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.





Speak Mandarin Campaign



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Speak Mandarin Campaign

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Communities / Organisations



讲华语运动(Speak Mandarin Campaign)是新加坡一项推广华文华语的运动。



The Speak Mandarin Campaign is a campaign to promote Mandarin in Singapore.

  • 讲华语运动由推广华语理事会(Promote Mandarin Council)主导,并由国家文物局(National Heritage Board)负责秘书处事项。
  • 运动的宗旨是鼓励新加坡华人于日常生活中多使用华文华语,以及加强人们对新加坡华族文化的认识。
  • 讲华语运动于 1979 年由建国总理李光耀发起。
  • 早期新加坡的华族移民来自中国不同的省份,使用不同的方言沟通。为了简化华族新加坡人的语言环境,加强不同籍贯的华族人之间的沟通与理解,也为双语教育政策提供支持,讲华语运动便应运而生。
  • 到了 1980 年代末,讲华语运动聚焦于提高人们对华语的文化和价值的认识。自 1998 年起,运动也鼓励年轻一代受英语教育的华族多使用华语。
  • The Speak Mandarin Campaign is led by the Promote Mandarin Council, with the National Heritage Board providing  secretariat support.
  • The campaign aims to encourage Singaporean Chinese to use Mandarin more in their daily lives, and deepen the people’s understanding of Chinese culture in Singapore.
  • The Speak Mandarin Campaign was launched in 1979 by founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew.
  • Early Chinese immigrants in Singapore came from different provinces in China and used different dialects to communicate. In light of this language landscape, the Speak Mandarin Campaign was launched to simplify the language environment of Singaporean Chinese, strengthen communication and understanding among the various Chinese dialect groups, and provide support for the bilingual education policy.
  • At the end of the 1980s, the Speak Mandarin Campaign focused on raising awareness of the culture and value of Mandarin  among people. Since 1998, the campaign has also encouraged younger Singaporean Chinese who are English-educated to use more Mandarin.


The Speak Mandarin Campaign is the most enduring campaign among all the campaigns initiated by the Singapore Government, and has reinvented itself over the years to stay relevant . (Lianhe Zaobao, 19/10/2019)

  • 讲华语运动历年的标语如下:
    •  1979年:多讲华语,少说方言
    • 1981年:学华语,讲华语
    • 1982年:在工作场所讲华语
    • 1983年:华人讲华语,合情又合理
    • 1984年:请讲华语,儿女前途操在你手里
    • 1985年:华人· 华语
    • 1986年:先开口讲华语,皆大欢喜
    • 1987年:会讲华语,先讲常讲
    • 1988年:多讲华语,亲切便利
    • 1989年:常讲华语,亲切流利
    • 1990年:华人· 华语
    • 1991年:学习华语,认识文化
    • 1992年:用华语表心意
    • 1993年:讲华语,收益多
    • 1994年:华语,多讲流利
    • 1996年:讲华语,开创新天地
    • 1998年:讲华语,好处多
    • 2001年:华人·华语·华文
    • 2003年:能用华语是福气,别失去
    • 2004年:华语cool
    • 2007年:讲华语,你肯吗?
    • 2011年:华文华语,多用就可以
    • 2019年:讲华语,我也可以


  • The slogans of the Speak Mandarin Campaign over the years are as follows:
    • 1979: Speak More Mandarin and Less Dialect
    • 1981: Learn Mandarin, Speak Mandarin
    • 1982: Speak Mandarin While At Work
    • 1983: Mandarin’s In. Dialect’s Out
    • 1984: Speak Mandarin. Your Children's Future Depends On Your Effort Today
    • 1985: Mandarin is Chinese.
    • 1986: Start with Mandarin, Not Dialect
    • 1987: Start with Mandarin, Speak It More Often
    • 1988: Better with More Mandarin, Less Dialect.
    • 1989: More Mandarin, Less Dialect. Make It A Way Of Life.
    • 1990: If You’re a Chinese, Make a Statement In Mandarin.
    • 1991: Mandarin For Chinese Singaporeans: More Than a Language
    • 1992: Say It in Mandarin.
    • 1993: Speak Mandarin. It Helps.
    • 1994: Mandarin. Use It or Lose It.
    • 1996: Speak Mandarin, Explore New Horizons.
    • 1998: Speak Mandarin, It's An Asset.
    • 2001: Mandarin: Window to Chinese culture
    • 2003: Use It, Don't Lose It.
    • 2004: 华语 Cool. Use It, Don’t Lose It.
    • 2006: 华语COOL!
    • 2007: Speak Mandarin. Are You Game?
    • 2011: Mandarin. It Gets Better With Use.
    • 2014: Mandarin. It Gets Better With Use. Immerse yourself today.
    • 2015: Mandarin Gets Better With Use.
    • 2019: Speak Mandarin? Yes, I Can.