Tag Archives: singlish

#EngConvo: Singlish

So today I am going to share about #Singlish #EngConvo

Based on the interview with @della_angelina and Zhen Min, they came up with conversation about food

Of course, food is irresistible to the South East Asian societies :)

So here are two conversations I would like to share

Note: Sentences in brackets (…) are the English translations of the previous Singlish sentence


The 1st one is a conversation between ZM and D about D’s favourite eating place:


ZM: Where is your favourite makan place?

(Where is your favourite eating place?)

D: That time my friend bring me to Dover, to chicken rice place. It is damn good, and super cheap. 2 dollars only.

(That time my friend brought me to Dover, to this chicken rice place. It is very good and very cheap. Only 2 dollars)


The 2nd one is a conversation between a food stall seller and a buyer:


Seller (S): What you want?

(What would you like?)

Buyer (B): I don’t know lhe, I want nasi lemak, and I want es bandung

(I don’t know, I want nasi lemak, and I want es bandung)

S: I only sell nasi lemak if you want es bandung you go that stall, lha

(I only sell nasi lemak. If you want es bandung you should go to that stall)

B: Alamak

(Oh my God/Okay fine)

S: You want nasi lemak with chilli?

(Do you want chilli on your nasi lemak?)

B: Little bit.

S: Take away or eat here?

B: Eat here.

S: Okay, 3.50

(Okay, 3.50 dollars)

B: I give you 15, can or not?

(Is it okay to pay with 15 dollars?)

S: No lha, got no change, you have 50 cent?

(No, I have no change, you have 50 cents?)

B: Nevermind lah, I will go drink stall first and come back, okay?

(Nevermind, I will go to the drink stall first and then come back here)

S: Okay.


So, what do you think?


Hope you had fun reading the Singlish conversations :) and hope this #EngConvo is useful :D

Compiled and written by @daedonghae at @EnglishTips4u on Devember 20, 2014



Thank you again to @della_angelina Zhen Min and Mithun for your contribution to the #Singlish sessions

#IOTW: A few Singlish idioms

Happy Saturday Fellas! Hope you have been having a great day so far :)

For our fun session this evening, I will be sharing some idioms from the Singapore English known as Singlish. These are the most common ones as shared by the same people that I had Singlish discussions previously. So here they are:

  1. “Catch no ball.” Meaning: you lost it, or you lost the meaning of what have been said
  1. “Fly my kite.” Meaning: abandoned, ignored, or you are tricking me
  1. “Blur like sotong.” Meaning: you are always confused, don’t know anything
    • Example:
      • “You are blur like sotong
  1. “Mix like rojak.” Meaning: meaning very mixed; (Rojak is known as rujak in Indonesian, it is a fruit/vegetable salad dish with sweet & sour dressing. Rojak becomes a word that is commonly used in Singlish to state something very mixed.)
    • Example:
      • “Singapore is a rojak society”

So that’s it for today :) I hope it has been useful :D

Source: Again, thank you to @della_angelina, Zhen Min and Mithun for the Singlish discussion :)

Compiled and written by @daedonghae at @EnglishTips4u on Sunday, September 20, 2014.




#EngVocab: Singlish Vocabularies (2)

So fellas, how did you find the Singlish #EngVocab on Wednesday? :)

As promised, today I will be continuing the Singlish #EngVocab session. So, here they are!

  1. Can. Meaning: usually used as its original meaning and placed at the end of a sentence.
    • Example:
      • “I need you to get this, can?” or
      • “I need you to get this, can or not?”
  2. Siao. Meaning: silly or crazy, or in Bahasa Indonesia similar to “gila” as slang
  3. Botak. Meaning: bald, in Bahasa Indonesia has the same meaning
  4. Kiasu. Meaning: always want to be the first to know (nosey). Sometimes people also say “super kiasu” which is “over-nosey.”
  5. Chop or Chope. Meaning: book(ing), to save a spot. Chop is also a phenomenon in Singapore where people put newspaper, umbrella or even a tissue paper to book their table in a food centre such as the hawker centre.
    • Example:
      • “I chop” means “I book you”.
  6. Shiok. Meaning: delicious/satisfying. Iin Bahasa Indonesia it is known by “puas”.
    • Example:
      • “Shiok to the max!”
      • “Damn shiok!”
  7. (Verb) – ing. Meaning: ptting “-ing” in the end of a word.
    • Example:
      • “karaoke-ing”,
      • “makan-ing”
  8. Kaypoh. Meaning: kepo in Bahasa Indonesia
  9. Kena or Kana. Meaning: just like in Indonesian, it means”got hit,” but in #Singlish an example would be
    • “Kena fire” meaning “dipecat.”
  10. Faster. Meaning: used in the front of a sentence like “faster drive!” or “faster sleep!” like in Indonesian “Cepat tidur!” Meanwhile, in English it should be “you should sleep soon”
  11. Later. Meaning: as it is a direct translation of what the person wants to do next. It is a time based word moved to the front as direct translation from Chinese grammar.
    • Example:
      • “Later we go!” instead of “We go later!”
      • “Faster makan later we go shopping!”
  12. Sabo. Meaning: short form of sabotage. There is also a “Sabo King” which means the king of saboteur
    • Example:
      • “You sabo me lah, how come you never come today?”

