Chinese Pronounciation in Singapore

January 14, 2010, 02:33 PM posted in General Discussion

Hi all

I'm currently living and working in Singapore, and have noticed their accent is different from what we learn here on ChinesePod. They even make fun of my 'China' accent.

For example, the shì (是 - to be) is not pronounced with a 'sh' sound, but a 's' sound. To me, it sounds like they are saying the number four instead of shì.

Also, other words lose their h's. It sounds like they are saying zīdào instead of zhīdào (知道 - to know). And the word for 'what' (shénme) becomes 'sénme' instead.

Somebody told me this is a bit like being lazy with the language and pronouncing the words in an easier way than their full form, but it ends up in the words sounding different and sounding like the pinyin spellings of completely different words.

Can somebody please shed some light on this?

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January 14, 2010, 12:57 PM

What you say reminds of this lesson. And this one. Might be interesting for you.

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January 14, 2010, 01:05 PM

In Singapore, the Chinese have historically originated from the South of China, i.e. Fujian province. I imagine that the historic links to southern China would heavily influence the accent in Singapore. It's a similar accent to the Taiwanese one. Taiwan also have historic links to Fujian province, and Hokkien is also spoken in Taiwan and in Fujian.

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January 14, 2010, 01:38 PM

Yes, Hokkien has a major influence here. Some of the old 'uncles' and 'aunties' only speak Hokkien, and all the swear words are in Hokkien.

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November 21, 2010, 04:03 AM

people in north will think you are showing off or you're trying to be cute when you speak in this dialect.

in China,north accent is harder while north accent is quite soft and even cute( 嗲 dia3,we use this word.).