Ok for the longest time I have been meaning to write about the differences between American english and the english I speak. I say the english I speak, and not British english (which is the english that is used in Singapore) because I naturally think and speak singish-ly. So far, when I slip into singlish phrasing or intonation here, half the time or perhaps even most of the time, people find it hard to understand me – I usually need to repeat myself haha, which is understandable of course. Anyway, this post is just an observation of the differences I’ve encountered so far, quite interesting actually!
1. Not toilet… but bathroom
haha this was literally the first one I noticed. People don’t ask “Where’s the toilet?” or “May I use the toilet?”. It’s bathroom. Which I find strange because shouldn’t a bathroom be called a bathroom only if you can take a bath in there – and in most public toilets, and school toilets, there are no showering facilities.
2. Not cinema.. but movie theatre
I don’t know if people here know what a cinema is
3. Not notes.. but bills
Yea it’s five-dollar bills here and not five-dollar notes
4. Not dustbin.. but thrash can
5. Not takeaway.. but to go
6.Not Pavement.. but sidewalk
7. And University and college have different meanings in US????
ok you get the idea.. but I guess for me the biggest difference is how singlish is such an efficient language in that it breaks down the structure of proper english, so I could say something in less words when using Singlish than proper english. Like if I wanted somebody to wait a moment I could say “wait ah” and that’s it. But here I have to say “Please hold on a moment” or something like that so that I don’t appear rude haha
Also, I realised that the question “How are you?” is a greeting and it’s usually ONLY a greeting. This means that the asker may not actually care about how you’re doing. Strangers walking down the street greet each other with this same question and they’re obviously not going to go into a deep conversation about their day and their feelings. When I first got here I got anxiety when random people asked me how am I because I wasn’t sure how much details they wanna know. Because back in Singapore, at least for me, I wouldn’t ask someone “How are you?” unless I really wanna know and I care about having a conversation with them.
Ok, time for pictures
“I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.. I myself will see him with my own eyes” Job 19:25-27