Here is an additional input from a Fella:

‘Bocap. Meaning:  I don’t care. “Bo” is pronounced as in “bobo” and “cap” as in “kecap”‘ -(re to @_imeh)

So that’s it for today’s #Singlish #EngVocab :) I hope you find it interesting and useful. Thank you for your participation fellas and see you tomorrow! Don’t forget to visit http://englishtips4u.com  and like http://facebook.com/englishtips4u !

Oh, and want to thank you @della_angelina, Zhen Min and Mithun again for their #Singlish #EngVocab contributions :)

Compiled and written by @daedonghae at @EnglishTips4u on August 30, 2014



#EngVocab: Singlish vocabularies

Following up on a previous post about Singlish or Singaporean English, this time we will talk about some Singlish words and expressions. Anyone up for it?

As a reminder, here’s what Singlish is to a fella:

“it’s English mix with some Chinese and Malay words :)) and the grammar doesnt have to be correct” – @laurenhxh

Believe it or not, my interviewees were struggling on how to actually write these Singlish. Of course, different people might write it differently. So, if you happen to know how to write them, share your version.

So, here they are!

  1. Wah Lau Eh/Weh. Meaning: “Oh my God,” an expression when you are surprised. In Indonesian it would be like “ya ampun.”
  2. Boh Liao. Meaning: nothing better to do, feeling bored.
  3. Cheem/Cham. Meaning: difficult, complicated, complex. This expression is usually used by students when they find their studies hard to understand.
  4. Ah/Leh/Meh/Lah. Meaning: expressive words in Singlish.
  5. Relak one corner. Meaning: go sit at one corner to do your own thing, nothing better to do, anti-social. As an example, telling someone to just go relax and maybe play guitar on the corner.
  6. Wan. Meaning: referring to an object/person. It is used at the end of a sentence.
    • Example:
      • “Zhen Min is very smart wan, lah!” (notice: an expressive word from no.4 is used in the end as well)
  1. Makan. Meaning: eating. It has the same meaning in Indonesian, but in Singapore and Singlish it is used by any race there to say “eat”
  2. Jalan-jalan. Meaning: walking around, traveling. It has the same meaning in Bahasa Indonesia
  3. Got? or Got meh? Meaning: “is it true?” or “is it?” In Indonesian would be “iya gitu?” or “ada gitu?
  4. Auntie or Uncle. Meaning: it is usually used to refer to shop owners or food stall owners.
    • Example:
      • “Auntie, what’s the price for….?”
      • “Uncle, what do you have in store?” and so on

Here is an additional expression from a Fella”

Bo jio. Meaning: ajak ajak dong. Why you didn’t invite me?” @jiank38

Remember, that these are Singlish (Singapore/Singaporean English). So, don’t mix it up with English. Of course, this session wouldn’t be possible without @della_angelina, Zhen Min and Mithun’s common Singlish vocabs contribution, in London, 14th July 2014.

Compiled and written by @daedonghae at @EnglishTips4u on August 27, 2014



#EngTrivia: Singlish

Some of us might have heard the word Singlish, Singaporean English. Throughout our Twitter sessions, fellas would ask about it occasionally. So in this post, we will some trivia about it based on an interview with colleagues currently living and previously lived in Singapore plus other sources.

Singapore was under the British colonial for 146 years (1819-1965). In the 1950s, those who worked as civil servants or for the government had to speak English. Schools which are available were Chinese schools and English schools.

With English language around them, it was then picked up by non-English speakers, creating another kind of ‘language’. This then becomes Singlish, a “creole language” (constructed from a simplified language). Therefore the present Singlish comes from the general population itself, the Singaporeans.

But, isn’t Singlish a slang?

The answer is.. well, some might say, but it’s actually not.

It is a constructed language based on English itself, different Chinese dialects and Malay (Bahasa Melayu). Singlish is a creole language from those different languages. Apparently Singlish is similar to Malaysian English.

Complicated? Not really. Singlish seems simple and unique. Yet apparently the government is complaining saying it lacks identity, it is an on-going argument.

Note: The information below was gathered through online interview with colleagues currently living and previously lived in Singapore.

Question: As those who uses/used Singlish, what do you think of it as a user?

Della, from Indonesia, stated that she can express herself very well in Singlish. To her, Singlish allows her to express more and has become one of her fluent ‘language.’

Zhen Min, from Singapore, stated she can express herself faster in Singlish. She would speak it to friends and colleagues or use it for casual writing. She would use it as affectation of language.

“I would change (to Singlish) if I am stressing on something” – Zhen Min, Singapore

Mithun, from India, stated he initially could not understand Singlish but then realises how amazing it is as a language itself. Singlish uses very little words to express more or the same.

“For example the word ‘can’. I don’t have to say the full sentence,I can just use it for almost anything and it makes sense” – Mithun, India


Question: So, what is Singlish like?

kinda hard to understand what they are talking about… :/ – @mu_afi

My friend supposed me S’porean ’cause my Singlish – @dyanaamalia

To those who are not familiar with Singlish, the language might sounds new and pretty hard to understand. However, to those who are familiar with Singlish and use it in daily conversation, especially to Singaporeans, the language comes naturally to them… just like how we use bahasa Indonesia in here Indonesia.




Compiled and written by @daedonghae at @EnglishTips4u on Saturday, July 26, 2014


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