English in the British Colonies: ASEAN

English in the British Colonies: Association of southeast asian nations

The British Empire was the dominant planetary power, with many settlements and a batch of outstations all over the universe. It has a batch of grounds why the British Empire had to colonise other states such as industrialisation, universe market, political motivation, rise in population, etc. To exemplify, for the industrialisation, the rise of demand in England, they had the new engineering like steam power and reaping machines that increased the production more and more. In contrast, it is the cause of needed more resources in England, so to run into the rise in demand, England started to happen the resources from other topographic point. Furthermore, it is besides about the political motivations that like a war between England and France or other European states. They wanted to do themselves be an impressive and strong political state, so it is like a competition that they competed each other to reign the land.

During the 1500s and 1600s, international trade of Asia was controlled by the European states as they can acquire many advantages from this trade to their ain states. As a effect, the European states became stronger ; on the other manus, Asiatic states and monarchy system became weaker. About 1800s, the European states started to set up their power above the Asia, particularly in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia.

The British colonisation in Southeast Asia, British had colonized four states in Southeast Asia that is ‘Burma’ , ‘Malaysia’ , ‘Singapore’ , and ‘Brunei Darussalam’ . So, when the British semen to busy, they besides bring many things to the colonised states such as cognition, civilization, and besides linguistic communication.

Burma ( Myanmar )

The British conquered Burma is non like other settlements which keep up their cultural individuality ; Burma was a state of British India. Therefore, Burmese had two set of swayer: the top is British and Indians in the center. In 1935, the British separated Burma from India, and it was effectual in two old ages subsequently or in 1937. In 1948, Burma was able to set up its dependance from Great Britain.

Presents, Myanmar or Burma has the primary linguistic communication of direction that is Burmese ; furthermore, English is the 2nd linguistic communication that was taught. To exemplify, English was the first linguistic communication of direction in higher instruction in the yesteryear as when Gen Ne Win reformed educational system to ‘Burmanize’ . English linguistic communication was used by educated people and the national authorities.

Burmese English

Burmese English is similar to Indian Englishbecause of the historical ties to India during British colonisation.

The system of spelling in Burmese English is based on the British English ; in contrast, American spellings have become popular as the first Burmese-English lexicon was created by Adoniram Judson who is an American. For illustration, colour, cheque, encyclopaedia.

Many Standard English words were borrowed to Burmese English and may words utilize in a different state of affairs. For illustration, ‘pavement’ ( British English ) or ‘sidewalk’ ( American English ) is normally called ‘platform’ in Burmese English. Furthermore, many words were pronounced with the British speech pattern, such asvitamin/ E? V E? T E™m E? n / .

In Burmese pronunciation, consonants are unaspirated such as the K, P, and T because of the general regulation like in Indian English.

Between Burmese English and Standard English, there are some pronunciation differences.

Burmese English

Standard English


Ur ( e.g.further, Burma )


Pronounced with a high tone ( extended vowel ) , as in Burmese

ow ( e.g.now, forehead )


Pronounced with a rhinal concluding alternatively of an unfastened vowel

Internet Explorer ( e.g.pie, prevarication )


Pronounced with a rhinal concluding alternatively of an unfastened vowel

tu ( e.g.tuba, bass horn )


e.g. “ tuition, ” normally pronounced [ tE•uE?iE? ]

sk ( e.g.ski )


Pronounced as 2 syllables

st ( e.g.star )


Pronounced as 2 syllables

pl ( e.g.plug )


Pronounced as 2 syllables

V ( e.g.vine )


-nk ( e.g.think )


Pronounced with a short, decrepit tone ( short vowel )

-ng ( e.g.thing )


Pronounced as a rhinal concluding

consonantal finals ( .e.g.stop )


Pronounced as a glottal halt ( as in written Burmese, where consonantal finals are pronounced as a halt )


During World War II, Singapore was occupied by Nipponese Empire from 1943 to 1945. Finally, Singapore reverted to British Control when the war ended. And Singapore became an independent democracy on 9 August 1965 because of the separation from Malaysia.

Singaporean English or Singlish

Singaporean English or Singlish is the English linguistic communication spoken in Singapore which was influenced by Chinese and Malay. There are two chief signifiers that are Standard Singapore English ( SSE ) and Singapore Colloquial English.

Standard Singapore English’s roots derived from the country’s 146 old ages ( 1819 to 1965 ) under British colonial regulation. British colonial authorities used English as the official linguistic communication. Furthermore, in 1959 when Singapore obtained self-government and got the independency in 1965, the Singaporean authorities keeps English as the official linguistic communication because of the economic prosperity. The usage English in Singapore have many advantages ; for illustration, diminishing the spread between the diverse cultural group, being the first linguistic communication usage of the state, or assisting Singapore development and integrating into the planetary economic system.

