American YouTuber criticised for misinformation on Singlish & official languages in S'pore travel guide

Oh dear.

Mandy How | February 08, 2022, 07:09 PM

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A video guide to Singapore by American YouTuber Chris Raney is getting called out for a number of inaccuracies.

Raney, who hosts the Yellow Productions channel, specialises in travel content.

Although recently uploaded to Facebook on Feb. 1, 2022, the clip was actually extracted from a 2016 YouTube video.

The four-minute guide provided tips for our weather, language, food, and transport.

Overall, Raney found Singapore a safe but strict country, with cheap public transport and stellar hawker food.

However, things hit a snag when the host introduced the four official languages in Singapore.

"Singapore has four official languages that include English, Mandarin, Malay, and an Indian language. But the official, official language is English. You'll find everybody here pretty well speaks English.

The question is, is it an English that you understand? English is Singapore is often referred to as Singlish because they add a lot of Chinese words into their English and add a lot of extra words at the end for emphasis, like 'Hey, this line at the hawker center's really busy, lah.' And the lah is an emphasis type word."

This section alone had readers correcting several things, namely that:

  1. Tamil is one of the official languages, as opposed to "an Indian language."
  2. Singlish comprises more than just English and Chinese; it is a mix of all official languages and then some.
  3. The main spoken language may be English, but Malay is the national language.

Going cashless

Another inaccuracy highlighted by viewers was the bit about payment modes.

Raney had explained that despite being a modern city, it is still very important to carry cash around Singapore as "a lot of it is still cash-based."

However, residents pointed out that most places have gone cashless since the pandemic, and cited the proliferation of e-wallets and QR codes.

Raney was also corrected when it came to the late night surcharge for taxis.

Nonetheless, a few viewers have also come to Raney's defence, as well as to thank him for the coverage on Singapore.

You can watch the video here:

Top image via Yellow Productions Travel Guides/Facebook