Saturday, May 21, 2005

Audio Entry: How To Say The Singapore Pledge Correctly

The following letter appears in today's Straits Times Forum. So here's my audio entry (2.7mb). I think I only got 40% right. Someone please teach me how to speak good English...
How to say the Singapore Pledge correctly IN ALL the talk about speaking good English, I have noticed that little or no attention has been given to the emphasis of the correct syllables. Singlish tends to stress the final syllable of words, whereas the correct emphasis often lies in an earlier syllable. Take the Singapore Pledge:
  • citizens: In Singlish it's citiZENS; it should be CITizens.
  • Singapore: In Singlish it's SingaPORE; it should be SINGapore.
  • united: In Singlish it's uniTED; it should uNIted.
  • people: In Singlish it's peoPLE; it should be PEOple.
  • regardless: In Singlish it's regardLESS; it should be reGARDless.
  • language: In Singlish it's lanGUAGE; it should be LANGuage.
  • religion: In Singlish it's reliGION; it should be reLIgion.
  • democratic: In Singlish it's democraTIC; it should be demoCRAtic.
  • society: In Singlish it's socieTY; it should be soCIety.
  • justice: In Singlish it's jusTICE; it should be JUStice.
  • equality: In Singlish it's equaliTY; it should be eQUAlity.
  • happiness: In Singlish it's happiNESS; it should be HAPpiness.
  • prosperity: in Singlish it's prosperiTY; it should be prosPERity.
  • progress: In Singlish it's proGRESS; it should be PROgress.
  • nation: in Singlish it's naTION; it should be NAtion.
  • Look in any English dictionary and you will see that the correct syllable-emphasis is indicated. Perhaps this is an area that the Speak Good English Movement can look into highlighting as well. Pamela Chong Kwang Ngo (Ms)

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