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British Council’s New Singlish Course Comes With A Distinct Lack Of Singlish

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British Council Offers Singlish Course, But Looks Like It’s For The Workplace

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when talking about the British Council in Singapore?

If you thought of it as a place where you can learn proper English, you’re absolutely right.

However, if for some reason you wish to learn Singlish as well, they have lessons for that too.

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Turns out, the British Council in Singapore is offering a workshop titled “Singlish to English”, which identifies the difference between Singlish and Standard English, and even provides some common words and phrases.

But don’t be fooled, learning our coveted language isn’t exactly cheap.

The 2-hour informal workshop is a whopping $636.65 (including GST) in course fees.

What the workshop teaches

Check out a short video on students attending a recent session.

Here are the benefits you can expect from attending the 1-day workshop:

  • Differentiating between Singlish and Standard English
  • Using Standard English in situations that require it
  • Communicating more effectively in a global environment

And here’s what will be taught during the 2-hour session:

More information can be found here.

Examples of questions given

While we’re not entirely sure on what qualifies someone as an expert on Singlish, we’re pretty sure that it’s impossible to make a grammatical error in the language — seeing as how the entire thing is basically broken English mixed with a variety of other languages.

Though if you like, here are some of the questions students will be given.

Is it Bukit Batok station?

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To a non-Singaporean, that probably looks like a bunch of random words stringed together in a sentence.

The answer – in case you were wondering – is Ang Moh Kio MRT Station.

Take a look at the next one which tasks students with differentiating British and Singapore English and pay attention in particular to the phrases that were used as examples of Singapore English.

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We’re no experts, but some of the phrases labelled as Singaporean seems weird even for us. Don’t you think?

For starters – for someone supposedly speaking Singlish – there is a distinct lack of it used.

Where’s theĀ lah, lor, leh? How come only one language is used when the very definition of it is a variety of English with elements of Chinese and Malay incorporated?

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Furthermore, there’s no way that anyone speaking Singlish would use perfect – or close to it – grammar.

In fact, the whole point of the language itself is to get as much information across in the least amount of words possible.

Workshop geared more for expats

Of course, we’re just nitpicking.

If you’re reading this, the workshop probably isn’t meant for you.

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Judging by the contents of the worksheet, this course is mainly for professional expats looking to pick up a thing or two about Singapore and help integrate better into our society in a fun and interactive way. A major objective seems to be to teach participants how to code switch between the casual Singlish and the more formal Standard English in different scenarios.

Also to make friends and build new connections, that’s pretty important too.

Our take on Singapore English

However, let’s see if we here at MustShareNews can reword the phrases to represent Singapore English more accurately.

Time to channel our inner Singaporean.

Don’t worry, that’s just our inner beng coming out.

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Check out what we came up with.

BCS: Would you mind to call me tomorrow?
MSN: Tomorrow call me can or not?

BCS: Although I wrote to him, but he did not reply.
MSN: I write already he never reply leh.

BCS: Can you tell me how much are the computers?
MSN: The computer how much ah?

BCS: I can’t meet you next week because I will be outstation.
MSN: Next week cannot meet la, I kena outstation.

What do you think of our rendition? Did any of them make sense?

Perhaps we could apply as one of the lecturers instead.

Let us know how the phrases should’ve been said below!

Featured image from Business Insider

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