Most of Singapore’s population speak the unofficial language or dialect known as Singlish. But why would the government rather it went away? James Harbeck takes a look.
Source: BBC – Culture – The language the government tried to suppress
This is a fascinating article. Or at least it’s fascinating to me, since I’m always interested in the various dialects–or in this case, reinventions–of English. All dialects of English (or any other language, for that matter) has differences that make it unique to that region. But to see this variation of English that’s combining other languages much more heavily to create a new language–I haven’t seen that before or seen it explained before as it is in this article. I’ve seen this sort of thing when reading Facebook posts from friends who are in either India or the Phillipines, mixing English with other languages. Those posts would never make sense to me, but they evidently do to the speakers in those countries. Even in North American English (meaning in American and Canadian English), we definitely have words that come from our Spanish-speaking and French-speaking neighbors as part of our vocabulary, as well as several words from Irish Gaelige, Dutch, and other languages that have blended into our own, but not so much that it’s a true variation like what’s explained here.
Is this the evolution of a new language? Or is the Singaporan hierarchy correct that “Singlish” and “English” are not the same, and try to maintain English as a primary, structured language? It’s a hard call to me. On one hand, this seems like a natural evolution. But at the same time, when trying to educate children to communicate in school and in business outside of Singapore, something closer to some sort of standard English will help them out more.
What do you think? Read the article, and include your comments below.
Now here’s something that’s been making the rounds among some of my friends on Facebook regarding an unspoken rule when speaking about adjectives:
I really had never thought about it, but this is right. It makes me wonder if there are similar “unspoken” rules in English, but if there are also similar rules to this in other languages. This might be why other languages can be a little confusing to native English speakers.
Those of you who are bilingual or multilingual, what patterns have you noticed like this one–unspoken rules, but it’s correct grammar–in other languages? Post your comments below.
America’s neighbour resisted annexation by the US and its people remained subjects of the British monarch. But Canada’s English isn’t British or American, writes James Harbeck.
Source: BBC – Culture – Why is Canadian English unique?
Happy Canada Day! I was happy to see this article that is appropriate for this day, and see that it’s addressed. Americans often don’t realize how much Canada directly affects much of our culture. Some of our favorite actors, actresses, comedians, and musicians come from Canada. I swear that most of the HGTV channel’s programming comes from Canada! And there are a LOT of Canadian members of the STC, including our immediate past president, Bernard Aschwanden.
Canadian is a unique form of English. As the article says, it’s not quite British or American, yet there are elements of both. Perhaps the North American standard should not be US American, but Canadian as a bow to both of the main two dialects usually taught? Great article.
What do you think of this article? Include your comments below.
Why does English have so many words that have twins? Here’s how we got to have two vocabularies, one based in Germanic roots, and one based in Latin.
Source: The Double Vocabulary of English | Mental Floss
As someone who thinks that she missed her calling by not studying and getting degrees in linguistics, I find this a fascinating little five minute video history of why English has more than one word for many verbs and nouns. It’s said that English is complicated because of instances like this, but perhaps it’s actually richer for it.
What do you think of this video? Include your comments below.
I often enjoy reading the blog/website Anglotopia, as it is written by a person who loves England and UK stuff as much as I do (if not more) and is making a living doing it (lucky!). This latest article that was posted there is yet another example about localized English, and in this case, translation. We talk about standardizing English for easier translation, whether it’s for machine translation or localization purposes, and this article is a perfect example of how even an American like me would need a translation of the “Yorkshire” English first, but fortunately I understand enough French that I can figure out the translation of the expressions from the French instead. This had to be a little bit complicated to do, but it’s an excellent exercise!
Read the article here:
Le Tour Yorkshire: Translating French into Yorkshire English For the Tour de France in Yorkshire – Are You Watching?