There are many difference regulations between Standard English and Singlish. For illustration, in term of Morphology, Singlish has a batch of grammatical terminations that is non necessary in Standard English and talkers have to take into conversation. Furthermore, Plurals and past tenses are non needed. For illustration,

English Standard


What happened yesterday?

What go on yesterday?

Where make you travel?

You go where?

So the bike went foremost.

Then bike go foremost ah.

Furthermore, the chief difference from Standard English is the frequent repeat of words that was used to emphasis and strength and subsidiary verbs are losing. In contrast, Standard English is non used repeat, even for strength: the word is merely said one clip.

For illustration,

English Standard


Don’t ask who!

Don’t ask who lah!

Why do you inquire?

Why you ask inquire ask?

How smart you are.

How smart you.

Brunei Darussalam

Brunei Darussalam became a British associated state in 1888 and in 1906 Brunei Darussalam besides was assigned to be a colonial director of British Resident in 1906. In 1952 a new fundamental law was written after the business during World War II by Nipponese Empire. Furthermore, in 1962 the monarchy was ended by a little armed rebellion that was help by the British. Brunei got its dependance from the United Kingdom on 1stJanuary 1984.

Brunei is a state that has many linguistic communications regional such as Malay, English, Chinese, Arabic, Nepali, etc. The official linguistic communication is Standard Malay, but Brunei English is really popular and it is widely spoken as it is spoken by the most of the population. English has been an of import linguistic communication of instruction in Brunei since the origin of public instruction.

Learning both English and Malay in Brunei tend to acquire squeezed out the minority linguistic communication such as Tutong and Dusun. In add-on, people who attend the top school of the state normally have an first-class foundation in English ; in contrast, people who attend to take down schools frequently have a small accomplishment in English.

Brunei English

Brunei English are different from Standard English in some points such as pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary, etc.

These are some of singular characteristics of Brunei English’s pronunciation.

  • The consonant at the start word ‘th’ like ‘thin’ and ‘thank’ tends to be pronounced as [ T ] instead than [ ? ] .
  • The vowel in map words such as ‘of’ and ‘that’ tends to be a full vowel instead than [ E™ ] .

One current alteration that seems to be taking topographic point is that Brunei English is going rhotic, partially influenced by American English and partially influenced by the rhoticity of Brunei Malay.

Next, there are a few illustrations of singular characteristics of Brunei English grammar.

  • Plural nouns are added –s postfix, even they are uncountable nouns in other assortments of English. For illustration, ‘equipments’ , ‘infrastructures’ , and ‘jewelleries’
  • Adding suffix ‘-s’ on verbs to bespeak a 3rdindividual remarkable topic is variable.
  • ‘would’ is frequently used to bespeak something that is non definite.

The last is about the vocabulary in Brunei English.Many words from Malay are borrowed into Brunei English. For illustration, the words ‘titah’ ( a Sultan’s address ) , ‘sabda’ ( another Royal family’s address ) , ‘tudong’ ( a head-dress worn by adult females ) , and ‘puasa’ ( ‘fasting’ ) . The words from local nutrient normally loan from Malay, such as ‘kuih’ ( a local bar ) , as in ‘A assortment of Malay kuih and sliced fruit will besides be served’ .


In the 1800s, the British East India Company partially controlled India. At that clip, they interested in a base in Malaya. In 1786, the British under Francis Light occupied Penang and established Georgetown and they took Province Wellesley in 1800.

Malayan English

Malaysia has two types of English: Malayan Colloquial English ( MySE ) , and Malayan English ( MyE ) .

Malayan Colloquial English is known as‘ Manglish ’ . It is a blend wordof the ‘Street English’ . It is common to talk with friend, but it is forbidden in school.

Malayan English ( MyE ) is a signifier of linguistic communication that used and spoken as a 2nd linguistic communication in Malaysia. It originates from British English because of British regulation. In add-on, its vocabulary, pronunciation, and grammar have composed by many linguistic communications such as American English, Malay, Chinese, Indian linguistic communications, etc.

Malayan English uses the same pronunciation system like British English ; nevertheless, most of Malayan people speak with a typical speech pattern. The speech pattern of Malayan people get an influenced from American Television plans ; furthermore, many people study higher instruction in the United States and American companies in Malaysia that employed English talkers in metropoliss.

These are some characteristic of Malayan English.

  • By and large, Malayan English is non-rhonic, all [ R ] are pronounced in Malay.
  • Malayan English employs a wide an speech pattern, such as the words like ‘cab’ and ‘tab’ appear with [ E‘E? ] instead than [ ? ] .
  • The [ T ] in words like ‘butter’ is normally non flapped ( as in some signifiers of American English ) or realized as a glottal halt ( as in many signifiers of British English, including Cockney ) .
  • There is no h-dropping in words like ‘head’ .
  • Malayan English does non hold English consonant-cluster decreases after [ n ] , [ T ] , and [ vitamin D ] . For illustration, ‘new’ , ‘tune’ and ‘dune’ are pronounced [ E?njuE? ] , [ E?tjuE?n ] , and [ E?djuE?n ] .
  • Fricative consonants ‘th ‘ ( [ ? ] and [ ? ] ) are pronounced [ T ] for [ ? ] and [ d ] for [ ? ] .
  • ‘L ‘ is by and large clear.
  • Diphthongs ‘ow ‘ ( [ E™ES ] or [ oES ] ) are merely [ o ] and ‘ay ‘ ( [ eE? ] ) is merely [ vitamin E ] .

