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Manglish?| What Is It?

Manglish and Singlish are not acceptable standards of English

Manglish [or Malaysian English] is English as it is usually spoken in Malaysia. The manglish vocabulary consists of words originating from English, Malay, Hokkien, Mandarin, Cantonese, Tamil, and to a lesser extent, various other European languages.

Manglish syntax resembles southern varieties of Chinese. In addition, elements of American and Australian slang have come through from imported television series.

The Malaysian Manglish is sometimes known as Rojak or Bahasa Rojak. The East Coast versions (Kelantan and Terengganu) of Manglish may differ greatly, as their accent of Malay and the jargon are particularly alien to regular Malaysian (West Coast) speakers.

Manglish in the West coast of West Malaysia is very similar (and oftentimes identical) to Singlish. Its basically English with Malay and Chinese words and grammar interspersed.

While Manglish sentences do convey the message to other Malaysians, it is far from accurate or proper. Manglish may be totally confusing to foreigners, or to those who speak correct Oxford English. It is certainly not accepted by educational and academic institutions.

The Case Against Manglish

Manglish is a Creole or pidgin language. It is English adulterated with Malay, Indian and Chinese colloquialism, and has evolved into a separate language from standard proper English.

Manglish is not English, and cannot substitute for proper use of the English language. Writing or speaking Manglish brands a person as illiterate or unschooled. Manglish is not accepted by English-speaking countries and cannot offer a level playing field for its users to compete with more articulate and fluent users of the language. Even if Manglish is accepted as suitable for spoken English, it is most certainly not appropriate for written application.

Unfortunately once you have habituated yourself to using Manglish, it is really difficult to employ proper English in both its spoken and written form.


Singlish is the Singapore version of English and very similar to Manglish. The main difference is the use of colloquialism or expressions peculiar to Singapore. The same arguments against Manglish apply to the use of Singlish.

However, since Singapore became an independent Republic in 1965, the use of English has increased in importance and the Government has actively and vigorously encouraged and promoted the use of proper or correct English. For many Singaporeans, English is the principal language. Many families speak English at home and it is one of the the first languages learned by about half of the current pre-school children. More than half of the population born since 1965 are native English speakers , and this proportion is still climbing.

Editing, Proofreading and Rewriting Services:

Fogfactor's has editors on board who are familiar with both Manglish and Singlish colloquialism, and will be able to transmute your Manglish or Singlish writings into accurate English.

Contact us and let us know how we can help you.


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