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Colloquial Singaporean English, also known as Singlish, is an English-based creole language spoken in Singapore.

Singlish is commonly regarded with low prestige in Singapore. The Singaporean government and many upper class Singaporeans alike heavily discourage the use of Singlish in favour of Standard English. The government has created an annual Speak Good English Movement to emphasise the point. Singlish is also heavily discouraged in the mass media and in schools.

The vocabulary of Singlish consists of words originating from English, Malay, Hokkien, Teochew, Cantonese, Tamil and to a lesser extent various other European, Indic and Sinitic languages. Also, elements of American and Australian slang have come through from imported television series and films.

Some examples

  • Ah Mu or Ah Bu - in Hokkien is the name for Mother.
  • Bear fight - when babies fight each other on the bed with pillows and bolster.
  • Garmen - Singaporean slang for "government".
  • Good-for-nothing - a rude way of telling someone. It is used as a catch phrase to try and draw someone's attention as in Singlish.
  • lah - a word filler as in Singlish.
  • wow-lah - same as wow-lau.

External links