Proper use of language

I’ve been working on polishing my pronunciation, spelling and grammar and vocabulary standards in the English language by choosing to read from a wide variety of books besides fiction — my all time favorite. By doing so, I believe it will greatly help to improve my communication skills, which is important as I move towards higher education and eventually the need to communicate with colleagues and customers in the workforce.

Recently, I read from newspaper articles, which mentioned that the government has been trying to promote proper use of the English language. Personally, I think it is critical that Singaporeans speak and write proper English and put away with Singlish although many would argue that Singlish is a unique icon of true Singaporeans. Certainly, we can still use Singlish in our daily lives but I would say that we use it “for fun & entertainment” and not elsewhere.

Not to leave out Chinese, my mother tongue language. I have always avoided reading and writing Chinese characters because my mindset tells me it is tough to grasp as compared to English. Let me share a little cultural experience during my internship in North Carolina that changed my thinking on the Chinese language — There was this group of Chinese nationals from china living near my apartment. Just like us, there were there for a short stint with a well-known company. On one occasion, when my roommate and I went to the supermarket to replenish our weekly groceries supplies, we met some of them from the group. They offered to give us a ride back to the apartment since we live within short distance from each other. During the journey, I realized that we had a hard time trying to communicate with them even though we were Chinese and speak the same language. I thought that was a very embarrassing scene because we could not even speak proper Mandarin due to the lack of use.

This little incident has inspired me not to give up on Chinese but to use it or lose it. After all, it is not asking for more than simply spending 15 minutes a day reading articles and being familiar with the words.

PS: Despite attempts to write in proper English (correct grammar usage etc.); I have no idea how many mistakes were made in this entry. Practice makes perfect :)