Language in Singapore |

Language in Singapore

Expats are curious as to what langauge is spoken in Singapore, there are 4 official languages; English, Malay, Chinese & Tamil.

Posted on

3 February 2014

Last updated on 28 June 2017
Language in Singapore

Singapore is known for being a cosmopolitan with a population of diverse backgrounds and ethnicities; hence many languages can be heard on the streets of Singapore. However the majority of the people in Singapore speak English fluently and communication, while interesting at times, is relatively easy. The Singaporean government recognizes four official languages namely; English, Malay, Chinese and Tamil.


Singapore has a policy of bilingualism, where students learn in English but are taught the language of their ethnicity, referred to as their "mother tongue". The mother tongue is seen as a way to preserve unique cultural values in the multicultural society, although their usage is decreasing in the home as English becomes more predominant. The loss of the dialects has been even more prominent, as many are rarely used on the mass media and generally spoken by the elderly.

Singlish, an English based creole language language with its own consistent rules and phonology, is also widely used on the island. However, usage of this language is discouraged by the local government, who favour Standard English.

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