Can understand Singlish? Can!

 When i first came to Singapore I was shouted at by an auntie. I wanted my breakfast to be for take out so i told the vendor, “to go”. Apparently she doesn’t understand. Instead she said, “Ayioo. Cannot speak ah, take away!”

Singlish is an english without prepositions, without subject verb agreement and with limited vocabulary. The terms are mainly of British English origin/connotation so most of the time, Filipinos would have difficulty understanding them. Not to mention the accent! My Singaporean colleagues had some difficulties at first in dealing with our Filipino contractors due to language barrier. We Filipinos are used to American English thus the confusion. It takes getting used to.

So, to be understood clearly on your next trip to the Garden City, here is a list of terms they usually use (this may help you specially when ordering at their local food court (hawker centers) or asking for directions or on your first day at work:

To go———– Take away/ tao bao

broken/not working————-Spoil


Period——–Full stop



Comfort Room—Toilet

Load (prepaid callcard)—- Top Up


go back————– going home to your current address

go home————- going to your country of origin

Auntie/Uncle——- older woman/man (senior citizen)

You follow your boss later. ———— ride with your boss in his car


Do you have more?? Just comment!



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