Friday, January 3, 2014

Beautiful Singlish

Just ten minutes ago, my attention was drawn to this blog post by the newsfeed on my Facebook wall.  I read the article and watched the entire LTA video on youtube.

I must say from the outset that I have strong views on this matter.

I think the LTA video is perfectly all right and I'm glad they got someone with a distinctly Singaporean accent for the video.  I would have hated it if they had got anyone who hasn't got this strong Singaporean accent or worse, if they had got a Singaporean with a fake American accent (I think I have decried elsewhere on my blog this growing trend of some Singaporeans putting on a fake American accent).  True, there is bound to be a divergence between RP and Singaporean English and this is particularly obvious when it comes to where the stress is to be placed in a sentence or in a syllable of a word.  Linguists have written about this and I recall spending a happy hour chatting with David Crystal who can imitate just about any accent in the world when I once had the good fortune of bumping into him in Wales.  The non-RP stressing is quintessentially what makes a Singaporean so loveably Singaporean.

Kudos to the LTA for getting such a Singaporean voice to tell us in Singapore about our own motorway and we don't have to bow down to England over a language that is no longer theirs.  A lot of people in England would do well to learn the rudiments of the English language from us and we can start by giving simple lessons to David Beckham who, in my opinion, requires urgently more than just a few simple lessons.

I really hope more bloggers will speak up for something that is as native to us as prata, nasi lemak and char kway teow, if I may be allowed to use food imagery that spans the entire ethnic spectrum of Singapore.

No comments:

Post a Comment