Man Says S’poreans Speak English When Asked To Speak Native Language, Leaves TikToker Stumped

TikToker Shocked That Singaporeans Speak English

Singapore prides itself on its multilingualism thanks to the diversity of ethnicities who call the island state home. While we are also educated in our mother tongues, English is the common language Singaporeans often default to when communicating with one another.

This language preference seems to confuse a TikTok creator from New York who does street interviews. Recently, he approached someone from Singapore and asked the man to speak in his native language.

The man then replied that Singaporeans speak English, to the creator’s surprise.

TikToker surprised when man says Singaporeans speak English

TikTok street interviewer Khan (@hikhann_) uploaded the video featuring the man from Singapore on Monday (8 Jan).


What do you do for a living? #whatdoyoudoforaliving #foryoupage #fypp #fypシ #fy #clout #foryourpage #foryou #fyp #fypage #foru

♬ original sound – Khan

Khan approached a man in a black coat walking down a street.

Based on the surroundings, it appears to be right outside a shop called Village Apothecary along Bleecker Street, New York.

Source: Google Maps

Khan first caught the man’s attention when he randomly asked what he does for a living and what he loves about it. The latter responded by saying that he’s an Associate Director at a company that creates consumer goods.

The TikToker then asked about the man’s outfit, which he revealed comprised pieces from Zara and Uniqlo.

Noting that his interviewee had a “nice accent”, Khan asked the man where he was from.

The man said Singapore, to which Khan inquired: “How do you say ‘What do you do for a living?’ in your native language?”

“We speak English,” the man replied matter-of-factly.

singapore native language

Source: @hikhann_ on TikTok

Seemingly surprised, the interviewer blurted out: “Oh, you speak English! I’m so sorry, have a good one!”

Not everyone aware about wide use of English in Singapore

Indeed, Singaporeans are mostly able to speak English because it is our main administrative language, and lingua franca or common language for citizens of all races.

However, we also have Chinese, Malay, and Tamil as our other official languages, based on our major ethnic groups. Most locals would typically learn at least one of the three, depending on their Mother Tongue.

Although this is common knowledge to many of us, it appears to be new information to some viewers who watched the TikTok video. Some of them expressed their disbelief over the fact that Singaporeans speak English.

Source: TikTok

Fortunately for them, some folks helped to explain the cultural tapestry in Singapore.

Others noted that we also have our colloquial form of Singaporean English — Singlish, as this commenter pointed out.

Source: TikTok

The knowledge of these languages is what differentiates Singaporeans while helping them communicate effectively no matter where they go.

Hopefully, more people around the world will know that and be curious to visit our country to see the phenomenon for themselves.

Also Read: Tourist Struggles To Understand S’porean Accent & Singlish, Locals Say Language Is Efficient

Tourist Struggles To Understand S’porean Accent & Singlish, Locals Say Language Is Efficient

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Featured image adapted from @hikhann_ on TikTok.

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