Singapore struggle on languages


ACCORDING TO WIKIPEDIA, Singapore has four official languages: English (main), Malay (national), Chinese and Tamil.

I read somewhere that most Singapore young generations found it difficult to memorize and sing their national anthem Majulah Singapura (“Onward Singapore”), which is using the Malay language.

For the time being, Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew admitted that his insistence on bilingualism in the early years of education policy was “wrong”. “We started the wrong way. We insisted on ting xie (listening), mo xie (dictation) – madness!” he told Singapore Centre for Chinese Language audiences on Tuesday.

In another effort, popular local blogger mrbrown has been engaged by the Speak Good English Movement to write a story showcasing good English. According to Goh Eck Kheng, Chairman of the Speak Good English Movement, the decision to engage mrbrown was to show youths that they can write in good English, and entertain at the same time.

Singapore is a highly cosmopolitan and diverse city. Despite the fact it’s not easy, I think the government already on the right track to engage the “Uniquely Singapore”. The way to go.


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