The Republic of Singapore is an island city-state bordering the sea in Southeast Asia. It’s simply a collection of islands and one among them is larger than the others. Singapore was founded by Sir Stamford Raffles as a trading station to the East India Company in 1819. It was later given away to Britain after the company collapsed; then it gained independence in 1965 after separating from Malaysia.
It has the second largest population in the world, because the residents are almost 5.7 million; 61% or 3.4 million being Singaporean citizens. Their official languages are Malay, English, Chinese and Tamil. Most people who work in the city are immigrants, while Singaporeans emigrate.
The Singaporean society is arranged into four racial groups: Malay, Chinese, Indians and Others. Malays are considered as the indigenous community, while the rest are immigrants.
Meta Description: The Reality About Singaporean Languages
Languages spoken in Singapore are diverse as well as its folks and cultures. Their national language is Malay while English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil are just the official ones.
Here is the basic information about the languages spoken in Singapore for you to have an idea about what you should expect when you visit. There are common phrases in diverse languages that must be your companion when you engage in a small conversation to make new friends. If you wish to know beyond the basic languages, there are a lot of online guides, handbooks and apps; meant for your conversational preparation.
This article focuses on the languages spoken in Singapore Republic.
- Malay Language
The standardized form of Malay language is Bahasa Melayu which is spoken by 13% of the country’s population. Malay is among the official languages and was once a national tongue before the British arrived in 1819. The language is written in Rumi which is a Roman script. In the past, it was scribbled in Jawi script that was based on Arabic.
The country’s national anthem – Onward Singapore or ‘Majulah Singapura’– is written in Malay language; which is also taught in schools with both the Rumi and Jawi scripts.
- English Language
The English language is widely used by the majority in Singapore. It’s also a channel of teaching in institutions and the official tongue of business and government.
The English used is British-based and was a unifying representation of the multiracial ethnic group as a way to communicate. English as the main tongue in Singapore promotes growth and prosperity in different international fields. The English language is spoken by 32% of the country’s population and it has been regarded as the second language.
- Singlish Language
This is Singapore’s unique English whose words are borrowed from Malay, Tamil and Hokkien. The language doesn’t have standardized grammar or an appropriate accent because it has vast vocabularies from all the local languages spoken. The indigenous Singaporeans use it as a unique identity to associate with each other.
- Mandarin Language
Mandarin or Huayu is the official Chinese dialect language in Singapore. It’s made up of simplified Chinese terms adopted from Teochew, Hokkien, Hainanese and Cantonese dialects. It’s also the official mother language for the Chinese Singaporeans.
- Tamil Language
The language is spoken by 76.7% of the Indians as a native language. It was officialized after a noteworthy number of Indians from Tamil Nadu region migrated to Singapore. There are also other Indian tongues used by the minorities in this country; they include Telugu, Kannada, Punjabi, Hindi, Malayalam, Sindhi and Gujarati.
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