One visit to Singapore and you’ll instantly
discover a destination within destinations, a land swirling with different languages and one of Asia’s most unique
tourist friendly countries so it seems. According to the CIA World Factbook 35% of the country speaks
Mandarin, 23% English, 14.1% Malay, 11.4% Hokkien and so on. Keeping these valuable numbers in mind or not make sure
you visit the Ethnic Quarters. Made up by Little India, Chinatown, and the two Malay communities of Kampong Gelam and
Geylang Serai there is an abundance for any culture seeker or adventure minded traveler to find, but don’t take my word
for it – visit this
page on the country’s Ethnic Quarters. In the meantime let’s practice what 35% of the natives are speaking.
That’s right! If your final destination in the near future happens to be
Singapore plan on knowing a little Mandarin though the close running 23% of the English speaking population should make
travels a tad bit easier. At least I imagine so.
Mandarin is the most widely spoken of the Chinese language
and can be a bit difficult to learn, but there are many sites online that can help get you started. The best will
probably cost a small amount of money and the links are many so for sources pointing to additional sources check out About and Mandarin Tools. Mandarin tools is good if you’d like to add pinyin tools and
other Chinese text files to your computer. Zap
Chinese is free and has small dictionaries of common words with audio. Mei Wah
is an awesome and funny site on becoming more aware as an eater and learning Chinese by way of menus and restaurant
signs. China Language online is another excellent site I recently stumbled
upon providing info on Mandarin, Cantonese and Hakka. In addition to these past recommendations check out the Hong Kong Language Learning Center (HKLLC) for study abroad in Hong Kong or Beijing.
Qi Journal has a
section dedicated to Chinese culture and language study.
Past Mandarin words: zhu ni hao yun, quo nian hao