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Languages of Singapore

Republic of Singapore. 4,353,893. National or official languages: Mandarin Chinese, Malay, Tamil, English. Literacy rate: 93% (2000 census). Also includes Hindi (5,000), Indonesian, Japanese (20,000), Korean (5,200), Sindhi (5,000), Sylheti, Telugu (603), Thai (30,000), Tukang Besi North, people from the Philippines (50,000). Blind population: 1,442. Deaf institutions: 3. The number of languages listed for Singapore is 21. Of those, all are living languages.

Living languages

Bengali

[ben] 600 in Singapore (1985). Ethnic population: 14,000 in Singapore (2001 Johnstone and Mandryk).  Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Eastern zone, Bengali-Assamese 
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Chinese, Hakka

[hak] 69,000 in Singapore (1980). Ethnic population: 151,000 in Singapore (1993).  Alternate names: Khek, Kek, Kehia, Kechia, Ke, Hokka.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Chinese 
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Chinese, Mandarin

[cmn] 201,000 in Singapore (1985).  Alternate names: Huayu, Guoyu.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Chinese 
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Chinese, Min Bei

[mnp] 4,000 in Singapore (1985). Ethnic population: 11,000 in Singapore.  Alternate names: Min Pei.  Dialects: Hokchia (Hockchew).  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Chinese 
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Chinese, Min Dong

[cdo] 34,154 in Singapore (2000 WCD). Ethnic population: 31,391. Mainly in China. Dialects: Fuzhou (Fuchow, Foochow, Guxhou).  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Chinese 
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Chinese, Min Nan

[nan] 1,170,000 in Singapore (1985). Population includes 736,000 speakers of Hokkien, 28.8% of the population (1993), 360,000 speakers of Teochew (1985), 14.2% of the population (1993); 74,000 speakers of Hainanese (1985), 2.9% of the population (1993). Ethnic population: 1,482,000 (1993) including 884,000 Hokkien (1993), 452,000 Teochew (1985), 146,000 Hainanese (1993).  Alternate names: Min Nam, Southern Min.  Dialects: Hokkien (Fukienese, Fujian, Amoy, Xiamen), Teochew (Chaochow, Chaozhou, Taechew), Hainanese.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Chinese 
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Chinese, Pu-Xian

[cpx] 14,083 in Singapore (2000 WCD).  Dialects: Henghua (Hinghua, Xinghua).  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Chinese 
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Chinese, Yue

[yue] 314,000 in Singapore (1985). Ethnic population: 338,000 (1993).  Alternate names: Cantonese, Yue, Yueh, Guangfu.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Chinese 
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English

[eng] 227,000 in Singapore (1985).  Classification: Indo-European, Germanic, West, English 
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Gujarati

[guj] 800 in Singapore (1985). Ethnic population: 1,619 (1985).  Alternate names: Gujerathi, Gujerati.  Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Central zone, Gujarati 
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Javanese

[jav] 800 in Singapore (1985). Ethnic population: 21,230.  Alternate names: Jawa, Djawa.  Classification: Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Javanese 
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Madura

[mad] 900 in Singapore (1985). Ethnic population: 14,292 (1985).  Alternate names: Madurese, Madhura.  Dialects: Bawean (Boyanese).  Classification: Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Madurese 
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Malaccan Creole Portuguese

[mcm]  Trankera and Hilir, Melaka, Straits of Malacca. Related varieties in parts of Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Variety in Pulau Tikus spoken more in 1997 than in 1987. Alternate names: Malaysian Creole Portuguese, Malaccan, Papia Kristang.  Classification: Creole, Portuguese based 
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Malay

[mly] 396,000 in Singapore (1985).  Alternate names: Bahasa Malay, Melayu.  Classification: Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Malayic, Malayan, Local Malay 
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Malay, Baba

[mbf] 10,000 in Singapore (1986 Pakir). Population total all countries: 15,000. Ethnic population: 250,000 to 400,000 (1986). Mainly in the Katong District on the east coast and the surrounding districts of Geylang and Jao Chiat. Also spoken in Malaysia (Peninsular). Alternate names: Chinese Malay, Baba, Straits Malay.  Dialects: It developed since the 15th century from Low Malay with many Hokkien Chinese borrowings. Regional variants between Malacca and Singapore. Partially intelligible with Standard Malay. It is generally believed that the Baba of Malaysia is more 'refined', and that of Singapore more 'rough'. Most have learned Standard Malay and English in school. Lim (1981) and Holm (1989) treat it as a Malay-based creole. It is different from Peranakan Indonesian.  Classification: Creole, Malay based 
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Malayalam

[mal] 10,000 in Singapore. Ethnic population: 14,000 (1993).  Alternate names: Alealum, Malayalani, Malayal, Malean, Maliyad, Mallealle, Mopla.  Classification: Dravidian, Southern, Tamil-Kannada, Tamil-Kodagu, Tamil-Malayalam, Malayalam 
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Orang Seletar

[ors] 884 in Singapore (2000 WCD). North coast of Singapore, and opposite coast of Malaysia. Classification: Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Malayic, Malayan, Aboriginal Malay 
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Panjabi, Eastern

[pan] 9,500 in Singapore (1987). Ethnic population: 14,000 (1993).  Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Central zone, Panjabi 
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Singapore Sign Language

[sls]   Classification: Deaf sign language 
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Sinhala

[sin] 852 in Singapore (1987). Ethnic population: 12,000 (1993).  Alternate names: Sinhalese, Singhalese, Chingalese.  Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Sinhalese-Maldivian 
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Tamil

[tam] 90,000 in Singapore (1985). Ethnic population: 111,000 (1993).  Classification: Dravidian, Southern, Tamil-Kannada, Tamil-Kodagu, Tamil-Malayalam, Tamil 
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