Friday, 19 August 2011


I'm not, in any way, proficient in Singlish.

(Def. Singlish: English-based creole spoken and written colloquially in Singapore. Although English is the lexifier language, Singlish has its unique slang and syntax, which are more pronounced in informal speech. (

However, one phrase that I'm getting more and more accustomed to is "Can" or "Can Can", which means, generally, "Yes!" or "No problem!" I've heard it a lot since getting here. Taxis are cheap, and I've relied upon them somewhat when I've been out late with colleagues, so in the taxi - "Can you get me to [home]?"


"Any idea how I can get to [random grocery store/cultural sight/walking path/ATM]?"


My responses, unfortunately, make me sound like Wayne's World.


I'm sorry, but I can't direct you to where I live, I can't quite understand if you're asking me how long I've been here, if my [nonexistant] husband is here with me, if I know the way to your bus stop, or if I have any particular opinion on the candidates in the upcoming Singaporean presidential election. I CanNOT. I want to - believe me, I want to be able to chat, to have an opinion, to have some idea of where I am and where I'm going, to talk with you and understand what you're saying to me. To CAN.

But, at the moment? I cannot. And there is little else that frustrates me so much.

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