12 Sep '17, 2am

Government rebuts New York Times article on dialects in Singapore

SINGAPORE - Singapore's ambassador to the United States has rejected claims in a New York Times (NYT) article that there has been a softening of Government policy towards the use of Chinese dialects after decades of what the paper described as "linguistic repression". The report, titled "In Singapore, Chinese dialects revive after decades of restrictions", was published on Aug 26. In it, author Ian Johnson wrote about the dearth of dialects among the young, and described a three-generation Singaporean family, in which a Hokkien-speaking grandmother and her English-speaking granddaughter struggle to communicate. This, the article noted, is a consequence of "the Singapore government's large-scale, decades-long effort at linguistic engineering" as it moved to effectively ban Chinese dialects in favour of Mandarin. "This linguistic repression, and the consequences for multi-ge...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/politics/government-rebuts-ne...

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