Comparing the words has different intending between British English and Malayan English.

Word/ Phrase

Malayan significance

British/ American Meaning

parking batch

parking infinite

parking garage ( US )


low-priced flat

flat ( US )


medium-cost flat

level ( UK )


high-cost flat

Common clasp ( UK )

to return

to come back ( answer ) to person

to return to a old province

to direct

to take person someplace

to do something to travel someplace without attach toing it

Furthermore, Malaysian besides has the words that were used merely in Malaysia. It comes from a assortment of influences. Sometimes, the words are besides stand foring the influence of some continuums of Singapore Standard English. In the media, literature, and formal address used, any words of Malay origin that have made into standard from Malayan English.


British / American

handphone ( frequently abbreviated to HP )

nomadic phone or cell phone

public telephone or public phone


Malayan Chinese, Malayan Indian

Chinese Malaysian, Indian Malaysian

maintain in position ( frequently abbreviated to KIV )

kept on file, held for farther consideration

MC ( medical certification )

ill note, aegrotat

mee ( from Hokkien wordmyocardial infarction)


bank in ( check )

sedimentation a check


History of colonialism. 2014. History of colonialism. Wikipedia.http: //en/wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_colonialsm ( accessed Feb 19, 2014 ) .

British Empire. n.d. British Empire. Wikipedia. hypertext transfer protocol: //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Empire # Britain.27s_imperial_century_.281815.E2.8 0.931914.29 ( accessed Febr 19, 2014 ) .

British Empire. n.d. British Empire. Wikipedia. hypertext transfer protocol: //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Empire ( accessed Feb 19, 2014 ) .

Language of Burma.n.d. Language of Burma. Wikipedia. hypertext transfer protocol: //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_of_Burma ( accessed Feb 19, 2014 ) .

Burmese language.n.d. Burmese linguistic communication. Wikipedia. hypertext transfer protocol: //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burmese_language ( accessed Feb 19, 2014 ) .

Burmese English. n.d. Burmese English. Wikipedia. hypertext transfer protocol: //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burmese_English ( accessed Feb 19, 2014 ) .

History of Singapore. n.d. History of Singapore. Wikipedia. hypertext transfer protocol: //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Singapore ( accessed Feb 19, 2014 ) . Richard Nordquist. n.d. Singapore English. About. hypertext transfer protocol: //grammar.about.com/od/rs/g/SingaporeEnglishterm.htm ( accessed Feb 19, 2014 ) . Singapore English. n.d. Singapore English. Wikipedia. hypertext transfer protocol: //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singapore_English ( accessed Feb 19, 2014 ) . Singlish. n.d. Singlish. Wikipedia. hypertext transfer protocol: //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singlish ( accessed Feb 19, 2014 ) . Brunei.n.d. Brunei. Wikipedia. hypertext transfer protocol: //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brunei ( accessed Feb 20, 2014 ) . Tincan. 2005. Brunei Darussalam Overview. Minorityrights. hypertext transfer protocol: //www.minorityrights.org/ ? lid=3899 ( accessed Febr 20, 2014 ) . David Deterding. 2014. Language in Brunei. hypertext transfer protocol: //brunei-linguistics.blogspot.com ( accessed Feb 20, 2014 ) . Languages of Brunei. n.d. Languages of Brunei. hypertext transfer protocol: //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_of_Brunei ( accessed Feb 20, 2014 ) . Brunei. n.d. Negara Brunei Darussalam. Nationsonline. hypertext transfer protocol: //www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/brunei.htm ( accessed Feb 20, 2014 ) . Gloria Poedjosoedarmo. 2014. English in Brunei Darussalam: Portrayal of a Critical Language with an Elusive Role. RELC diary. hypertext transfer protocol: //rel.sagepub.com/content/35/3/359.short ( accessed Feb 20, 2014 ) . Brunei English. n.d. Brunei English. Wikipedia. hypertext transfer protocol: //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brunei_English ( accessed Feb 20, 2014 ) . Tim Lambert. 2012. A Brief HISTORY OF MALAYSIA. Localhistory. hypertext transfer protocol: //www.localhistories.org/malaysia.html ( accessed Feb 20, 2014 ) . Malayan English. n.d. Malayan English. Wikipedia. hypertext transfer protocol: //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malaysian_English ( accessed Feb 20, 2014 ) .