I had my air conditioning units serviced today, and sometimes I felt like I was speaking another language. The service man told me the drain pipe was "choked." I asked him to repeat the word 4 times before I was sure that yes, he was saying "choked." Then I asked him to repeat it another 3 times so I could try to figure out what it meant! Of course, it was clogged.
The vocabulary in Singapore English can be very different than Standard English and I always think it's a lot of fun to learn new words. If you're planning a trip to Singapore any time soon, some of the words on this list might be helpful. And for you Singaporeans, remember, we foreigners might not know what the heck you're talking about if you use these words with us! Please be patient!
Here are some of my favorites (SGE = Singapore English, SE = Standard English)
SGE: Your drain pipe is choked.
SGE: I'll take/bring/send/follow you to the airport.
SGE: I'll chope seats.
SGE: Did they chop your passport?
SGE: Just call my handphone.
SE: mobile/cell/cellular phone
SGE: I'll zap that page for you.
SGE: What alphabet does your name start with?
SGE: He showed up wearing slippers.
SE: flip flops/thongs. (No, not thong underwear.I know what you're thinking...)
SGE: I bought it at that huge departmental store.
SE: department store
There are many others, but I'll save them for future posts. Have a great weekend!