On being tagged and blogging about something else …

Cool! I got tagged. First time in more than a year of blogging (ok, ok, just barely more than a year) – thanks! Now I know someone really cares :-)

Unfortunately, I’ve already done this one, you can take a peak at it here.

Prince Romp also commented that in Singapore acquiring English proficiency is hard because it is a multiracial, multilingual country so people’s language skills are divided.

Hmmm … all I can say is that of the Singaporean blogs I have visited, I have always been impressed by the high quality of the English prose I find (I cannot comment on those who write in Chinese because it looks Greek to me).

However, I also notice idiopathic constructs and usage that sometimes make my head spin. Definitely there is slang I don’t get. Language purists would insist that this sort of Pidgin English is improper and incorrect. I would disagree (I would, wouldn’t I?). It is a distinct dialect and I am happy to be able to share in it – not that I use it (ha ha, I just comment in my incongruous English like some stiff shirt).

If you want to conform your English to a certain style, then you need to read more of it, listen to more of it and of course practice it (any of the English language broadcasts out of Europe – BBC, Radio Netherlands, Radio France, etc - have that pleasant English accent). Although, I instinctively rebel against conformity of any sort.

I remember going to a show once with Sofia, when she was still acquiring English. After the show she was saying, while clapping, "Claps, claps" – which I thought was really cute, but I corrected her and now she no longer says it. sigh.

For a while, I had this weird notion that Singaporeans speak English with a British accent (an irrational assumption based on the quality of the English prose that comes out of there). Blinky Mummy has cured me of that.

Personally, I love diversity. I think Montreal and Ottawa are fantastic multicultural cities. When I moved to Toronto back in 1986, I found it too white and too English for my tastes.

Toronto is now the most ethnically diverse city in the world, but … the various communities are clearly segregated and do not intermix – unlike Montreal and Ottawa, where the communities are more intermingled.

I think this world would be a boring place if we were all the same (unless that sameness was me ;-)

then it would be extremely boring :-(



Image nabbed from here.

Comments

Coffee fairy said…
"After the show she was saying, while clapping, "Claps, claps" – which I thought was really cute, but I corrected her and now she no longer says it. sigh." --> Just wanted to say this made me smile and warmed my heart. =)
busybee said…
Richard said: "I think this world would be a boring place if we were all the same."

Yes, we all speak with different accents for the same language, even for the Chinese language. There are so many different varieties in China itself, not to mention those who have migrated overseas.

I always feel insulted when the advertisers put it as "must be native speaker" when they advertise for a TESOL Teacher position. This notion that an English native speaker can teach TESOL better than non-native speaker is just not correct. In fact,it actually goes against the concept of TESOL.

Even amongst the English speakers, there are so many different accents... worse still, many do not use proper English when they write or speak.

I would say that generally Singaporeans like to use "Singlish" amongst their peers (feel homelier), but they could quickly switch to standard English when they speak to an English native speaker or in formal situations.
Prince Romp said…
Different country have different strokes...

but Im afraid some of my fellow countrymen dont agree with me..

I like to share this video with you...check it out.

http://www.filecabi.net/video/knowcanadians.html
Richard said…
fairy: I am happy I could make you smile :-)

bee: one interesting thing about people is that they seem to instinctively want to group themselves into clans or tribes and use all sorts of measures to divide themselves - language, colour, religion, IQ, whether you stick out your pinky while drinking tea, etc.

romp: I'll have alook when I'm off work. Probably tomorrow, but Sofia tells me the home computer is reusing to boot up. sigh

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