I speak good Mandarin?

Americans have commented that I speak very good English. Now a mainland Chinese supplier asked me whether I'm from China or Singapore (my office address is in my email). When I said that I'm Singaporean she commented that I speak very good Chinese. I think they say that not because I really speak very good English or Chinese but they are just surprised that I, a Singaporean, speak those languages at all.

Thanks to Lee Kuan Yew's foresight, many Singaporeans are able to work with and communicate with people all over the world. Without our language ability, many of our jobs would be lost to other countries.

When I was young, I was rather resentful of having to learn Chinese as my "mother tongue" when my mother can't even speak Chinese. (My mother speaks Malay). I developed an interest in the language only in Junior College thanks to the two Chinese teachers that I had. One even helped me to get rid of my angmoh accent by making me read a passage out loud to her every morning before school started. Of course, I hated having to reach school half an hour early at 7am but I wanted to pass my Chinese oral exam so I had to do it. Our effort paid off and I passed my oral exam and got a B3 for the written exam. I can't remember my teacher's name but I think she would be proud to hear me speaking and typing in Chinese to suppliers and clients in China :)


David said...


You are fortunate to be bilingual.

Also intersting to read your company deals with Chinese customers and you have role in that work.


If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves. ~Thomas Alva Edison

Anonymous said...

How long has it been since you left school? 10, 20, 30 or 40 yrs? It cant be many more than 5!

False gratitude when you cant even remember the names of the teachers that made a difference to your life! tsk tsk

I believe bilingual people are amongst the most intelligent. I guess some do not translate this intelligence into worthy personal values.

silli cat

Anonymous said...

Lee's foresight says "MONEY IS GOD" and if China is poor today, Con-You will force all Chinese to change their names to "Smith" or some Ungmoh surnames just to get friendly with the Ungmohs!

Fortunately now China is rich and Sinki's economy depends on them coming over and gamble, Con-You now glorifies his Chinese background even though he can’t speak the language very well. Some people understand his family actually came from Indonesia just like Obama's family came from Kenya.

Some people even thought he has Japanese blood because he worked for the Jap Military Intelligence during the war.

Anonymous said...

Haha good jokes leh...very funnnnnny....Hey Con-Mic...dont waste your talent leh...let us all Singaporeans here whom you call Silliporeans and our senior leaders whom you call Con-You and Leeches hear your political jokes leh....ok?

Kumar and Hossan Leong may want to talent scout you for their stand up COMIC shows. Would you be interested? I think you should coz you have the flair to be a stand-up con-artiste, oooops...no...con-median...uhhhh... I mean Con-Mic! lol

We also get to see what you look like, what is your background, you past, what race you are and what country you now make your new home since you're so fond of ridiculing us here in Singapore that you call Sillipore! I bet the jokes on you when you reveal yourself! That's why you keep yourself hidden all the time. lol

silli cat

Anonymous said...

To side track a little. Personally I don't think we should have ever gone into China in the 80's I mean what did we gain from it? We lost a mind boggling sum of money some say in the area of $30 billion on suzhou.

Also initially nobody wanted to invest in China at all we were the first to go in to show it was ok to go there, we were the catalyst and from then onwards everybody in the world started to pile into china big time. A lot of the overseas mnc corporations EDB worked very hard to get to come here to train and move our workers up the value chain eventually packed up and moved to china and the jobs that hired our locals here were exported there because it was 5 times cheaper. And worse after that we had to import indians and filipinos here to provide cheap labor to corporations to keep them from pulling out of singapore and as a result our locals got screwed over again and most don't even realise it.

So what did we gain from it?

Thanks a lot Harry for your great foresight.

I thought you cant speak Mandarin.. lol..

Anonymous said...

Mistakes happen even to the best leaderships. But nothing can detract from the fact that we have time and ability to critique tells a lot. Therefore look at yourself and see what you have in your possessions for you and your family. Thanks Harry for his great foresight.

As for the Con-Mic, he is down and out and casted out as a misfit by the country of his birth he ridicules as Sillipore and his fellow mates he calls Silliporeans. He is an exception as he criticizes and ridicules from abroad, disgruntled, envious and full of angst and regret for his mistakes. That is why he behaves the way he does. A sorry pitiful con-mic fella.

silli cat