Exporting: Local English

More cultures adopt their own versions of the global tongue

English is now the most creolized tongue of all time, spoken in some form by people on every continent. Well-known English dialects include Patwa (in Jamaica), Scots and Spanglish. But newer hybrid languages continue to evolve. In Singapore English, or Singlish, a tired worker might say, "I was blur at work." Blur means "to not know what is going on." The government is promoting "standard English" over the more popular Singlish, but it's an uphill fight.

Indonesian upper-crusters have joined the masses in their fondness of Indlish. "Gue tadi lunch meeting sama boss," says a Jakarta businesswoman--who had a lunch meeting...

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