Monday, July 9, 2007


I have to put something in our blog that refers to "lah" as the saying is quite common here and it will be in our vocabulary when we get back home.

Why Singapore can lah?

Can, simply meaning, "be able to", is the Singaporean's monosyllabic answer denoting one's ability to do a required task. It is often used to praise someone for one's abilities or something specific.

"Lah", probably the best-known Singaporean expression, is often added to the end of a sentence for emphasis. This ever-present Singlish tag is a very common suffix that is used almost like a full stop.

Hence, when someone tells you "can lah", you can immediately understand it to mean "definitely no problem"; a strong affirmative!

Singlish is Singapore English, or colloquial English. This local variety of the English language is a product of Singapore's multi-racial society and diversity of languages. There is a natural tendency to mix the various local languages and dialects when communicating in the common language of English. As a result, wittingly or unwittingly, Singlish has become the unofficial badge of identity for many Singaporeans, as a very effective tool of verbal communication.

"Can Singapore bring the Sars outbreak under control, restore confidence, boost morale and get the economy moving?"

"Sure can, lah!"

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