Singaporean Mandarin

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 widely spoken in Singapore. It is one of the four official languages of Singapore along with English, Malay and Tamil.

Singapore Mandarin can be classified into two distinct Mandarin dialects, Standard Singaporean Mandarin and Colloquial Singaporean Mandarin. These two dialects are easily distinguishable to a person proficient in Mandarin. Standard Singaporean Mandarin is the register of Mandarin used in more formal occasions in Singapore and can be heard on television and radio and is the form taught in all Singapore government schools while Colloquial Singaporean Mandarin (Singdarin) is the form used by the general populace, usually among those with poorer command of Mandarin and who are less exposed to Standard Mandarin. They tend to infuse the language with many words from other Chinese dialects, Malay and English.

The official standard of Mandarin of Republic of Singapore, known in Singapore as Huayu (华语), based on the phonology of the Beijing dialect and the grammar of Vernacular Chinese, is almost identical to the standard of Mandarin used in the People's Republic of China, known there as Pǔtōnghuà (普通话). Standard Singaporean Mandarin, which is usually heard on Singaporean Mandarin-language TV and radio news broadcast, is generally similar to Putonghua in terms of phonology, vocabulary and grammar. Small differences appear in the form of vocabulary differences.

However, in terms of colloquial spoken Mandarin, Singaporean Mandarin is still subject to influence from the local historical, cultural and social influences of Singapore. As such, there are remarkable differences between colloquial Singaporean Mandarin and Putonghua. Colloquial Singaporean Mandarin bears the closest resemblance with Colloquial Malaysian Mandarin.

Singaporean Mandarin only became widely spoken by the Chinese community in Singapore after the Speak Mandarin Campaign in 1979. It is today considered to be the second most commonly spoken language in Singapore, after English. As of 2000, 82% of literate Chinese Singaporeans were literate in the language and were able to speak Singaporean Mandarin. Due to its widespread usage, Singaporean Mandarin has replaced Singaporean Hokkien as the lingua franca of the Chinese community in Singapore today. 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.

Like its English counterpart Singlish, Singaporean Mandarin also has a creole when spoken colloquially, known informally as Singdarin.

Read more about Singaporean Mandarin:  Overview, History, Influences From Singaporean Hokkien, Writing System, Further Reading, References