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Old 02-19-2014, 10:04 PM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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I'm considering Singapore basically part of the mainland since it's separated by a narrow strait that's more like a river from the mainland.

And I mean as a first language.

While many Northern Europeans can speak decent English, as a FIRST language, one has to go to Singapore and Malaysia, former British colonies in the far east, to see a large proportion of people speaking English as their mother tongue/main language. In Singapore it's about 40%, in Malaysia about 25% but declining. In Sweden or something of course very few would actually use it as their FIRST language, hardly any.

Isn't it sort of funny/ironic considering they're so far away from Britain? Other than that, English dominates Australia and North America, 2 continents, but they are not part of the Old World.

Just thought it was interesting. English never penetrated India to the same extent. Although policies might see Malaysia's English advantage not stand out so much.
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Old 02-21-2014, 01:28 AM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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No one interested to comment?
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Old 02-21-2014, 03:11 AM
 
Location: Hanau, Germany
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You forgot Gibraltar with English as the sole official language
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Old 02-21-2014, 03:33 AM
 
Location: Colorado
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This is overstated, most Singaporeans don't speak English natively, although a fraction do. Most of the "native" speakers still speak English like it is a foreign tongue, with a heavy accent that can be quite difficult to understand. I don't understand most "native" English speaking Singaporeans any better than people who speak English proficiently as a second language. That being said, there is a minority of the minority who speak English natively, who speak good English and are clear and easy to understand like a Briton, but again these are a minority of a minority.
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Old 02-21-2014, 05:29 AM
 
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The British Empire spread the English language wherever it controlled the area back in the day. So it makes sense that countries that are now part of the British Commonwealth have many English speakers.
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Old 02-21-2014, 05:31 AM
 
Location: singapore
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hobbesdj View Post
This is overstated, most Singaporeans don't speak English natively, although a fraction do. Most of the "native" speakers still speak English like it is a foreign tongue, with a heavy accent that can be quite difficult to understand. I don't understand most "native" English speaking Singaporeans any better than people who speak English proficiently as a second language. That being said, there is a minority of the minority who speak English natively, who speak good English and are clear and easy to understand like a Briton, but again these are a minority of a minority.
Well, Singapore is not Britain, though our English is based on British standard.. You are bound to find some differences between English used in Singapore and Britain

When Singaporeans go UK, US , i dont think they have much difficulty become understood by the Americans and British..

After all, we listen and watch Amercian Movies and music..

I guess our spoken English is somewhat a problem, but our written English is not an issue...

I feel sad and dont understand why SOME Britains and Americans go out to the streets in Singapore and say they dont understand the kind of English we are speaking... But i guess maybe they really don't .. i give them the benefit of doubt, just that it is depressing and saddening
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Old 02-21-2014, 05:53 AM
 
Location: Great Britain
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Singapore was always deemed very civilised, it had the world famous Raffles Hotel and was home to the Singapore Sling, I am also fairly sure it would had and still has polo clubs, cricket club and golf clubs. What more could the English Upper Class wish for.
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Old 02-21-2014, 06:02 AM
 
Location: singapore
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Originally Posted by Bamford View Post
Singapore was always deemed very civilised, it had the world famous Raffles Hotel and was home to the Singapore Sling, I am also fairly sure it would had and still has polo clubs, cricket club and golf clubs. What more could the English Upper Class wish for.
Yes it does. But i would say early Singapore tend to be more British, but currently we are more skewed towards American i would say...

I believe the Postman would agree on this too ??
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Old 02-21-2014, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hobbesdj View Post
This is overstated, most Singaporeans don't speak English natively, although a fraction do. Most of the "native" speakers still speak English like it is a foreign tongue, with a heavy accent that can be quite difficult to understand. I don't understand most "native" English speaking Singaporeans any better than people who speak English proficiently as a second language. That being said, there is a minority of the minority who speak English natively, who speak good English and are clear and easy to understand like a Briton, but again these are a minority of a minority.
The most recent poll showed about 60% of primary school aged students spoke English as their primary language, so it seems on the increase. It has definitely increased: in 1990 about 18% spoke Singapore as a first language (although it was still widely understood/spoken as a second language and as the national lingua franca) while now it's over 40%. Mandarin might be slightly ahead, but I think most Singaporeans do learn English natively. The 'problem' is that like Jamaica, Singapore has Singlish, a sort of creole, which is popular in Singapore. Lee Kwan Yew famously tried to discourage Singlish although many are trying to reclaim it. The thing with Singlish is, it's a continuum, from a creole that is almost like a hybrid, to English with a Singaporean accent and minimal colloqualisms like saying 'lah'.

The difference is English is still a working language in Singapore compared to languages where it is not. Yes, many Singaporeans do not speak PERFECT English - but one could also say many African Americans or even some white Italian New Yorkers do not - does it mean English is any less native to them? No, it's just a sort o f colloquial style. Singaporeans are all exposed to English in real life, on TV.etc from a young age, so it's different to someone in Sweden who learns in school.

'Minority of the minority who speaks English natively'? Have you been to Singapore?

Speaking of Britons, ironically when i was travelling with a group here a few years ago, there were a few Brits and Aussies in the group. The Danish girl actually said she could understand my Australian accent better than the English people. Some English people have quite thick accents/use a lot of slang that many ESL speakers fail to grasp.
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Old 02-21-2014, 09:35 AM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Originally Posted by Orai View Post
You forgot Gibraltar with English as the sole official language
Gibraltar is a tiny enclave which isn't even a proper country so I don't really count it.
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