sort of cross-posted from my journal on the recommendation of dhobikikutti
The other day I'd met my friend from JC, and amongst other things (catching up, finding out he's practically a professional photographer OMG), he's a teacher now, in primary school. Woah, what's THAT? People my age are teaching primary school now!
Anyway, we'd ended up talking abotu English and the thing about Singlish in schools, teaching and all.( One of the ways you can tell if someone's a Singaporean/Malaysian is the inflection of their Singlish/Manglish slang, and the ... for lack of a better word, tonality. )
*** ( Talking about dialects and languages – when does a dialect become a language? )
Met one of my lab-mates yesterday. When I asked her what her name was, and which 'Lan' it was, in Chinese, she told me it was 'lan hua' (orchid) and then was very surprised and happy to find out I could speak Mandarin.
Uuuuh. She thought that I couldn't, because one of our other labmates said I couldn't (I can't ask for help in 'how to make the printer work!', my Mandarin is not that good), and because I'm Singaporean, and the other Singaporean in our lab can't speak Mandarin either (he's either malay or peranakan), she was under the impression that Singaporeans can't speak Mandarin.
Well a lot of Singaporeans younger than I am actually have poor grasps on Manadarin, yes. Teaching styles and so on, it's not conducive to proper chinese education. (I can go on all day about how Chinese education is very BAD in Singapore, because whoever came up with how Chinese/mother-tongue was to be taught were clearly not language instructors.) People my age-group and older? More of them are bilingual, mostly because their PARENTS had been.
Just... a random thing, I guess.