Code Switching in Singlish essay

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Code switching is the concurrent use of more than one language in a conversation. Code switching in Singlish is observed in Singapore among the three ethnic groups, where English is used as an ‘inter-ethnic lingua franca’ to converse with other cultural groups. Singapore English can be divided into two groups: Singapore Standard English and Singlish. The Singapore Standard English is used in formal situations while the Singish is used in informal situations. Despite efforts by the government of Singapore to eradicate Singlish among the Singaporeans, quite a huge number of them still use it, more so the younger generation who use it as their language of choice. According to the ministry of education media reports (1999, pp.1-5) in Singapore, Singlish is becoming a language of identity among the younger generation. One from the young generation would like to communicate with his/her friends in Singlish to identify with them and avoid being snobbish. Superiors and foreigners use Singapore Standard English while Singlish is used by people to communicate in their informal conversations mostly by the youths.

According to a researcher Gupta (1989), it is stated that proficient adult speakers of English use two sharp different kinds of English depending on the circumstances, while Chang (2005) argues that Singaporeans know well when Singlish is appropriate. Many interviews and questionnaire methods are used, but the views of the Singaporeans are positive on its use. Many people have are quite attached emotionally to Singlish because it gives ones identity, shows the pedigree, their ancestor’s line, and that is why Singlish is very important to the Singaporeans. Chang (2005) states, that speaking Singlish is a proclamation of people’s identity.

The use of Singapore Standard English and Singlish in Singapore has some strong relations among the Singaporeans. They have a conviction that it is their identity thus it is not easy to eradicate Singlish in Singapore.

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