"Don’t like that lah. We will win one…"

Singlish, the Singapore variant of English with all the other dialects thrown in to form phrases and words at the end of sentences or in an irregular sentence structure.

I still remember vividly a few years back, let’s say in 2000 where Singlish was widely apparent throughout the little nation state. Perhaps it was due to the influences of Phua Chu Kang (the local sitcom delight of a contractor), but after the Speak Good English Campaign, now in the year 2008, there is by far lesser occurrences of Singlish being spoken.

The aunty at the market will now speak in proper sentence structures (though we cannot ask for it to be perfect) and teenagers down the street would probably be speaking in accents foreign to this metropolitan city. In this place and time of society, the value of a locally infused language has by far decreased.

However, my personal opinion is that Singlish is what actually defines the nation state we are. We can speak perfect English but then again we are no different from our European counterparts. The same goes for speaking Mandarin or Pu Tong Hua. With the tongue of our numerous forefathers of different descents, we have created our own national identity and the fact that our youngsters are shifting towards accents and perfect english, would it then mean a greater loss culturally?

While it is right to speak proper English as for the benefit of the economy while conducting trade or impressing an impression of others upon ourselves, I think while we are at home, we can still retain that sense of uniqueness within our language.

To be professional in speech while in work, and to retain our roots while at home, I believe that should be the true mark of the Speak Good English Campaign such that as Singapore progresses, we do not lose the achievements of National and Cultural Identity.