Singlish, Lah!

English is the first language for most Singaporeans….or is it? The ‘English’ spoken here is liberally peppered with colloquialisms and spoken at the speed of light, which means most visitors and new residents have a hard time understanding what is being said…Thankfully, the locals have a sense of humor and know that their English is “unique” and don’t mind being the butt of jokes…


This is a Singaporean ad…Can you tell me what it means?

Please listen to this – it is extremely funny!

Examples of Singlish:
– No good lah – this isn’t good
– Dat person there cannot trust – That person over there is not trustworthy
– How come never show up? – Why didn’t you show up?
– Tomorrow dun need bring book – You don’t need to being a book tomorrow
– He sick, so he stay home sleep lor – He’s not feeling well, so he decided to stay home and sleep!
– Dat one his wife lah – That lady is his wife
– Anything also can – I’m open to suggestions
– Here got what, ah? – What would you recommend?
– Here the food is tok kong – The food here is exceptional

Like the country, Singlish is also efficient…Why use 3 words when 1 will do?

[Note: lah, ah and hor are pragmatic particles]


24 thoughts on “Singlish, Lah!

    • Now… !!

      you asked for it…

      yaaron… sunlo zara… apna yeh kehna…
      first to hitchy hi hai… aur nahi koi…

      solilo nahi smitha na sahi…
      ihm nahi monu bhi nahi…

      arre… yaaaro sunlo zara… apna yeh kehna…
      jeeena ho to apun ke jaise hi jeena !!!!!!!!!

      πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

      I am sure you all loved this SOGN !!!!!!!!!!

      :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
      Yes, we loved it! Did Javed Akhtar pen it?


  1. thats a new info for me Bones…

    I thought Malay is the first language there or Chinese…
    There are 4 official languages – English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil…A large portion of the Chinese population are not native Mandarin speakers (they speak other Chinese languages) and since only Mandarin is used and taught, they prefer to converse in English


  2. Heehee. But I still think you can’t beat us Indians on the variety of ways in which we massacre the Queen’s language. I absolutely love it! Practically each state makes a unique contribution.


  3. Thanks to expat population,Singaporeans have at least made an effort to learn English language.
    Singapore is one of the most progressive country in the world.
    Slightly off the track….I went to Clark Que for dinner recently.I wanted veg food.In their terminology,it seems any dish having vegetables is veg.
    Actually, it was Mr.Lee who made it compulsory for Singaporeans to learn English – he wanted to attract foreigners…He also made Mandarin the official Chinese language i.e. only it can be taught in school…As a result languages such as Hokkien are dying…


  4. Just like we add “na” at the end of sentences and literally translate from any Indian language. e.g., “You are coming na” for the grammatically correct Are you coming?

    I guess the local flavour keeps getting added and the English language will undergo many such mutations.

    Something to be enjoyed and not frowned upon…
    True…We’ve also started using ‘lah’ and pronouncing words like them so they can understand…As the Americans say,”Life is a learning curve”…
    The Singaporean govt. is worried though and has started the Speak Good English Movement to encourage locals to speak grammatically correct English…Apparently, Singlish has seeped into the work culture as well…The problem is that most English teachers in local schools also speak and teach Singlish…


  5. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA πŸ˜› loved the video and the guy laughing oin the background πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜›

    The “la” used in english is also used by the Tamil in singapore and malaysia………. πŸ˜› πŸ˜›
    Do Tamils in India use ‘lah’?


  6. Hahahaha funnyyy!!!

    So, u also from Singapore? Me too! πŸ™‚ I used to find Singlish very annoying initially… I find it funny now! πŸ™‚

    And what about “Can na.. can na”!! For anything and everything that they do not know or cant do!! πŸ˜›
    Yeah, I too live in Singapore…Your blog on F1 and Dandiya gave you away…


  7. here in Hk it is worse …they can’t speak it at all!And when they do the English is brutally murdered, and some still shy away from answering English speaking customers in shops! But, I now, I guess it is actually upto me to learn Cantonese now being in their land!! I might kill it though, I’m afraid! LOL!

    Me: We had a hard time in HK because of the language problem – had to carry a piece of paper with the hotel add written in Cantonese to show cabbies…Singapore is better…


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