星國銷售員被規勸別說「ah」 - Taipei Times"/>
Wed, Aug 02, 2006 - Page 15 News List

Singaporean salespeople told to leave the "ah" off
星國銷售員被規勸別說「ah」

People shopping in a store in Singapore.
民眾在新加坡商店購物。 (照片:法新社)

PHOTO: AFP

Singaporean salespeople are being encouraged to drop local slang and speak proper English to their customers.

Expressions such as “Can fit or not?” and “No more this color” -- part of the local way of speaking known as Singlish -- should be dropped and replaced with complete grammatical sentences.

The effort is part of the city-state's yearly Speak Good English Movement, under which sales clerks will be given information on commonly misused phrases.

“On many occasions, they don't even realize that the Singlish phrases they use may sound rude and abrupt,” Lau Chuen Wei of the Singapore Retailers Association was quoted as saying.

Cambridge-educated Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said last year that Singaporeans should strive to speak correct English to help the city-state keep its competitive edge.

He went on to say that since three-quarters of Singapore's population are literate in English, the republic has significant competitive advantages over other Asian nations.

Singaporeans speaking colloquial English will often end sentences with “lah,” “lor” or “mah” -- endings that come from the local Singaporean Chinese.

They may also literally translate sentences from Mandarin to English, which makes odd and grammatically incorrect phrases such as “I go toilet” and “You go where, ah?”

Most people who live in Singapore, which used to be a British colony, are ethnic Chinese but there are significant ethnic Malay and Indian communities in the regional business hub, which is home to thousands of multinational corporations.(AFP)

新加坡銷售人員被鼓勵放棄當地俚語,改以標準的英語與顧客交談。

像是「Can fit or not? 」(大小適不適合)和「No more this color」(別再看這種顏色)等星式英語應該被摒棄,改以符合文法的完整句子代替。

Today's Words 今天單字

1. abrupt adj.

唐突的 (tang2 tu2 de5) ,突然的 (tu1 ran2 de5)

例: My seatbelt tightened as the car came to an abrupt stop.

(車子突然煞車,我的安全帶被束緊。)

2. strive v.i.

努力 (nu3 li4)

例: Whitney always strives to please her parents.

(惠妮總是竭力取悅父母。)

3. literate adj.

識字的 (shi4 zi4 de5)

例: Sweden has a highly literate population.

(瑞典的人口識字率很高。)

4. colloquial adj.

口語的 (kou3 yu3 de5)

例: Phrases like "I am" and "have not" are almost always shortened to contractions in colloquial speech.

(例如「I am」與「have not」等片語在口語中總是會變成縮短形。)


這項努力是這個城市國家的年度「說好英語運動」之一,銷售員會被告知普遍被誤用的片語訊息。

新加坡零售商協會的劉佳慧說︰「在許多情況下,他們不明白自己使用的星式用語聽起來既唐突又無禮。」

劍橋大學出身的新加坡總理李顯龍去年說過,新加坡人民應該努力說出正確的英語,幫助這個城市國家保持競爭力。

他也說,既然新加坡有四分之三的人口懂得英語,這個共和國有優於其他亞洲國家的明顯競爭優勢。

說英語的新加坡人通常會以「lah」、「lor」或「mah」做為句子結尾,這些結尾起源於當地的星式中文。

他們也可能將中文逐字翻譯成英語,造成了像是「I go toilet」和「You go where, ah?」等怪異又不符合文法的語句。

住在新加坡這個昔日英國殖民地的民眾大多為華人,不過當地數千家跨國企業所在地的商業中心,也有不少馬來與印度裔社群。

(法新社╱翻譯︰賴美君)

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