I'm not saying I'm not guilty of committing these errors, I absolutely am. But since there's no better way to learn for myself and to help other people learn too, here's a list of 23 words that Singaporeans tend to mispronounce along with their correct pronunciations.
Correct Pronunciation: flou-er
Update: Okay for Singaporeans still in denial about this saying the pronunciation is actually "American" - please go to http://dictionary.cambridge.org/pronunciation/british/flour_1# and play the audio version of the British version. The British distinction is not as clear as the American but you can look at the phonetics and if you listen clearly, its pronounced the same way. FLOWER!
So yes, you've been pronouncing it wrong your whole life. But so have we, so don't worry!
Correct Pronunciation: al-gee
The right way to say it is "al-gee" as in "Oh Ehm Gee, there's a whole lot of algae in that pond!"
Correct Pronunciation: si-ment
Correct Pronunciation: chil-drehn
Correct Pronunciation: di-vors
Correct Pronunciation: lon-zhurh-rey
Correct Pronunciation: op-uh-tyoo-nuh-tee
Correct Pronunciation: prair
Correct Pronunciation: sam-uhn
Correct Pronunciation: shoog-er
Just imagine you're trying to shush that "ah girl" up. "Shoo girl" but without the L.
Correct Pronunciation: too-ish-uhn
Correct Pronunciation: wim-in
Correct Pronunciation: Call-leeg
This could save you from some embarrassment at an international meeting/office.
"And dis is my ker-ligg Ah Beng."
Correct Pronunciation: Prob-buh-blee
Same problem with 'properly'. But hey, what's wrong with a little convenience?
Correct Pronunciation: Hoe-tell
Where dem hoes at?
16. Excuse me
Correct Pronunciation: ax-kews me
Every Singaporean's short-lived attempt at being polite at the MRT station.
Correct Pronunciation: Suh-tuhl
Silent b guys. Also, don't forget the l at the end! This is a super common mistake across the board of 'bt's like 'debt'.
Correct Pronunciation: Sord
The 'e' isn't silent! Don't ask me why it's silent in 'alone' but articulated in 'abalone'. And I'm just saying, but pretty sure the abs made the difference.
Correct Pronunciation: Fil-m
Can't help but wonder if this is just some classic 'i'/'l' confusion taken one step too far.
Correct Pronunciation: Yeh-low
Okay this one is important because if yah-low becomes accepted in the future then there will be no more 'yellow yellow dirty fellow rhymes'. It's just not the same.
Correct Pronunciation: Wens-day
Did you know that Wednesday is also known as hump day? So if in future you forget which is the right pronunciation, just say 'hump day'.
But before you start giggling like a prepubescent teenage boy, know that this 'hump' is a noun (not a verb) that refers to getting over the first half of the work week.
23. Nasi Lemak
Eh this one is our local food leh. Can we at least say this one propply not??
Never make these mistakes again
But it's all these little Singaporean quirks that make living here so great! So while it's useful to know proper English for when the time calls for it, Singlish serves a great purpose in forming our national identity, and to everyone who has a problem with speaking Singlish as a casual everyday language...