Singapore English

Singapore English refers to two main forms of English spoken in Singapore: Standard Singapore English and Singapore Colloquial English, also known as Singlish.  Singaporeans, even those of the same ethnic group, have many different first languages and cultures. Within the Singaporean Chinese group almost a third speaks English as their home language while nearly half speak Mandarin as their home language. The rest of the Singaporean Chinese group speaks various mutually intelligible Chinese dialects as their home language. As you may have figured out by now, the English fluency level of residents in Singapore varies from person to person. 
Languages most frequently spoken at home in Singapore

Standard Singapore English is not that different from standard British English. The people of Singapore doesn’t have the British accent though, they only use it grammatically. Unlike Standard Singapore English, Singlish includes conversation particles and loan words from Malay, Mandarin and Hokkien, and isn't used in formal communication. 

Example of what Singlish is like

I think Singlish is fun to listen to. For me Singlish isn't so hard to understand since I have friends in Singapore that talk Singlish sometimes, but for some it can be quite difficult. When people talk Singlish, certain words are shortened and they end their sentences with "lah" or "meh" or some other strange word, which might make it difficult to understand what they are talking about. When you talk Singlish you have to speak like you don't know how to pronounce words. I recommend you to watch the video I posted, it's really cute. Try to see how well you understand Singlish, maybe you will surprise yourself!

Source: here
Pictures: here and here


Gran Torino

Today in class we watched the movie "Gran Torino". It is directed and produced by Clint Eastwood. Eastwood has the lead role as well.
The movie is about a widowed Korean War veteran, Walt Kowalski, who is alienated from his family and who is angry at the world. When a Hmong teenage boy named Thao, gets caught stealing Walt's Gran Torino (he was pressured by his cousin may I add), Walt slowly develops a bond with Thao and the rest of his family.
Ethnic relations, conflict resolution and individual violence are a few issues that are covered in this movie.

So, how do Hollywood films portray people of different races and ethnicities? Do they portrait movies stereotypically or are people portrayed differently then we expect them to be? In my opinion the characters in this movie are portrayed as stereotypical people. "Gran Torino" contains a series of racial issues where the main character, Walt Kowalski is portrayed as an stereotypical old man, same as the Hmong people. The Hmong people in this movie all live under the same roof or are close neighbors, constantly having dinner parties and other gatherings. In general, The Hmong people are very traditional people, and this is portrayed well in the movie.
My conclusion is that all Hollywood movies, not only this one, are portrayed very stereotypically. I think they do this so we all can relate to the characters. In "Gran Torino" there is a neighborhood gang who carries weapons around at all times, act tough, pressure people into doing things they don't want to do, etc. This description descripes the typical gang, and it's what we all expect for a gang to be.

I really reccommend this movie! It shows us to fight for justice, to be loyal, and to have respect for everyone. A fantastic movie.


To Kill a Mockingbird

You all probably remember last fall when we had an assignment to read the book "The Kite Runner". Well, this spring we have been given the task to read a book of our own choice. Our teacher gave us some options as well, and I chose one of her suggestions, "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee. I've always wanted to read this book, but there have always been other books in the way. It's good to finally sit down and enjoy one of America's beautiful classics I've heard so much about. 

To Kill a Mockingbird is in many ways based on Lee's own family, friends and childhood experiences. The book deals with racism issues in the southern states in1 936. The story is told through the eyes of a young girl and we get to know her thougths about life, and the prejudices people had towards black people, girls and poor families. The book is written in a southern accent which makes the story more "reliable" and you really get the feeling that you're in the southerns as you read. This is one of many strengths the book has.

So far I have only read sixty pages, this because we've had a lot to do at school. I am looking forward to reading further though. I like the story, the plot and the southern accent so far, so I can't do anything other than reccommend it to all of you - and I havn't even gotten half way through!

Picture taken from HERE