Friday, August 29, 2008

English?

Whilst it was nice that almost everybody here knows about Singapore (as opposed to it being in China or only about the Michael Fay incident) ... one thing kept creeping in my conversations with the Americans: 

"How is it that you speak English so well? Did you study here in the US before?" Even the director of my graduate school thought I studied in the UK. And this fact seemed to marvel most of them.

Well guys, English is the language of instruction in Singapore. We speak it here ... and you know what - our command of the language is probably (well, most well-travelled Americans will say it definitely) better than most Americans :)

Being the very few Singaporeans in Boulder (that was one of my considerations to come here), we normally proceed to an oral introduction of Singapore. Usually, at the end of the conversation, enough interest are garnered for people to visit our island-city.

Can I get the Mr. Tourism Award, Singapore?

But yeah ... I was also doing my duty as a Fulbright scholar :)

2 comments:

marz said...

yeah... true... i get that quite often too.... when i "speak" to those from the Western world.

That was back during the days when i play pool on yahoo! We chat in between turns and are pretty surprised i "speak" proper English. =)

Little Miss Pinky said...

The same happened when i studied in Australia. With sarcasm, we would always respond that we just mastered it within a day of arriving Australia. That amused them. Seriously ...

The conclusion is, the world is so big. There are many people out there who has never been out of their own little village, district, country, which explains this ignorance.

So we count our blessings on being well traveled, well read and very well exposed to the world beyond our shores. The little red dot is a definitely hot.