English language in Singapore

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English is one of the official languages in Singapore. It enjoys prestige as the lingua franca of the racially diverse nation. There are two major dialects of English spoken amongst the locals - Standard Singapore English, which is the high variety dialect, and Colloquial Singapore English (known locally as Singlish).



The history of English in Singapore began with the colonization of Singapore. British English and Received Pronunciation were the received standards of English in the colonial era, as a language of administration and the lingua franca. Post-independence, British English evolved into Standard Singapore English, dropping RP for its own unique accent. The pidgin English spoken by the less educated then became Singlish.

English in Singapore is generally based on Standard British. For example, 'realise' is more popular than the Oxford spelling variant 'realize', and 'analyse' (the SBrE and OED variants) is preferred over 'analyze'. However, increasing American linguistic hegemony is beginning to show in grammar rules, spelling, vocabulary and pronunciation of both dialects.