What is the choice of language for fans of the Singapore Premier League?


Language of the World

Context:


Cyan Tongue learned of an issue that surfaced just recently.

It was about cheers/chants/songs during football matches in Singapore.

A local football fan apparently, had commented and asked for the consideration to have cheers/chants/songs in other languages. The fan further reasoned that having cheers/chants/songs in different languages would result in a larger following.

Is this conclusively true?

Was the suggestion valid?

Many months later, Cyan Tongue managed to convince a casual local football fan to sit down in an undisclosed interview.

The location, timing, and background of the interview are secret.

The transcript of the interview has been deleted and destroyed.



Cyan Tongue (CT):

Hi there, and thank you for taking the time out to spend with me.

F:

No worries. I have the time anyway.


CT:

Let’s begin shall we?

For the record, this is only with regards to local football and the Singapore Premier League.

Just assumably – cheers or songs or chants are in Malay.

Is this a barrier, a challenge, a problem for you?

F:

Nope. Not at all.

CT:

And just to be clear, I am speaking with a non-Malay here right?

Are you a Malay?

F:

Nope, I am not a Malay.

CT:

So have you watched any SPL games before?

As in at the stadium?

F:

Yes, I’ve watched the SPL games before.

Like actually going down to the stadiums and watch it with my spouse.

Before we proceed, just want to put on record that whether your readers, believe it or not, it is not my problem.

And please let me see your complete write-up before publishing.

Thank you.

CT:

Ok noted, and I will do the necessary.

Back to the question, so is it a challenge for you?

Have you heard the cheer or songs or chants in the stadium before?

Like when you are watching the match?

F:

Oh yes. I have seen and heard it before.

No, not at all.

In fact, I guess, maybe there are a few things that will make me enjoy this kind of match even though the cheers are in another language.

Number 1, I think the cheer in terms of the musical notes or the drum beats resonates with me, so I will be happy to go along and even though I can’t follow, but if I can, I will follow.

So this is what I enjoy.

And secondly, I believe it also boils down to each person’s upbringing.

Personally, I don’t have any Malay friends, but I have Malay colleagues, and in the course of knowing them, I enjoyed the company of them.

In fact, in primary school, I also have some good friends.

It is just that…

So from secondary school, that is when I have absolutely no contact with Malays.

During that time all the way even up till university also don’t have until I started working maybe in the 3rd or 4th company.

So basically, because I enjoyed the company, I enjoyed the music so ya it is not a challenge to me personally.

CT:

Ok, thanks.

Do you know what the national language for Singapore is?

F:

Malay.


CT:

Do you know that for a fact?

F:

Yes.


CT:

And how do you know that for a fact?

F:

Our National Anthem.

CT:

If you have to choose just one language and use it to support a local football team, what will it be?

F:

Malay.

CT:

And why is that so?

F:

Because it will be an identity for us, that’s all.

CT:

I am not going to agree with you on that, but this is not about me agreeing with you. These are your views.

F:

Because what is English?

English is just what?

From the colonials right?

I mean, so why should we use English?

I mean we have to survive, so we use English, but if it comes to like culture, when it comes to like this kind of the local stuff, I think we should stick to that.

In fact, a lot of languages comes from Malay; I mean all those Singlish and all that.

CT:

If let’s say there is going to be a football fan group and their cheer is going to be in another language other than Malay, are you going to be okay with that?

F:

I’ve heard Japanese cheer before.

It is absolutely fine if their, the main constitution of the team is Japanese, then have a Japanese cheer.

So have a Japanese cheer.

It is absolutely fine if I hear something else.

CT:

So are you trying to say;

that the language for the cheer of a particular football team,

should coincide with the racial composition of that team?

F:

Yes.


CT:

I see.

So let’s say there are 10 Malay players in a football team and 1 one of them is Chinese.

According to you, out of the 11 cheers, there should be 10 Malay cheer and 1 Chinese cheer?

F:

No need.

CT:

Alright.

How is your Malay cheer?

F:

Hmm… not so good, I mean, I have to memorize the chant.

CT:

Would you want to learn the language?

F:

Yes, of course.


CT:

And why would you want to learn the language?

F:

So that I can cheer – if I’m cheering.

CT:

And if you do not want to cheer?

F:

Then that’s fine.

CT:

Why is that fine?

F:

If I do not want to cheer means, I am not interested in cheering means I won’t be joining in the cheer, so why bother.


CT:

I see.

Alright, is there anything else you want to say?

F:

No, that’s fine.



#Language #SPL

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