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.
Another name for Singapore.
- 大约在公元13世纪，山尼拉乌他玛王子（Sang Nila Utama）从民丹岛出发坐船到淡马锡（Temasek，新加坡的旧称），上岸后遇到一只奇怪的野兽，不知是什么动物。后来他听一位长者说动物名为“新加”（Singa或Simha，梵文“狮子”的意思），王子认为是吉祥物，因此决定在这里建立自己的王朝，并将此地取名为“新加坡拉”（Singapura）。 “Singapura”一词为梵文，意思是“狮城”。
- In the thirteenth century, Prince Sang Nila Utama set off from Bintan Island to Temasek (an old name of Singapore). Upon landing, he encountered a strange, unknown beast. An elder told him the beast was known as “Singa” (Singa or Simha, which means “lion” in Sanskrit). The Prince regarded the beast as an auspicious creature, and decided to build his empire upon these shores, naming the place “Singapura”. “Singapura” was Sanskrit for “Lion City”.
- Even though the name Lion City was attributed to lions, but lions were not known to inhabit Southeast Asia. Thus Prince Sang Nila Utama’s discovery of lions may be purely folklore. “Lions” may also refer to a group of monks from the Majapahit empire, who may have moved from Java to Temasek in the late thirteenth century. As these monks were known for their wild practice forms, they were given the moniker “Lions”. In addition, several Southeast Asian cities were known as “Lion Cities” in the olden days, and Temasek could well be one such city.
During the early nineteenth century, the night skies of the Lion City were dark and looming. When Raffles landed upon the shores, lamps fuelled by coconut oil was hailed as a new beginning. Now the city is brightly lit, the night skies as bright as day in a city that never sleeps. (Lianhe Zaobao, 19/5/2019)