Singaporean Mandarin

Singaporean Mandarin
新加坡華語
新加坡华语
Xīnjiāpō Huáyǔ
Native toSingapore
RegionSingapore
Native speakers
1.2 million (2010 census)[1]
L2 speakers: 880,000 (1985)[2]
Simplified Chinese characters
Traditional Chinese characters (Personal names only)
Official status
Official language in
 Singapore
Regulated byPromote Mandarin Council
Singapore Centre for Chinese Language
Language codes
ISO 639-3
ISO 639-6huyu (Huayu)
GlottologNone
Linguasphere79-AAA-bbb(=standard) or 79-AAA-bbd-(part)(=colloquial)
IETFcmn-SG

Singaporean Mandarin
Traditional Chinese新加坡華語
Simplified Chinese新加坡华语
Literal meaningSingapore Chinese Language

Singaporean Mandarin (simplified Chinese: 新加坡华语; traditional Chinese: 新加坡華語; pinyin: Xīnjiāpō Huáyǔ) is a variety of Mandarin Chinese spoken natively in Singapore. It is one of the four official languages of Singapore along with English, Malay and Tamil.

Singaporean Mandarin can be classified into two distinct Mandarin dialects: Standard Singaporean Mandarin and Colloquial Singaporean Mandarin (Singdarin). These two dialects are easily distinguishable to a person proficient in Mandarin. The standard is the register of Mandarin used in more formal occasions in Singapore and can be heard on television and radio. It is also the form taught in all Singapore government schools, while the colloquial is the form used by the general populace in informal situations. Singaporean Mandarin has many unique loanwords from other Chinese dialects (such as Hokkien) as well as Singapore's other official languages of English, Malay and Tamil.

Singaporean Mandarin became widely spoken by the Chinese community in Singapore after the Speak Mandarin Campaign by the government in 1979. It is today considered to be the second most commonly spoken language in Singapore, after English. Due to its widespread usage, Singaporean Mandarin has replaced Singaporean Hokkien as the lingua franca of the Chinese community today.[3] Following the economic rise of China in the 21st century, Mandarin proficiency has been viewed with greater importance and has risen in terms of prominence in Singapore.[4] In 2010, there was an increase in the number of Singaporean population who know two or more languages.[5]

With increasing influx of mainland Chinese from mainland China to Singapore since the beginning of the 21st century,[6] Singaporean Mandarin has gradually inclined itself towards Standard Chinese, although there are unique differences that has been retained.[7] Currently, Singaporean Mandarin continues to develop itself with major influences coming from Standard Chinese, Taiwanese Mandarin and English. Since the 2010s, the percentage of Singaporean Chinese speaking Mandarin at home has begun to decrease recently, in favour of Singaporean English.

  1. ^ Mandarin Chinese (Singapore) at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ Mandarin Chinese (Singapore) at Ethnologue (14th ed., 2000).
  3. ^ Leong Koon Chan. "Envisioning Chinese Identity and Multiracialism in Singapore". Retrieved 14 February 2011.
  4. ^ "RPT-FEATURE-Eyeing China, Singapore sees Mandarin as its future". Reuters. 16 September 2009. Retrieved 14 February 2011.
  5. ^ SINGAPORE DEPARTMENT OF STATISTICS. "CENSUS OF POPULATION 2010 STATISTICAL RELEASE 1 ON DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS, EDUCATION, LANGUAGE AND RELIGION" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 January 2011. Retrieved 15 August 2013.
  6. ^ 中国新闻网 (China News Site). "探讨新加坡人与中国新移民:接纳与融入间的对视(An insight into Singaporean and New Chinese immigrants: receiving and assimilation)" (in Chinese). Retrieved 15 August 2013.
  7. ^ 中国新闻网(China News Site). "新加坡内阁资政:新加坡华语尽量向普通话靠拢(Lee Kuan Yew: Singaporean Mandarin should incline itself towards Putonghua)" (in Chinese). Retrieved 15 August 2013.

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