
After digging deeper into that wiki entry I discovered Palenquero which is a creole language spoken in Colombia. and Chavacano spoken in the Phillippines.
Looks pretty cool. It reminds me of Taglish (Filipino/Tagalog and English).
I don't think the government hates it; it is just worried that we will end up being able to speak only Singlish. As it is, Singaporeans' command of the English language is "neither here nor there" (you know what I mean if you are Singaporean). We are made to learn the language from day 1 precisely because the government looks at it as a skill that will not only bring us jobs but also enable us to communicate with people outside of Singapore. Can you imagine someone being able to write a job application only in Singlish? What if he puts "Singlish" as the only language he is fluent in? If the government hated it, it would be banned already. But the media here are still having so much fun with it.
It's very difficult to ban a language. You can do something as ridiculous as ban the sale of gum, (which tbh is not that ridiculous at all), but is still pretty easy to do. But to ban a way of speaking is almost impossible.
You are right that it is very difficult to ban a language. But what I meant was if the government really hated it, it would ban its use in the media, like how it stopped the Chinese dialects from being aired on TV and radio, although there are signs that it is relenting on the rule a little now. Of course, in spite of this, many of us still speak dialects today because, as you have said, it is impossible to ban a language altogether, but the government could still force Singlish off the air the same way if it hated it. Besides, some government officials use Singlish themselves to engage with the people.
We can look at the history of the Ukrainian language's bans to illustrate that point: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronology_of_Ukrainian_language_bans
Oh. My. Goodness. Singlish is giving English nightmares! Wow, this is super fascinating. Thanks for the link! :)
There's 'Maltenglish' as well!
There's even a Maltese word for it - Maltingliż!
I am not sure if it is a good idea for anyone to pick up Singlish with its faulty grammar and pronunciation. Here's a horrible joke on Singlish that demonstrates how it butchers the English language:
Ah Lek and an Englishman were asked to make a sentence using 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10.
The Englishman tried very hard but could not do it. Then the Englishman turned to Ah Lek and very confidently said,"If I cannot do this, I am very sure that this would be way beyond your ability."
Ah Lek thought for a while and this is what he came up with ...
1 day I go 2 climb a 3 outside a house to peep. But the couple saw me, so I panic and 4 down. The man rushed out and wanted to 5 with me. I ran until I fell 6 and threw up. So I go into 7-eleven and grabbed some 8 to throw at him. Then I took a 9 and try to stab at him. 10 God he run away.
10 I put the 9 back and pay for the 8 and left 7-eleven. Next day I called my boss and told him I was 6. He said 5, tomorrow also no need to come back 4 work. He also asked me to go climb a 3 and jump down! I don't understand. I am so nice 2 him but I don't know what he 1.
The Englishman fainted!
Language elitism is a very dangerous and powerful thing. Although I can't (and shouldn't) tell you what to think, I would personally like to suggest that as a language learning community we are inclusive of all dialects and regional languages. Singlish is a great example of how languages develop when they come into contact with other languages and cultures. If the English hadn't butchered French and German we wouldn't have the 'correct' version of English that we do today. I'm not trying to preach, or anything, but I'm not a fan of making fun of supposedly incorrect language varieties. (I'm an Englishman by the way and I'm still very much conscious;)
It is ok. I am a true-blue Singaporean, and we make fun of Singlish ourselves all the time because we think it is so ridiculously funny. But on a more serious note, even though we have fun dabbling in Singlish, we are aware that in order to communicate with the larger world and make ourselves understood, we still need to speak/write "standard" English . This is why English is the primary medium of instruction in the local school system to begin with, for a population that is mostly made up of Chinese, Malays, and Indians. To a degree, the English language also acts as a unifying force amongst the different races here. There are two extreme camps here: one abhors Singlish while the other supports it steadfastly because it is deemed as part of the local culture and identity. But most of us seek the middle ground. We speak "proper" English when the occasion calls for it and fall back on Singlish for bonding in our own social circles. And Singlish is not meant to be spoken with a straight face. Some of the best jokes a Singaporean knows are in Singlish and on Singlish. So please do not think that we see Singlish no up (meaning to look down on Singlish) when we joke about it.
Thanks for your reply :) It's nice to hear a local's point of view on the matter. I suppose it all depends where the joking is coming from and what the meaning is behind the joke. I have to say, coming from monolingual England I do find myself envying the multilingual mayhem that is Singapore from time to time.
The grammar very like Chinese one, then still got no tense, no conjugation one. A lot of word come from Chinese, Hokkien or Malay.
The lah reminds me of people from Liverpool who put la' (lad) at the end of pretty much every sentence.