Video of the Week: Singaporean “White” Boy

This Singaporean show interviews 16-year Tyler who has lived 9 years in Singapore, 2 years in China and 5 years in the U.S. Not surprisingly he has mastered both Mandarin and the local Singlish English based creole. The hosts Shan and Rozz challenges Tyler to a show off which he easily masters.

Interestingly, while Shan and Rozz tend to speak English closer to an UK RP standard accent, Tyler’s English is closer to U.S. English, but it looks like it’s not necessarily his default code.

Linguists will point out that there are really no physiological constraints on learning any language – it’s all about exposure to a language at the right time. But, there aren’t too many non-Asians that fluent in Chinese so it’s fun to watch. Especially as he describes overhearing Mandarin gossip about him…which the other Mandarin speakers don’t realize he can understand. Ooops.

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