Singaporean Mandarin Database

This database contains a collection of Mandarin terms which have cultural, historical or sentimental value unique to Singapore. These terms may be used by Singaporeans in the past or at present. Some of the terms are read in print while others are used in our everyday conversations.

niáng

Definition

  1. “Nonya” refers to a female descendant of interracial marriages between the early Chinese male migrants who migrated from southern China to the Malay Peninsula or Indonesia, and indigenous women from the region.
  2. Usually refers to the descendants of Chinese men who married indigenous women, but could also refer to descendants of the early Chinese migrants whose languages and customs were different from the new migrants who came to Southeast Asia in the late nineteenth century to early twentieth century.

Learn more

huá

xiào

Definition

Learn more

yòu

zhì

yuán

Definition

An institution that provides preschool education for children aged 3 to 6.

Learn more

Definition

Singapore’s business district or downtown area. It is a collective term for “Da-Po” (or big “Po”) and “Xiao-Po” (or little “Po”), which is known as South Bridge Road and North Bridge Road today.

Learn more

Definition

Residential apartments built by the Singapore government.

Learn more