Saturday, December 19, 2009

Say it in Singlish

Singlish: This time cannot.

American English: We can't do it this time.

Singlish: Last year we have. This year don't have.

American English: We had it last year, but not this year.

Singlish: I like this also wan.

American English: I like this too.

Singlish: You no like?

American English: You don't like this?

These are very simple snippets, but ones that I hear almost everyday. I've learned that the Singlish sentence structure is like this because they've combined the structure of their native tongue (usually Mandarin) with the English words. That's why it comes out all jumbled to the American ear.


My Three Sons said...

I've even heard the "you no like" several times here.

Yilin said...

"You No Like" Is a direct translation from Mandarin. And that's usually used by the older folks who have not been educated in English at all. Can't really fault them!

Brad Farless said...

You're only hitting the tip of the iceberg here, but I don't mind these ones so much. They're at least understandable, if not correct, English. It's when they start throwing in Hokkien and Malay words that bothers me.

Anonymous said...

"Singlish: I like this also wan.

American English: I like this too"

the singlish version should be: I like this wan also. haha.

i_am_skinny said...

u definatly got it down !!! hahaha interesting take from an America :)
I have been in the mid west for 10 years and I am from Singapore.. so tis is a reversal process for me:P

Erissa said...

Wow Singlish...I haven't heard it in more than 4 years. I can't say I miss it. I spent 9 years in Singapore and it was painful to hear.

My Singaporean English teacher used to say that we can speak English as well as the British and I wanted to laugh my butt off. I think I might have sniggered.