International Baccalaureate Diploma student from Anglo-Chinese School (International), Rina Tan speaks at a TEDx talk about Singlish as the native language of Singapore, highlighting that the government’s official stand on Singlish (and other local dialects) is unjustified in light of its importance in Singaporean culture.
In her talk around the controversial Speak Good English movement and Speak Mandarin campaign, Rina presents a fresh take on language as a tool for communication and bridging gaps and not something that should widen gaps in any community or society. She highlights these points by referencing to “Singlish” a colloquial version of English.
She said, “…I think that our native tongues have been under siege but they are not under siege by colonists but by our own government.” and pointed the government stance on Singlish.
“While Singlish might be a fascinating academic topic for linguists to write papers about, Singapore has no interest in becoming a curious zoo specimen to be dissected and described by scholars” – Ministry of Education, 2008
Rina ask, “But how can we as Singaporeans, how can we as international students living within a Singaporean community simply dismiss Singlish as a language that is meant to be described and dissected as an academic subject?”
“The truth is, Singlish is a language of honesty, Singlish is a language of expedience.” Rina on what Singlish means to her.
This talk was given at a local TEDx event carried out at Hwa Chong International School, produced independently of the TED Conferences.