The Unspeakable Singaporean Identity

  • Emily Ding


Singapore’s policy of having English as its official working language has enabled it to compete commercially with Western countries in the global arena. At home, however, its multi-ethnic population has developed and united under a unique tongue of its own – Singlish – a creole of English that has become an integral aspect of Singaporeans’ national identity. Nevertheless, Singlish is regarded by many as an improper way of speaking English and has been explicitly discouraged by policy makers. Codeswitching is therefore proposed as a viable means by which both Singlish and Standard English can co-exist without jeopardizing the objectives of maintaining Standard English as the official working language.

Jameson First-Year Writing Contest Winners, Fall