Official Languages in Singapore


The Singapore government has accorded the status of "official languages in Singapore" to the four most widely-spoken languages in Singapore. The four languages, which have been designated as the official languages in Singapore, are Malay, English Tamil and Mandarin. Malay, one of the four official languages in Singapore is awarded the status of "the national language" of the country. The Mandarin language, one among the four official languages in Singapore is also the national language of the PRC and the United Nations.

Malay
In Singapore, the 'Malay' language is popularly known by the locals as the "bahasa Melayu". The Malay language or the "bahasa Melayu" belongs to the Austronesian family of languages. The Austronesian language is generally spoken by the inhabitants of the Pacific island and by the people of the South-east Asia.

This ancient language is rated at par with the Uralic and the Indo-European family of languages. This language is also used by the Malay population residing on the Borneo coast, Riau islands, and Sumatra peninsula, Singapore, Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia. Malay is uniquely similar to the 'Indonesian' language. Malay has been awarded the status of an official language in Singapore, Brunei and Malaysia. It is believed that Malay originated in the 'Riau islands' and so the Malay language that is spoken in the Riau Islands has been accepted as the standard form of Malay in Brunei, Malaysia and Indonesia.

English
English is used as the language for communication in the offices and in the business houses in Singapore. English is the first language for about 380 million people in the world. Though England is the birth-place of English, it is also the mother-tongue of many of the residents of the U.S., U.K., New Zealand, Ireland, Canada and Australia.

Tamil
Tamil is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. Tamil is predominantly spoken by the Sri Lankan and Indian population of Singapore. It is the official language of Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and India. Tamil is also widely spoken in Sri Lanka, India, South Africa, Trinidad, Fiji, Mauritius, and Dubai and in Malaysia.

Mandarin
Mandarin is the most widely spoken languages in the world with over 867.2 million people speaking in this language all over the world. Mandarin is mainly spoken by the Chinese community in Singapore. Mandarin is the official language of Singapore and the People's Republic of China. It has been accorded the status of an official language by the United Nations.

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