±A - Join Our Community

JOIN OUR FRIENDLY COMMUNITY
Learn from the experiences of other expats and make new friends in our disccussion forums and Facebook groups

±A - Cigna

±A - Read Our Guide

READ OUR GUIDE TO MOVING ABROAD
The Expat Focus Guide to Moving Abroad contains everything you need to know when planning an international relocation available now, completely free

±A - Compare Quotes and Save

COMPARE QUOTES AND SAVE MONEY
Insurance, FX and international movers

±A - Listen to the Podcast

LISTEN TO THE EXPAT FOCUS PODCAST
The Expat Focus podcast features interviews with expats living abroad and service providers meeting their needs subscribe today!

±A - Expert Financial

EXPERT FINANCIAL ADVICE & SERVICES
From our tax, investment and FX partners

±A - ExpatFocus Partners

Expat Focus Partners

Become a Partner. Click Here.

Speaking the Language

Singapore (City) - Speaking the Language

Click here to go to this city guide's homepage


The working language in Singapore is English – English is widely understood and spoken throughout Singapore. Although English is taught in schools and used widely, it is not always the lingua-franca used in homes, or among close friends and family. It is common to find the younger generation of Singaporeans effectively bilingual or multi-lingual in English and one or more other language (usually Chinese, Malay or Tamil). There are four official languages recognized in Singapore: English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil. A second language apart from English is taught in the Singapore local schools as part of the national education curriculum. Singapore’s Ministry of Education website offers useful teaching and learning resources for Chinese, Malay and Tamil languages for young children or beginners interested to learn more about these languages.

Over the years, Singapore has launched many language campaigns, from Speak Mandarin to Speak Good English campaigns, though the effectiveness of these campaigns remains inconclusive.

Singapore English, or Singlish, is a variation of the Standard English language, and is a version of English you will hear being spoken widely in Singapore. The use of Singapore English is a point of consternation among Singaporeans. Debate on the topic is rife in schools, coffee shops, and on the internet. It is inevitable for any expatriate working in Singapore to come across Singapore English, so it may be helpful to pick up some knowledge about the use of Singapore English. An accessible guide book on the characteristics and quirks of the Singapore English is Adam Brown’s book, the “Singapore English in a Nutshell: An Alphabetical Description of its Features” (Federal Publications, 1999; 253 pages).

A wide variety of English-language newspapers are available from most bookstores and newsagents located all over Singapore, and you will find many options for subscriptions to both international and local newspapers and magazines. Singapore’s three main English newspapers are The Straits Times, The New Paper and Today, in addition to a range of international newspapers, magazines and journals. The weekend classifieds in the major newspapers offer comprehensive listings and happenings in Singapore – from property listings, to what’s on, to finding a job. To subscribe to Singapore’s local newspapers, call Tel: (+65) 1800-737 8700 (The Straits Times and The Sunday Times) and Tel: (+65) 1800-733 4455 (The New Paper). Today is distributed free.

Expatriates who are in Singapore to start up a business may wish to contact the Singapore International Chamber of Commerce (SICC) for a comprehensive online business listings of businesses in Singapore. The SICC also organizes events and seminars that are great events for networking and learning more about doing business in Singapore. The SICC Office is centrally located at 6 Raffles Quay, #10-01 Singapore 048580. Tel: (+65) 6500 0988.

English books are readily available at major bookstores. The two centrally-located bookstores - Borders and Books Kinokuniya - offer the widest selection of English language books in Singapore. Borders is located at 501 Orchard Road Wheelock Place #01-00, and Books Kinokuniya’s main store is located at 391 Orchard Road Ngee Ann City #03-10/15 Takashimaya Shopping Centre. There is a growing number of smaller and specialty bookshops located in neighborhood shopping malls.

Singapore’s public libraries are well-stocked with literature from all around the world, and are good sources of information on printed literature penned by Singapore/Malaysian authors, and on various topics about Asia. There are 3 regional libraries, 1 reference library and 19 public libraries in Singapore. Lookout for community children’s libraries that are targeted at children aged 10 and younger and located in HDB housing estates. It is possible for foreigners to borrow books from the public libraries upon registration, some registration fees and conditions apply. For more information, visit the national library’s website at www.nlb.gov.sg



Expat Health Insurance Partners


Bupa Global

At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.

Cigna

Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.