Mark Chan

The 5Cs of Singlish


The 5Cs of Singlish

A guide to colloquial Singaporean English.

This book aims to be the essential guide for anyone looking to learn more about the history and the basics of this unique colloquial language. Through 5 carefully structured sections, I hope to give readers a better understanding of the importance and the nuances of this beautiful language that Iā€™m proud to call my own.





The 5Cs

In Singapore, the 5Cs represent the material aspirations of Singaporeans: Condominium, Car, Cash, Country Club and Credit Card. They form a humorous look at the basics of what some Singaporeans consider the essentials of life.

By structuring the guide around my own 5Cs, it aims to do just that: be an essential guide to Singlish.



Collected Terms

No guide would be complete without a list of most commonly use words. These come with my own examples of them in use, showing the ways in which these can be used in everyday vernacular.


Comparing Tonality

Tonality makes up a big part of the way Singlish is spoken and conveyed. Taking cues from its component languages, like Mandarin, sentences become more expressive to carry across the emotional feelings behind the statements.

By comparing English phrases with their Singlish equivalents through the use of generated visual sound waves, the different ways in which these languages are spoken can be seen.