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 Major English dialects:
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Singlish is the dialect of the English language as spoken colloquially in Singapore.

Table of contents
1 Politics
2 Vocabulary
3 Grammar
4 Pronunciation
5 English words with different meanings in Singlish
6 External Links


The Singaporean Government considers Singlish a "pidgin" and a "handicap", and in the interest of promoting equality and better communication with the rest of the world has launched the Speak Good English Movement to eradicate it. Use of Singlish on television or radio is banned and schools can fine students caught speaking Singlish.

Most Singaporeans, on the other hand, think "bladi Garmen si peh kaypoh one, why always so bedek kacang hor?". This sentence can be approximately broken down into:


Singlish is influenced by both British and increasingly American English. It uses many words borrowed from Hokkien, the most important dialect of the Chinese language in Singapore, and from Malay.



The ubiquitous word 'lah' is used at the end of a sentence, for emphasis. In Malay it is used to make a verb into a command. To drink is minuman, but 'drink!' is minumlah. Hence a Singaporean would say 'drink, lah!' In common with other non-native forms of English, is it? or isn't it? are generic, like the French n'est-ce pas?:

The order of the verb and the subject can also vary when asking a question.

The word one is used with an adjective:

When asking if you want something, it is common to drop the subject, and end the sentence with or not?


Singlish pronunciation, while built on a base of British English, is also heavily influenced by Chinese and Malay.

English words with different meanings in Singlish

Other idioms include:

External Links