Kongish and Singlish.

1) Victor Mair at the Log posts about Kongish Daily, a Facebook page whose motto is “Hong Kong people speak Hong Kong English”; both post and comments are full of interesting material. Mair says:

I suppose that some might wish to refer to Kongish as a topolect of Chinglish. In truth, though, Kongish is more coherent and integral than Chinglish. Chinglish is more amorphous and doesn’t really have any rules. Everything in Chinglish is pretty much ad hoc and spontaneous (anything goes), whereas Kongish — because Hong Kongers have been developing it for decades and are apt to actually exchange whole sentences and even series of sentences in it — has a body of mutually agreed upon usages and a higher degree of intelligibility for its own speakers. In this sense, it resembles Singlish (Singaporean English) more than Chinglish. Perhaps we may say that Kongish and Singlish are both lects of English, and that Chinglish is a work that is forever in progress.

2) And speaking of Singlish, we’ve discussed it before, but it’s worth linking to Tessa Wong’s BBC News Magazine piece about it, which has some great examples and a quiz to see if you can decode such sentences as “Wah this durian so shiok, best lah!” (Thanks go to Trevor and Eric for the link.)

Speak Your Mind