Say what? British tourist says he’s struggling to understand Singaporean accent, Singapore News

PUBLISHED ON November 21, 2023 3:42 AM By Ching Shi Jie

While some foreigners find Singlish “very efficient”, there are others who struggle to understand what Singaporeans are saying.

One British tourist was recently left bewildered by his Singapore visit.

In a TikTok video on Monday (Nov 21), Jack The Backpacker said that he could not understand a word when Singaporeans spoke English to him.

“I’m a fully native speaker, so I never had any problems with understanding peoples’ English and accents,” said Jack, who had visited Hong Kong, Vietnam and Thailand.

“But in Singapore, they have a really strong accent.”

Jack shared that Singlish heavily modifies the structure of sentences to make them “unrecognisable”.

“In my taxi yesterday, the driver was telling me all sorts of things,” he said. “I have no idea what he was saying.”

@morejackthebackpacker

I’m struggling with English in Singapore #singapore

♬ original sound – morejackthebackpacker

Jack’s video has since garnered over 35,000 views and close to 200 comments.

In the comments section, one netizen explained that Singlish is influenced by our multi-cultural society. 

Another netizen said that the Singaporean English accent is unique.

“Singaporeans here are raised bilingual, you have to get used to it,” he said, while another netizen added that he has problems understanding “proper English”.

Several netizens said that Singlish is another language by itself.

“It helps all races to communicate,” one said.

AsiaOne has contacted Jack The Backpacker for more information.

ALSO READ: ‘We can sound however we want’: Voiceover artist defends her accent following outrageous fan question

chingshijie@asiaone.com

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