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.
An old name for Singapore.
The Mandarin term “淡马锡” is a transliteration of the Javanese term Temasek, meaning sea market. Singapore was so named as it was an important maritime trading port between the East and West. This name is clearly found in historical records such as Description of the Barbarians of the Isles (《岛夷志略》), Nagarakretagama (《爪哇史颂》) and The Nautical Charts of Zheng He (《郑和航海图》).
Temasek was used as the official English name for Singapore up until the 14th century when it was gradually replaced by the name “Singapura” (meaning Lion City).
As a historical and cultural symbol, the name “Temasek” is widely used in Singapore today.
A river slowly and quietly gaining momentum, flowing past the warm equator, where it is summer all year long. For many centuries, this has been the home of seamen in Temasek. (Lianhe Zaobao, 22/10/2019)
yú wěi shī
qī yuè gē tái
hā zhī jié