Ever heard of this term? If you haven't, here's what a sentence in Singlish sounds like, "You haven't go see Doctor meh? Really or not?" What it actually means: "Have you gone to see the Doctor? Are you sure?"
Now. I know what's in your head. What kind of broken English is this, right? No, it's a "language" we Singaporeans call Singlish. A mix of Singapore and English. Although there are differing views on this, many young Singaporeans would identify this as one of Singapore's unique identity, because it is something that has developed across many generations over the years and it became a secret language that no one else in the world would understand. I could be in Kazakhstan and I would know that the family sitting right next to me is Singaporean because of this "language". It has become what some would call a National Identity.
One of the things you must know when visiting Singapore is that this place is a food haven! Singaporeans eat round the clock. Hence I'm going to share some of the colloquial Singlish terms you must know in order to (order food really) experience Singapore fully!
Kopi O with Kaya Loti Set
Coffee lovers! Queue for the coffee at any hawker centre and you will probably hear words spoken that are unheard of! "Kopi" which means coffee with condensed milk. "Kopi Siu Dai" which means coffee that is less sweet. "Kopi Si" (pronounce “Si” as See) which means coffee with sugar and evaporated milk. "Kopi Si Kosong" (pronounce “Kosong” as Cold-Song) which means coffee with evaporated milk but no sugar. "Kopi O Kosong" which means coffee without sugar and condensed milk. So go ahead and order your "Kopi" like a pro!
Teh Tarik with Kaya Loti Set
To start your day right, make sure you get yourself some local breakfast! Head to any "Kopi" stalls and chances are you'll also be able to order "Kaya and Kopi Set" which consists of coffee with condensed milk, toasted bread with butter and kaya (coconut jam) and two soft boiled eggs.
Roti Prata with Teh Tarik
Another famous local breakfast would be the Roti Prata and Teh Tarik, best combination ever! You'll find this at almost any hawker centres where there is an Indian Roti Prata stall. Roti Prata is an Indian pancake which you will never find in India and best eaten dipped in curry. What gives the kick is the bubbly Teh Tarik that you'll drink accompanying this meal.
How can we forget the good old Nasi Lemak? Aromatic rice cooked in coconut milk with a side of the spicy sambal (sweet chilli paste) served with either fried fish or chicken wing, egg omelette, fried anchovies and slices of cucumber. Set to get you asking for more!
There's so much more for you to learn about this unique "language" of ours and the best way to do it is to come over and just experience it for yourself! Hang around with your Singaporean friends, and you'll be able to speak like a pro in no time!
See you soon!